|Linda Abraham-Silver, President and CEO of the Great Lakes Science Center and Senator John Glenn at the Reach for the Stars Benefit at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland, Ohio. (PRNewsFoto/Great Lakes Science Center)|
CLEVELAND, June 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Great Lakes Science Center celebrated John Glenn’s legacy and his forthcoming 90th birthday during the Reach for the Stars Benefit Saturday, June 4. Senator Glenn shared his inspirational story with guests during a keynote speech that stressed the importance of education, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics to make America competitive. He was presented with a letter from President Barack Obama that stated, “The remarkable careers of leaders like John Glenn embody the qualities of commitment and character that continually drive our country towards greatness.”
“As the official NASA Glenn Visitor Center, we are proud to recognize the vast contributions of our namesake. Great Lakes Science Center has elected John Glenn as an Honorary Trustee, and appreciates that the Glenn name will forever be associated with our activities and enhance our ability to encourage young people to follow in his extraordinary footsteps,” Dr. Linda Abraham-Silver, president and CEO, Great Lakes Science Center, said. “He has been a role model to millions, who see his life as motivation for their own pursuits in scientific and technological fields. Given our mission to stimulate interest in the sciences, Senator Glenn’s life and service as test pilot, astronaut and Senator perfectly represent our desires and our work.”
More than 400 distinguished guests attended this sold-out Benefit and more than $300,000 has been raised to directly support Great Lakes Science Center’s education programs.
Senator John Glenn
Senator Glenn personifies the challenge delivered by President John F. Kennedy exactly 50 years ago, on May 25, 1961, when he said, “This nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important. And in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the Moon — it will be an entire nation.”
John Glenn flew Friendship 7 into Earth orbit on February 20, 1962, only 9 months later. That flight, to this very day, engages the minds and the imaginations of so many young people, in a way that only space exploration and the bravery and determination of a very special leader can. His example has spurred so many to pursue education and career paths that have driven our country’s extraordinary advancements in science and technology for the past half-century. We hope our visitors’ experiences at the Science Center and our NASA Glenn Visitor Center have similar impact on hundreds of thousands of young minds each year.
Senator Glenn went on to a long career of public service, including his distinguished tenure as our U.S. Senator from Ohio, from 1974 to 1999. On October 29, 1998, John Glenn became the oldest person to fly in space, when at age 77 he flew on Space Shuttle Discovery (STS-95), igniting the imaginations of yet another generation of explorers and discoverers.
Great Lakes Science Center
Great Lakes Science Center is one of the nation’s leading science and technology centers and home to Northeast Ohio’s NASA Glenn Visitor Center and Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s MC(2)STEM High School’s freshman class. Its mission is to stimulate interest in and increase understanding of the sciences, with a particular emphasis on the interdependence of scientific, environmental and technological activities in the Great Lakes region.