Former NASA astronaut shares story with students

Astrophysics freshman Carolyn Wendeln wants to be an astronaut, so when she heard former astronaut Story Musgrave was coming to campus, she jumped at the chance to hear him speak.

At 7 p.m. Wednesday, students and residents came to the Union to hear advice and life stories from Musgrave — who worked for NASA, holds seven graduate degrees and has flown air crafts for the Marines in Korea.

Musgrave spoke as part of the University Activities Board, or UAB, lecture series “No Capes, No Masks, No Distractions.”

UAB Spring Lecture Dates
Feb. 27:
Quiet Heroes: Holocaust Survivors
March 13:
Entrepreneur Heroes in partnership with MSU College of Business
April 10:
Last chance heroes: The Last Lecture

Musgrave was born on a farm in Massachusetts and did not graduate high school. However, he ended up working with the Marines in Korea by flying air crafts and acting as a mechanic.

Later in life, Musgrave found his true love – working with NASA.

“I thought, ‘Why not utilize all my education and experience from the Marines and work for NASA?’” Musgrave said. “I was looking for adventure and exploration, and I knew NASA was perfect for that.”

As part of NASA’s outreach program, Musgrave began to make presentations about the program and realized he could affect many people with his story.

“MSU is a special and great university,” Musgrave said. “By coming here, I can help students realize they have something no one else has and help them to pursue excellence.”

Musgrave said he wants to inspire students to help build goals and end up doing something they are good at.

Wendeln said she is inspired by Musgrave.

“It’s exciting to have things like these at MSU because it’s cool to see that he has personally been in space shuttles,” Wendeln said.

Shannon McGreal-Miller, director of leadership and education at UAB, said when she and other members of UAB heard about Musgrave’s story, they had to bring him to MSU.

“Story is such a dynamic character — from growing up on the farm and ending up (with) so many degrees,” McGreal-Miller said. “I think hearing someone like Story talk is what helps motivate students to push for their dreams.”

Even now, working with Walt Disney theme parks and as a landscaper, Musgrave said it is not about doing everything you possibly can in life, but rather utilizing what you are good at.

“You never know what part of your life is going to come into play,” Musgrave said. “Life evolves, and you have to show what you can offer to the world.”

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