April 8, 2015 – NASA Astronaut Steven Swanson, Ph.D. will give the keynote commencement address at Colorado Mountain College’s spring graduation ceremony in Steamboat Springs on May 2.
Swanson is a 1979 graduate of Steamboat Springs High School, and though he’s traveled more than 83 million miles in space throughout his 17-year career at NASA, he considers Steamboat Springs his hometown.
Swanson received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Physics from the University of Colorado, and a Master of Applied Science in Computer Systems from Florida Atlantic University, and a Doctorate in Computer Science from Texas A&M University.
He is among an elite group of less than 50 active astronauts currently employed by NASA. His space flight experiences include shuttle missions, spacewalks and, most recently, a six-month tour of duty on the International Space Station, which concluded on September 10, 2014.
Swanson flew on the STS-17 mission aboard the space shuttle Atlantis to the ISS in June 2007 to deliver a truss segment, solar arrays, batteries and associated equipment. Swanson participated in two spacewalks totaling 13 hours and 45 minutes during the mission, the 21st shuttle mission to the orbiting station and which returned to Earth with Swanson and his fellow astronauts 14 days later.
He also flew on the STS-19 mission aboard Discovery in March 2009, delivering the final starboard truss segment and the final set of solar arrays and batteries, all of which were installed during spacewalking trips by Swanson and two astronaut colleagues. Swanson spacewalked for 12 hours and 37 minutes on the 13-day mission.
In addition to conferring certificates of occupational proficiency and associate degrees in a range of disciplines, this spring’s commencement will signify the third year that the college is awarding bachelor’s degrees in business administration and sustainability studies to graduates.
The campus’s graduation ceremony will be held at the Steamboat Grand Hotel, followed by a luncheon reception at the Neas Family/Student Dining Center on campus.