Sep 27, 2011 - Claremont, Calif. - Astronaut Bruce McCandless will present physics major Paul Riggins ’12 with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation at a public lecture 4:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Galileo Edwards Lecture Hall at Harvey Mudd College.
Capt. Bruce McCandless
“Paul is a prime example of everything an Astronaut Scholar is supposed to be: intelligent, perseverant and destined for greatness,” said McCandless. “I am honored to have the opportunity to present this award to such a worthy student.”
McCandless, who was the first person to perform an untethered spacewalk, will also present a talk about his space mission experience.
In February 1984, he served as a member of the space shuttle Challenger STS-41B crew on an eight-day mission. The crew deployed two communications satellites and made the first test of the Manned Maneuvering Unit, a jet-powered backpack designed to allow an astronaut to work in space without being tethered to the ship. McCandless was also a member of the STS-31 Discovery crew that, in 1990, deployed the Hubble Space Telescope. In 2005, he was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.
McCandless is also an avid supporter of the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.
The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest, merit-based monetary award given in the nation to science and engineering undergraduate students. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $3 million to students nationwide; $210,000 of those funds has been awarded to HMC students.
Riggins is one of only 26 students nationwide this year to receive the prestigious award.
“Paul is an excellent choice for this award, and we’re proud that he is continuing HMC’s winning tradition,” said HMC President Maria Klawe. “We are also thrilled that the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation shares our enthusiasm for well-rounded students who exhibit exceptional performance in science and engineering.”
Riggins, who is interested in pursuing teaching and research, has been on the dean’s list for the last three years. In Spring 2010, he was awarded the Rojansky Prize by the HMC Physics Department for his term paper on quantum mechanics. He is an experienced tutor, as part of the Physics Academic Excellence team and as a physics workshop tutor preparing first-years for their upcoming mechanics course. Riggins also has a passion for music and theater and has been active in both since high school. Most recently he was a part of the 5-C a cappella group, Mood Swing, and the Joint Music Program's Chamber and Concert Choirs.
Astronaut Bruce McCandless will present physics major Paul Riggins ’12 with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation at a public lecture 4:30 p.m. Oct. 4 in the Galileo Edwards Lecture Hall at Harvey Mudd College.
Media Contact: Judy Augsburger