Former NASA astronaut speaks at Capitol College Commencement ceremony

The early morning of May 16 will mark Capitol College’s 82nd commencement ceremony, when graduates will walk across the stage to be awarded with a degree that signifies their hard work and achievements during their Capitol years. The college welcomes this year’s commencement speaker Colonel Paul S. Lockhart, a former United States Air Force pilot and NASA astronaut, who will address the soon-to-be alumni.

Paul Lockhart is the senior vice president for Space Systems and Services, QinetiQ North America, overseeing QinetiQ’s range of operations supporting NASA and defense agencies. Prior to QinetiQ, Lockhart was as an astronaut and special assistant for Program Management at NASA headquarters. With over 5,000 hours in more than 30 different aircraft and the Space Shuttle, Paul has been awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal and numerous other awards.

“It’s a great honor to welcome Colonel Lockhart to our campus. I know his achievements and words of wisdom will inspire our graduates to become leaders,” said Capitol College president Michael Wood. “A world of work and citizenship is waiting for the new alumni, and they are now educated and armed with the knowledge they need to be ready for that world.”

To kick off the graduation weekend, Capitol will also host a Graduates’ Reception for all Class of 2009 graduates, faculty and staff on May 15 from 6-7:30 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Academic Center. This is an opportunity for online students to visit campus and see their classmates and professors face-to-face. Hors d’oeuvres will be served and Capitol staff will be available to provide campus tours for virtually commuting students, family and friends.

The commencement procession will begin at 9:45 a.m. The on-campus event will take place outside regardless of weather. Guests should expect to arrive by 9 a.m. No tickets are necessary; reception to follow in the Campus Center.

Capitol College is the only independent college in Maryland dedicated to engineering, computer science, information technology and business. Founded in 1927, Capitol is an accredited institution offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees, as well as professional development training and certificates, and partnerships with government and industry. Capitol is designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security. The college is located in Laurel, Md., a suburban setting midway between Washington, DC and Baltimore. Capitol and is committed to providing a quality education that is technology-driven, accessible, affordable and practical especially during these challenging economic times.

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