In the spring of 2010, Shorter University President Dr. Harold E. Newman sent a flag bearing the new university logo to NASA at the request of Astronaut Stephanie Wilson. That flag was packed as part of Ms. Wilson’s gear and loaded aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery for STS-131, a resupply mission to the International Space Station. Now, nearly a year after the April 5, 2010, launch and after traveling 6,232,235 miles in 238 orbits, the flag will return home. Wilson will visit the Shorter University campus on Thursday, March 24, to present the flag to Dr. Newman and to speak to faculty, staff and students.

The flag presentation will be held during a 2 p.m. reception in the Austin Moses Room, located in Shorter’s Sheffield-Thompson Building. The reception and presentation are open to the public at no charge.

`We were thrilled to have had a Shorter University flag travel aboard the Shuttle Discovery,” Newman said. “It is hard to imagine a more dramatic way that we could have launched our new Shorter University logo. We are also honored to have Stephanie Wilson return to campus to present the flag so that we can have it framed and display it on campus. This will be an important piece of Shorter history.”

Wilson spoke at Shorter’s December 2008 commencement and is the cousin of 1988 Shorter graduate Sandra Terry, who serves as assistant vice president for intercultural services and programs at Shorter.

STS-131 Discovery (April 5-20, 2010) was launched at night from the Kennedy Space Center. On arrival at the station, Discovery’s crew dropped off more than 27,000 pounds of hardware, supplies, experiments and equipment including a tank full of ammonia coolant that required three spacewalks and robotics to install it, new crew sleeping quarters, and experiment racks. During the mission Wilson was primarily responsible for robotics and EVA support using the Space Station Robotic Arm. On the return journey, the MPLM (Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module) inside Discovery’s payload bay was packed with more than 6,000 pounds of hardware, science results, and used supplies. The STS-131 mission was accomplished in 15 days, 02 hours, 47 minutes, 10 seconds.

Founded in 1873, Shorter University is a Christian university committed to excellence in education. Since 2003, U.S. News & World Report has ranked Shorter among the South’s best baccalaureate colleges, and The Princeton Review annually includes Shorter on its lists of best value and best Southeastern colleges. The university offers traditional bachelor’s degree programs in 48 major areas as well as undergraduate degree programs for working adults, master’s programs, and online courses and degrees. For more information, visit www.shorter.edu.

Coosa Valley News