On August 16, 2016, Tuskegee University had the distinguished honor of commencing
the 2016 Lyceum Series with the acclaimed astronaut, scientist and African American figure, Dr. Mae Jemison. After having a successful pilot Lyceum series in 2015, Tuskegee University is looking to repeat this performance with a host of influential individuals this year academic school year.
“Tuskegee University can think of no better person to commence its 2016-2017 Lyceum Series than Dr. Mae C. Jemison. Dr. Jemison is the epitome of excellence in every conceivable way. And this excellence represents what we know our students will not only aspire to, but will become as they represent Tuskegee University’s tradition, trajectory and today,” said President Brian Johnson.
Johnson was right. As Jemison approached the stage, the crowd—composed of both students and people within the Tuskegee community—were in awe. The mere presence of an African American pioneer had everyone in complete awe.
Jemison spoke eloquently on the topics of opportunity, spontaneity, globalization and wisdom in efforts to encourage and motivate the students to pursue their dreams. It was evident that her experience as a fearless trailblazer had developed her perspectives.
“We get to choose how we use our resources; we get to choose how we use our technology…,” said Jemison in reference to taking advantage of opportunity.
Jemison, through her own ventures proved to be very resourceful and versatile. Jemison is an American physician, professor and NASA astronaut. After opening her own practice and serving in the Peace Corps,
she was selected by NASA to join the astronaut corps. On September 12, 1992, she became the first African American woman to travel in space aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour.
In addition to this notable feat, Jemison is also a dancer—a dream she had in addition to becoming an astronaut. Jemison explained that every dream is important and that in order to accomplish those dreams the individual needs to be empowered.
“You have to believe that you have the right to be involved…You have to believe that you have something important to contribute…Take the risk to be contribute.”
These were the words Jemison left us with, empowering to us continue to strive towards excellence.