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Cal Poly Pomona

Ronald E. McNair

Before you can make a dream come true, you must first have one. - Ronald E. McNair

Ronald E. McNair

The second African American to fly in space, Ronald Ervin McNair was born October 21, 1950, in Lake City, South Carolina. In 1971, he received a bachelor's degree in physics, graduating magna cum laude from North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro). In 1976, he received his Ph.D. in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ronald McNair, nationally recognized for his work in the field of laser physics, was selected as one of thirty-five applicants from a pool of ten thousand for the astronaut program in 1978. McNair received three honorary doctorates, a score of fellowships, and commendations. In addition to his academic achievements, he achieved a black belt in karate and was an accomplished saxophonist.

Ronald McNair died on January 28, 1986, in a fiery explosion nine miles above the Atlantic Ocean along with six other crew members aboard the space shuttle Challenger. After this national disaster, the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program was created in honor of McNair and to help other students succeed and achieve their academic dreams.

Whether or not you reach your goals in life depends entirely on how well you prepare for them and how badly you want them. You're eagles! Stretch your wings and fly to the sky. - Ronald E. McNair

McNair