2017 Fries Lecture
Norman Fries Distinguished Lectureship Series
FREDERICK D. GREGORY
COLONEL, USAF, RET., NASA ASTRONAUT (FORMER)
An Astronaut’s View of Choices, Influences, Contributions and Later Discoveries
- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2017 AT 7:30 P.M.
- Nessmith-Lane Assembly Hall at the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center
- FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Frederick D. Gregory is a former astronaut with NASA, a retired Air Force Colonel and was the first African-American man to command a space shuttle mission. Gregory has logged more than 400 hours in space and says his travels often led him to reflect. As he looked down on the Earth from above, he wondered what choices its people had been offered and taken; what goals they considered, evaluated and selected; what influences shaped their paths and what molded their characters. He believes that each choice taken — or not taken — has a profound effect on a person’s life, a belief displayed in his own life, which took him from his early days as a Boy Scout to a career as a space traveler.
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Frederick Drew Gregory is a former NASA Astronaut and former NASA Deputy Administrator. He also served briefly as NASA Acting Administrator in early 200S, covering the period between the departure of Sean O’Keefe and the swearing in of Michael Griffin. As Acting Administrator, Mr. Gregory led the NASA team and managed its resources as NASA sought to advance The US Vision for Space Exploration.
In 2002, Mr. Gregory was nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate as Deputy Administrator. In that capacity, he served as the chief operating officer for the Agency. He was responsible for directing and managing many of the programs as well as the day-to-day operations and activities at NASA. Prior to becoming the Deputy Administrator, Mr. Gregory served as the Associate Administrator for Space Flight from December 2001to August 2002. From June 1992 to December 2001, he held the position of Associate Administrator, Office of Safety and Mission Assurance. He retired from NASA in December 200S and has worked as an independent consultant he fully retired in January, 2010.
Mr. Gregory has extensive experience as an astronaut, test pilot, and manager of flight safety programs and launch support operations. He was selected as an astronaut in January 1978 and has logged 4SS hours in space: as pilot for the Orbiter Challenger (STS-S1B) in 198S, as spacecraft commander aboard Discovery (STS-33) in 1989, and as spacecraft commander aboard Atlantis (STS-44) in 1991.
Mr. Gregory retired as a Colonel in the United States Air Force in December 1993 after logging 7,000 hours in more than SO types of aircraft, including SSO combat missions in Vietnam. His almost 30-year Air Force career included serving as a helicopter pilot and as a fighter pilot. He graduated from the United States Naval Test Pilot School and served as an engineering test pilot for the Air Force and for NASA.
Mr. Gregory holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master’s degree in Information Systems from George Washington University. He is a member or past member of numerous societies, including the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, American Helicopter Society, Air Force Academy Association of Graduates, the United States Air Force Academy Endowment, the National Technical Association, the Tuskegee Airmen, the Order of the Daedalians, and the Association of Space Explorers.
He was a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executives for 2003. His military awards include the Legion of Merit, Defense Superior Service Medal, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, 16 Air Medals, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal; his NASA awards include 3 Space Flight Medals, 2 Outstanding Leadership Medals, Distinguished Service Medal; other awards include the US Air Force Academy Distinguished Graduate Award, the National Intelligence Medal, the National Society of Black Engineers Distinguished National Scientist Award, the George Washington University Distinguished Alumni Award, the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science President’s Medal, Honorary Doctorates from the College of Aeronautics, The University of the District of Columbia, and Southwestern University. In 2004 and 200S, he was designated one of the SO Most Important Blacks in Technology. He was also awarded the Air Force Association Ira Eaker Award, as well as numerous civic and community honors.
Married to the former Barbara Archer of Washington, D.C. until her death in 2008. They had two grown children and four grandchildren. He is now married to the former Annette Becke of Washington, D.C.
Last updated: 9/22/2017