Ronald E. McNair Observatory (REMO)
A Twentieth-Century Hero
Born October 21, 1950, in SouthCarolina, Ronald E. McNair received a B.S. degree in physics, graduating magna cum laude, from North Carolina A&T; State University in 1971. After earning a Ph.D. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976, McNair worked for HughesResearch Laboratory as a physicist specializing in laser physics. In1978, he joined the NASA space shuttle program as a mission specialist. Dr. McNair's life came to a tragic haltin the Challenger space shuttle accident January 28th, 1986.
McNair received numerous honors,including being named a Presidential Scholar (1967-71); Ford Foundation Fellow (1971-74); National Fellowship Fund Fellow (1974-75); A NATO Fellow (1975); Omega Psi Phi Scholar of the Year (1975); AAU Karate Gold Medal(1976); National society of Black Professional Engineers (1979); DistinguishedNational Scientist (1970); and Who's Who Among Black Americans (1980).
In addition to being a nationalhero, McNair was also a family man. He served as a devoted husband anda devoted father to his son and daughter. He also possessed a great appreciation for a wide variety of music genres, which led him to become an accomplished jazz saxophonist. Other interests included karate in which he also earned a fifth degree black belt.
A child of poverty and segregationin South Carolina, McNair had learned that challenges and risks were apart of life. He dedicated himself to creating a world in which all peoplecould one day realize their dreams. His views on dedicating one's life to dreams and accomplishing goals was accurately portrayed in 1984 whenhe told the University of South Carolina students, "True courage comesin enduing...persevering and believing in oneself." Not allowing his modestlife style to conform him to a continued life of poverty and racial segregation,McNair's diligence gained recognition on the local and national level.South Carolina delegates proclaimed to Congress, "Ronald McNair representsan outstanding role-model of achievement, especially for young Americans."On the national level, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate AchievementProgram is dedicated to Ronald McNair's love of learning and his high standardof achievement.