Frostburg State University to Honor Astronaut Ricky Arnold With Honorary Doctorate

Apr 4, 2019 3:55 PM

Frostburg State University will present NASA Astronaut Ricky Arnold, a 1985 Frostburg graduate, with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree at its 154th commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 23.

Arnold became an astronaut after a career of more than a decade as a science and mathematics teacher at schools around the world. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and teacher certification from FSU, and a master of science degree in marine, estuarine and environmental science from the University of Maryland.

“We are extremely proud of Ricky Arnold’s commitment to education and his success as both an astronaut and aquanaut,” said FSU President Ronald Nowaczyk. “Like so many Frostburg State University alums, Ricky has built on his education to contribute so much to our society. We look forward to honoring Ricky during this May’s commencement ceremony.”

Arnold has spent 209 days in space and conducted five spacewalks over two missions. He also completed a mission as an aquanaut in a joint NASA-NOAA mission on NEEMO 13, living and working in and around Aquarius, an undersea laboratory.

Arnold first visited the International Space Station as part of STS-119 via the Space Shuttle Discovery. Then last year, he spent 197 days as a flight engineer in the ISS as part of Expeditions 55 and 56, which included numerous educational downlink events to schools.

It was one of these educational downlink events that was the center of NASA Day on campus on April 9, 2018, which happened to be the 120th anniversary of the founding of FSU. More than 1,300 middle school students from the region came to campus to view the downlink and participate in space-themed activities led by dozens of FSU College of Education students. (The downlink can be viewed here: www.facebook.com/FrostburgStateUniversity/videos/10155250.)

Tickets are required to attend commencement. The ceremony will be streamed live, linked from the FSU website. For information, visit www.frostburg.edu/commencement.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu or facebook.com/frostburgstateuniversity. Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.