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Notable Graduates

Wendy B. Lawrence

Wendy B. Lawrence

NASA Astronaut

Class of 1981
  • Astronaut



Wendy Lawrence was originally from Jacksonville, Florida. She graduated from Fort Hunt High School, Alexandria, Virginia, in 1977 and received a bachelor of science degree in ocean engineering from U.S. Naval Academy in 1981. She also received a master of science degree in ocean engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in 1988.

She was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the NASA Space Flight Medal, the Navy Commendation Medal and the Navy Achievement Medal. She was a recipient of the National Navy League’s Captain Winifred Collins Award for inspirational leadership (1986).

Lawrence has more than 1,500 hours flight time in six different types of helicopters and has made more than 800 shipboard landings. While stationed at Helicopter Combat Support Squadron SIX (HC-6), she was one of the first two female helicopter pilots to make a long deployment to the Indian Ocean as part of a carrier battle group. In October 1990, Lawrence reported to the U.S. Naval Academy where she served as a physics instructor and the novice women’s crew coach.

Selected by NASA in March 1992, Lawrence reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. She completed one year of training and is qualified for flight assignment as a mission specialist. A veteran of four space flights, Lawrence has logged over 1225 hours in space. Lawrence retired from NASA in June 2006.

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