The speaker for the College’s 66th undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 22 will be Jeanette Epps, class of 1992, who entered the astronaut program at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration agency (NASA) in 2009. She will also receive an honorary degree at the ceremony.

A physics major at Le Moyne, Epps went on to earn a doctorate at the University of Maryland, where she worked on materials applications for rotor crafts and helicopters. Following graduation, she worked for two years at Ford Motor Company as a technical specialist in the Scientific Research Laboratory. While at Ford, she participated in research involving automobile collision location detection and countermeasure systems, which resulted in the granting of a U.S. Patent. In 2002, Epps joined the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) where she spent more than seven years working as a technical intelligence officer. She was selected from more than 3,500 applicants to be one of 14 members of NASA's 2009 astronaut class.

"Jeanette embodies so many of the attributes of a Le Moyne graduate -- she's incredibly smart, successful, innovative and courageous," said Le Moyne President Linda LeMura. "Her compelling story will serve as an inspirational message to members of the class of 2016 and all who attend commencement. We are so grateful that she will be this year's speaker."

The selection of the speaker is made by the Honorary Degree Committee of the Board of Trustees, which has broad representation from across the College community, including a student representative. Last spring, the College solicited for speaker and honorary degree nominations from students, faculty, and staff.