FSC names 74th Honorary Chancellor
LAKELAND, Fla. (March 3, 2008) – Dr. Michael D. Griffin, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, will be honored as the 74th Honorary Chancellor for Florida Southern College. Ceremonies will take place during the College’s Founders Day convocation in Branscomb Auditorium on March 13 at 11:00 a.m. Griffin will deliver the Founders Day address.
Nominated by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate, Griffin began his duties on April 14, 2005. As administrator, he leads the NASA team and manages its resources to advance America's space exploration and research goals.
"We are honored to welcome Dr. Griffin to our campus," said Dr. Anne B. Kerr, college president. "His contributions to the field of aerospace engineering throughout his distinguished career have been integral to the success of the aerospace industry, including our nation's prestigious space program. His work sets a wonderful example of the critical role science plays in the advancement of not only space exploration and our nation’s defense, but in the development of cutting-edge technologies that improve our everyday lives. The entire college community looks forward to hearing him speak on Founders Day."
Prior to his current role as administrator, Griffin served as Space Department head at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Md. He was previously president and chief operating officer of Arlington, Va.-based In-Q-Tel, Inc. and also served in several positions within Orbital Sciences Corporation of Dulles, Va., including chief executive officer of Orbital’s Magellan Systems division and general manager of the Space Systems Group.
Earlier in his career, Griffin served as chief engineer and as associate administrator for exploration at NASA, and as deputy for technology at the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, and George Washington University. Griffin is the lead author of more than two dozen technical papers, as well as the textbook, “Space Vehicle Design.”
A recipient of the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, Griffin received the AIAA Space Systems Medal and the Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest award given to a non-government employee.
Griffin earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master’s degree in aerospace science from Catholic University of America; a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Maryland; a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California; a master’s degree in applied physics from Johns Hopkins University; a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola College; and a master’s degree in Civil Engineering from George Washington University. He is a certified flight instructor with instrument and multiengine ratings.
Florida Southern has awarded the title of Honorary Chancellor, the highest recognition the College bestows on an individual, since 1934. Among the recipients through the years have been such nationally recognized figures as Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope, President Gerald Ford, Lynne Cheney, Robert A.M. Stern, Robert Shaw, Sir John Templeton, Frances Mayes, and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Local honorees have included Jack M. Berry, Charles H. Jenkins, Sr., Truman and Marie Miller, and J. Lanier Upshaw.