(Orange, CA) – Santiago Canyon College (SCC) will celebrate the life and legacy of Sally Ride with a sculpture installation on Monday, May 22. The ceremony will take place in front of the Science Center at 2 p.m. on the SCC campus, located at 8045 E. Chapman Ave., Orange, CA 92869.
Sally Ride, the first American woman to go into space, did much more than break through the Earth’s atmosphere. She broke barriers for women worldwide, as a physicist, science writer, and as an inspirational advocate for science education.
While completing her Ph.D. in physics at Stanford University, an article in the school newspaper caught her eye. NASA was searching for people who wanted to become astronauts - women included. At that time in 1977, Ride applied to NASA and became one of six women selected to continue a path to the Astronaut Corps. During the following years, Ride trained alongside 34 people in the first Astronaut Corps, including a mix of minorities and women. They dubbed themselves, “The 35 New Guys.” From there, Ride was selected as one of the first four of the group to go into space.
On June 18, 1983, Ride became the first American woman to orbit the Earth, launching from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, as a mission specialist aboard the Challenger. She went into space again aboard Challenger in 1984. Throughout her time with NASA, Ride completed a variety of missions, as well as aided with the investigation of the Challenger explosion in 1986. Ride retired from NASA in 1987.
In 1989, Ride continued her educational path as a physics professor at the University of California, San Diego and as director of the University of California’s California Space Institute. In that role, Ride encouraged young people, particularly young women, to enroll and participate in science courses and activities. Ride not only paved the way for women to become astronauts, but also set the course for young women to become scientists.
In 2001, Ride and her life partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy, created Sally Ride Science. This educational program seeks to assist educators to build science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) literacy and to help students make connections with what they are learning, as well as help students become aware of growing STEM fields. This nonprofit organization carries on Ride’s legacy with innovative STEM programs. In 2003, Ride was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame. For more information about Sally Ride Science, visit www.sallyridescience.com.
Ride died after a 17-month long battle with pancreatic cancer in 2012. In her memory, the Sally Ride Pancreatic Cancer Initiative at UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center was created.
In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Ride the Presidential Medal of Freedom, saying, “Sally’s life showed us that there are no limits to what we can achieve and I have no doubt that her legacy will endure for years to come.”
Ride’s mother, Joyce Ride, and sister, the Rev. Dr. Bear Ride, will attend the sculpture installation. According to the Rev. Dr. Ride, “Sally’s favorite tagline was ‘Reach for the stars!’ We know she would be so proud to have her bust outside the Science Center, just as we are so proud of her!”
The selection of Sally Ride as the bust outside of the Science Center was based on a recommendation by SCC science faculty. The bust was commissioned by Toni and Ray Mendoza, who also funded SCC’s busts of Lorenzo Ramirez and Cesar Chavez. The bust was created by Southern California artist, Juan Rosillo. Rosillo, son of an Italian mother, who was born in Colombia and came to Southern California in 1983. Rosillo began his fine art exploration as a young child in Colombia and carried it to America. He has continued his work in many diverse art forms, including sculpture, painting, drawing, etching, serigraph, stone litho, tile, and mosaic.
SCC Interim President John Hernandez will begin the ceremony with opening remarks. RSCCD Board of Trustees Clerk Arianna P. Barrios, SCC Professor of Physics Cynthia Swift, STEM student Hanna Vanderpool, and Rev. Dr. Bear Ride will also speak during the ceremony.
This event, including parking, is free and open to the public. For more information or to RSVP, please call (714) 628-4790.
About Santiago Canyon College
Santiago Canyon College (SCC) serves about 17,000 students each semester. The college prepares students for transfer to four-year institutions and careers, and provides courses for personal and professional development, as well as customized training for business and industry. The college is recognized for its adult education program which keeps the working adult - and seniors - in mind by offering flexible schedules, and community locations. Serving the residents of Anaheim Hills, Orange, Tustin, and Villa Park, SCC is one of two comprehensive colleges under the auspices of the Rancho Santiago Community College District.
# # #