WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – NASA administrator Charles F. Bolden Jr. will deliver this year’s William E. Boeing Lecture “Our Nation’s Future in Space” on Sept. 7 at Purdue University.

Bolden also will meet with selected researchers and Purdue students who interned at NASA this summer. A time has been set aside for him to speak to fourth- through sixth-graders from Battle Ground Elementary School, who also will take part in a hands-on experience with robots created at area high schools as part of the FIRST Robotics Competition. He will then visit the Maurice Zucrow Laboratories for Rocket Propulsion and the Aeronautical Technology Airframe Laboratory.

“We appreciate that the NASA administrator is investing his time in our faculty and students,” Purdue President France A. Cordova said. “This is a rare opportunity for the campus and community to meet the leader of our space program, a doorway to our universe and one of the key agencies not only for exploration but also for research. I know that administrator Bolden, himself a former astronaut, values Purdue’s contributions to space exploration and engineering.”

The lecture, sponsored by the College of Engineering’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the Indiana Space Grant Consortium, will take place from 7-8:15 p.m. in Stewart Center’s Fowler Hall. The lecture also will be webcast live on the college’s home page at https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/

A retired Marine Corps major general and former astronaut, Bolden began his NASA leadership in July 2009. He traveled to orbit four times aboard the space shuttle between 1986 and 1994, commanding two of the missions. His flights included deployment of the Hubble Space Telescope and the first joint U.S.-Russian shuttle mission. After his final shuttle flight in 1994, he left the agency to return to active duty as deputy commandant of midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Purdue established the Boeing Lecture Series in 1999 in honor of the company’s founder and in thanks for Boeing’s generosity to the university and its students. The lecture series features an internationally known speaker from the aerospace or air transportation industry.

Writer and contact: Jeanne V. Norberg, 765-494-2084, jnorberg@purdue.edu

Note to Journalists: You have two opportunities for coverage. Reporters, photographers and videographers may cover Bolden’s interaction with the researchers and fourth- through sixth-graders and robots from 1:30-3 p.m. in the atrium of the Neil Armstrong Hall of Engineering. Bolden will make brief remarks during that time and also will be available for short interviews from 3-3:10 p.m. You also are invited to attend the evening lecture, although no recording will be permitted. After the lecture, however, he will be available to answer questions for 15 minutes outside Fowler Hall. His staff requires that any journalist who wants to take part in any of these opportunities register by Sept. 6 with the Purdue News Service. You may do so with an e-mail to Jeanne Norberg at jnorberg@purdue.edu. Please include the names of your reporters, photographers or videographers and specify which periods they plan to cover.