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This item originally appeared in the May 13, 2004 issue of The Tech Talk.


Staff Writer

Sean O'Keefe, the 10th administrator of NASA, has been chosen to speak at the Spring Commencement Ceremony on May 22.

Bobby Rawle, director for research development, suggested O'Keefe to Tech President Dr. Dan Reneau.

Reneau said they look for speakers who "are prominent, well-known and would deliver a message to our graduates that would be timely, interesting and motivating."

Reneau said O'Keefe is an excellent choice as the speaker for the Spring Commencement.

"I am delighted that a top administrator involved in engineering and science is going to speak," he said.

Marcus Taylor, a senior civil engineering major, said he is excited about O'Keefe speaking.

"I think it shows Tech cares about its graduation to bring someone like [O'Keefe] to come talk," Taylor said.

"I think the people coming to see their sons and daughters graduate will think highly of the school."

Rawle said he thinks O'Keefe's message will be one of hope.

"Unlocking the future is a wonderful endeavor, and I don't think anyone does that better than NASA," Rawle said.

O'Keefe was named the 10th administrator of NASA by President George W. Bush on Dec. 21, 2001.

Before becoming the administrator of NASA, O'Keefe worked as the deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget and deputy assistant to the president.

Rawle said he is proud that O'Keefe accepted the university's invitation and hopes the graduates enjoy his speech.

"I graduated from Tech 33 years ago, and I don't remember who delivered our commencement address. If it had been the head of NASA, I would have remembered and thought, 'that's cool.'"

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