Gonzaga Preparatory School

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Astronaut Anne McClain - on our Campus

As a young woman, McClain dreamed of being among the stars. Selected in June 2013 as one of eight members of the 21st NASA astronaut class, she completed astronaut candidate training in July 2015, and is now qualified for future assignment. As a Senior Army Aviator, she logged more than 2,000 flight hours in 20 different rotary and fixed-wing aircraft. McClain is a rated pilot and instructor pilot in the OH-58D Kiowa Warrior and a rated pilot in the C-12 Huron (King Air), UH-60 Blackhawk, and UH-72 Lakota. These prestigious accomplishments top a long list of academic, professional, and military honors.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical/Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point in 2002. A 2002 Marshall Scholar, McClain earned a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Bath in Bath, England in 2004 and a Master of Science in International Relations from the University of Bristol in Bristol, England in 2005.

McClain has received numerous special honors including: a Bronze Star Medal, the Air Medal with Valor, two Air Medals, two Army Commendation Medals, two Army Achievement Medals, the Iraqi Campaign Medal with two Service Stars, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and three Overseas Service Ribbons. Other medals and awards include: the Combat Action Badge, Senior Aviator Badge, and Air Assault Badge, the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Army’s Command and General Staff College ILE (2011), the Distinguished Honor Graduate from the Army’s Captains Career Course (2009) and the Distinguished Honor Graduate of the Army’s Initial Entry Rotary Wing School (2006). She graduated with distinction from the University of Bristol (2005), received the Marshall Scholarship (2002) and the Dennis Hart Mahan Memorial Award for excellence in Aeronautical Engineering (2002).

An accomplished athlete, McClain was the National Fastpitch Coaching Association All-American Scholar-Athlete (1999 to 2002), on the USA Rugby Women’s National Team (2004 to 2006, and 2010 to 2012) and captain of the USA Rugby South Women’s XV All-Stars (2009 to 2011).

October 14-16, McClain spoke with the entire Gonzaga Prep student-body, faculty, community leaders, alumni and other friends of the school. Her focus was primarily on math and science classes, however, Thursday, October 15, Astronaut McClain gave a presentation that will be open to students, faculty, special guests and media. Gonzaga Prep also hosted Catholic Grade School students for a special presentation with McClain, Friday, October 16. 

Since 1887, Gonzaga Preparatory School has been educating men and women in service to others, creating exceptional leaders and is proud to call Astronaut Anne McClain one of their own shining stars.