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Astronaut Christopher Cassidy to Deliver Keynote Address at Husson University Commencement

Published on: May 5, 2015

Christopher Cassidy speaking in front of NASA logo

BANGOR, MAINE – From the endless void of outer space, to the depths of the world's greatest oceans, U.S. Navy Captain and NASA Astronaut Christopher Cassidy has experienced the world in ways few others ever will. On Sunday, May 10, 2015 at 2 p.m. Eastern, he takes on his next challenge as he seeks to inspire the next generation of Americans by delivering the keynote address at Husson University’s 116th Annual Commencement Exercises at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor, Maine. 

“Commencement is not just a ceremony that celebrates the years of hard work students have completed to earn a degree. It is milestone event that marks the point where newly-minted graduates leave the confines of our campus to enter the workplace and become productive members of society,” says Husson University President Robert A. Clark, Ph.D. “We look for keynote speakers who can inspire students to go on from Husson University to achieve greatness. Commander Cassidy certainly fits the bill. He is living proof that anyone, even a local youngster from Maine, can grow up and reach for the stars.” 

This is not the first time Cassidy has participated in educational events at Husson University. In 2013, he shared his thoughts on the importance of education with two groups of students from 14 schools in the greater Bangor area as part of an event at Husson University’s Gracie Theatre. And last month, Cassidy was a featured guest on the Husson University student-produced television news program, NESCom Connections.

More Information About Commander Chris Cassidy 

Commander Christopher J. Cassidy is a graduate of York High School in York, Maine. In 1993, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from the U.S. Naval Academy. Seven years later, he completed his Master of Science studies in ocean engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Prior to becoming an astronaut, Cassidy had a distinguished career in the U.S. Navy. He was a member of the U.S. Navy Seals for 10 years. Here, he received training in specialized tactics including long-range special reconnaissance; direct action building assaults; noncompliant ship-boardings; combat diving; underwater explosives; and a variety of air operations. He completed four six-month deployments: two to Afghanistan and two to the Mediterranean. 

Cassidy logged more than 200 hours underwater as a pilot/navigator/mission commander of a two-man flooded submersible SEAL Delivery Vehicle – an underwater craft that is launched and recovered from a submarine.

In recognition of his military service, Cassidy received two Bronze Stars and a Presidential Unit Citation – including one Bronze Star for combat leadership service in Afghanistan. 

He was selected for astronaut candidate training by NASA in May 2004. Completed in February 2006, Cassidy’s training included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. This initial training qualified him for various technical assignments within the Astronaut Office at NASA and future flight assignments as a mission specialist. From 2006 – 2008, Cassidy served as a capsule commander in Mission Control.

In 2009, he completed his first space flight, the STS-127, International Space Station Assembly Mission where he logged more than 376 hours in space, including more than 18 hours of extra-vehicular activity during three spacewalks.

On March 28, 2013, Cassidy lifted off for his second trip to the space station from Kazakhstan along with two Russian cosmonauts. The three crew members were the first to complete a trip to the space station in less than six hours. Previously, it took two days to rendezvous and dock at the space station.

During his NASA career, Cassidy has completed six spacewalks, totaling 31 hours and 14 minutes. He has spent a total of 182 days in space. He is recipient of NASA’s Exceptional Achievement Medal.

About Commencement

The graduation ceremony will recognize individuals who have completed their degrees from Husson University’s College of Business, College of Health and Education, New England School of Communications (NESCom), School of Pharmacy and the School of Science and Humanities.

The Cross Insurance Center is located at 515 Main Street in Bangor, Maine. Individuals traveling to graduation from outside the area who need help finding accommodations are encouraged to contact the Bangor Convention and Visitors Bureau at (207) 947-5205.

The commencement ceremony begins at 2:00 p.m. and takes approximately two hours to complete. Guests are encouraged to arrive at the Cross Insurance Center by 12:30 p.m. Early arrival is recommended to avoid traffic congestion and to obtain choice seating. Tickets are not required. Those who arrive first, get to choose their seats first. Individuals with special needs should call (207) 941-7129 or email so Husson University can make the appropriate arrangements. Those who cannot attend are welcome to view the ceremony via streamed video online.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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