Astronaut urges TROY graduates to find their passion

Posted: Monday, 18 May 2009

DOTHAN – NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock challenged graduates at Troy University’s Dothan Campus to find their passion in life and pursue it.

“Your work is going to be a very big part of your life and the only way to be successful is to believe in your work,” Wheelock said. “If you have not found that one thing in your life—your passion—keep looking, keep searching. Don’t settle for anything less.”

Wheelock delivered the keynote address during spring commencement Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Dothan Civic Center. TROY Provost Dr. Ed Roach conferred more than 140 undergraduate and graduate degrees during the ceremony.

Wheelock encouraged graduates to take to heart the lessons they learned while at TROY.

“It is only a short distance from your mind to your heart, but sometimes that is the hardest part of the journey,” Wheelock said.

He encouraged gradates to have faith and never stop looking for opportunities for success.

“You’ve been given a tremendous gift by this university—of knowledge, of problem solving and how to make a difference in the world,” Wheelock said. “Make us proud.”

Wheelock is a former U.S. Army aviator who began NASA training in 1998. He served as a mission specialist aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 2007. During the ceremony, he presented a TROY flag that he took with him to space during that mission to Dothan Campus Vice Chancellor Dr. Don Jeffrey.

Wheelock is set to return to space in the spring of 2010 to serve for six months as commander of the International Space Station.

Sue Bell Cobb

NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock delivers the keynote address to graduates during Troy University’s Dothan Campus commencement on Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Dothan Civic Center. Degrees were conferred to more than 140 graduates during the ceremony. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)

Sue Bell Cobb

NASA astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock presents a Troy University flag that he took to space aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 2007 to Dr. Don Jeffrey, vice chancellor of the Dothan Campus. Wheelock delivered the keynote address to Dothan Campus graduates Sunday during the spring commencement ceremony. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)