Legendary NASA flight director Gene Kranz to address Troy University graduates

Posted: Monday, 01 December 2014

MONTGOMERY - Gene Kranz, the legendary NASA Flight Control Director who led the effort to save Apollo 13, will deliver the keynote address to Troy University graduates during fall commencement at the Montgomery Campus.

The ceremony will be held on Monday, Dec. 15, at 7 p.m. inside the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. Approximately 125 students are set to receive degrees this fall at the Montgomery Campus.

A veteran Air Force pilot during the 1950s, Kranz joined NASA in 1960 as assistant flight director for Project Mercury. Kranz was selected as division chief for Flight Control in 1968, and continued his duties as flight director for the Apollo Program. Known for wearing his famous white vests during missions, Kranz was the flight director for many Apollo missions, including the Apollo 11 lunar landing, and he led the "Tiger Team" for the successful return of the Apollo 13 crew. He was portrayed by Ed Harris in the film "Apollo 13."

Kranz was a co-recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded by President Nixon for the Apollo 13 mission, and was designated a Distinguished Member of the Senior Executive Service by President Reagan.