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In Memory

Sally Ride


Sally Ride 1951-2012

was an American astronaut and physicist. Born in Encino, Los Angeles. After leaving Westlake High School, Beverly Hills, she attended Swarthmore College then Stanford University where she earned a PhD in astrophysics (after deciding not to pursue Billie Jean King's encouragement to become a professional tennis player). Ride joined NASA in 1978, and in 1983 became the first American woman in space. She left NASA in 1987.  She served on the committees that investigated the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle disasters, the only person to participate in both.  

In 1989 she became professor of physics and director of the California Space Institute at the University of California, San Diego. She co-wrote seven science books for children, and in 2001 founded Sally Ride Science, to stimulate interest in the subject in schools. The company's chief executive, Tam O'Shaughnessy, was Ride's partner.

Sally Ride - Wikipedia

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03/12/22 04:08 PM #1    

Larry Clark

05/29/22 12:12 PM #2    

Larry Clark

I didn't realy know Sally Ride at Swarthmore.  Met her a few times but that was it.  Years later I was a member of the team investigating the first NASA Shuddle disaster.  When our work was done I went down to NASA Headquarters in Washington DC to present the results.  Sally Ride was the lead NASA person.

After the formal presentations were done I went up to Sally and said "HI classmate.  How are you doing."  She had that look on her face that siad "What kind of a nut job is Larry.  I know he didn't go to Stanford."  I quickly explained our Swarthmore connection.  She smiled and we had a nice chat about Swarthmore back in the day.  Such a warm and lovely person and smart as hell.  I totally get why NASA picked her to be our first woman in space.  Rest in pease.

05/30/22 08:21 AM #3    

William Prindle

My one meeting with Sally was on the field house tennis court, which went one set's worth until I conceded. She cured me of my illusion that I might make the tennis team, but I treasure the memory of that fierce focus that later took her to, um, new heights. 

05/31/22 12:49 PM #4    

Nancy Noble (Holland)

What a wonderful memory, Bill.  I'm so glad you shared it at our memorial service.  You really brought Sally to life for all of us.


06/01/22 03:43 PM #5    

Harry Itzkowitz (Jacobson)

 A late member to the class of 1972, I only discovered Sally Ride was a classmate in the run up to this year's reunion. I was initially surprised I didn't know her, we both having graduated with a major in Physics. I became fascinated the more I learned, such as the launch of the Challenger with her aboard broadcast in Sharples, students breaking out in song, "Ride, Sally ride!".

I needn't reiterate details of her life. I do want to say she qualifies in my book a genuine hero.


06/01/22 10:53 PM #6    

Judith Fletcher

Sally was the student working next to me in a bio lab, either Intro or Cell Bio, I can't remember which. I was very excited to see her become an astronaut!!  And then very sad to learn that she had died.

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