By Michael Baadke
The first-day ceremony for the United States Sally Ride forever commemorative stamp will take place May 23 at the University of California San Diego.
The 5 p.m. event will be held at the Price Center, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, Calif.
The U.S. Postal Service revealed the ceremony information in a March 21 press release. The ceremony will be free and open to the public.
Participants will include U.S. Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan; University of California San Diego chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla; tennis legend Billie Jean King; former NASA astronaut and current Johnson Space Center director Ellen Ochoa; Tam O’Shaughnessy, cofounder and executive director of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego and the widow of Sally Ride; and Becky Petitt, vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UC San Diego.
After the stamp dedication ceremony, Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego will conduct a panel discussion on women in leadership, at 6:30 p.m.
“America’s first woman in space, Dr. Sally Ride (1951-2012) inspired the nation as a pioneering astronaut, brilliant scientist, and dedicated educator,” the Postal Service said.
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Ride was one of three mission specialists on the STS-7 mission aboard the space shuttle Challenger, which launched June 18, 1983. She left the space program in 1987 and joined the faculty at UC San Diego as a professor of physics.
“In 2001, she founded her own company, Sally Ride Science, to pursue her passion for motivating girls and boys to study the STEM fields — science, tenchnology, engineering and math,” according to NASA.”The company creates innovative classroom materials, programs and professional development training for teachers.”
Ride was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer early in 2011 and died July 23, 2012. She was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Barack Obama on Nov. 20, 2013.