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2012.03.15 > For Immediate Release
contact: Charley Reed - University Relations
phone: 402.554.2129 - email: cdreed@unomaha.edu

Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson Honored at 2012 Durham Lecture

Omaha - Retired NASA Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson will be honored by the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) Aviation Institute and the Hawker Beechcraft Corporation on Tuesday, April 3.

Gibson, who is also a Reno Air Race pilot and naval aviator, will receive the William F. Shea Award for his contributions to aerospace and present the 2012 Charles W. Durham Distinguished Guest Lecture.

The event will be held at the Strategic Air and Space Museum, 28210 West Park Highway, in Ashland, Neb. A reception is planned for 5:30 p.m., with Gibson’s’ lecture following at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Gibson, who has been called “The man who’s flown everything” by the Smithsonian Institute, has piloted everything from a light piston aircraft to World War II fighter jets and a space shuttle – 111 different types in all. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2003 according to the Mercury Seven Astronaut Scholarship Foundation.

The Charles W. Durham Distinguished Guest Lecture Series was established at the UNO Aviation Institute to honor the late Charles W. Durham for his inspiration and financial support as co-founder of the institute.

“It is a great honor for us to work with Hawker Beechcraft and the Strategic Air and Space Museum to bring Mr. Gibson to Omaha, “said Mr. Scott Vlasek, Interim Director of the Aviation Institute. “His passion and dedication to the aviation and aerospace industry make him the ideal candidate for this event.”

The Aviation Institute holds the Durham Lecture each year and presents the guest lecturer with the William F. Shea Award for Distinguished Contributions to Aviation. The award is given in honor of the Aviation Institute’s founding director, William F. Shea, and is presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to aviation, both locally and nationally. 



Additional information on Gibson can be found at http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/gibson.html. For more information on the lecture, or to RSVP, please call the UNO Aviation Institute at (402) 554.3424. RSVPs need to be received by March 28.

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