On Aug. 15, 2019, then-Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides ’96 watches a carrier aircraft fly over Spaceport America near Upham, New Mexico.
AP Photo/Susan Montoya Bryan

A zero-gravity parabolic flight for people with disabilities, organized by the SciAccess Initiative’s Mission: AstroAccess, will “lay the foundation for future disabled space explorers,” said project lead George Whitesides ’96. — Space Daily
Former ambassador Cameron Hume ’68 called on the U.S. to help quell recent public unrest in South Africa and assist that nation’s response to COVID-19. — SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) News

Former U.S. Senate majority leader Bill Frist ’74, a cardiac surgery professor at Vanderbilt University, said state leaders need to ramp up vaccine efforts in Tennessee even if it’s unpopular. — WKRN
Rivka Galchen ’98 makes a witch hunt surprisingly funny in Everyone Knows Your Mother Is a Witch, her new novel about an herbalist who’s wrongfully accused of witchcraft by her neighbors in small-town 17th-century Germany. — Vulture
New Yorker editor David Remnick ’81 cleared up a longstanding puzzle in Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Thunder Road,” by getting this answer from the singer’s manager: Mary’s dress sways, it does not wave. — The New Yorker
Renowned fiddler Brittany Haas ’09 will be an artist in residence this coming year in Bluegrass, Old-Time and Country Music Studies at East Tennessee State University. — The Rogersville Review

Upon leaving Harvard Divinity School amid a tenure dispute, Cornel West *80 said in his parting words the school is in “decline and decay” and warned of “decadence in our market-driven universities.” — NBC News

“I’m still not entirely OK with the fact that our cosmos is (very slowly) dying, but I think it has helped me put some things into perspective. There is no ‘happily ever after’ for the universe, but right now, we are living in a beautiful, awesome, incredible cosmos. And our exploration has only just begun.”

— Cosmologist Katie Mack *09, author of The End of Everything, discussing various ways the universe might wrap things up. — The Big Issue

University of Chicago economist Philip J. Reny *88 remembered the university’s 11th president, fellow economist Hugo Sonnenschein, as “a giant” in general equilibrium and economic theory with a “elegant, gentle and encouraging” teaching style. — UChicago News
A bronze statue by artist Harry Weber ’64 will be unveiled July 31 outside of Busch Stadium, in honor of St. Louis Cardinals player Ted Simmons. — Ponca City News
In September, Michelle Obama ’85 will make her first public appearance since the pandemic began, speaking at The Nantucket Project’s 10th annual gathering and launching the Neighborhood Project, designed as an “online conversation engine.” — People
Katie Kitamura ’99’s fourth novel, Intimacies, about a woman who goes to work as an interpreter at an international court at The Hague, is “coolly written and casts a spell.” — The New York Times

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