Challenger Center Thanks President George H.W. Bush for Continued Commitment

President and First Lady played integral role in creation of the national organization in 1986

HOUSTON--()--On Thursday, leaders of Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center), the nationally recognized STEM education organization, visited former President George H.W. Bush.

Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, Challenger Center founding chair and widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, and Dr. Lance Bush, Challenger Center president and CEO, thanked President Bush for agreeing to serve as the Honorary Chair of the organization’s Advisory Council and for his continuous support over the past 28 years.

"The joy of meeting with my friend President George H.W. Bush 41 brings us heartfelt gratitude,” said Scobee Rodgers. “His dedication, continued support and sage advice have helped grow our network of Challenger Learning Centers both nationally and internationally."

Additionally, Charlie Cheever joined the group to share news about the newest Challenger Learning Center under construction at San Antonio College which will open this fall. This location will be the first Center utilizing new state-of-the-art design and technology created by the national organization. Cheever is Chairman of the Scobee Education Center development campaign for San Antonio College and has been instrumental in raising $3.7 million of the $5 million needed to complete the project in the coming months. Scobee Rodgers added that the Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College holds special meaning for her as she and her late husband, Dick, both began their higher education studies at the College.

During the visit, Scobee Rodgers also presented Jean Becker, longtime Chief of Staff to President Bush, with the organization’s Legacy Award. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has given great support to Challenger Center or has played an integral role in the creation of a new Center in their community. Scobee Rodgers chose Becker for the organization’s honor as a result of her unwavering support to the Challenger Center mission and her assistance in President Bush’s service to the organization.

Vice President at the time of the Challenger accident, President Bush became a steadfast supporter of the families and their desire to create a living legacy to the Challenger crew and the Teacher in Space Mission. In the years following the accident, President and Mrs. Bush continued to provide encouragement and guidance to create the first Challenger Learning Center.

About Challenger Center for Space Science Education

Using space exploration as a theme and simulation as a vehicle, Challenger Center for Space Science Education provides immersive experiences that raise students’ expectations of success and fosters long-term interest in STEM careers. Each year, the network of more than 40 Challenger Learning Centers across the U.S. States, Canada, United Kingdom, and South Korea engage more than 400,000 students and 40,000 educators through simulated missions, teacher workshops and other programs. Founded in 1986, the 501c3 nonprofit education organization was created to honor the astronauts of the Challenger STS-51-L mission: Commander Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Michael J. Smith. To learn more about Challenger Center visit www.challenger.org.

Contacts

Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Lisa Vernal, 202-827-1573
Director of Communications
lvernal@challenger.org

Pictured from left to right: Charlie Cheever, Chairman of Scobee Education Center Development Campaign; June Scobee Rodgers, Challenger Center Founding Chair; President George H.W. Bush; Jean Becker, Chief of Staff to President George H.W. Bush; Lance Bush, Challenger Center President & CEO. (Photo: Business Wire)

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Release Summary

Challenger Center thanks President George H.W. Bush for his continued commitment. The President and First Lady played an integral role in the creation of the national organization in 1986.

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Contacts

Challenger Center for Space Science Education
Lisa Vernal, 202-827-1573
Director of Communications
lvernal@challenger.org