Black History

Famed NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson to be Honored with Bronze Statue

Katherine Johnson, the retired NASA mathematician whose calculations helped astronauts return to earth, is being honored by her alma mater with a bronze statue and a scholarship in her name.

On Aug. 25, one day before Johnson’s 100th birthday, West Virginia State University will hold a dedication ceremony in her honor.

Long before the digital era, Johnson worked as a human “computer” at the agency that became NASA, toiling in relative obscurity as an African-American woman. Her contributions were later recognized in the “Hidden Figures” movie, with actress Taraji P. Henson portraying her in the film.

The university also hopes to endow the $100,000 scholarship that will assist students majoring in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

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