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.