A Message from Muskingum University President Dr. Susan Hasseler
With our deepest respect and greatest admiration, Muskingum University remembers John H. Glenn, Jr. today. The world knew John Glenn as a pioneering Mercury 7 and space shuttle Discovery astronaut, a four-term United States Senator, a record-setting supersonic test pilot, a decorated combat Marine fighter pilot, and a successful business leader.
Our Muskingum University community was extraordinarily privileged and proud to know him as a loyal alumnus, a trustee for nearly five decades, and a distinguished alumni professor. A member of the Class of 1943, he served as a University Trustee since 1968 and as a Distinguished Alumni Professor in Public Affairs since 1998. He received an honorary Muskingum Doctor of Science degree in 1961, a Muskingum Distinguished Merit Award in 1959, and a Muskingum Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award in 1972.
A native son of New Concord, he often said “I’ve always believed that New Concord and Muskingum are the center of the universe, because if you get your start here, you can go anywhere.”
John Glenn’s ties to Muskingum remained strong throughout many defining moments of his lifetime. In Brown Chapel, on Pearl Harbor Day, December 7, 1941, he attended the senior music recital of his childhood sweetheart Annie Castor and afterward, they talked about how the rumblings of war would change their lives.
After becoming the first American to orbit the earth in Friendship 7 on February 20, 1962, he returned to New Concord on March 3, 1962 for a homecoming parade. When the student broadcasters of radio station WMCO learned from his father, John H. Glenn, Sr., that his plane had landed, they broke the news of his arrival ahead of the national television network broadcasters in town to cover the parade.
From Muskingum’s campus, John Glenn publicly announced his decision to campaign for the United States Senate in 1973 and his decision to retire from the Senate in 1997 after representing Ohio for four consecutive terms.
When he returned to orbit at the age of 77 on October 29, 1998 aboard the space shuttle Discovery STS-95 mission and became the oldest human to travel in space, Muskingum students marked the occasion by renaming the campus radio and television stations “Orbit Media” in his honor. He later presented the University with a “Muskingum College” banner which accompanied him on his Discovery flight.
The Muskingum University community extends our deepest sympathy to Anna Castor Glenn, Muskingum Class of 1942 alumna, Trustee Emerita, and Distinguished Service Professor, and to the Glenn family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you as we join with the world in saying, once again, “Godspeed, John Glenn.”