Bainbridge State to blast off 2016 Arts and Lecture Series with First African American to walk in space

Dr. Bernard Harris
Dr. Bernard Harris
Dr. Bernard Harris

Bainbridge State College is launching into 2016 with Dr. Bernard Harris, the first African American to walk in space, as part of the Third Annual Carter Arts & Lecture Series on Thurs., Jan. 21.

The lecture will begin at 7 p.m., in the Charles H. Kirbo Regional Center. Doors to the auditorium will open at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required for entry.

Defining himself as a “dreamer who believes nothing is impossible,” Bernard A. Harris, Jr., M.D. is an accomplished NASA astronaut, physician and businessman. He currently serves as president of The Harris Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization he founded in 1998 to develop math/science education and crime prevention programs for America’s youth. Because he credits his personal achievements to self-empowerment and self-determination, he uses this foundation to inspire young people that they can do anything, if they only set their mind to it.

Harris himself has accomplished many feats throughout his life. In 1990, he was selected as a NASA astronaut and flew his first mission three years later. A payload commander of STS-63, the first flight of the joint Russian-American space program, Harris accomplished his childhood dream by completing a walk in space, becoming the “First African American to walk in Space”. At the time of his retirement from NASA in 1996, he had logged more than 438 hours in space and traveled over 7.2 million miles.

Prior to the lecture, Columbus State University’s Coca-Cola Space Science Center will be “bringing the universe” to Bainbridge State College with activities for all ages. A state-of-the-art mobile planetarium will be set up in the Kirbo Center dining room. Guests will experience being flown through space during the astronomy show (10-15 minutes).

Along with the planetarium, telescopes will be set up on the Kirbo lawn (weather permitting). The telescopes will allow guests to delve into the depths of the cosmos without ever leaving campus.

Pre-lecture events are free and open to the public beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 6:45 p.m.

For more information on the Dr. Bernard Harris lecture and space activities, please visit

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