Major General Charles F. Bolden
Astronaut and Distinguished Military Man
San Diego State University
Major General Charles F. Bolden is best known as a veteran astronaut, who has logged more than 680 hours in space and who served as the mission commander on both the Space Shuttle Atlantis and the Discovery.
Born in Columbia, South Carolina, in l946, he grew up during the civil rights movement. Once refused admission into the then-segregated University of South Carolina, he has since been awarded an honorary degree from that university.
After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy with a bachelor's degree in electrical science in 1968, Mr. Bolden accepted a commission as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He flew more than 100 sorties during the Vietnam War. After the war, he went on to earn a Master of Science degree in systems management from the University of Southern California in 1977.
In l980, Mr. Bolden realized a childhood dream and was selected by NASA to become an astronaut. He completed four space shuttle missions, and in 1990, piloted the Shuttle Discovery as it successfully deployed the Hubble Space Telescope.
From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Bolden became better known to San Diegans as the Assistant Wing Commander of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar. Following an assignment as Commanding General in support of Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait, he returned to San Diego to serve as the Commanding General of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar, a post he held from 2000 to 2002.
Major General Bolden has received the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal, the Strike/Flight Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, three NASA Exceptional Service Medals, and the University of Southern California Alumni Award of Merit.
In recognition of his lifelong accomplishments, which serve to inspire achievement in science and engineering, the Board of Trustees of The California State University and San Diego State University are proud to confer upon Major General Charles F. Bolden the honorary degree of Doctor of Science.