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Darden to Deliver Address at ODU Fall Commencement
Old Dominion University's 117th commencement exercises on Saturday, Dec. 15, will feature an address by Christine Darden.

Christine Darden.

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Christine Mann Darden will speak to graduates at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Credit: ODU

Darden, retired director of the Aero Performing Center Program Management Office at NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, will speak to graduates of the Darden College of Education, Batten College of Engineering and Technology and College of Sciences in the 9 a.m. ceremony.

During her 40-year career at NASA Langley, Darden's contributions were in research in supersonic aerodynamics, where she was recognized as an international expert in the area of sonic boom minimization, in national program leadership of the environmental aspects of supersonic operations, in agency strategic planning, project and program management and, finally, in the area of communications and education.

Born in Monroe, N.C., Darden came to Virginia to study at the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), where she received a bachelor's degree in mathematics in 1962. She taught mathematics at a series of high schools before deciding to continue her education at Virginia State College (now Virginia State University), earning a master's in applied mathematics.

In 1967, after spending a year as an instructor at VSU, Darden began her career at NASA as a data analyst. Five years later, she switched to an engineering position and began taking supporting engineering courses.

In 1983, she earned a Doctor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. During her career at NASA, Darden served as a senior program manager in the High Speed Research Program Office, working to develop the technology for building a supersonic airplane by the year 2015. From 1999 to 2002, Darden oversaw the work of Rotorcraft, Air Space Capacity, Information Technology and High Performance Computing in the Aero Performing Center. She retired from NASA in 2007.

For more information about ODU's 117th commencement exercises, visit the commencement website at:

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