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For release: 04/26/04
Release #: 04-120  

NASA Marshall Center Deputy Director Rex Geveden to be honored at Murray State commencement

Photo description: Geveden

Rex Geveden, deputy director of the Marshall Center, will be honored as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus by Murray State University in Murray, Ky., during commencement ceremonies May 8. The award honors alumni who have made significant professional contributions at the national, state and local level.

Photo: Geveden (NASA/MSFC)

Rex Geveden, deputy director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., will be honored as the 2004 Distinguished Alumnus by Murray State University in Murray, Ky., during commencement ceremonies May 8.

The Distinguished Alumnus honor recognizes alumni who have made significant contributions to their profession on a national, state and local level. Honorees are nominated by Murray State alumni and selected by a vote of the executive committee of the university's alumni association. Geveden, this year's only honoree, graduated from Murray State with a bachelor's degree in engineering physics in 1983 and a master's degree in physics in 1984.

"Receiving this recognition from Murray State, the school that gave me the skills to succeed and contribute as a professional, is truly an honor," said Geveden. "It's gratifying to be considered for this award, and my great appreciation goes to the alumni association."

A native of Mayfield, Ky., Geveden was named deputy director of the Marshall Center in July 2003, where he shares responsibility for one of NASA's largest field installations with more than 6,500 civil service and contract employees and a $2.3 billion annual budget. He previously served as deputy director of Marshall 's Science Directorate, leading research and development projects in space science, materials science, biotechnology, earth science and space optics. He also led NASA's Gravity Probe B program, steering development of sophisticated hardware designed to test two features of Albert Einstein's Theory of General Relativity. The hardware was successfully launched April 20, from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Boeing Delta II expendable launch vehicle.

Geveden also was project manager for several other successful efforts, including the Optical Transient Detector and Lightning Imaging Sensor Earth-orbiting satellites, which produced data for the world’s first global map of lightning. He also served as chief engineer for the

Waves in Space Plasmas project, a study which involved the measurement of the characteristic frequencies of plasma, the form of matter which comprises more than 99 percent of the visible universe.

As manager of the Microgravity Science and Applications Department at Marshall, Geveden led a team of 350 scientists in research to develop safer and more cost-effective materials for future missions and investigations into the reaction of chemicals in a microgravity environment. His organization delivered many of the early payloads to the International Space Station.

Geveden, who joined NASA in 1990, has received numerous awards throughout his career, including the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, awarded annually for notably outstanding leadership that has had a pronounced effect on the technical or administrative programs of NASA; and the Silver Snoopy Award, which is presented for outstanding performance contributing to flight safety and mission success.

Geveden lives in Madison, Ala., with his wife, the former Gail Reddick of Bardwell, Ky. They have two children, Bridget and Jake, both attending college.

For more information:
News release

Jerry Berg
Public Affairs Office
(256) 544-0034

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