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The Explorers Club Names Sen. John Glenn as New Honorary Chairman

(July 2, 2013) Senator John H. Glenn, a Mercury astronaut and the first American to orbit the earth, has been named as the new Honorary Chairman of The Explorers Club.

“I am greatly honored to be appointed Honorary Chairman,” said Glenn, a longtime Explorers Club Honorary Member (HON’62) and Honorary Director. “I thank President Alan Nichols, the Board of Directors and Honorary President Don Walsh for the opportunity to serve at this highest level.”

Continued Glenn: “At the Club’s recent annual dinner, I saw firsthand how important the organization is in pushing the envelope of exploration, or what I like to call ‘curiosity in action’. The work of the Club is vital as 21st century technological advances expand mankind’s ability to push through new boundaries.”

This past March, Glenn was awarded the Club’s Legendary Explorers Medal jointly with fellow Mercury astronaut Scott Carpenter. Glenn expressed his gratitude by giving a rousing speech at the Club’s
annual (ECAD) dinner and joining in an Exploring Legends interview (with Board member Jim Clash).

The President of The Explorers Club, Alan Nichols stated, “Glenn as a pioneer represents a new frontier of exploration – space.  And, Glenn continues to be a champion of exploration. On Oct. 29, 1998, at age
77, he became the oldest person to fly in space, to the International Space Station aboard Shuttle Discovery. The former test pilot, Marine combat aviator and original Mercury 7 astronaut now teaches at The John Glenn School of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. He received a Congressional Space Medal of Honor in 1978, the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012 and was inducted into the Astronaut Hall of Fame in 1990.”

“There is no one who has the same unique combination of exploration gravitas and impeccable integrity that Senator John Glenn has. We are truly fortunate to have this honest-to-goodness real “right stuff” hero serving as Honorary Chairman of our beloved Club,” said Jim Clash, member of The Explorers Club Board of Directors.

Member of the Board and ISS astronaut Richard Garriott offered his words: “In its 109 years, the esteemed Explorers Club has only had two Honorary Chairmen, Sir Edmund Hillary, the legendary conqueror of Mt. Everest, and Jim Fowler, the beloved representative of the natural world. Now the Club gains its third giant, astronaut John Glenn. Glenn first orbited the earth in 1962, catching America up with the USSR in race to the moon, which America eventually won.”

Glenn succeeds James Fowler as Honorary Chairman.Fowler is a professional zoologist, educator, and popular TV personality who is now best known as an ambassador for the natural world. Former host of the Emmy Award-winning Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom, he frequently brought exotic animals on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson as well as to many previous ECAD dinners providing an exciting and unique peek at nature. His deep thinking about conservation helped steer the conscience of TEC, as did Sir Hillary before him, toward larger concerns for humanity and the planet. Hillary who, with Tenzing Norgay, was first to summit Mt. Everest, served from 1993 until his death in 2008.

Published by : EC Staff

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste