Former astronauts to be grand marshals at Kansas homecoming

LAWRENCE — Two former NASA astronauts who graduated from the University of Kansas will be grand marshals at next month’s homecoming parade.

The university says retired astronauts Joe Engle and Steven Hawley will lead the Oct. 6 parade through downtown Lawrence. Both men are Kansas natives.

The theme of the 105th homecoming is “Jayhawks of the Galaxy.”

Engle grew up in Chapman and graduated from Kansas in 1955 with a degree in engineering. He was commander of the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981 and the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1985.

Hawley, a Salina native, graduated from Kansas in 1973 with an astronomy degree. He was a mission specialist on five space shuttle flights from 1984 to 1999, logging more than 770 hours in space. He teaches in Kansas’ physics and astronomy department.