Godwin Among Inductees Into Homecoming Hall of Fame
To celebrate 2016 Homecoming, the Mizzou Alumni Association will host the first Homecoming Hall of Fame Luncheon to honor the inaugural alumni inductees of the Mizzou Homecoming Hall of Fame. The inaugural inductees are Linda Godwin, David Novak and Kellen Winslow. The induction will be held from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21 at the Reynolds Alumni Center (the event is sold out).
Linda Godwin has a unique perspective on coming home to the University of Missouri. Three decades passed from the time she left Mizzou with two advanced degrees until she returned as a professor of physics and astronomy in 2011. In the interim, she became only the second Missourian and one of the first dozen women in space.
Born in Cape Girardeau, Godwin earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and physics from Southeast Missouri State University in 1974. She received master’s and doctorate degrees in physics from Mizzou in 1976 and 1980.
As a graduate student at MU, she taught undergraduate physics labs and received several research assistantships. She conducted research in low-temperature solid state physics and published her work in peer-reviewed journals.
Godwin became an astronaut in 1986 and logged more than 900 hours in space — twice aboard Atlantis in 1991 and 1996 and twice on Endeavour in 1994 and 2001. Also aboard that initial Atlantis mission was her future husband, the late Steven R. Nagel.
Godwin proudly represented Mizzou as an astronaut. Henry White, professor of physics and Godwin’s mentor at Mizzou, witnessed her first blastoff on Atlantis. She also carried an MU banner during her first mission and presented it to Chancellor Charles A. Kiesler in 1993.
Godwin retired from NASA in 2010. Her career included an Outstanding Performance Rating, the Sustained Superior Performance Award, and the Distinguished Service Medal. Her MU accolades include the Arts & Science Distinguished Alumni Award, the William F. English Scholar-in-Residence, and the Mizzou Alumni Association Faculty/Alumni Award. In 2013, she and Steven served as Thomas Jefferson Distinguished Lecturers. She is a past participant on the Arts & Science Campaign Steering Committee and the Arts & Science Strategic Development Board, as well as an Arts & Science Physics Leader.