Watch: NASA Celebrates Astronomer Nancy Grace Roman ’46 on International Women’s Day
Recently immortalized as a Lego figurine, Roman, who graduated from Swarthmore with a degree in astronomy and minors in physics and mathematics, was the first female executive at NASA and played a critical role in the development of the Hubble telescope. She also received an honorary degree from the College in 1976.
"As my career shows, the greatest gift I received from Swarthmore was the ability and eagerness to learn new things," says Roman in The Meaning of Swarthmore. "The College gave me a good background in the fundamentals of my field that permitted me to understand problems, techniques, and instruments well outside my research experience. I am the only person I know who did not have any English courses in college, but writing seminar papers was a great learning experience. I think my biggest asset in my NASA job was the ability to speak and write easily and well."