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Former NASA astronaut delivers commencement address to Voorhees graduates

April 25, 2012

The Voorhees College Class of 2012 will hear encouraging words from an accomplished former astronaut who was also educated in Denmark, S.C.  

Dr. Robert L. Satcher, Jr. will deliver the commencement address to graduates on May 12 at 11 a.m. in the Leonard E. Dawson Health and Human Resources Center.  

Satcher was selected by NASA in May 2004 to be an astronaut candidate. In February 2006, he completed astronaut candidate training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training and water and wilderness survival training. Satcher flew on STS-129 in November 2009 and has logged more than 259 hours in space, including 12 hours and 19 minutes in two EVAs. Satcher left NASA in September 2011 and currently is on staff as a surgical oncologist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.  

Satcher has previously served as an assistant professor in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He also held an appointment as an attending physician in Orthopaedic Surgery at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, Ill., specializing in musculoskeletal oncology and an adjunct appointment in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Northeastern University School of Engineering.

Graduating from Denmark-Olar High School in 1982, Satcher went on to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986; a Doctor of Philosophy degree in chemical engineering from MIT in 1993; and a Doctor of Medicine degree from Harvard Medical School in 1994.

He is a member of various organizations including: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons; Musculoskeletal Tumor Society; American Academy of Cancer Research; Connective Tissue Oncology Society; National Medical Association; Society of Black Academic Surgeons; Doctors United in Medical Missions; National Comprehensive Cancer Network; Orthopaedic Research Society; MIT Alumni Association; Black Alumni at MIT; and Harvard Alumni Association.

Satcher is married to the former D’Juanna O. White of New York, N.Y., and they have two children.