Astronaut Anne McClain will be awarded an honorary degree at the University of Bath in recognition of her outstanding contributions as a Colonel in the US Army and her remarkable NASA career.

The honorary Degree of Doctor in Engineering will be presented during the university's graduation ceremony at Bath Abbey on Tuesday 18 July.

Anne McClain is an alumna of the University of Bath, having pursued her master's degree in Aerospace Engineering at the university between 2003-4 thanks to a Marshall Scholarship.

After graduating from the university she made her way to NASA's prestigious astronaut program after serving as a pilot, instructor and test pilot for the US Army, including a decorated period of active service in Iraq.

She was selected as a member of the 21st NASA astronaut class in 2013 and subsequently served as a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station (ISS) during 2018 and 2019, where she completed two space walks.

In 2020, she was announced as one of NASA's Artemis astronauts. The Artemis program, the major focus of NASA’s spaceflight plans, will take astronauts to the lunar surface for the first time in the 21st century.

She is also an accomplished athlete, having competed in England’s Women’s Premiership Rugby and played for the United States Women's National Rugby Union team.

Anne McClain said: "I am deeply honoured to receive this recognition from the University of Bath and be back in this beautiful city. My time at Bath was transformative, and it helped me on the path for my career as an astronaut.

“The University of Bath nurtures curiosity, innovation, and perseverance, qualities that are essential for success in any field. I hope that my journey can inspire current and future students to pursue their dreams relentlessly, no matter how audacious they may seem."

Professor Cathryn Mitchell, who will deliver the oration at the degree ceremony for Anne McClain, said: “This honorary degree not only celebrates her professional achievements but also acknowledges her continued dedication to inspiring future generations of scientists, engineers, and astronauts.

“The University of Bath is thrilled to welcome Anne McClain back to Bath and bestow this honour upon her. This is a time of renewed excitement in lunar exploration and of distant planetary discoveries and Anne serves as a true inspiration. We recognize her for her outstanding career as a NASA astronaut. Her ambition, courage and outstanding achievements embody the values of the University of Bath.”

Anne McClain is also scheduled to speak at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution event at the Guildhall in Bath on Wednesday 19 July.