Major Robert H. Lawrence Scholarship

Established in 1967 by the family and friends of Major Lawrence. The African-American awardee is selected by the Department. Major Robert H. Lawrence, Jr., a 1956 chemistry graduate of Bradley University, became the first African-American astronaut. Major Lawrence died in a flight accident on December 8, 1967, during training for the Air Force Manned Orbital Laboratory program. In December 1997, his name was added to the Space Mirror Memorial, honoring American astronauts who have died in the line of duty. Upon graduation from Bradley, he entered flight training in the Air Force and became a flight instructor in Germany. In 1961 he returned to the U.S. and enrolled in graduate school at The Ohio State University. In 1965 he received the Ph.D. in physical chemistry and was selected to participate in America's space program.