RICHLAND – Bonnie J. Dunbar will be the keynote speaker at the WSU Tri-Cities commencement ceremony in May 2008. NASA Mission Specialist astronaut and veteran of five space flights, Dunbar has logged more than 50 days in space.

She served as the Payload Commander on two flights, including the first space shuttle docking mission to the Russian Space Station Mir.

“We are thrilled that Dr. Dunbar has agreed to address our graduates this spring,” WSU Tri-Cities Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein said. “Her career and her personal story are inspiring, especially knowing that she is originally from our region.”

Dunbar grew up in Outlook, a rural community in the Yakima Valley, and graduated from Sunnyside High School. She currently is president and CEO of The Museum of Flight in Seattle, the largest private air and space museum in the world, with an education program that provides for nearly 100,000 students per year and an aircraft restoration center.

The WSU Tri-Cities spring 2008 commencement is scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, May 9, on the campus, 2710 University Drive, Richland. The ceremony will be outside on the green between the East Building and the Consolidated Information Center, rain or shine. Admission to the ceremony event is free and open to the public.

Dunbar holds bachelor’s and master’s of science degrees in Ceramic Engineering from the University of Washington, and doctorate in Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering from the University of Houston.