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Astronaut appointed to serve on WSU Board of Regents

John Fabian of Port Ludlow, a retired NASA astronaut, has been appointed to the Washington State University Board of Regents by Washington Gov. Gary Locke.

Fabian, who earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from WSU in 1962, will replace William Marler on the board. Marler stepped down earlier this year to join the state Higher Education Coordinating Board.

“I am pleased that John has accepted this position on the Board of Regents. He is one of our most accomplished graduates. He has a strong connection with Washington State University and an outstanding education, science and business background. He will be a great addition to our board,” said WSU President V. Lane Rawlins.

Fabian’s term will run through Sept. 30, 2009.

“I am delighted and honored to have an opportunity to serve my alma mater in this extraordinary manner,” Fabian said. “Washington State University is an outstanding institution, and I owe much to my experiences and education there, establishing a firm foundation for my professional and personal lives. I look forward to working with other members of the board of regents and WSU’s talented and dedicated staff.”

A graduate of Pullman High School, Fabian also earned a master of science degree in aerospace engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology in 1964 and a doctorate in aeronautics and astronautics from the University of Washington in 1974. Fabian served as a combat pilot during the Vietnam War. He was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978 and became an astronaut in August 1979.

Fabian logged more than 300 hours in space on two flights; he served as a mission specialist on space shuttle flights on Challenger in 1983 and Discovery in 1985. He was scheduled to fly two additional flights but left NASA in 1986 to satisfy family needs. He was then assigned to Headquarters Air Force in the Pentagon where he was director of space, responsible for all operations and plans for military space systems. He retired from the Air Force in June 1987 and joined Analytic Services Inc., a non-profit public service research institute in Arlington, Va., where he served as president and chief executive officer until his retirement in November 1998.

He has received a long list of awards for his military service and his work in the space program. Fabian also received the WSU Regents’ Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1983.

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