NASA Alumni League maintains connection with retirees

The NASA Alumni League (NAL) is a national organization that provides an outlet for retirees to stay connected with NASA and one another through individual chapters.

 Attendees gear up for dinner and a presentation at the NASA Alumni League Spring Social and Dinner, May 14
Attendees gear up for dinner and a presentation at the NASA Alumni League Spring Social and Dinner, May 14
NAL has three goals: 1) communicate with the NASA community, 2) aid the NASA community with its comprehension of engineering and science, and 3) encourage members to participate in community service and in turn, encourage a dedication to the pursuit of scientific knowledge that benefits all humankind.

“The NASA Alumni League was formed after the Challenger accident in January of 1986, and there were a lot of questions,” said Norman Chaffee, NAL secretary and retired NASA engineer. “Several NASA veterans got together in the Washington area and decided to create a formal organization for NASA veterans. Then the centers formed individual chapters of the NAL and JSC formed a chapter.”

The JSC NAL hosts several events each year. The Spring Social and Dinner occurred on May 14 in the Gilruth Ballroom. The event featured a talk by General Joe Engle. Joe is a retired NASA test pilot and astronaut who flew two ALT flights on the shuttle and then two shuttle missions as commander. At the social, Engle gave a presentation titled “Your X-15: Its Heritage and Legacy.”

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The NASA Alumni League provides an opportunity for retirees to continue networking.
The JSC NAL officers are as follows: president, Frank Hughes; vice president, Chester Vaughn ; secretary, Norman Chaffee; and a treasurer, Mary Stang. The board of directors includes: Marianne Dyson, John Lee, Gary Johnson, Andrew Hobokan, Don Nelson and Guy Thibodeaux.

“I have had a great time in the NAL,” said Frank Hughes, JSC NAL chairman. “We have group meetings twice a year in the fall and spring. The board meets to decide our other activities. We give money to charities here in the Bay Area. We send school groups to either Space Center Houston or to the Challenger Center downtown at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.”

Hughes said the members of the NAL represent a huge reservoir of knowledge about all of the space programs in the past. “We try to make that knowledge available to the current NASA personnel through consultations and other meetings,” Hughes said. “In collaboration with the Chief Knowledge Officer Jean Engle, we have started a set of storytelling meetings. We did a successful one on the propulsion systems for Apollo and space shuttle in April. We had standing room only in that conference room. We will do another in early June.”

Neesha Hosein
Johnson Space Center, Houston

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Updated: 06/02/2009