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Commander Bruce Melnick, a 1972 Coast Guard Academy graduate, will be inducted into the CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame on Wednesday, June 12 in Orlando, Fla.
The five-member class of inductees also includes the late Pat Tillman, a former standout linebacker at Arizona State, Olympic gymnast Elfi Schelegel of Florida, Pepperdine and Olympic water polo star Dr. Terry Schroeder and Lycoming football star and current U.S. Circuit Court Judge Thomas Vanaskie.
Melnick, a decorated NASA astronaut, is the first athlete from Coast Guard to earn the prestigous honor. A two-year letterwinner in football for the Bears, Melnick earned Academic All-America honors and helped lead Coast Guard to an 8-2 record as a senior in 1971.
After graduating from CGA with an engineering degree in 1972, Melnick began a 20-year career in the Coast Guard.
He received numerous awards during that tenure, including two Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Distinguished Flying Crosses and the Secretary of Transportation Heroism Award.
Selected by NASA in 1987, Melnick qualified for space flight and became an astronaut in August 1988. He performed subsequent technical assignments before flying as a mission specialist on the Shuttle Discovery in 1990, as well as the flight engineer on Shuttle Endeavour's maiden voyage in May 1992. He logged more than 300 hours in space, orbiting the Earth 207 times.
After retiring from the Coast Guard and leaving NASA in 1992, Melnick joined Lockheed Space Operations Company. In 1996, he joined McDonnell Douglas as Vice President for Payload Ground Operations Contract with NASA, and in 1997, he became Vice President of Boeing Florida Operations, serving in that role until his retirement in 2007.
- Day Staff Reports