10:01 AM

UHCL remembers NASA icon Glynn Lunney, co-founder of CLASP

Glynn Lunney in front of a digital world map
Photo Credit: NASA/James Blair

Last month, NASA lost one of its legends, and University of Houston-Clear Lake lost a friend with the passing of Apollo and Gemini Flight Director Glynn S. Lunney, who died March 19.

To NASA, Lunney is best known for leading the rescue of Apollo 13 astronauts en route to the moon, after they experienced an oxygen tank explosion that forced them to abandon their mission in 1970. To UH-Clear Lake and the local community, he is remembered for that and much more.

Lunney is survived by his wife, Marilyn — a UHCL Distinguished Alumna. Both have been a celebrated presence on campus and throughout the Clear Lake area for many years. In 2002, Marilyn founded the university's Clear Lake Association for Senior Programs (CLASP), now a Strategic Partnerships program that involves free monthly educational presentations.

"She passionately started CLASP to inform and engage our senior community at UHCL," Executive Director of Strategic Partnerships Dwayne Busby said. "Her effort has brought hundreds of people over the years to learn, enjoy the campus and its resources, and connect or reconnect with others from our community."

After nearly two decades, CLASP continues to be a staple at UHCL and in the community, now drawing attendees of all ages. Lunney was always diligent in his assistance to and support of the program. He even volunteered as a guest speaker.

"Per UHCL President Ira K. Blake's promise and commitment, we work tirelessly to continue the Lunney legacy by maintaining the CLASP program," Busby said.

The Lunneys served in other ways as well, including their volunteer service on university councils. They also endowed the UHCL Lunney Family Scholarship, which is awarded to students pursuing a degree related to aerospace in the College of Science and Engineering.

"Glynn's inspiring career that contributed so much to the success of the human space flight program is, of course, legendary," UHCL President Ira K. Blake said. "By combining his experience and wisdom with so many others in the aerospace field, our nation has celebrated unimaginable technological triumphs and witnessed extraordinary solutions to daunting dilemmas."

You can learn more about CLASP, including past and upcoming presentations, at the CLASP webpage.