NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson was honored with a statue and scholarship at her alma mater West Virginia State University, according to Metro News.
School officials unveiled the statue depicting Johnson at a ceremony on Saturday attended by NASA astronaut Dr. Yvonne Cagle, Johnson’s daughters Joylette Hylick, Katherine Moore and university president Anthony Jenkins.
“I am very appreciative to WVSU for giving me the opportunity to create the monument sculpture of Mrs. Katherine Johnson,” Frederick Hightower, the artist behind the life-size statue of Johnson, told Metro News. “This sculpture being on our campus will not only honor the great accomplishments of Mrs. Johnson, but will also bring national attention and recognition to one of America’s great HBCU’s, West Virginia State University.”
Johnson’s provided calculations for NASA’s space missions, including its Space Shuttle program.
Today the University community gathered to dedicate a statue and scholarship in honor of our amazing alum Katherine Johnson. The statue will serve as a source of inspiration to current and future students of all that is possible through dedication, hard work and perseverance. pic.twitter.com/iFOqxnr1eH
— West Virginia State University (@WVStateU) August 25, 2018
Her contributions to the space program were recently depicted on screen with the film Hidden Figures, where she was portrayed by Taraji P. Henson. The film was based on a book with the same name.
Johnson, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015.