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Penn State names building after first African American in space, Dr. Guy Bluford

Guy Bluford
Becky Marcinko
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Dr. Guy Bluford enters the building naming ceremony on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021 in State College, Pa.

Penn State is honoring the first African American astronaut in space — by naming a building at Innovation Park after him.

Penn State has named the building at 230 Innovation Blvd. after Dr. Guion “Guy” Bluford. The building naming ceremony took place on Friday.

Bluford is a 1964 Penn State aerospace engineering graduate. He also recently received the 2021 Air Force ROTC Distinguished Alumnus Award, which is awarded to one person annually.

“I kid people all the time, I made people pay me to have a good time. And I’ve laughed all the way through it,” Bluford said

During the ceremony, Bluford recounted his time at Penn State and his decision to pursue aerospace engineering and become an astronaut.

“I remember as a kid, I made model airplanes,” he said. “I was fascinated with the machine.”

Bluford expressed his pride in being a Penn State graduate.

Janiyah Davis, a third-year student and member of the Board of Trustees, spoke during the event about Bluford's life and accomplishments.

"His father was also an engineer, and his representation as an African American engineer was important to let others know that they can do it, too,” Davis said.

The building named after Bluford houses research and engineering work.