Description

    Buzz Aldrin's 1969-Dated Honorary Doctorate from Clark University, Worcester Massachusetts. An 11" x 14" vellum document in a dark red Morocco presentation folder. It reads, in part: "...Be it known that Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. has been created Doctor of Science, Honoris Causa in this University and is entitled to all the dignities thereunto appertaining..." Dated May 19, 1969 (just two months before the Apollo 11 landing on the moon), and signed at the close by four university officers. This was a particularly special date as it was the occasion of the dedication of the Robert H. Goddard Library at which Senator Ted Kennedy spoke. Clark University already held a special place in Aldrin's heart as his father had studied there under Goddard. Included is a COA from RR Auction. Some splitting at the spine of the presentation folder, diploma is in excellent condition.

    Included with this lot is the three page speech of introduction for Aldrin from that day. It reads, in full: "Mr. President: On behalf of the Trustees and Faculty of Clark University, I have the honor to present Edwin Eugene Aldrin, Jr. for the degree of Doctor of Science.

    "Dr. Aldrin is no stranger to Clark University. His father, Colonel Edwin E. Aldrin, is a distinguished graduate of our Class of 1915 and was a student of Professor Robert H. Goddard whose memory we honor today. Dr. Aldrin, Jr. is better known to us as Major "Buzz" Aldrin, the copilot of the Gemini 12 space mission, whose four day, 59-revolution flight accomplished many scientific and technical tasks.

    "One of the objectives of that flight was to rendezvous with a previously launched space vehicle. This mission proved to be much more difficult than anticipated because of unexpected equipment failures. What we earthbound observers did not realize, however, was that the successful completion of this complicated maneuver was, in a very real way, the singular accomplishment of Dr. Aldrin, who, like his father, had earned the degree of Doctor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His 1963 doctoral dissertation in astronautics was a theoretical treatise on guidance for manned orbital rendezvous.

    "Major Aldrin thus found himself in the unique position of having to put into practice those theories which three years earlier he personally had evolved. Dr. Aldrin, more theorists should be called upon to face such tests of their hypotheses!

    "On this flight Dr. Aldrin determined to leave out in space a tangible mark. Somewhere out above us there floats in eternal orbit a pennant which he unfurled. The pennant says simply "November 11 -Veteran's Day." It was his resolve that this pennant remain in space as a perpetual reminder to all veterans to strive constantly for peace and freedom in the world.

    "We will soon again hear and see the space accomplishments of, now, Colonel Aldrin. He is once more scheduled to go into space, this time on July 16, 1969 as a member of the courageous crew of Apollo 11. He will be the pilot of that delicate firefly, the Lunar Module, which he will separate from the Command Module, put into an independent lunar orbit and then gently lower 69 miles down to the surface of the moon.

    "Thus for the first time man will really leave his footprints on what we have only recently heard described as that 'vastness of black and white that looks like dirty beach sand with lots of footprints in it.'

    "We all look forward to this exciting exploration in man's only remaining frontier. The scientific community eagerly anticipates answers to its multitude of questions about the moon. Most of all, Dr. Aldrin, the prayers of mankind will go with you and your fellow adventurers.

    "Therefore, in recognition of his continuing scientific accomplishments, of his great courage, and of his abiding humanity, I request that the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, be conferred upon him."


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2014
    14th Wednesday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 8
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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