DescriptionEd White II: His University of Michigan Ceremony-Worn Doctoral Hood, His Doctoral Degree Citation, and Six Mustard Seeds Flown on Gemini 4, All from His Personal Collection. White graduated from the University of Michigan in 1959 with a Master of Science in Engineering. His Gemini 4 crewmate Jim McDivitt graduated that same year with a Bachelors in the same field. After their landmark flight featuring White's historic spacewalk, the university bestowed Honorary Doctorates in Astronautics on both in a graduation ceremony June 15, 1965, soon after their return from space. This lot includes the following items.
Flown Mustard Seeds: The six mustard seeds are in an original Fliteline case. These seeds, a symbol of White's religious faith, were in a pocket of White's spacesuit while he walked in space, the first American to do so. In the Bible's New Testament, there are several examples of Jesus using the mustard seed as a model of the growth of the Kingdom of God from an extremely tiny seed to the largest of all garden plants, as well as an example of the amount of faith needed to accomplish much. Also included is a photocopy of a letter from noted preacher and author Norman Vincent Peale, dated just before the Gemini 4 mission. It reads, in small part: "You don't need to take a mustard seed with you as a symbol of your faith; you have the faith itself, and the inner sturdiness that will carry you through this tremendous and rewarding experience."
Doctoral Hood: In Michigan Maize, Azure Blue, and black velvet and silk. Worn by White during the degree ceremony.
Doctoral Citation: A two-page (attached) vellum document, 8" x 6", enclosed in a gold-stamped leather folio of 8.5" x 6.75". The right-hand page regarding the "Scientae Astronauticae Doctoris" degree is all in Latin. The left-hand page reads, in full: "Lieutenant Colonel Edward Higgins White II, Master of Science in Engineering in the Class of 1959, the first American to float freely in space. Colonel McDivitt's vagabond passenger in the Gemini Four is twinned with him as well in the imagination of the American people and the esteem of the University. United with him further in discipline and devotion, he has nevertheless expressed, both literally by his spontaneity and verve and fancifully by his feats in space that freely willed fulfillment of obligation which conserves the human spirit while permitting concerted action. And though we would have it redound to Colonel White's honor that he moved with far greater poise and ease than his predecessor Colonel Leonov, we would prefer in hopeful augury to celebrate his flight generously as a human achievement rather than invidiously as a triumph in the space race. Honoring Colonel White as officer, gentleman, and astronautical pioneer, the University gladly extends to him the degree Doctor of Astronautical Science."
Photographs: A 9.25" x 7.5" B&W photo taken during the ceremony showing White in his robe, hat, and hood. McDivitt is next to him but partially hidden. Michigan Governor Romney has signed it: "To Edward H. White II/ Space walking pioneer, and a/ great citizen and human!/ George Romney". Matted and framed to an overall 15" x 12". Also, an additional photo, 7" x 5" color, of White and McDivitt in their robes, being presented clocks by the governor.
Additional: A 9" x 11.5" odd-shaped and ragged piece of cardboard with the handwritten text: "Dr. Edward Higgins White/ Hon Deg. Hood/ and Citation/ Univ. of Michigan/ 6-15-65". This is what remains of the box in which the hood and citation were stored.
An amazing grouping for the Space collector, biblical scholar, or maybe just a huge Wolverine fan. All items excellent except as noted.
Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Miscellaneous Collectibles, Large (view shipping information)
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