Dr. Norman Thagard is one of the first FSU Alumni to graduate from the Honors Program. He was born in Marianna, FL, but considers Jacksonville to be his hometown. In 1965, Norman received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering Science and went on to received a Master of Science in Engineering Science from FSU in 1966. He continued his education at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and received his M.D. in 1977. In 2007, he received a Master in Business Administration from the University of Florida.
In September of 1966, Norman entered active duty with the United States Marine Corps Reserve. As a Marine, he achieved the rank of Captain and was designated as a Naval Aviator. He logged more than 2,200 hours of flying time! Norman, in his outstanding professional life, has also served as an astronaut with NASA. He was a Mission Specialist for several Space Shuttle flights and has logged over 140 days in space.
Most notably, he was researcher on the Russian Mir-18 mission in 1995, where he studied effects of micro-gravity on the human body. He is hopeful that the Mir-18 will provide valuable lessons for the future of space travel and the continued construction of the International Space Station.