CLEMSON — Space Shuttle astronaut Frank Culbertson will present Clemson University student Brenden Roberts with a $10,000 scholarship from the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation during a public presentation during Thursday’s Clemson vs. Georgia Tech football game at Memorial Stadium.

Roberts is a senior from West Columbia pursuing dual degrees in physics and mathematical sciences and a minor in computer science. As an undergraduate, he has conducted upper-atmosphere research using sounding rockets for data collection, contributed to the planning and experimental setup for several rocket launches and written programs designed to analyze the middle to upper regions of the atmosphere. Roberts plans to pursue a Ph.D. in the physics of atmospheric studies or nonlinear dynamics.

The Astronaut Scholarship is the largest monetary award given in the United States to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) undergraduate college students based solely on merit. Twenty-eight of these prestigious scholarships were dispersed this year by the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation to outstanding college students majoring in science, technology, engineering or math. Nearly $3.5 million has been awarded to date.

Since 2010, $40,000 has been given to Clemson University students. These high-achieving students exhibit strong drive and phenomenal performance in their field, as well as intellectual daring and a genuine desire to positively change the world around them, both in and out of the classroom.

Culbertson, a retired naval captain, joined the Astronaut Corps in May 1984 and flew three space shuttle missions, logging 144 days in space. He was pilot of STS-38 on Atlantis and commanded STS-51 on Discovery.

Culbertson became Manager of the Shuttle-Mir Program in 1995 and managed nine shuttle docking missions over the next three years. He was deputy program manager of the International Space Station until assigned to the third expedition to the station in 2001 He commanded the station 117. He was inducted into the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame in 2010.

“Clemson University is so proud of Brenden Roberts for being awarded this prestigious scholarship,” said Clemson University President James F. Barker. “Brenden’s accomplishment speaks to the high quality education and research experience our undergraduate students receive. We are delighted to welcome back Capt. Culbertson to present Brenden with his award.”


Astronaut Scholarship Foundation
The Astronaut Scholarship Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization established in 1984 by the six surviving members of America’s original Mercury program. Its mission is to aid the United States in retaining its world leadership in science and technology by providing scholarships for college students who exhibit motivation, imagination and exceptional performance in these fields. Today, more than 100 astronauts from the Gemini, Apollo, Skylab, Space Shuttle and Space Station programs have joined in this educational endeavor. For more information, call 321-455-7012 or visit

Editors/news directors: Astronaut interviews are available upon request or at the presentation with advanced arrangements.