CSE alumna chosen as 2019 Homecoming Parade Grand Marshal
Brekke was the flight manager for six NASA Space Shuttle missions
MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (08/23/2019)—University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering alumna Michele A. Brekke will serve as Grand Marshal for the University of Minnesota Twin Cities campus 2019 Homecoming parade on Oct. 4. Brekke retired in 2014 from NASA’s Johnson Space Center after 37 years of service in human spaceflight mission operations.
Each year, the U of M Alumni Association selects as Grand Marshal a graduate who has demonstrated exceptional passion for the University and dedication to its mission. These talented alumni also serve as role models for future and current students.
Brekke, now a flight manager for the Boeing CST-100 Starliner operational missions, holds B.S (’75) and M.S. (’77) degrees in aerospace engineering from the University of Minnesota. She has received several leadership awards, including recognition from the U’s College of Science and Engineering and the NASA Exceptional Achievement Award. During her time at the U of M, she was also a volleyball letter winner. In 1986, she was inducted into the Golden Spikers, Minnesota’s volleyball hall of fame of that time.
“Michele Brekke provides a shining example of the impact University of Minnesota alumni have on their professions and industries,” said Alumni Association President and CEO Lisa Lewis. “Her many accomplishments, particularly her career with NASA, demonstrate that the sky is not the limit for U of M alumni. She is an exemplary and inspiring leader. We are honored that she is a Life Member of the Alumni Association and look forward to welcoming her back home to the U of M as this year's Homecoming Grand Marshal.”
Brekke served as payload officer in Mission Control for several missions, trained as a Space Shuttle flight director and was the flight manager for six Space Shuttle missions including John Glenn’s return to space in 1998. She began her NASA aerospace career as an instructor to the Space Shuttle astronauts in 1977 and advanced to leadership roles in the Space Shuttle and Space Station programs.
She is the proud mother of two sons and a daughter, a grandmother of two, with a third on the way.