Press Releases  |  3.14.2014

Challenger Center Thanks President George H.W. Bush for Continued Commitment President and First Lady played integral role in creation of the national organization in 1986

HOUSTON (March 14, 2014) — On Thursday, leaders of Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center), the nationally recognized STEM education organization, visited former President George H.W. Bush.

Dr. June Scobee Rodgers, Challenger Center founding chair and widow of Challenger Commander Dick Scobee, and Dr. Lance Bush, Challenger Center president and CEO, thanked President Bush for agreeing to serve as the Honorary Chair of the organization’s Advisory Council and for his continuous support over the past 28 years.

“The joy of meeting with my friend President George H.W. Bush 41 brings us heartfelt gratitude,” said Scobee Rodgers. “His dedication, continued support and sage advice have helped grow our network of Challenger Learning Centers both nationally and internationally.”

Additionally, Charlie Cheever joined the group to share news about the newest Challenger Learning Center under construction at San Antonio College which will open this fall. This location will be the first Center utilizing new state-of-the-art design and technology created by the national organization. Cheever is Chairman of the Scobee Education Center development campaign for San Antonio College and has been instrumental in raising $3.7 million of the $5 million needed to complete the project in the coming months. Scobee Rodgers added that the Scobee Education Center at San Antonio College holds special meaning for her as she and her late husband, Dick, both began their higher education studies at the College.

During the visit, Scobee Rodgers also presented Jean Becker, longtime Chief of Staff to President Bush, with the organization’s Legacy Award. This award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has given great support to Challenger Center or has played an integral role in the creation of a new Center in their community. Scobee Rodgers chose Becker for the organization’s honor as a result of her unwavering support to the Challenger Center mission and her assistance in President Bush’s service to the organization.

Vice President at the time of the Challenger accident, President Bush became a steadfast supporter of the families and their desire to create a living legacy to the Challenger crew and the Teacher in Space Mission. In the years following the accident, President and Mrs. Bush continued to provide encouragement and guidance to create the first Challenger Learning Center.

About Challenger Center for Space Science Education (Challenger Center)
As a leader in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, Challenger Center and its dynamic, hands-on opportunities. These experiences strengthen knowledge in STEM subjects and inspire students to pursue careers in these important fields. Centers reach hundreds of thousands of students and tens of thousands of teachers each year. Founded in 1986, Challenger Center was created to honor the crew of shuttle flight STS-51-L: Dick Scobee, Gregory Jarvis, Christa McAuliffe, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Michael J. Smith. Learn more about Challenger Center at and connect with us on, and[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]