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Astronaut Peggy Whitson to Receive Robert D. Ray Award

Peggy Whitson (WHO-HD)

DES MOINES, Iowa – Astronaut and native Iowan Peggy Whitson, Ph.D., will be the recipient of the 2018 Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award.

The Robert D. and Billie Ray Center at Drake University made the announcement Thursday morning.

Whitson holds the U.S. record for total days in space with 665 and has served as the Commander of the International Space Station. Her most recent trip to space was part of Expedition 50/51, where she was able to take part in four spacewalks.

“What a huge honor it is for me to receive the Robert D. Ray Pillar of Character Award,” Whitson said. “I really admire an organization like CHARACTER COUNTS! that promotes good ethical characteristics in our youth.”

Previous recipients of the award include Norman Borlaug, Shawn Johnson, Fred Hoiberg, and Ashton Kutcher.

The award will be presented April 13 at The Ray Center’s All-Star Evening in West Des Moines.