Muriel M. Thorne


Distinguished Alumni Service Award (1985)
B.A., 1946; M.A., 1950


Muriel Mae Thorne graduated with a Fine Arts degree and an exposure to astronomy, allowing her to fashion a career encompassing art, science, and education. She served for more than a decade at the National Gallery of Art, until her interest in astronomy and space exploration became her vocation.

In 1961, Muriel was made Educational Programs Officer in the Academic Affairs Division of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Her talent as an interpreter and communicator have assisted school children nationwide and their teachers, in understanding the Space Age. The skill with which she advanced student knowledge and encouraged their aspirations was officially recognized with two NASA awards.

Muriel has played a part wherever NASA educational programs are expanding; as an editor of the history of NASA and other reports to educators, she broadened the awareness in the schoolroom of NASA's development and accomplishments, heightening national pride. She has volunteered with a variety of organizations, most extensively with the Washington Cathedral.