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Rhea Seddon, MD, Astronaut, Surgeon, Alumna of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center to Speak at September 17 Centennial Gala

Rhea Seddon, MD

A Memphis-trained physician, turned NASA astronaut returns to her alma mater – the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) – this fall. Margaret Rhea Seddon, MD, a 1973 graduate of the UT College of Medicine, Memphis campus, will deliver the evening address at the UTHSC Centennial Gala on September 17. Some 500 guests are expected to join the black tie event to hear the surgeon, researcher and veteran of three space shuttle flights share her perspective on the legacy and future of UT Health Science Center. With more than 722 hours in space, Dr. Seddon's experience with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration includes flights on Space Shuttles Discovery and Columbia.

"We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Seddon back to campus for this historic occasion," said UTHSC Chancellor Steve J. Schwab. "Like so many of our alumni throughout our first century, she is a remarkable leader who has both created and seized extraordinary opportunities – opportunities to serve, heal, lead and discover. We eagerly look forward to all she has to share with us during our centennial gala."

Born in Murfreesboro, Tenn., Dr. Seddon is married to Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson, who is also a former astronaut. They reside in Murfreesboro with their three children.

From 1996 until 2007, she served as Assistant Chief Medical Officer at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Since 2007, she has been a co-owner of LifeWings Partners, LLC, providing health care institutions across the country with support and guidance on leadership and patient safety. She travels widely, sharing insights gleaned from her astonishing career and current interests.

The UTHSC Centennial Gala will be held in the original quadrangle of the main campus surrounded by buildings named after some of the institution’s most esteemed administrators -- Hyman, Wittenborg, Mooney, Johnson and Crowe. A clear tent will allow guests to view the expansive fall sky and the structures that comprise the heart of the campus, just north of Union Avenue. The gala includes a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. For gala tickets, please contact Pam Houston at or (901) 448-1164.