Astronaut Clayton Anderson talks inspiration, following dreams during Omaha speech

Jun 24, 2013

Everyone has the power to change someone’s life---that’s the message astronaut Clayton Anderson had for a group of UNMC graduates on Friday.

Anderson, an Ashland native and retired astronaut, spoke Friday to graduates of the orthopedic surgery residency program. He retired from NASA in January after a 30-year career that included 167 days in space.

He told graduates he was inspired as a child to be an astronaut after watching the Apollo 8 mission, and encouraged graduates to find their own ways to inspire kids.

"It could be to do great things like you do, it could be to do great things like I do. But, you can do it in so many different ways. At your off time when you help with Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts, when you work with Little League, or whatever it is you do, just keep in mind that you can have an effect on young kids, as surgeons, as doctors, just as people, and that’s an important thing."

Anderson spent five months aboard the International Space Station in 2007. He also was a crew member aboard the Shuttle Discovery in 2010.