Home Foreign Hidden figures: Katherine Johnson clocks 100, honoured with life-size statue

Hidden figures: Katherine Johnson clocks 100, honoured with life-size statue


By Busayo Onijala


Lagos –   One of the pioneering members of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Katherine Johnson, has been honoured at her Alma mater, West Virginia State University, with a life-size statue as she clocked 100.

The mathematician and centenarian clocked 100 years on Aug. 26, 2018 having been born on Aug. 26, 1918 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, United States.

The African-American centenarian graduated from WVSU at 18 with degrees in Mathematics and French.

The university made the announcement on their social media channel, Twitter through their official handle @WVStateU

“Today the university community gathered to dedicate a statue and scholarship in honor of our amazing alumni, Katherine Johnson.

“The statue will serve as a source of inspiration to current and future students of all that is possible through dedication, hard work and perseverance.”

The institution said that the scholarship of $100,000 also named in her honour would also award students majoring in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the contributions of Johnson and two of her colleagues, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, also featured in the highly acclaimed film, Hidden Figures, which was an adaptation of a book by the same title.

It is a true life story-based historical drama which tells the untold story of women who played vital roles in NASA during the early years of the U.S space programme.

The contributions of Ms Johnson to NASA was brought to life by the award-winning actress, Taraji P. Henson in Hidden Figures.

The roles of Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan were played by Janelle Monea and Octavia Spencer in the same film.

Johnson, ahead of her birthday, was quoted to have told the Daily Press that her longevity was due to good luck.

“I’m just lucky, the Lord likes me. And I like him.”

African-American who worked with NASA between 1953 until 1986 is also known as the human computer.



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