McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center Honors Captain Sullenberger

CONCORD, NH – Captain Chesley B. Sullenberger III was the first recipient of the Real People, Amazing Jobs Award at the opening of the new McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center today in Concord, NH.

Captain Sullenberger addressed more than 300 people in attendance at the opening via pre-recorded video to accept the award and congratulate the people of New Hampshire on the new science center.

The Real People, Amazing Jobs Award recognizes people who offer inspiration and act as role models for the younger generation, inspiring them to choose careers in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. Captain Sullenberger was selected for the award based on his high standards and commitment to his profession as an aviator, saving the lives of 155 people during an emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River on January 15, 2009. New York Governor David Paterson hailed his courage as the "miracle on the Hudson."

Real scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and others in high-technology occupations are highlighted throughout the Discovery Center's astronomy, aviation, and Earth and space science exhibits. These interactive exhibits focus on how these "Real People" are just regular people who have chosen to strive for accomplishment throughout their school years and professional careers.

"Captain Sullenberger exemplifies how real people can do amazing jobs and serve as role models for young people everywhere. Their chosen careers allow them to do amazing things every day," said Jeanne Gerulskis, Executive Director of the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.

Admission to the Discovery Center is free for the opening weekend, from Friday March 6th at 4:00 PM through Sunday, March 8th at 5:00 PM, courtesy of Northeast Delta Dental. A variety of special activities, including the replaying of Captain Sullenberger's remarks, are planned for the opening weekend.

The new McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is a lively science center, featuring 21st century interactive exhibits on aviation, astronomy, and Earth and space sciences, a state-of-the-art planetarium, and a variety of science and engineering programs.

The engaging, robust educational programs are geared towards families, teens, seniors, students, community groups, and lifelong learners. The Discovery Center includes facilities for conferences and special events, and a NASA Educator Resource Center. For a full schedule of programming, visit