Farewell to an Astronaut and a Policewoman

On December 14, 1972, Apollo 17 lifted off from the moon. Its mission commander Gene Cernan, Phi Gamma Delta, was the last astronaut to walk on the moon’s surface. The initiate of Phi Gam’s chapter at Purdue University took his Phi Gam badges on his missions . The items now reside at the fraternity’s international headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky. Captain Cernan died on January 16, 2017 at age 82.

A Pi Phi friend who is a pilot has a grandson who is also a pilot. That young man was encouraged by Captain Cernan and has his signature in his logbook. Before the young pilot began his first solo cross country flight, Captain Cernan told him,”If I can do it, so can you!” As the young pilot’s mother said, “Great heroes don’t just do great things; they encourage others to do great things, too. Thanks for encouraging my young pilot! You will always be our hero.”  


Sadly, we mourn one of those brave people who went to work and never came home. They are those who promise to keep the public safe, often putting themselves in harm’s way to protect the rest of us. Debra Clayton, an Orlando, Florida, policewoman, was killed in the line of duty on January 9, 2017. She was a member of the Psi Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. My condolences to her family, friends, co-workers and sorority sisters.

Master Sergeant Debra Clayton


A new semester begins, incoming chapter officers take on leadership duties, and some attend GLO leadership workshops. To those beginning a new adventure as a chapter officer, I give this unsolicited advice – soak up the knowledge, get buy in from fellow exec board members, roll up your sleeves and get to work. 

© Fran Becque, www.fraternityhistory.com, 2017. All Rights Reserved. If  you enjoyed this post, please sign up for updates. Also follow me on twitter @GLOHistory and Pinterest www.pinterest.com/glohistory/

This entry was posted in Alpha Kappa Alpha, Phi Gamma Delta and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.