The brother of an astronaut who died in the space shuttle Challenger explosion will be the featured speaker at West Virginia Universitys McNair Scholars induction banquet at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 29, at the Clarion Hotel Morgan.

Carl McNair is the founder of the McNair Scholars Programnamed after his brother Ronald E. McNairand the author ofIn the Spirit of Ronald E. McNairAstronaut: An American Hero.

Born in South Carolina, Ronald E. McNair was able to beat the odds of poverty and racism. He dreamed of being a scientist and earned a doctorate in physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He went on to become the second black American astronaut in space and was one of seven crew members lost in the Challenger disaster in 1986.

The prestigious McNair Scholars Program honors his legacy by helping prepare accomplished, first-generation college students and those from groups underrepresented in doctoral programs for graduate study.

WVU s 2006-07 McNair Scholars are: Sewit Araia, a chemisty major from Morgantown; Lauren Dembeck, a biology and Spanish dual major from Wallace; Heather Gomez, an industrial math and statistics major from Cumberland, Md.; Kelly Hale, an accounting major from Charleston; Lenin Leon, an electrical and computer engineering dual major from Fairmont; Ian Lutz, a landscape architecture major from Lewisburg; Nnenna Minimah, a psychology major from Charleston; Alee Robins, a psychology major from Morgantown and Tembele Yangandawele, a biochemistry major from the Congo.

On the Net:http://www.wvu.edu/~mcnair/index.htm