0 2 min 2 weeks

Virginia Tech celebrated the career of Homer Hickam, best-selling author, former NASA engineer, and astronaut trainer, as he was inducted as the 2024 Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets Distinguished Alumni. The ceremony commemorated Hickam’s remarkable achievements on the 25th anniversary year of his New York Times #1 best-selling memoir Rocket Boys, adapted into the critically acclaimed film October Sky, which starred Jake Gyllenhaal as the young Homer Hickam.

Hickam’s journey from Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets to becoming a NASA engineer and a celebrated author has been inspirational to his millions of readers. Hickam is the author of 20 books, many of them best-sellers, that have been translated into dozens of languages.

Hickam is also known for their role in constructing the Skipper cannon, a cherished symbol of Virginia Tech, his service during the Vietnam War, and his impactful tenure at NASA, where he trained astronauts and played a key role in repairing the Hubble Space Telescope.

Hickam’s latest book is the long-awaited sequel to Rocket Boys, Don’t Blow Yourself Up. He also wrote the screenplay and is one of the producers for the upcoming film adaptation of his book The Coalwood Way, December Sky.

Reflecting on the honor, Hickam expressed gratitude to his alma mater, stating, “Being a member of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets was one of best experiences in my life. I am extremely touched to receive this great honor and especially grateful for the opportunity to meet again with the amazing, inspirational young men and women of today’s corps who constantly live up to the university’s motto, Ut Prosim, that we may serve. They give me hope for our nation’s future.”

About The Author