George Long ’63 came to Pacific University in 1959 thinking he wanted to be an optometrist.
“I had pretty poor vision at that time and working in a scientific field to treat others with the same malady seemed like an interesting career.”
World events intervened, though. The Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite, in 1957, followed by a second a year later, led the United States to create the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA.
“There was a lot of interest then with majors in science and mathematics,” Long said. “I had always done very well with physics and math, and Dr. Andrewa Nobel, chair of the Mathematics Department at Pacific, suggested I might want to change my major.”
He did, and went on to a distinguished career as a research scientist, project manager and program director for the U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren, Va.