Skip to content

2020 Commencement Speaker: Barry Wilmore

Barry WilmoreAstronaut Barry E. Wilmore is a veteran of two spaceflights and has accumulated 178 days in space. In 2014, he served as a flight engineer for Expedition 41 before assuming command of the station upon arrival of the Expedition 42 crew. During this mission, Wilmore logged 167 days in space and performed four spacewalks. In 2009, Wilmore served as a pilot aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis for STS-129.

He is a graduate of United States Naval Test Pilot School and has logged more than 7,000 flight hours and 663 carrier landings, all in tactical jet aircraft. During his tenure as a fleet Naval officer and pilot, Wilmore completed four operational deployments, flying the A-7E and FA 18 aircraft from the decks of the USS Forrestal, USS Kennedy, USS Enterprise and the USS Eisenhower aircraft carriers. He has flown missions in support of Operations Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and Southern Watch over the skies of Iraq, as well as missions over Bosnia in support of United States and NATO interests.

Wilmore received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Tennessee Technological University. In 1994, he completed a master’s in aviation science from the UT Space Institute. He was recognized with the university’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2015 and was inducted into the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering Hall of Fame in 2017.

Wilmore’s other prestigious honors have included receiving the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and the NASA Distinguished Service Medal. He was named Light Attack Wing One-Pilot of the Year in 1991 and Strike Fighter Aviator of the Year in 1999.

Wilmore is a native of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. He and his wife, Deanna Newport Wilmore, have two daughters. He is a captain in the US Navy.

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.

View our Privacy Policy.