NASA’s Human Computer, Katherine Johnson, Getting Bronze Honor

NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (seated) appears onstage with actresses Janelle Monáe (left), Taraji P. Henson (second from right) and Octavia Spencer (right) during the 89th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on Feb. 26, 2017, in Hollywood, Calif.
Photo: Kevin Winter (Getty Images)

Taraji P. Henson portrayed NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson in Hidden Figures and brought her story to life. And on the eve of the famed mathematician’s 100th birthday, Johnson’s alma mater, West Virginia State University, will honor her with a bronze statue and a scholarship in her name.

According to the Register-Herald, the $100,000 scholarship will be awarded to underrepresented students majoring in STEM fields.


“Rarely are we presented an opportunity to attach ourselves to a historic moment. I believe this is one of those times,” said WVSU President Anthony L. Jenkins. “Despite her numerous accomplishments, she never forgot WVSU, White Sulphur Springs, nor the state she loves so dear. Then, as throughout her life, Katherine has embodied the true essence of a West Virginian: strong values, unbreakable resolve and a work ethic that is second to none.”

The statue, which was created by West Virginia sculptor Frederick Hightower, also an alum of WVSU, will be unveiled Aug. 25.

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Yesha Callahan

Bye, Kinja! It's been fun (occasionally).