Message From AAA’s President – May 2021

Michael Collins, 1930-2021. Photo: NASA.

Happy May Everyone!

I don’t know how a third of the year is already gone, but somehow it is. Time flies.

And speaking of flying, Michael Collins passed away. I always had a soft spot for Mr. Collins, who was dubbed “The Loneliest Man in History”. I was not even alive when Mr. Collins circumnavigated the Moon as his two colleagues garnered press attention for being the first and second humans to step onto it. Yet Mr. Collins is the kind of person whose character and actions are periodically on my mind. When Neil Armstrong uttered his famous words upon Earth’s only natural satellite, Michael Collins piloted the craft that stayed in orbit, losing communication with NASA each time he came around the far side of the Moon.

After that historic event, Mr. Collins, being ever the humble public servant and patriot, retired from NASA to allow others the opportunity to fly into space, even though he was given the opportunity to fly again and finally walk on the Moon. These actions help me realize the fantastic achievements humans contribute to our society, particularly when the media often paints news in the bleakest of ways. Yet Michael Collins understood that while he and his fellow astronauts achieved, and continue to achieve, great things, it is very much a concerted effort of thousands of people in different industries that ultimately allows the few astronauts at NASA to launch from Earth.

As President of AAA, I recognize that our organization functions in much the same way. No one person or position is responsible for achieving all of the wonderful things that the association offers. On May 19th, our Annual Meeting will take place where many of the contributions and achievements of individual and group efforts will be recognized. I hope that all AAA members attend this event, and for those who are not members, please consider joining so that you can experience the community of our Annual Meeting, and all of the other exciting and thought provoking opportunities that the association offers.

Michael Collins’ selflessness will always be remembered, and is something that humanity should always strive for. AAA is no different and we would not be who we are without the contributions and support that we receive from our membership and board and executive members. Thank you to everyone who works for a better tomorrow, and please come celebrate some of those achievements on the 19th.

See you there!