Christa McAuliffe State House Memorial Commission
The Christa McAuliffe State House Memorial Commission was established by Governor Sununu by Executive Order 2023-02 on February 14, 2023.
This Commission is set up to honor Christa's legacy as a selfless and courageous New Hampshire educator and astronaut. Sharon Christa McAuliffe was born on September 2, 1948 and began her teaching career in 1970. She taught history and English in Concord and Bow before taking a social studies teaching job at Concord High School in 1983 where her responsibilities included teaching American history, law, economics and a self-designed course titled "The American Woman". In 1984, President Ronald Reagan announced the Teacher in Space Project, and Christa was selected out of over 11,000 applicants to become the first educator astronaut in space; and she was one of seven crew members of Space Shuttle Challenger mission STS-51-L. On January 28, 1986, just 73 seconds after launch, tragically, the Challenger exploded and all seven crew members were lost. Thus, Christa was never afforded the opportunity to teach the lessons she planned during that mission, but her motivation to open minds, her emphasis on experiential learning, and her belief that "I touch the future, I teach" continues to inspire educators across the country.
The Christa McAuliffe State House Memorial Commission shall:
- Study the best location on the front facing portion of state house grounds to affix the permanent memorial.
- Select an artist to design and upon the Commission's approval, craft the permanent memorial.
- See that the memorial is permanently placed on the front facing portion of the New Hampshire State House on State House grounds.
- Organize a formal unveiling on the permanent memorial on or before September 2, 2024.
- Work with the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to complete and dedicate the memorial.
- Remain in existence upon the completion of the Christa McAuliffe memorial for the purpose of overseeing maintenance and approving any changes to the memorial.
The Commission will meet next on Tuesday June 27, 2023 at 8 am. Meetings are held at the State Library 20 Park St Concord, NH 03301. The public is welcome to attend and there will be time for public comment at each meeting.
A Request for Proposals is now open and can be viewed here. Artists interested in the project may submit a proposal here. Proposals are due by July 31, 2023.
Questions or comments regarding the Commission should be directed to the Chairman, James Scully at James.F.Scully@nh.gov or 603-271-2121.
- The then incumbent Governor or his or her designee;
- James Scully
- Two members of the house of representatives
- Rep. Tim McGough
- Rep. Steve Shurtleff
- One member of the senate
- Sen. Rebecca Whitley
- The executive director of the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center
- Jeanne Gerulskis
- The commissioner of the department of natural and cultural resources or designee
- Commissioner Sarah Stewart
- The commissioner of the department of administrative services or designee
- Director Karen Rantamaki
- Three public members appointed by the incumbent Governor
- Bill Dunlap
- Paul Smith
- Linda Frawley