The McNair Program
The McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement program is named in honor of
Dr. Ronald Erwin McNair, a renown laser physicist and astronaut. Dr.
McNair's life was cut short due to a tragic accident aboard the USS
Challenger space shuttle in January 1986. Dr. McNair graduated magna
cum laude from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State
University in 1971 and received his Ph.D. at the age of 26 from the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1976.
After his death, memebers of Congress provided funding for the
Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program to encourage
ethnic minorities, women and other underrepresented groups to pursue
graduate school opportunities, in particular doctoral studies. It is
one of the five(5) federally funded TRIO programs which provide direct
services to low-income and/or first generation college students. These
programs are designed to help students overcome class, social, and
cultural barriers to higher education.
During the academic year of 1989-90, the Ronald E. McNair Post
Baccalaureate Achievement Program had its humble beginning with fourteen
(14) projects. As of 1995-96, there are ninety-six (96) projects located
in 39 of the 50 states (including the District of Columbia).
More information about the man behind the name