Neil Armstrong: University of Cincinnati to honor first man on moon, former UC professor

CINCINNATI -  The University of Cincinnati will honor the life of famed astronaut and former UC professor Neil Armstrong this week by opening a major campus exhibit and announcing a research agreement with NASA.

Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon in 1969, was a professor of aerospace engineering at UC from 1971 to 1979 after retiring from the space program.

To commemorate Armstrong’s ties to UC, an exhibit titled “Neil Armstrong: The Life and Flight of a Reluctant Hero” will open to the public on Thursday at UC’s Philip M. Meyers Jr. Memorial Gallery in the Steger Student Life Center.

The exhibit features artifacts donated by the Armstrong family, including a space mask and plaques awarded to Armstrong. The exhibit will run through Nov. 27.

A special Wednesday preview will feature the unveiling of a life-size bas-relief plaque depicting Armstrong on campus that will be permanently installed in the entrance to Rhodes Hall, through which he passed each morning

As part of the Wednesday ceremony, UC President Santa Ono will sign a Space Act Agreement with NASA officials that will further link a growing relationship between UC researchers and NASA scientists.

UC will also launch a commemorative website to Armstrong’s years at UC and to share an extensive digital collection of images, documents and correspondence relating to his UC career.  

Visit the website at

As the world watched and held its breath, Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon at the climax of the Apollo 11 flight on July 20, 1969. As Armstrong stepped off the last step of the lunar module, he spoke his famous words: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Armstrong lived in the Cincinnati area after leaving NASA - first on his farm in Lebanon and later in Indian Hill. He was 82 when he died in 2012 after complications from heart surgery. Armstrong was buried at sea at his request.

Family and friends created a memorial to Armstrong at the Cincinnati Observatory Center last August.

Watch Armstrong step onto the moon in the player below or go to

Read about Armstrong's life and adventures at

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