Welcome Back, Captain Glover!

Highlights from astronaut and alumnus Victor Glover’s visit to campus after his historic trip to the International Space Station.

By Robyn Kontra Tanner // Photos by Joe Johnston
Astronaut Victor Glover wears a blue flight suit while talking to students in a Cal Poly engineering lab

When astronaut Victor Glover (General Engineering ’99) visited campus in April, he didn’t arrive empty-handed. The history-making Mustang, who is now a parent of a first-year student, brought back a pair of green-and-gold banners he flew proudly during his time in orbit and a fresh perspective he was eager to share with the Cal Poly community.

Glover served as pilot and second-in-command on the SpaceX Crew Dragon, named Resilience, which launched in November 2020. Once on the ISS, the Navy captain and test pilot became the first Black astronaut to complete a long-term stay on the vessel. During his 168 days in space as a station systems flight engineer, Glover completed three spacewalks, spoke with Vice President Kamala Harris, and delivered Cal Poly’s fall 2020 commencement address.

Before he landed, he also learned his eldest daughter was going to attend Cal Poly, a moment of joy only enhanced by zero gravity.

“I literally was doing flips around the space station just because I could,” Glover recalled during an event on campus. “That felt really good because my wife and I met here and we have worked hard to continue to support this place.”

While on campus, Glover and his wife, Dionna Odom Glover, who studied child development at Cal Poly, toured the Mustang ’60 machine shop, talked with the Cal Poly Wrestling team, and visited the Black Academic Excellence Center. Glover also delivered powerful opening remarks at the university’s annual PolyCultural Weekend, greeting future Mustangs from diverse backgrounds who are considering attending Cal Poly.

“This is, hands down, one of the best academic institutions in the state and the nation,” he said from the stage. “That part you all know — that’s why you’re sitting in this room — but this is also a place that you can really become the best you that you can be.”

Check out a few photos from the visit or read the full article on the Cal Poly News website.