Sally Ride Honored in Public Stamp Dedication Ceremony

Photo courtesy of Ryan Maher.

The U.S. Postal Service commemorated Sally Ride with a new Forever Stamp on May 23 at Price Center East Ballroom. Dr. Ride was the first American woman in space and a UC San Diego professor of physics.

The first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony drew about 300 people, though very few of them were UCSD students.

Kristin Seaver, Chief Information Officer and Executive Vice President of the U.S. Postal Service, officiated the dedication.

“The United States Postal Service honors Sally Ride today for having the courage to take those first steps [into the Challenger],” said Seaver.

Seaver then spoke of Ride’s poise under pressure and her inspiration to young women pursuing STEM careers.

Before revealing Sally Ride’s stamp portrait, Seaver concluded, “Having flown among the stars, and become one in the process, Sally Ride left us with one wish for humanity: it was her hope that we would come to understand how best to take care of our planet and how best to protect and preserve it for future generations.”

Among the ceremony’s speakers were Tam O’Shaughnessy, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sally Ride Science @ UC San Diego and Dr. Ride’s widow; Billie Jean King, tennis champion and friend of Ride (recently portrayed by Emma Stone in 2017’s Battle of the Sexes); and Ellen Ochoa, first Hispanic woman in space and current Director of the Johnson Space Center in Florida.

O’Shaughnessy stated, “I think [the stamp is] really important for all the girls and boys in our country and around the world. You want positive role models and people who lived with integrity and did the things that they were truly interested in and passionate about.”

After the ceremony in Price Center West Ballroom, a panel discussion titled Women in Leadership was hosted by Sally Ride Science featuring King, Ochoa, and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. However, the event was private. At Dr. Rice’s request, news media was barred from the proceedings. As of publication, no explanation for this request has been given.

Ryan Maher is a Staff Writer for The Triton.