World-renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking Sunday evening packed Rudder Auditorium for a record third time and received a standing ovation at the completion of his lecture focusing on the origin of the universe and concluding with predictions and questions about mankind.

He predicted the future of man long term is in space, observing “it will be difficult enough to avoid disaster on planet Earth in the next 100 years, let alone the next thousand or billion.”

He concluded his formal presentation with questions: “Why are we here? Where did we come from?”
Among the 2,500 who packed Rudder Auditorium – and an overflow lecture hall across campus – was George Mitchell, 1940 Texas A&M graduate who is a recipient of Texas A&M’s Distinguished Alumni Award and a major donor to the university, and particularly in recent years to its expanding physics and astronomy programs. Mitchell was instrumental in helping establish Hawking’s longstanding relationship with Texas A&M, with the renowned scientist first visiting the campus in 1995.

The Grand Design

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