Skip to Content

Resolution RS2019-1618

A resolution honoring the life and achievements of Nashville native Dr. Nancy Grace Roman.

WHEREAS, Nancy Grace Roman was born in Nashville, Tennessee on May 16, 1925 to music teacher Georgia Smith, and geophysicist Irwin Roman; and

WHEREAS, Nancy Roman considered her parents to be major influences in her interest in science; and

WHEREAS, Roman’s lifelong fascination with the cosmos started at age 11 when she joined with friends in forming an astronomy club; and

WHEREAS, Nancy Roman went on to earn a degree in astronomy from Swarthmore College in 1946, and obtained a doctorate in astronomy from the University of Chicago in 1949; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Roman later joined the United States Naval Research Laboratory and was then recruited by NASA in 1959; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Roman was NASA’s first chief of astronomy and the first woman executive at the space agency where she oversaw the early planning for the Hubble Space Telescope, which began orbiting Earth in 1990 to capture an unobstructed view of the universe; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Roman was instrumental in making the Hubble Space Telescope a reality by writing testimony for NASA representatives making the case for the Hubble before Congress; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Roman also took part in development of the Cosmic Background Explorer, a satellite launched in 1989 that confirmed the Big Bang theory of the universe’s creation; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Roman retired from NASA in 1979, but continued as a consultant as work progressed toward the Hubble’s launching; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Roman is fondly remembered as “the mother of the Hubble” and was a trailblazer for women at a time when science was considered a men’s profession; and

WHEREAS, throughout her career, Roman was an active public speaker, educator, and an advocate for women in the sciences; and

WHEREAS, in later years, Dr. Roman sought to inspire girls to pursue careers in science and in her own words, “one of the reasons I like working with schools is to try to convince women that they can be scientists and that science can be fun.”; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Nancy Roman died on December 25, 2018 at the age of 93; and

WHEREAS, it is fitting and proper that the Metropolitan Council hereby honor the life of Nancy Roman and recognize the lasting legacy of her tremendous work and contributions to science.


Section 1. The Metropolitan Council hereby goes on record as honoring the life and achievements of Dr. Nancy Grace Roman.

Section 2. This Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of The Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.


Sharon Hurt, Erica Gilmore, Brenda Haywood, Burkley Allen, Dave Rosenberg, Freddie O'Connell, Sheri Weiner, Davette Blalock, Mina Johnson, Kathleen Murphy, Angie Henderson, Nancy VanReece, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Jacobia Dowell, Jeremy Elrod, Tanaka Vercher

Related Documents

Legislative History

Referred toRules, Confirmations, and Public Elections Committee

IntroducedFebruary 19, 2019

AdoptedFebruary 19, 2019

ApprovedFebruary 20, 2019

ByMayor Briley's signature

Requests for ADA accommodation should be directed to the Metropolitan Clerk at 615-862-6770.

Last Modified: 02/21/2019 1:32 PM