US Mint to honor astronaut, former UCSD professor Sally Ride on new quarter

Posted at 11:43 AM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 14:43:01-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The United States Mint will honor astronaut and former UC San Diego professor Dr. Sally Ride as part of its effort to highlight prominent women on quarters.

Ride and famed writer Maya Angelou will be the first two women to grace the quarter as part of the Mint's American Women Quarters Program, which will issue five different reverse designs, on the tails side, annually that feature the accomplishments and prominent women from 2022 to 2025.

The Sally Ride quarter will begin circulating next year. The quarters will continue to feature George Washington on the "heads" side, though it will be designed in a way that sets it apart from the current image.

"Sally would be so moved by this great honor," said Tam O'Shaughnessy, Ride's life partner and cofounder of Sally Ride Science at UC San Diego. "It's especially fitting that it comes during the 20th-anniversary celebration for Sally Ride Science. This tribute reflects Sally’s legacy not only as a trailblazing astronaut but also as a champion of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields."

The public is invited to help submit ideas for prominent women to be featured in the future online here. The program does not allow, under public law, anyone still living to be featured on the coin designs.

Ride retired from NASA after becoming America's first woman in space in 1983 and went on to teach physics at UC San Diego. Nearly two decades after making history, she cofounded Sally Ride Science, which promotes equity and inclusion for all students, especially girls, in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) studies and careers.