In celebration of the VHSL Centennial Anniversary, a special 100th Birthday Luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at UVA’s Alumni Hall commemorating the birth of the state debate competition which began on April 30, 1914 at Madison Hall on the grounds of the University of Virginia.
To purchase a table for this special occasion, please visit our website by click here.
The VHSL is thrilled to announce that Leland D. Melvin is the keynote speaker for the Centennial Celebration. Melvin is the first and only NASA Astronaut ever drafted into the NFL.
A graduate of Heritage (Lynchburg) High School, Melvin went to the University of Richmond on a football scholarship, where he received a bachelor's degree in Chemistry. Melvin is first on University of Richmond's career lists with 198 receptions for 2,669 yards and fourth on Richmond's career touchdown receptions list with 16. He was an AP honorable mention All-America selection in 1984 and 1985 and second team Apple Academic All-America selection in 1985 and a team captain during his senior season.
Melvin was chosen by the Detroit Lions in the 11th round of the 1986 NFL Draft. During training camp, he pulled his hamstring and was released from the team. He reported to the Dallas Cowboys the following spring but pulled his hamstring a second time, officially ending his professional football career.
In 1991 he received a Master of Science degree in Materials Science Engineering from the University of Virginia.
As an engineer and a NASA astronaut, he served on board the Space Shuttle Atlantis as a mission specialist on STS-122 and as mission specialist 1 on STS-129. Melvin was named the NASA Associate Administrator for Education in October 2010.
Melvin recently appeared as an elimination challenge guest judge in the 12th episode of Top Chef (Season 7) and with his dogs in the 7th season of The Dog Whisperer.