Mary “Wally” Funk
Bachelor of Science, Oklahoma State University
Adult Space Academy, 1991 and 2001
From the time she jumped off her father’s barn wearing a Super Man cape at the age of 4, Mary “Wally” Funk dreamed of flying. She became a civilian flight instructor for the U.S. Army by the age of 20, and at 21, Wally volunteered for the Mercury 13, a group of women who underwent the same training as the Mercury Astronauts. While the Mercury 13 never got the chance to fly in space, her life’s work reflects Wally’s profound love of aeronautics. She became the first female Air Safety Investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board and was a long-time flight instructor. She has flown gliders, jumped from airplanes, won air races and served as a Goodwill Ambassador for flight all around the world.