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Grissom Memorial Celebration Brings Back Memories of Grissom Middle School

Lowell Grissom speaks at the Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom Memorial 50th Anniversary Celebration on July 21, 2021.


Space exploration has been inspiring the young and old for decades while contributing vital technological advancements to our society.


We continue to be proud that our school is named after true space pioneer Lieutenant Colonel Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom, the first person in history to go to space not once, but twice.


Penn High School resource teacher Amy Zimmer was recently at Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, Indiana, and attended the Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom Memorial's 50th Anniversary Celebration on July 21, 2021. 


Read more about the event here.




Lowell Grissom, Gus’s brother, shared special memories while giving a speech at the celebration. Lowell also shared artifacts that have never been on display before.


space artifacts


Amy had a chance to speak with Lowell and shared with him a picture of our very own school. Amy said “It brought a smile to his face and heartfelt joy to him.” Lowell went on to share that his brother Norman went to the dedication of GMS in 1968.


When it was time for Director of DNR and Interpretive Naturalist to speak, they mentioned GMS and stated that a photo of our school would be included in the time capsule, which will be buried in the near future!


The time capsule will be dug up and opened in 50 years or July 21, 2071. Along with the photo, handwritten postcards by Amy and other attendees were placed in the time capsule.


with postcards

Caitlin Reeder, Noah Zimmer & Amy Zimmer With Handwritten Postcards for the Time Capsule


Amy had the tremendous opportunity to have a photo taken with Lowell Grissom in front of what he believes would be his brother's favorite artifact of the memorial - his "Molly Brown," or the Gemini III 


Gemini III

Amy Zimmer, Lowell Grissom, Noah Zimmer & Caitlin Reeder in front of the Gemini III



Also attending with Amy was Caitlin Reeder and Noah Zimmer.


Caitlin is a Penn High School graduate, GMS student (2004-2007), and P-H-M teacher (2019-present). As the P.A.S.S. teacher at Pennway, Caitlin services GMS students and collaborates with GMS staff. She remembers writing a report about Gus Grissom and visiting the DVT. 


Noah Zimmer is a 2018 graduate and senior at Indiana University Bloomington majoring in Physics, Astronomy & Astrophysics and minoring in Mathematics. Noah aspires to work in the field of astronomy and astrophysics. He loves space so it was a real treat!


Lowell Grissom is also a Indiana University Bloomington graduate so it was an incredible opportunity for Noah and Lowell Grissom to share a laugh about him and Noah picking the "good school!"


Special thanks to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources for recording Lowell Grissom’s speech, you can watch that below: