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Southern, Boeing win top NASA award for partnership


From Boeing


HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Southern University and A&M College won NASA’s 2022 Mentor-Protégé Agreement of the Year for their combined work on NASA’s Space Launch System (SLS) rocket. The award was presented at the NASA Small Business Industry Awards.

“This achievement is Boeing’s first mentor-protégé partnership with a Historically Black College or University so the award is such an honor,” said James Chavis, a Boeing supplier program representative at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility. “This recognition highlights the hard work and collaboration between Southern University and Boeing.”

Nominated by the Marshall Space Flight Center, Boeing received the award for its mentorship with Southern University while providing tactical business and technical support to the institution. Additionally, the university supplies alumni engineering skills to Boeing’s SLS program in New Orleans.

"The NASA Mentor Protégé Program was successfully implemented between Boeing and Southern University. It provided a means to enhance the partnering effort by Boeing, in assessment and training, focused on efficient processing of business and contracting using the university's needs to increase contracting opportunities,” said Dr. Samuel Washington, Director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at Southern University. “As well, student tours of the Michoud Assembly Facility supplied valuable insight, by NASA and Boeing engineers, on the use of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics on the design and manufacturing of the booster used in the Artemis Project to send astronauts to the moon and to Mars."

The NASA-sponsored Mentor-Protégé Program pairs large companies with eligible small businesses and minority-serving institutions to enhance the protégés' capabilities enabling them to successfully compete for larger, more complex contracts. In 2022, Boeing subcontracted approximately $4.6 billion to small and diverse businesses 

The SLS will launch NASA’s Artemis astronauts to the moon, Mars and beyond. Boeing is the prime contractor for the design, development, test and production of the SLS core stage and the in-development Exploration Upper Stage, as well as development of the flight avionics suite. The program employs workforces in Huntsville, Alabama, at NASA’s Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, and at other Boeing sites and with suppliers across the United States.


About Boeing
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity. Join our team and find your purpose at

About Southern University and A&M College
Southern University and A&M College, established in 1880, is the flagship of the Southern University System, which is the only historically Black college and university system in the nation. Located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Southern is home to more than 7,000 diverse students majoring in a vast array of programs leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. Learn more about Southern at