The Free Enterprise Speaker Series welcomed Charlie Duke, Apollo 16 astronaut and the youngest person to walk on the moon, Wednesday, Sept. 11, at 5:30 p.m. in the John W. Bardo Fine and Performing Arts Center.

Charlie Duke WCU hat

Charlie Duke with WCU hat

“I was invited to speak to the students and faculty of Western Carolina University this past September. My wife, Dorothy, and I were very blessed on our visit. The students and faculty that we met gave us a wonderfully warm and enthusiastic welcome, as I spoke of my adventures on Apollo 16 and walking on the moon. It was a delight to be on WCU’s beautiful campus in the North Carolina Appalachian Mountains. For those interested, I have a website,, where you can learn more about Apollo and also where you can purchase autographed copies of our book, Moonwalker, and autographed photos from Apollo 16.” -Charlie Duke


Amy Fagan, a WCU geosciences assistant professor was invited to come on stage with Mr. Duke and Dr. Lopez to participate in the “Out-of-this-world chat”. Dr. Fagan worked with lunar samples since 2009 and is an Apollo sample principal investigator.

Amy Fagan, Charlie Duke, Edward Lopez

“It was a tremendous opportunity to talk to one of only 12 people to have ever set foot on another planetary object in the history of mankind, particularly just after the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing in July 1969.” – Amy Fagan



Amy Fagan

Amy Fagan receiving gift

Read a blog entry that Dr. Fagan wrote including photos from Apollo 16 Mission and a unique comparison to how far Mr. Duke journeyed while on the moon. Read the blog here:  “From the Moon to Cullowhee

The Center was so appreciative of Dr. Fagan’s time, knowledge and stage presence, she was recently gifted a signed portrait of Charlie Duke.




Before and after the chat, Charlie Duke chatted with students of all ages. Here an elementary aged girl came to see the chat dressed as an astronaut herself. Charlie was happy to meet her and take a photo with her.

Charlie Duke and young Apollo fan

WCU students meeting Mr. Duke


“If I can motivate some kids to aim high and study harder, then who knows what their career will bring.” -Charlie Duke

The Asheville local news station was at the event and did a great story of his visit. Please watch the WLOC clip here: WLOS.COM

Want to watch the video of the entire event? Please visit our website to see the recording from “Out-of-this-World Chat with Charlie Duke”. Watch recording here (must have access to facebook).