Dr. Terry Lauritsen
M.S. Astronautics (Astronautical Engineering), 1962
Dr. Terry Lauritsen, the 2009 Outstanding Male Golden Athlete by the New Mexico Senior Olympics, graduated AFIT a 1st Lieutenant with a master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering in 1962. Following AFIT, he worked as an engineer throughout the Air Force, at one point as part of the Satellite Program Office. He retired at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1981. In addition to his in residence AFIT degree, Dr. Lauritsen also earned a doctorate in biomedical engineering from the University of Southern California.
As with many who continue to achieve after separating from the Air Force, Dr. Lauritsen’s career in badminton and racquetball were part of his active duty life. Dr. Lauritsen, using the varied workout facilities around the Air Force, took part in games of squash, tennis, handball, racquetball, and badminton. His emphasis varying with the tastes of the base he was currently stationed. As evident from his success in the Senior Olympics, however, his skills (and enjoyment) focused on badminton and racquetball.
Surprisingly, it was not until a decade after retiring from the Air Force and settling in New Mexico that Dr. Lauritsen first heard about the Senior Olympics. Once he did however, he began participating as a player, then eventually as a coordinator. As a player, though, Dr. Lauritsen has won multiple awards. Beginning in 1992, his state level awards include the New Mexico gold medals in badminton and racquetball from 1992 through 2009. Outside of New Mexico, Dr. Lauritsen was the 1993 national gold medalist in badminton, silver medalist in racquetball, the 1995 national gold medalist in racquetball, and the 2009 silver medalist in badminton. In addition to his individual achievements, Dr. Lauritsen and his wife were the 2007 national mixed doubled badminton champions. These accomplishments, combined with his efforts for the Senior Olympics, worked to earn him the title of 2009 Outstanding Male Golden Athlete.
Today, Dr. Lauritsen resides with his wife in Albuquerque, NM.