Danielle Thiriot '07 rowed for the Radcliffe heavyweight crew during her four years in Cambridge (photo Harvard Athletic Communications).
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Surrounding the Harvard-Yale football game each year come numerous events, and enjoyable functions. Within the game itself exist considerable moving parts. One of those parts Saturday will be moving in excess of 400 miles per hour as the United States Navy provides a flyover as part of the National Anthem before the game.
The lead pilot in an F/A-18 Superhornet will be 2007 Harvard graduate Lieutenant Danielle Thiriot and she will be joined by Lieutenant Camille Wilson. After completing the flyover, the pilots will return to Harvard Stadium at halftime with the Honorable Ray Mabus, the U.S. Secretary of the Navy.
We invite you to cover your ears as needed when the flyover approaches from the closed, or bowl end, of the Stadium. And please join us at halftime in thanking our servicemen and women for their service to our great country.
While at Harvard, Thiriot was a resident of Quincy House and was a member of the Radcliffe rowing team under head coach Liz O'Leary.
Thiriot was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy on June 6, 2007 in Harvard Yard on the steps of Memorial Church before graduating the following day. She attended the U.S. Navy Aviation Pre-flight Indoctrination in Pensacola, Fla.
After completing Primary flight training in the T-34C at NAS Corpus Christi, Texas, Thiriot moved to Kingsville, Texas for advanced jet training in the T-45C Goshawk. She earned her "wings of gold" on May 14, 2010 after completing her first carrier qualification on-board the USS John C. Stennis, officially joining the "tailhook" Navy (those who have trapped on an aircraft carrier.)
Thiriot stayed at NAS Kingsville for an additional year as an instructor pilot in the T-45 before flying the F/A-18 Superhornet in May of 2011 and joining the VFA-81 SUNLINERS in June, 2012. The SUNLINERS just returned from a deployment on-board the USS Carl Vinson in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
Thiriot's husband, Matthew Huber, is a US Air Force C-130 pilot and a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Her parents, Paul and Mary Thiriot, will also attend Saturday's game after traveling from their home in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Lieutenant Wilson is a graduate of the US Navy Fighter Weapons School- TOP GUN and is a Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor (SFTI). She is a 2001 graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. and a native of Pittsburg, Pa.
As Secretary, of the Navy, Ray Mabus leads America's Navy and Marine Corps and is responsible for an annual budget in excess of $150 billion and almost 900,000 people.
Prior to joining the administration of President Barack Obama, Mabus served in a variety of top posts in government and the private sector. In 1987, Mabus was elected Governor of Mississippi.
Secretary Mabus is a native of Ackerman, Miss. and received a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Mississippi, a Master's Degree from Johns Hopkins University, and a Law Degree from Harvard Law School. He has been awarded the U.S. Department of Defense Distinguished Public Service Award, the U.S. Army's distinguished Civilian Service Award, the Martin Luther King Social Responsibility Award from the King Center in Atlanta, the National Wildlife Federation Conservation Achievement Award, the King Abdul Aziz Award from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Mississippi Association of Educators' Friend of Education Award.
LT Camille "PINC" Wilson (callsign is PINC) United States Navy
|LT Danielle "PURPLE" Thiriot (callsign is PURPLE) United States Navy
VFA-81 SUNLINERS (based at Naval Air Station Oceana Virginia Beach, VA)
F/A-18E Superhornet (US Navy's primary carrier based fighter-attack aircraft)
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Harvard College 2007
Quincy House / Radcliffe Crew
Concentration: Government and Religious Studies