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Home > News Briefs > Rose Parade Grand Marshal Sully Sullenberger

Tournament of Roses reveals Captain Chesley Sullenberger as 2010 Grand Marshal

Captain of the Miracle on the Hudson exemplifies 2010 Parade theme, A Cut Above the Rest

2010 Rose Parade Grand Marshal Captain Chesley Sully Sullenberger PASADENA, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2009) — The Tournament of Roses revealed today that the heroic pilot who masterfully landed US Airways Flight 1549, Captain Chesley B. "Sully" Sullenberger, III, will serve as the Grand Marshal for the 2010 Tournament of Roses festivities. Themed 2010: A Cut Above the Rest, the 121st Rose Parade will pay tribute to everyday heroes and the effort to always improve and enhance. As Grand Marshal, Sullenberger will ride in the 121st Rose Parade in front of a worldwide television audience, and toss the coin before the 96th Rose Bowl Game on January 1, 2010.

"Captain Sully saved the lives of 155 people and is an excellent example of the everyday American hero," said Jeffrey Throop, acting president of the Tournament of Roses. "With his theme, A Cut Above the Rest, President Gary DiSano wanted to honor those who strive to make every effort better than the last. Sullenberger has certainly shown how we can do that and we are honored to have him host the 2010 festivities."

"It has long been a family tradition to watch the Rose Parade," said Captain Sullenberger. "I am incredibly honored to be named the Grand Marshal of such a revered American institution."

2010 Rose Parade Theme: A Cut Above The Rest Sullenberger became an international hero on January 15, 2009 when he and his crew safely guided US Airways Flight 1549 to an emergency water landing in New York City's frigid Hudson River. The Airbus A320's two engines had lost thrust following a bird strike. He and his crew have won international acclaim for their actions that day, including the passage of a Congressional resolution recognizing their bravery.

Professionally, Sullenberger is an aviation safety expert and accident investigator who also serves as the founder and chief executive officer of Safety Reliability Methods, a consulting company dedicated to management, safety, performance and reliability consulting.

He was born and raised in Denison, Texas. After high school, he enrolled at the United States Air Force Academy to pursue his childhood love of aviation. Recipient of a bachelor's degree from the Academy, Sullenberger majored in psychology. In his graduation year at the Academy, he received the Outstanding Cadet in Airmanship Award. In addition to his bachelor's degree he also has two master's degrees, one in industrial psychology from Purdue University and one in public administration from the University of Northern Colorado.

Upon graduation from the Academy, Sullenberger served as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force from 1975 to 1980. He advanced to become a flight leader and a training officer, attaining the rank of captain. His service in the military stationed him in both North America and Europe.

After serving in the Air Force, Sullenberger became a commercial airline pilot with Pacific Southwest Airlines, which was later acquired by US Airways. He has more than 40 years of flying experience. He has performed accident investigation duties for the United States Air Force, and also served as an Air Line Pilots Association representative during a National Transportation Safety Board investigation. Sullenberger has served as a Local Air Safety Chairman for the Air Line Pilots Association, and as a member of the Air Line Pilots Association national technical committee, his work led to the creation of a Federal Aviation Administration Advisory Circular. He was also instrumental in developing and implementing the Crew Resource Management course that is used by US Airways, and he has taught the course to hundreds of other airline members.

Sullenberger is married to fitness expert and television personality Lorrie Sullenberger. The couple and their two daughters reside in Danville, Calif.

The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade® and Rose Bowl Game® presented by Citi. The 121st Rose Parade themed 2010: A Cut Above The Rest will take place Friday, Jan. 1, 2010, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands. Following the Rose Parade, the 96th Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi will kick off at 2:10 p.m. and feature an exciting match-up between two of the top teams in the country.

On January 7, the Tournament of Roses will also host the No. 1 and No. 2 BCS-ranked teams in the 2010 Citi BCS National Championship Game. The Game will kick off at 5 p.m. (PST) from the historic Rose Bowl Stadium. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses visit the official website at

Text and image courtesy of the Pasadena Tournament of Roses.

Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published or redistributed without permission.