Arizona State University is mourning the loss of ASU graduate
Pat Tillman, who has been killed in Afghanistan while serving his
country with the Army Rangers.
Tillman was a consummate student-athlete, graduating summa cum
laude in 1997 with a degree in marketing and a 3.84 grade point
average. He was a linebacker with the Sun Devil football team 1994-97
and was the Pac-10 defensive player of the year in 1997.
He was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998, and turned down
a lucrative new contract with the Cardinals in 2001 to serve his
country in the U.S. Army. Those who knew him weren’t surprised
by his decision to serve but were shocked by the news of his death.
“I knew Pat well, and he exemplified all that it means
to be a scholar-athlete,” said Christine Wilkinson, ASU senior
vice president and secretary. “Pat was so grounded, he always
had a direction and set high goals for himself. He was quite impacted
by the events of September 11, 2001 , and when he joined the Army
he volunteered for an elite Ranger unit at the highest level of
risk, which was characteristic of Pat.
“His drive for excellence was at the core of everything
he did. He not only competed at every single level, he achieved
at the highest levels and on his own terms, both in the classroom
and on the football field. He was a leader. We are thankful for
his sacrifice but so saddened by this tremendous loss,” Wilkinson
“Pat Tillman was an outstanding ASU graduate who understood
that we are in a global war, and he volunteered to be part of that,” said
ASU President Michael Crow. “He fully understood the risks,
yet he went to defend his country, and he gave up his life. Pat
was an extraordinary young man who brought credit to us all.”
Flags are flying at half-staff throughout the university and
the state. As plans unfold for special remembrances of Tillman
at ASU, an announcement will be made. Crow and the university community
send their thoughts and prayers to Tillman’s family and friends
throughout the country.
Photo Gallery: ASU Remembers Pat Tillman
Sarah Auffret, (480) 965-6991