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ASU mourns fallen soldier, former Sun Devil

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 said.

“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

Media Contact:
Sarah Auffret, (480) 965-6991


For related stories about Pat Tillman, visit

Congressional Record Tributes

Photo Gallery: ASU Remembers Pat Tillman

ASU mourns fallen soldier, top student, Sun Devil star















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