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President of ASU Responds to Pat Tillman Posters

This is in reference to the recent post about a Arizona State University professor using Corporal Pat Tillman's picture and a falsely attributed message from Tillman to make an anti-war statement.

Dan P. received this message from Michael Crow, the President of ASU.


Thank you for your e-mail regarding Dr. John Leaños’ recent public display of anti-war posters featuring Cpl. Pat Tillman. In response, I am compelled to state unequivocally that I personally found Dr. Leaños’ decision to use Pat’s likeness and fictional first-person narrative as the vehicle for his message to be offensive and insensitive to the Tillman family. Furthermore, I wish to clarify that the ASU administration had no prior knowledge that the posters in question were going to be created or displayed. In keeping with our university’s longstanding tradition of academic freedom and integrity, a comprehensive administrative review of this matter has already been initiated.

As always, ASU continues to be enormously proud of its affiliation with Pat Tillman. Pat’s spirit, talent and noble sacrifice represent the very best of ASU and we were fortunate to count him among our Sun Devil family. Since his untimely passing, ASU has hosted a memorial service in Pat’s honor, joined with the Arizona Cardinals to create the Pat Tillman Memorial Scholarship in the W.P. Carey School of Business, and will soon retire Pat’s jersey (#42) at the ASU/Washington State football game on November 13, 2004. ASU representatives have also agreed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Pat Tillman Foundation. As ideas are considered regarding the establishment of a permanent memorial, you can be certain that ASU’s respectful acknowledgement of his memory will continue for many years to come.

Once again, I very much appreciate your direct communication on this issue and your continued allegiance to Pat’s legacy.

Michael M. Crow
President
Arizona State University

Quite frankly, that's a better response than I expected from an academic institution. I think that both Dan and I believe that President Crow's message is one of more compassion and apology than you would find elsewhere.

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