Honorary M.S. degree granted to crash victim

by Merritt Beckett
Staff Writer

Air Force 1st Lt. Carlos Arriaga, a business organization management major at the ULV residence center at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska, was awarded an honorary master’s degree by a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees following his death on Sept. 22.

Arriaga was killed in a military plane crash that claimed 24 lives.

The plane, an Airborne Warning and Command System flight (AWCS), went down during take off from Elmendorf approximately a quarter of a mile before the end of the runway.

“The left two engines of the AWCS were on fire and the craft exploded upon impact with the ground, killing everyone on board,” said Dr. Ray Johnson, associate dean of the School of Continuing Education.

The suspected cause of the crash was contact with a flock of geese, which were sucked in to the plane’s engines.

“An official cause has not yet been released,” said Jeanette Brody, director of the Elmendorf residence center.

Brody is pleased with the granting of the honorary degree.

“It is a very appropriate event that has added a positive dimension to the otherwise very tragic circumstance,” said Brody.

“It is always sad to lose a ULV student and particularly in such a tragic accident. The Board of Trustees was pleased to recognize his attachment to ULV and the work he had completed in our program,” said President Stephen Morgan.

Arriaga is survived by his parents, Rasindo and Maria Arriaga, his brother Andre and his sister Ana.

Members of the Anchorage, Alaska, community have donated food and clothing to the family.

Merritt Beckett
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