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West campus parents present Pat Tillman artwork to fitness center

June 19, 2009

Pat Tillman’s legacy – a student-athlete at Arizona State University who played football for the Sun Devils and went on to play professionally with the hometown Cardinals before enlisting in the U.S. Army Rangers to serve in Afghanistan where he lost his life – has found a home at the university’s West campus.

Inspirational artwork featuring Tillman, who graduated with a marketing degree from ASU in three-and-a-half years with a 3.84 GPA, has been donated to the West campus and will be displayed in the Diablo Performance Recreation Center in the University Center Building (UCB).  Tillman is pictured as a knight in armor astride a high-stepping stallion and carrying an American flag.

The idea of such a tribute to Tillman is the brainchild of Michael and Tina Quaintance, whose daughters Kyren and Lindsey will be sophomores in the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the West campus during the upcoming 2009-2010 academic year.

“Pat Tillman was not only a gifted athlete, he was the complete student,” says Quaintance, who is a sales executive at Walco International in Chandler.  “He realized the importance of education and the power of knowledge.  This is what made him stand out above the other athletes.”

Quaintance developed the idea when his daughters reported no such recognition of Tillman’s legacy could be found at the West campus.  Included in the design, which was created by Manuel Salas of Salas Graphics, are the Latin phrases “Pro Patrias” (for one’s country) and “Sua Sponte” (of one’s own accord), as well as recognition of his wife Marie, his California roots, his years at ASU and with the Cardinals, and the Army Rangers insignia.  Also featured is a reference to King Baldwin IV, who ruled Jerusalem from 1174 to 1185 and was known for his wisdom and sensible rule.

“The king and Pat Tillman had the same conviction in life and the same purpose,” says Quaintance.  “Even though they were two different men from two different times, they shared like personalities.  They are men of action and men of purpose.”

The Quaintances boast an artistic proclivity.  Kyren is majoring in graphic design and pursuing a minor in English.  Lindsey is a fine arts major.

“Tina can draw and paint,” says Michael.  “Lindsey can draw, paint and sculpt.  Kyren and I have the ideas, but we don’t have the gifts to paint, draw or sculpt.  But, Kyren’s graphic design knowledge and the computer have helped us to be more artistic and express our creativity.”

Meanwhile, Keith Munson, director of the fitness center, is happy to have the artwork and share it with the center’s many members.

“This is a wonderful gesture and a welcome addition to the center,” says Munson, who has recently overseen an aggressive renovation and expansion program at the facility.  “Pat Tillman’s story and his legacy are inspirational; he set such an example for all of us.

“Now, he can continue to serve as an inspiration to those using our facilities, thanks to the Quaintance family.”