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Purdue remembers Neil Armstrong, 82

Sam Klemet
WBAA Radio

The Purdue community is remembering the life of its most famous and well traveled alumnus.

Neil Armstrong, 82, passed away Saturday due to complications from cardiovascular procedures.  The 1955 Purdue graduate became the first man to walk on the moon on July 20, 1969.

"I don't think you could find a person at Purdue, alumnus, faculty, staff, student who didn't understand what he meant to Purdue, but to the world," said acting Purdue President Tim Sands.  "I don't think you could find a group on campus that doesn't relate to him and won't miss him."

Flags are flying at half-staff around campus in honor of the legendary astronaut.

Sands noted that throughout his life and travels, Armstrong never lost touch with the Purdue community.

"I think most of our students have either had a direct experience with him or certainly understand his legacy and felt like he was part of the Purdue family and not a distant memory," said Sands.  "He was present which was really important."

Armstrong earned a bachelor's degree  in aeronautical engineering in 1955 and Purdue awarded him an honorary doctorate in engineering in 1970. 

Sands said the university is planning a ceremony this week to remember the Boilermaker and astronaut's life.  Armstrong's fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, is holding a candlelight vigil in his honor Saturday night.

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