Iowa State University

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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, manager,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

09-07-04

Contacts:

Kim Schroeder, College of Business, (515) 294-5800

Pat Miller, Lectures, (515) 294-9935

Annette Hacker, News Service (515) 294-3720

Remembering 9/11: ISU alumnus returns to share first-hand experience from the Pentagon

AMES, Iowa -- An Iowa State University alumnus who went above and beyond in the face of terrorism during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon will be on campus Thursday to share his experience.

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson was a member of the Air Force Crisis Action Team, a disaster response group, during the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the Pentagon. He will speak on Thursday, Sept. 9 at 8 p.m. in the Great Hall, Memorial Union, on the Iowa State campus. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Swanson was in the basement of the Pentagon when the attacks occurred and immediately carried out the rescue plan he had helped to create. After the Pentagon was evacuated, Swanson and his fellow team members remained behind to continue the Air Force rescue and response. When thick smoke eventually entered their location, he helped evacuate Air Force leaders and other team members to a safer location.

Swanson received the Air Force Commendation Medal for his selfless acts. He was among 28 Air Force men and women recognized as heroes in an April 2002 ceremony in the Pentagon courtyard.

"These are people who ran around the corner of the building and straight into the fire to help those in need," Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. John P. Jumper said during the awards ceremony. "They did so because it was the right thing to do, and they did so at the risk of personal injury and death."

Swanson received his bachelor's degree in marketing from Iowa State University in 1983. He was a distinguished graduate from the ISU Air Force ROTC and was commissioned in the Air Force following graduation. Today, he is chief of Fiscal Control and the Integration Branch, Air Combat Command, United States Air Force.

Swanson's Sept. 9 appearance is sponsored by ISU's College of Business and the Committee on Lectures.

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Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson
For a print quality photo contact News Service at 294-3720

Quick look

Lt. Col. Matthew Swanson, a 1983 graduate, returns to Iowa State this Thursday to give a first-hand account of the 9/11 attacks on the Pentagon.