A fallen soldier receives his degree

A fallen soldier received his degree from Western Illinois University Saturday, more than eight months after his death.

Dustin Whitaker died from a motorcycle accident in Keokuk, Iowa on Sunday, April 1, 2012.

Whitaker began working toward a Bachelor's Degree in Veterinary Science 7-years-ago. Saturday, WIU Provost Dr. Kenneth Hawkinson said it was important that they honor Whitaker with the Posthumous Undergraduate Degree this year along with his Bachelor's Degree.

Whitaker's mother and son accepted his degree on stage during Saturday's ceremony.

Whitaker served two tours over seas for the National Guard. He served from 2004 to 2005 in Iraq and from 2010 to 2011 in Afghanistan.

This is the fourth year WIU has awarded a Posthumous Undergraduate Degree to a student's family.