Cal Poly awarded a degree Saturday to Carson Starkey, who died of alcohol poisoning more than a decade ago when he was a freshman at the university.
Starkey’s family accepted his degree, a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering, on his behalf, according to a Twitter post from With Us — The National Network for Peer Accountability, the Cal Poly-based organization started by Starkey’s parents.
In the 10 years since Starkey’s death after a Sigma Alpha Epsilon party, his parents, Scott and Julia Starkey, have dedicated their lives to trying to save others.
The Starkeys moved to San Luis Obispo following the tragedy and established a nonprofit, Aware Awake Alive, that aims to create awareness about alcohol poisoning and encourages bystanders to step in.
They have also advocated for medical amnesty laws that grant immunity to minors who seek medical help in emergency situations involving drug and alcohol violations. Without those laws, the couple told The Tribune in November, young people may fear legal consequences and hesitate to get help in a life-threatening situation.
Tribune reporter Nick Wilson contributed to this story.