CHICAGO — A Chicago firefighter was honored Friday with a posthumous degree from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale.

Capt. Ronald Regan Jr., 58, died Dec. 19, 2021, following a COVID-19 diagnosis. SIU-Carbondale said he was just one semester away from earning a bachelor’s degree in public safety management.

“Ron was not just a firefighter or captain, he was a friend,” Fire Commissioner Annette Nance-Holt said. “He did so much for everybody else. He never thought about himself.”

His daughter, Qianna, accepted his diploma and spoke on the family’s behalf.

“My dad inspired me, and it’s amazing to see how he inspired others,” she said.

Regan Jr. began his career with CFD in 1996.