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President of Murray State College Killed in Accident


Services are pending for the president of Murray State College, who died when his vehicle collided with another vehicle, authorities said.

William D. Pennington, 64, was killed about 11:30 p.m. Saturday in an accident on U.S. 270, about two miles east of Arpelar, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol reported.

His vehicle was headed west when an eastbound car swerved to avoid debris in the road, colliding head-on with Pennington’s car, troopers said. He died at the scene.

Pennington’s wife, Martha, 55, an East Central University professor, was flown by medical helicopter to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, the patrol said. Her condition was not immediately available.

Pennington became president of Murray State in 2004. Before then, he had been dean and professor of history at Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Enid campus since 1997. Before that, he was the dean of humanities and social sciences on the main campus in Alva.

He also worked in administrative roles at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Ark., The University Center at Tulsa, Tulsa Community College and William Woods College in Fulton, Mo.

Donna Graves, a spokeswoman for Murray State College, said Pennington was “instrumental in creating legacies for the college.”

“His love and desire to restore the beauty, history and innovative progress of the college was a driving force of his administration,” Graves said.

Pennington was born in Anadarko and raised in Duncan. He received his bachelor’s degree in history and secondary education from the University of Tulsa. He also received his master’s degree in history from the University of Tulsa before going on to the University of Oklahoma, where he received his doctorate in history.

He married his wife, Martha, on July 7.

Pennington is survived by his son David Pennington and daughters, Martha Link and Mallory Roark.

–Associated Press

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