TISHOMINGO, Okla. -- Condolences and prayers continue to go to out to the students and faculty at Murray State College in Tishomingo.
Dr. William Pennington, the president of the college, died over the weekend. Pennington and his wife were involved in a car accident near McAlester.
Marty Pennington was taken to a Tulsa hospital.
A memorial ceremony has been planned for Wednesday afternoon at two o’clock in the Fletcher Auditorium.
A memorial has also been set up at the Student Union Building on campus.
From the weekend...
TISHOMINGO, Okla.—The Murray State College community is mourning the loss of its president, Dr. William Pennington. Pennington was killed in a car accident near McAlester late Saturday night, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Pennington, 64, and his wife, Marty were traveling five miles west of the Indian Nation Turnpike near Arpelar, on Highway 270. A car was swerving to avoid debris in the road, when it veered left of center, hitting Pennington’s car head-on. Pennington died at the scene. according to patrol reports.
Marty was taken to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa where she’s listed in stable condition.
Dr. Pennington served as Murray State’s president since 2004. He was born in Anadarko, Oklahoma, but was raised in Duncan. He is survived by his wife, son David, his daughters Martha Link and Mallory Roark.
Everyone knew Dr. William Pennington as Bill. Not only did he serve as president of Murray State College for the past three years, he was also a leader in the community in more ways than one.
Flags fly at half staff honoring a college president and community leader. Now an entire city mourns the loss of Dr. William Pennington.
"He was like a breath of fresh air to Murray College," said Letha Clark, a family friend.
Others describe him as a likable person with a positive attitude, making great strides for the community.
"He never met a man he didn’t like or that didn’t like him."
Dr. Pennington became the 18th president of Murray State College in 2004, continuously bringing new opportunities for the students.
"He brought the Chautauqua to Murray College. “He was real enthusiastic about next years one hundred years for Murray State College."
Friends describe Pennington as a history buff, receiving his doctorate in history from the University of Oklahoma. He was also involved Johnston County historical society, and often demonstrated his love for Sooner state history. Pennington dressed up as the ninth Governor of Oklahoma during a campus symposium
"Just the willingness to be silly play like and dress up like ‘Alfalfa Bill’ just do his thing keep everyone in stitches were all going to miss him."
His community involvement stretched all across Tishomingo, serving on various committees. Pennington also served as president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce. Even with all those titles, his friends say they'll miss his friendship the most.
"We just talked about things and laugh and joke about it that’s what I’ll miss about him is his friendliness... just Bill being Bill."
Dr. Pennington married his wife Dr. Marty Pederson, this past July. Pederson works as an East Central University professor. He is also survived by his three children: David, Martha, and Mallory.