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Last updated 8:40AM ET
March 5, 2021
Former Auburn President Walker Dies
(APR - Alabama Public Radio ) - Former Auburn University president William F. Walker has died, a spokeswoman for the school said Tuesday.

Deedie Dowdle said the school received word of Walker's death Tuesday morning, but details were not immediately available. The university planned to release a statement later in the day, she said.

"We're very saddened by the news," Dowdle said. "He has worked tirelessly with Auburn and has donated funds and scholarships after his retirement. He will certainly be missed."

Walker was chosen as interim president in 2001 to replace William Muse and was named to the position permanently in June 2002.

He resigned 19 months later after growing criticism for his clandestine search for a new football coach.

The Sherman, Texas, native was a professor of mechanical engineering and department chairman at Rice University in Houston from 1965 to 1988, when he became dean of Auburn's College of Engineering in 1988.

In 1998, he was named co-chair of a special committee created by the Board of Trustees to examine university governance and priorities. He served as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Auburn before being named interim president.

Dowdle said Walker and his wife began the William F. and Myrna Walker Family Endowment for Scholarships to help freshmen and sophomores attending the university.

"He will certainly leave a positive legacy for future generations," she said.

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