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Donor McClendon, Trinity '81, dies in car crash day after indictment

<p>McClendon Tower in Keohane Quadrangle is named for Aubrey McClendon, Trinity' 81. McClendon died Wednesday.</p>

McClendon Tower in Keohane Quadrangle is named for Aubrey McClendon, Trinity' 81. McClendon died Wednesday.

Police have confirmed that Aubrey McClendon, Trinity '81 and the co-founder and former chief executive officer of Chesapeake Energy Corp., was killed in a car wreck early Wednesday morning, according to multiple reports.

McClendon and his wife, Katie McClendon, Trinity '80, donated more than $16 million to the University. Both McClendon Tower in Keohane Quadrangle and the commons in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions are named for the couple.

In a news conference Wednesday, Oklahoma police said that McClendon was found dead after driving into a wall at a high rate of speed.

McClendon, 56, died one day after he was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiring to rig the prices of oil and gas leases in Oklahoma.

McClendon had contested the charges against him in a statement Tuesday evening, stating that he would fight to prove his innocence and clear his name, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Gifts from the McClendons also helped support the plaza and Divinity School chapel.

"Aubrey McClendon was passionate about his family, his business and Duke University," President Richard Brodhead said in a statement. "His generosity helped transform Duke in ways large and small, from his commitment to enhancing student life on campus, to his support for the Duke Chapel, to his love of Duke athletics. We grieve with Katie, Will, Callie and Jack, as we also celebrate his legacy at Duke and beyond." 

Rachel Chason contributed reporting. This story was updated at 4:40 p.m. Wednesday to include President Brodhead's comment. 

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