Southeastern News

Retired business executive Frank Semple offers remarks at Massey Lectureship

Frank Semple makes a point during his lecture Tuesday morning.

Frank Semple makes a point during his lecture Tuesday morning.

DURANT, Okla. – Retired business executive Frank Semple returned to his roots Tuesday as the speaker at the 15th John Massey Family Lectureship, held at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.

Semple is retired Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of
MarkWest Energy Partners, L.P. He is a member of the boards of directors of Marathon Petroleum Corporation and MPLX GP LLC.

A native of Stillwater, Oklahoma, Semple and his parents (longtime veterinarian Dr. Bill Semple and wife Jane) moved to Durant when he was an infant. Semple was a standout student and athlete at Durant High School, participating in football, basketball, baseball, andtennis.

The 1970 DHS graduate was also a member of the National Honor Society and an Eagle Scout.

He was appointed to the United States Naval Academy by Speaker of the House Carl Albert, following in the military footsteps of his father, who was a decorated pilot. Frank’s older brother, Billy, was also accepted into the Academy.

Semple earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Naval Academy, and completed the Program for Management Development at Harvard Business School.

Speaking to an audience of 300 students, faculty, staff and community members, Semple fondly recalled his days of growing up in Durant and the positive influence it had on his life.

“My father had a profoundimpact on me,’’ Semple said. “He was my role model growing up.  And as far back as junior high, I knew I wanted go into a military academy.’’

Semple went on to provide an overview of his business career, and then took a number of questions from the audience.

Attending the lecture were several members of the Semple family, including Frank’s wife, Dr. Robin Semple, and two sisters, Janie Umsted and Susan Owens, along with friends from the Durant community.

The Lectureship was established in 1994 by a gift from the John Massey family and matched by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education Endowment Fund Program.