From the Science and Math Wall of Honor Induction Ceremony at McMurry University:
W. L. Magnuson grew up on a farm near Brady, Texas. He received the B.A. degree in Chemistry and Mathematics from McMurry College in 1959, graduating magna cum laude, and the Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Kansas University in 1963. From 1963-1969, he was assistant professor of chemistry at McMurry. In addition to teaching, he supervised undergraduate research through grants from the Research Corporation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation.
In 1969, he assumed the chairmanship of the Chemistry Department at Kentucky Wesleyan College.
Dr. Magnuson co-authored numerous grant proposals, resulting in funding in scientific equipment purchases and in the directorship of several National Science Foundation Science Training Programs in Chemistry for high school students across the nation. In 1983, he conducted research in the area of organometallic chemistry at Vanderbilt University.
Throughout his academic career, he has tried to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, Dr. W. Norton Jones, Jr., by promoting careers in chemistry and chemistry-related areas and assisting students to gain admission to graduate and health science professional schools. Thirty of the graduates have received the Ph.D. degree in chemistry and more than 100 have received other advanced degrees.
Among his recognitions at Kentucky Wesleyan are the Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award, the Gus E. Paris Distinguished Service Award and the Presidential Leadership Award. He currently serves as treasurer of the Indiana-Kentucky Border Section of the American Chemical Society. He is married to Kirsten Ahnell and is the father of Dr. Barbara Magnuson Woodward and Justin Magnuson.