A COLLEGE president has said a professor killed in a crash on the M40 will be 'terribly missed'. 

Leading academics and the president of Corpus Christi College have paid tribute to Oxford University lecturer Dr Mark Whittow after he died at the weekend. 

Dr Whittow is believed to have died in a collision on the M40 on Saturday, in which a 29-year-old man from Warwickshire was also killed.

Oxford Mail:

The 60-year-old medieval historian and archaeologist was last month appointed the next Provost of Oriel College - a role he was due to take on from September next year.

Oriel College's flag was flown at half mast following the news and the college also paid tribute to the man who began his academic teaching there and was due to return next year.

It said: "Mark taught generations of Oriel students and we were looking forward to welcoming him as the College’s next Provost in September 2018.

"A huge loss, and our thoughts are with his family."

Academics from around the country and across the world, as well as former students, paid tribute to the Corpus Christi College professor of Byzantine Studies.

Corpus Christi president Steve Cowley said “Corpus has taken the news of Mark’s death very hard.   

"Mark was a deeply likable man, someone who was generous with his time and concern for other people –  one of those rare individuals who plays such a large part in conjuring that mysterious alchemy that helps complicated communities like ours to work.

"Selfishly, we were not looking forward to the time when he was to move to Oriel, but now ours is a much deeper sorrow, rooted in the knowledge that we shall never again have the pleasure of spending time in Mark’s company.

"We send our deepest condolences to his wife Helen and his family, as well as those many people around Oxford and beyond into whose lives Mark brought such enormous pleasure as well as sharing with them his deep understanding of the Byzantine world. We are all going to miss him terribly.”

The head of philosophy and theology at Rugby School, Dan McLean, said: "Desperately sad news of the death of Dr Mark Whittow, a man of culture and extraordinary scholarship, killed just after it was announced he was to be the next Provost of Oriel.

"An extremely sad day."

A former student of Dr Whittow's, Fergus Butler-Gallie, tweeted: "He was an inspiration to countless historians across the years and, personally, crucial in encouraging my vocation.

"Oxford has lost one of its very best."

Dr Whittow joined Corpus Christi in 2009 having been a Fellow and lecturer at St Peter's College since 1998.

Did you know Dr Whittow? Send your tributes here

As an archaeologist he worked in Turkey and Jordan, running a field project surveying Byzantine castles in Turkey through the 1990s.

In his early life he was an undergraduate at Trinity College, Oxford - studying modern history and also taught at Kings College, London and Reading University.

Professor Robert Ian Moore, a professor emeritus of history at Newcastle University, said: "Mark Whittow is a great loss.

"A scholar of vigour, charm and learning."

Police and ambulance crews were called to the northbound carriageway of the M40 near Banbury at about 11.40pm on Saturday.

Two men died and another was taken to hospital with serious leg injuries.