Fund set up to send MTSU graduate home

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. -- An account has been established at SunTrust Bank to help defray funeral expenses for a Middle Tennessee State University graduate killed in a traffic crash.

Philip Akoto, a 33-year-old mathematical sciences major who received his master’s degree in May, died when his vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer Dec.14 at the intersection of Joe B. Jackson Parkway and Elam Road in Murfreesboro.

“Philip (Akoto) was a gentle and kind young man,” said Rebecca Calahan, one of Akoto’s professors. “As a mathematics graduate teaching assistant from August 2011 to May 2013, Philip worked as a mathematics tutor and helped many MTSU students.”

Akoto, a native of Kumani, Ghana, was on his way to work at Amazon Fulfillment Center on Joe B. Jackson Parkway when the incident occurred.

The cause of the accident is still under investigation.

He is survived by a sister who lives in Ghana and an uncle who lives in New York, N.Y.

Richard Ewool, a graduate teaching assistant in the Center for Computational Sciences, and George Obeng, an instructor in the College of University Studies, have established a fund to raise money to send Akoto’s body home to Ghana.

“He kept to himself,” Obeng said. “He loved soccer and sports and was very generous.”

Ewool, who was Akoto’s roommate, shared a quote Akoto had posted on his Facebook page that Ewool said revealed his love of God.

It reads, “The loss of gold is great/The loss of health is more/But losing Christ is such a loss/As no man can restore.”

For more information about the Philip Akoto Benefit Account, contact Dustin Vernon at SunTrust Bank at 615-848-2447 or  email him at

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Charity, Ghana, MTSU, Murfreesboro, Philip Akoto, SunTrust Bank
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