July 20, 2008

Higher Education Briefs: Samson Donates $1 Million to OSU

By Tulsa World, Okla.

Jul. 20--The Tulsa-based oil and gas exploration and production business Samson Investment Co. has donated $1 million for Oklahoma State University to help re-establish a minor in petroleum engineering through the creation of an endowed "super chair," OSU announced this month.

The donation will be matched by Boone Pickens' recent $100 million gift to OSU and then by the state, which matched donations for endowed faculty jobs dollar-for-dollar until July 1, when the law changed. Samson gave to OSU before the deadline and contributed to the $66.8 million fundraising results that OSU announced last week.

Endowments for faculty jobs pay professors' salaries and other expenses with the interest from investments, leaving the principal intact to perpetually fund the jobs.

Samson Chairman and CEO Stacy Schusterman said OSU offered a petroleum engineering minor in the 1980s until the oil and gas industry slipped, according to an OSU press release.

"We are pleased that OSU recognized the need to offer a petroleum engineering minor to its students selecting other engineering majors to expand the knowledge base and options for these students career-wise within the oil and

gas industry with companies such as Samson," Schusterman said in the news release.

The new minor will include five classes to better prepare students who want to work in the petroleum field, the release said. OSU's forthcoming interdisciplinary petroleum engineering program is also slated to include research for graduate students.

Devon gives OSU geology $1 million

Devon Energy Corp. donated $1 million to Oklahoma State University to further research and teaching about the formation and evolution of sedimentary basins, where fuel sources are often found.

The donation will create an endowed chair in geology, which will perpetually pay for a professor's salary and job-related needs, according to an OSU press release. Alumnus and oilman Boone Pickens' recent $100 million donation to OSU will match Devon's gift, and then the state will match the sum.

The research conducted by the person hired for the job will benefit both industry and students, who will participate in research and may go on to work for energy companies, said Jay Gregg, head of OSU's Boone Pickens School of Geology.

"There is a great shortage right now (of) geoscientists," Gregg said. " Right now, geology's a good field to be going into."

Devon has given more than $2.3 million to OSU since 2004, partially to establish the Devon Energy Geology Laboratory to help prepare students for the work force, the news release said.


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