Devon Energy Corporation Gift Announcement
Oklahoma State University has received a $2.3 million gift from Devon Energy Corporation of Oklahoma City to create a world-class geological laboratory and establish scholarship programs in geology and engineering.
The 3,300-square-foot Devon Energy Geology Laboratory will be located in the Boone Pickens School of Geology at the Noble Research Center on the Stillwater campus. The lab will be one of the most advanced in the nation and will embrace teaching methods that involve a unique industry-university partnership in training the geologists of tomorrow. The $1.5 million lab will become operational in the fall 2005.
“We thank Devon Energy for this generous leadership gift, which will provide our faculty with an exceptional teaching laboratory and our students with an unrivaled learning experience,” said Dr. David J. Schmidly, OSU System CEO and President. “With the new technologically advanced laboratory and resources, the Devon Laboratory will help OSU transform the university’s geology program into one of the best in the country.”
The Devon Laboratory will facilitate interaction between student recipients and Devon geoscientists working on real-world projects in the field. This unique industry-university partnership supports OSU’s collaborative and problem-solving tradition in geological studies and will sharpen students’ analytical skills.
“As we enhance the lives of our students through leading-edge facilities and increased scholarships, they will in turn create innumerable benefits for business, industry and our society as a whole,” Schmidly said.
Devon Chief Executive Officer Larry Nichols said the company is grateful for the opportunity to strengthen its partnership with OSU.
Nichols, who holds a degree in geology, said today’s geoscientists are tackling the most technologically challenging barriers the energy industry has ever encountered.
“Much of North America’s oil and gas has been discovered, and those reserves are maturing and on the decline,” Nichols said. “While significant reservoirs remain, many are deep below the Earth’s surface or locked within complex geological structures that have eluded our reach for decades.”
“Industry and teaching institutions must continue pushing the limits of technology to keep pace with the world’s growing demand for energy,” he said. “Joint projects like the Devon Laboratory are critical in our effort to prepare future geoscientists for the formidable challenges that lie ahead.”
The laboratory will include an advanced graphic station, screens, projectors and Ethernet links enabling the use of cutting-edge technology with real-time, high-speed Internet access. In addition, two-way communication between the laboratory and Devon research teams through the use of SmartBoards will enhance interaction between Devon geoscientists and OSU students and faculty.
“The Devon Laboratory will make a huge impact on the Boone Pickens School of Geology at a critical time when we are developing plans to grow our faculty and our undergraduate and graduate programs,” said Dr. Peter Sherwood, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “The new scholarships will help us attract the best students into our growing undergraduate program while the graduate fellowship program will make a substantial impact on our plans to expand the scope of our graduate program.”
“The Devon Laboratory will be pivotal to future developments in the school,” Sherwood said. “It will provide new space which is essential because nearly two-thirds of the undergraduate courses in the School of Geology have a laboratory component. The unique partnership that we will develop with Devon Energy will shape the training of our undergraduate and graduate geologists, allowing OSU to embrace new opportunities in geology education and research.”
In addition, the establishment of the Devon Energy Scholars Program will ensure the professional, personal and academic development of students through the funding of graduate fellowships and undergraduate scholarships for geology. While most of the Devon gift is going to the Boone Pickens School of Geology, the Devon Energy Scholars Program also will provide undergraduate scholarships to engineering students.
“We are excited to receive this generous contribution that will establish more than a scholarship program, but truly an enrichment program that will allow us to recruit the best and the brightest and train these students to be future leaders for companies like Devon Energy,” said Dr. Karl Reid, Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology.
Devon Energy Corporation is the largest U.S.-based independent oil and gas producer and one of the largest independent processors of natural gas and natural gas liquids in North America. The company believes that investing in these and other charitable initiatives will help the people, organizations and communities in areas where they operate to grow and succeed.