The AAPG Foundation is rock solid, thanks largely to a special group of contributors known as the AAPG Foundation’s Trustee Associates.
Since 1978, this group of geoscience professionals has supported the Foundation’s educational, charitable and scientific initiatives that bolster many fields of geoscience – while at the same time enjoying a special, one-of-a-kind camaraderie.
The generous nature of geologists pairs well with the aim of the Trustee Associates: men and women who enjoy the friendship of fellow geoscientists – and also are committed to positively impacting earth science education efforts and initiatives across the world.
Over the last 36 years, countless earth science teachers, university students, professors and various geoscience educational initiatives have benefitted from their generosity.haa
They are the Foundation’s greatest group of supporters and keenest advocates, ensuring that geoscientists of tomorrow have the tools to ensure their success today.
The late Merrill Haas, a former Trustee and longtime Foundation supporter, captured the history behind the concept of the Trustee Associates in a letter he wrote late in his career.
Haas believed there was a fundamental vision underlying the goals of the group: They wanted to provide an opportunity for those who have benefitted from the geosciences a good way to pay it forward.
In his letter, Haas shared that fellow geoscientist and Foundation supporter Dean McGee suggested the organization create an affiliation patterned after another group of which he was a member.
McGee recommended that the members meet annually, provide input into Foundation affairs, sponsor projects and socialize together.
Haas proposed the name “Trustee Associates,” and the group was announced at a Foundation development dinner at the Plimsoll Club in New Orleans on May 22, 1976.
Designed to Wear Many Hats
The Trustee Associates program was designed to provide a platform for interested participants to bolster the Foundation’s ability to reach its goals and objectives, and to provide a way to recognize those individuals who provided substantial financial support.
The group also was shaped to serve as an advisory body to counsel the governing members of the Foundation, the Board of Trustees.
The plan was set. The group would meet annually, at which time new Trustee Associates would be recognized.
The group’s first annual meeting was held in May 1978 at Shangri-La Resort, Monkey Island, Okla., shortly after the dedication of the AAPG Weeks Energy Resources Tower in Tulsa.
Membership totaled 67 supporters, and 31 Trustee Associates attended the first annual meeting. The requisite contribution at that time was $2,500.
Today membership has grown to nearly 280 Trustee Associates, with nearly 100 members attending the annual business meeting at a location selected by the event’s chairman.
This fall the meeting will take the group to Austin, Texas, to discover and enjoy the “City of the Violet Crown.”
In addition to conducting business, the members will enjoy field trips of geologic interest, historic tours, visits to local wineries and more.
This year’s chairman Jay Henthorne and his wife, Mary Beth, will host a special dinner and awards ceremony. Also, the Foundation will formally recognize top honors given to two stellar Trustee Associates, Bob Ardell and Michael Wisda, both of whom were recognized with the Trustee Associates Service Award for outstanding support and service to the Foundation.
The 2015 meeting will whisk the group to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., and in 2016 they will meet at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel off the Kahala Coast in Hawaii.
The Trustee Associates play a stellar role in the continued development of the Foundation’s financial resources.
Membership is by invitation by other Trustee Associates. Prerequisites are AAPG membership; a $15,000 contribution to the AAPG Foundation; the sponsorship of three Trustee Associates.
The group supports more than 30 funds and programs, including educational programs, awards, publications, lectureships, fellowships and digital resources.
If you are interested in learning more about the programs that they support, or in securing an invitation for membership, contact [email protected]; or call toll free, 1-855-302-2743, or 918-560-2664.