The AAPG Foundation has announced a $9.4 million donation from geologist, businessman and entrepreneur T. Boone Pickens to develop a GIS digital geology consortium between AAPG and Oklahoma State University.
The gift from the T. Boone Pickens Foundation is designated to create the first consortium of its kind, designed to produce digital GIS products through OSU’s geology and geography department and be made available to professionals and the public via AAPG’s intranet database.
The gift comprises $240,000 per year for 10 years, plus a gift of $7 million provided in Pickens’ will as a legal testament. It is one of the largest single bequeaths the AAPG Foundation has ever received.
The bequeath pushes the AAPG Foundation fund-raising campaign to $23 million toward a goal of $35 million.(see related article) The Foundation supports educational, charitable and scientific objectives that directly and indirectly benefit the geologic professional and general public.
Pickens, an internationally known businessman and philanthropist, is a native of Holdenville, Okla., a graduate of OSU and has been a member of AAPG since 1954. He presently chairs the hedge fund BP Capital Management.
The funds will provide operating capital for the Boone Pickens Digital Geology Fund to provide geologic, scientific and resource information to the general public via a map-based format researched and compiled through graduate geology students. The project also will benefit students by providing industry-specific research projects published in industry-friendly formats, enhancing their skill set and boosting their desirability as graduates.
“I like making money,” Pickens has said. “I like giving it away … not as much as I like making it, but it’s a close second. I firmly believe one of the reasons I was put on this Earth was to make money and be generous with it. And that’s what I’ve continually tried to do.”
The breadth of Pickens’ philanthropy – more than $600 million during his career – includes health and medical research, treatment and services, entrepreneurship, kids at risk, education and athletics – with a particular focus on his alma mater, Oklahoma State University – corporate health and fitness, and conservation and wildlife management.