The AAPG Foundation’s highest honor – a new award intended to recognize “extraordinary philanthropy and service directed to advance the mission of the AAPG Foundation” – will be presented to its first recipient at the AAPG Annual Convention in San Antonio.
The L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal was created and named in honor of one of the most generous benefactors of the Association and the scion of an AAPG giant who was himself a generous benefactor to the Foundation and the Association.
And, the first recipient of the honor is Marta Sutton Weeks, Austin Weeks’ widow, who epitomizes the model of philanthropic endeavors.
She will receive the honor on April 20 in a special presentation at the convention’s opening session.
Marta Weeks, who in 2005 with the then-late L. Austin Weeks, as instructed by terms of his will, made a $10 million unrestricted grant to the Foundation, also has an AAPG Foundation named grant established in her honor.
Together, the Weeks family provided funding for the Frederick A. Sutton (Marta’s father) Memorial Grant-in-Aid; Marta S. Weeks Grant-in-Aid; L. Austin Weeks Memorial Grant-in-Aid; and the L. Austin Weeks Undergraduate Grant Program for AAPG Student Chapters.
Marta provided funding to establish Digital Products University Subscriptions for the University of Wisconsin, University of Utah, Columbia University, University of Miami and Beloit College. She also made an additional unrestricted gift of $500,000 in July 2007.
Marta currently serves the Foundation as a Member of the Foundation Corporation, Trustee Associate and Campaign Team Leader.
“The Weeks family has left a heritage of philanthropy unparalleled in the history of AAPG that has formed the bedrock for the Association to flourish and propel it into the 21st century,” said AAPG Executive Director Rick Fritz.
The late Fred A. Dix, former AAPG executive director and friend of the Weeks family, noted many times that without the Weeks family’s generosity the Association would not be the leader for the profession it is today.
Lewis Weeks, Austin’s father, in the early 1970s provided the money for the headquarters addition in Tulsa that bears his name: the Weeks Tower.
His son, geologist L. Austin Weeks, continued as a major, generous contributor to the AAPG Foundation.
Weeks: A Legacy Of Philanthropy
Lewis Austin Weeks was born on the island of Curacao, March 25, 1925, the only child of Lewis G. and Una Austin Weeks.
At age two weeks he went to Venezuela to live, and later to Argentina and Brazil. In 1933 he was sent to the Beacon Prep School in Sussex, England, where he lived until 1939 when he went to live in Scarsdale, N.Y. He graduated from Scarsdale High School in1942.
Austin graduated from Brown University in an accelerated program that put him through college in two years and eight months with a pre-med degree and an ensign’s commission in the U.S. Naval Reserves. Following this he spent three months at Navy Communications School at Harvard University.
During the war, his overseas duty took him first to the Mediterranean theatre, followed later by the Japanese occupation. Here he served on General Douglas MacArthur’s Army-Navy communications staff in Tokyo (1945-46).
He did some post-graduate study at Brown University, then earned a master’s in industrial bacteriology (1947-49) from the University of Wisconsin. During summers he worked for the Sinclair Wyoming Oil Co. in Casper as a geological assistant and researcher on magnetic properties of granites and arkoses.
In 1950, he received his master’s in geology from Columbia University, his thesis being in structural geology.
From 1950-52, he lived in Salt Lake City and worked as a field geologist for the General Petroleum Corp. He married Marta Sutton in August 1951, and they moved to Durango, Colo., where Austin was field geologist for G.P.
He became a district geologist in 1953, and until 1957 did field and research work in Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Transferred to California in 1957, he did geological research at General Petroleum headquarters until 1960, when the company was reorganized and, along with many others, he was laid off.
Austin spent several years in real estate sales and investment before going back to work as a geological oceanographer for the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., as well as the Lamont Geological Observatory.
For the former, he was chief scientist for expeditions to the Andaman Islands for the International Indian Ocean Expedition in 1964, and also worked as a biologist for Columbia University, studying plankton in the Antarctic in 1963. He consulted for the Israeli government with his father, L.G. Weeks, in 1963 and also was involved in other trips to the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean and the Pacific.
In 1970-75, he started and was president of Weeks-Tator Consultants in Miami, Fla., and in 1970-84 was involved as a vice president and director of Weeks Petroleum Ltd., a Bermuda Corporation. When this company was raided on the London stock exchange in 1984, he retired.
After that he was involved in volunteer photography in the Miami area, producing an annual calendar. He also was involved in funding support for the University of Miami, the University of Wyoming, AAPG, the Miami Metrozoo and SPE.
Weeks died in February 2005 in Florida.
Marta Sutton Weeks (Mrs. L. Austin), presently of Miami, Fla., was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The second daughter of a geologist’s family, she was reared on both the North and South American continents.
She received her early education in Holladay, Utah, and at the Bella Vista school in Maracaibo, Venezuela, later graduating from St. Mary-of-the-Wasatch Academy high school in Salt Lake City. She went on to Beloit College in Wisconsin for two years, then Stanford University, Calif., where she received a bachelor’s in political science in 1951.
After her marriage to geologist Austin Weeks in 1951, she lived in Utah, Colorado, California and Maryland before moving to Florida in 1967. She is the mother of two living children; one son died in a helicopter accident at age 23.
Mrs. Weeks’ job and business experience started at age 13, when her father staked her to 200 cans of popcorn and she supplied popcorn to the local oil camp populace in Maracaibo, Venezuela.
During her summers in college she worked for the legal department of the Mene Grande Oil Co. in Caracas, Venezuela, and also for the Centro-Venezolano Americano, teaching English to foreigners.
Most recently she has served as a director of several corporations, including Weeks Petroleum Ltd. She also has served three years on the Board of Trustees of Beloit College and five years as a trustee of the University of Miami.
She founded and was president for two years of the Stanford Club of Florida.
Mrs. Weeks is a strong believer in education and supports various programs in the sciences and humanities. She loves to travel and says one of the most interesting places she’s ever been to was a trip to Antarctica.
Mrs. Weeks is an ordained Episcopal priest.