The AAPG Foundation has established a new award – the Foundation’s highest honor – to recognize “extraordinary philanthropy and service directed to advance the mission of the AAPG Foundation.”
It is the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, 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 opening session of the AAPG Annual Convention in San Antonio.
“Although the selection of Marta as the first recipient of the Weeks Medal was clear and obvious to all involved, Marta’s first reaction was surprise and a genuine insistence that she did not deserve the recognition,” said William L. Fisher, chairman of the Trustees of the AAPG Foundation. “She is as modest as she is generous.”
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 Week’s 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.
Executive Director Rick Fritz was pleased at the Board’s decision to choose Marta.
“She sets a high standard for future recipients, and her dedication and generosity will benefit many people in the year’s to come,” Fritz said.
“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,” he added.
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.
Included in the support of AAPG, 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.