A chapter of AAPG Foundation history was closed in 2005 with the passing of L. Austin Weeks, Michel T. Halbouty and Robert E. Megill -- the Foundation's last remaining "Charter Trustee Associates (CTAs)."
There were 10 living CTAs when the Foundation Trustee Associates were established in 1976 -- and were so designated by the Trustees based on their previous financial support of the Foundation.
Additional CTAs (some of whom were named posthumously) included L.T. Barrow, Morgan J. Davis Sr., W. Dow Hamm, W.B. Heroy Sr., J.S. Hudnall, G. Moses Knebel, Dean A. McGee, Wallace E. Pratt, J.C. "Cam" Sproule, L.P. Teas and Lewis G. Weeks, Austin Weeks' father.
These men developed a program that has been sustained for 30 years.
Financial support, peer recognition and thoughtful advice.
These are the reasons the AAPG Foundation's Trustee Associate program was founded in October 1976, when the Trustee Associate program was outlined by an Executive Report issued by the Foundation Trustees.
Proposed by Dean McGee and patterned after a similar program at Cal Tech, the Trustee Associates were formed to provide input into Foundation affairs, to provide financial support for projects and to meet yearly to enjoy social activities.
Two years later, Foundation Chairman James E. Wilson passed a resolution authorizing the Trustee Associates to become a formal organization, charged with the dual purpose of:
- Advancing the aims and purposes of the AAPG Foundation.
- Rendering assistance to the Foundation Trustees.
The resolution outlines the high standards required of Trustee Associates. These are members "who have distinguished themselves in contributions to the science of geology and its application to exploration for petroleum or energy minerals, who observe the highest standards of ethics and integrity as set forth in the Code of Ethics of the Association, and who have evidenced their support for the goals and objectives of the Foundation through substantial financial support."
This high ethical standard continues today. Trustee Associates must be recommended for membership by three of their peers who already are Trustee Associates.
According to Wilson, members in the Midland area were some of the first big contributors. Today, Trustee Associates hail from 20 states and Canada.
After the designation of the Charter Trustee Associates, the next group to join was called "Founding Trustee Associates," another group of industry heavyweights.
Frank Harrison Jr., one of the Founding Trustee Associates, said setting up the Trustee Associates was one of the most important decisions made by the AAPG Foundation. He quickly joined, believing that the Foundation was essential to the future of AAPG.
Today, Harrison appreciates the camaraderie that exists among the Trustee Associates and feels that they are a great group of people. Being a member of the Trustee Associates provides an opportunity to support the AAPG Foundation and to associate with others in the profession.
Founding Trustee Associates in addition to Harrison who are still members include Robey H. Clark, Herbert G. Davis, William E. Gipson, August Goldstein Jr., Robert D. Gunn, Robert J. Gutru, G. Carl Hale, Richard D. House, Albert Hrubetz, Thomas E. Matson, Rex Monahan, John A. Taylor, M.O. Turner and James E. Wilson Jr.
Herb Davis, the Trustee Associate's first vice chair, says that part of their intention was to bring together influential people from industry, academia and government to discuss petroleum geology issues at their yearly meeting.
This purpose was fulfilled at the first official meeting held at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs. Invited guests included U.S. Sen. Clifford Hansen, of Wyoming; John E. Swearingen, CEO of Standard Oil of Indiana; and Rudy Epis, Colorado School of Mines professor and leader of the field trip to the Cripple Creek gold mining district.
The vision of early Foundation leaders to form a core group of distinguished supporters continues today. Nearly 500 individuals have become members since 1978, and currently there are 263 Trustee Associates. The group meets yearly to network and continue their support of the AAPG Foundation.