Paul M. Strunk, an AAPG Foundation Trustee emeritus and an instrumental player in the creation of the successful Military Veterans Scholarship Program (MVSP), has been selected to receive this year’s L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, the Foundation’s top award.
Strunk, a successful explorationist and CEO of American Shoreline Inc. in Corpus Christi, Texas, will be honored in a special presentation at AAPG’s 100th Anniversary Annual Convention and Exhibition, set for April 2-5 in Houston.
The L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal is given in recognition of extraordinary philanthropy and service directed to advance the mission of the Foundation — a criteria that Strunk has repeatedly met for several decades.
In fact, he and his wife, Deana, have been major donors to the AAPG Foundation since 1994 (the year he joined the Trustee Associates), but it was their belief in the new MVSP — and their lead gifts to its fundraising efforts — that helped make the program a reality for the Foundation.
Thanks to their generosity, the program has a solid foundation to grow from and is now in its second year of scholarships to deserving veterans.
The Trustees recently voted to rename the MVSP as the Deana and Paul Strunk Military Veterans Scholarship Program.
Strunk served as vice chair for the Foundation Trustees in 2005 and was selected as chair in 2008. He was selected as a member of the Foundation’s Members of Corporation in 2000 and appointed as a Trustee in 2011. During his time as a Trustee, Strunk served on the Foundation’s Audit Committee.
He received the Foundation Trustee Associates Service Award in 2015.
Strunk stepped down from the Board of Trustees earlier this year and is now a Trustee emeritus.
An AAPG Member since 1960, Strunk served as AAPG treasurer in 1988-90. Other activities include stints on the Insurance, Environmental and 21 Century committees. He served two terms in the AAPG House of Delegates.
A Kansas State University graduate (bachelor’s and master’s in geology), Strunk previously received two AAPG Certificate of Merits, the Distinguished Service Award, Honorary Membership and the Trustee Associates Service Award.
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The Trustee Associates’ 39th annual meeting was held in October at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel on Hawaii’s beautiful Kohala Coast in October. After meetings to conduct business and learn about the AAPG Foundation activities, the group had time to take in sites of the island.
The field trip “Volcanoes of Hawaii’s Big Island” was led by geologist and longtime Hawaiian Charles Blay. The day began with a stop at the Mauna Kea State Park for views of Hawaii’s two largest mountains, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea. The trip then continued to the lava fields at the Volcanoes National Park with a stop at the Kilauea Caldera.
Smaller group tours included the historic Kona Tour, where participants learned about the history of Hawaii’s royal family, visited a Kona coffee farm and tasted honey from Big Island Bees.
Other activities included deep sea fishing; golf at the historic but challenging Mauna Kea Golf Course; a chance for breathtaking views on a two-hour, unforgettable helicopter tour of the island’s volcanoes and waterfalls; and four-wheel drive vans were used to descend into Waipi’o Valley, forging streams to see the dramatic scenery and Hi’ilawe falls from the valley floor.
During the meeting, the Trustee Associates elected David Worthington as the group’s new chair, and Jeff Lund as vice chair. Pete MacKenzie continues the second year of his term as secretary/treasurer.
The Trustee Associates are a distinguished group of donors who provide support for the Foundation’s fundraising efforts, as well as providing counsel and leadership to its Trustees. Their next meeting will be held Sept. 20-24 at The Samoset Resort in Rockport, Maine.