Goal Set to Expand DL Programs

Director's Corner: Distinguished Lecturers

It was an unforgettable experience, what with meeting many fine practitioners of the profession, meeting classmates of college year and many of my former students who took me on field trips such as a memorable one from Midland, Texas, through the Marathon Basin. Hospitality was of the highest order – too high sometimes when I had to try and meet celebrations with a new group every night.

– John C. Ludlum (1961-62)


At the start of World War II the leadership of AAPG started a new program that was designed to send speakers to reach people all over the world. As a result, well over 100,000 people have been personally treated to important and useful geosciences information and data.

AAPG’s leadership has decided to make a special offer to ensure the future of the Distinguished Lecturer (DL) program.

The whole lecture tour experience was wonderful, and I’d do it all again. Perhaps the most memorable visit was my presentation to the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists … I was especially impressed with the reaction I received from our Canadian colleagues, though. I don’t remember how many hundred people were there that day. I just remember a sea of smiling faces.

– Fred Rich (1982-83)


AAPG’s Distinguished Lecturers talk to over 8,000 people at 150 different locations each year. Last year we added the Distinguished Instructor (DI) program to provide in-depth instruction. AAPG’s prime directive is to disseminate scientific information, and the DL/DI program is consistently one of AAPG’s top programs in meeting that goal.

What is the future of this storied program? It’s up to you.

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It was an unforgettable experience, what with meeting many fine practitioners of the profession, meeting classmates of college year and many of my former students who took me on field trips such as a memorable one from Midland, Texas, through the Marathon Basin. Hospitality was of the highest order – too high sometimes when I had to try and meet celebrations with a new group every night.

– John C. Ludlum (1961-62)


At the start of World War II the leadership of AAPG started a new program that was designed to send speakers to reach people all over the world. As a result, well over 100,000 people have been personally treated to important and useful geosciences information and data.

AAPG’s leadership has decided to make a special offer to ensure the future of the Distinguished Lecturer (DL) program.

The whole lecture tour experience was wonderful, and I’d do it all again. Perhaps the most memorable visit was my presentation to the Canadian Society of Petroleum Geologists … I was especially impressed with the reaction I received from our Canadian colleagues, though. I don’t remember how many hundred people were there that day. I just remember a sea of smiling faces.

– Fred Rich (1982-83)


AAPG’s Distinguished Lecturers talk to over 8,000 people at 150 different locations each year. Last year we added the Distinguished Instructor (DI) program to provide in-depth instruction. AAPG’s prime directive is to disseminate scientific information, and the DL/DI program is consistently one of AAPG’s top programs in meeting that goal.

What is the future of this storied program? It’s up to you.

The subject of my talk was “Geology and Secondary Recovery.” At that time, waterflooding was used only in a few places. In many of my stops they told me that “waterflooding does not work in this area.” What they had done was to take the worst well in the field and pour water down it. After all, what old superintendent is going to let an engineer put water down a good well?

– Parke A. Dickey (1945-46)


The list of AAPG Distinguished Lectures reads as a “Who’s Who” of top AAPG figures. In the accounts of their tours they comment on the hospitality of their hosts and their satisfaction and pride in the Distinguished Lecturer program.

They are often met with travel difficulties, or equipment problems, but still say it’s worth it.

We pushed Ray’s plane out of its hanger and he set me to rotating the prop to distribute the oil throughout the engine while he went into the house to get some charts. Before long, the engine was running and we taxied uphill on the rather steeply dipping field to the head of the strip. At this point, two of the neighbor’s dogs attacked the plane, and Ray had to do considerable jockeying to get them out of the way so we could take off.

– John J. Amoruso (1973-74)


The program is funded both by individual donations and AAPG’s share of income as a sponsor of the Offshore Technology Conference.

AAPG plans to increase the annual number of Distinguished Lecturers from 13-14 per year to at least 20 per year.

To make this goal a reality we need your help. Each “stop” or lecture costs approximately $2,500, and we are asking AAPG members to consider setting aside pledges to support the Foundation’s current financial campaign.

If you are interested please contact Rebecca Griffin in the Foundation office at 888-560-2644, or by e-mail

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Being selected as Distinguished Lecturer for the 1964 tour was a high point in my young career and important boost to my activities at Colorado School of Mines.

– Robert J. Weimer (1963-64)


For “named” DL/DI endowments, we have a great opportunity for major donors to expand this program. The Association and Foundation each have set aside funds to match at least two new named Distinguished Lecturers!

Currently, there are five “named” endowments in honor of the late Roy Huffington, Dean McGee, J. Ben Carsey, Allan Bennison and Merrill Haas/Wallace Pratt. A “named” endowment for a North American Distinguished Lecturer tour is $300,000 and for a non-North American Distinguished Lecturer is $350,000.

As a result of the match, a major donor will only need to pay one-half of the endowment to make a “named” DL or DI.

This is a rare opportunity for a major donor or a group of donors who would like to name a DL/DI endowment. The fundraising team will be contacting potential donors for this program.

Again, contact Rebecca Griffin if you have interest in this new offer.

Never before, never since have I met so many wonderful, talented, dedicated people! The camaraderie of those days was so indelibly inscribed in my memory as to have become a major aspect of my life and career. No amount of money, no compilation of words could ever serve to compensate for the opportunities my lecture tour provided and for the contributions that I hope it helped me make to AAPG, to our profession and to the nation. Thanks – and thanks – and thanks

– Grover E. Murray (1953-54)


Thank you! Dr. Murray. And thanks to all of those who have served in this program. We look forward to building the program into the future.

A snowy evening, my wife and I arrive at the lecture hall with just two minutes to spare. She slips in quietly to a back row. I am nicely introduced and the lecture is on its way. But I’ve had a lot of traveling and my throat is quite hoarse.

The slide projector is an antique, and the fan makes an ungodly clatter. Wife cannot hear lecture so asks a distinguished white-haired professor-type sitting next to her to call to lecturer: “Please speak up – we can’t hear you in the back row!”

The distinguished professor leans over to wife and whispers: “Don’t worry about it. He’s only talking absolute nonsense.”

– Rhodes Fairbridge (1954-55)


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