Two longtime AAPG members who share a passion for geology, a preference for exciting hobbies and a dedicated commitment to helping others have been named recipients of the AAPG Foundation’s top honors for 2021.
This year’s honorees are:
• Jerry Namy, owner and former CEO of Texland Petroleum in Fort Worth, Texas, is this year’s recipient of the L. Austin Weeks Memorial Medal, the AAPG Foundation’s highest honor, given in recognition of extraordinary philanthropy and service directed to advance the mission of the AAPG Foundation.
• Stewart “Stew” Chuber, an independent geologist with nearly seven decades of industry experience, is this year’s recipient of the Chairman’s Award, given to recognize those who have made extraordinary contributions – monetary or service – to the Foundation.
For both men, the honors were earned through career-long support and promotion of the Foundation that has helped ensure geoscience excellence in educational initiatives as well as programs that have benefited the public.
“Both Jerry and Stew are great examples of what it means to support others through their generous commitment to the Foundation,” Foundation Chair Jim Gibbs said in announcing the honors. “And in addition to that, they’re both genuinely nice, extremely interesting people who have quietly but effectively led by example.”
“Their friendly personalities and generous spirits have had huge impacts on the entire AAPG Foundation family,” Gibbs added, “and we’re thrilled to have this opportunity to celebrate their lifetimes of making us better positioned to help others, as well as their example of compassion and caring.”
Namy has been an AAPG member since 1973 and a Foundation Trustee Associate since 1996 – and his time since joining the TAs has been spent in supporting and promoting the Foundation in a number of ways.
Namy earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1960, and a doctorate in geology from the University of Texas at Austin in 1967.
Most of his career has been with Fort Worth-based Texland Petroleum, which he has owned since 1978, serving as its CEO from 1999-2009. The company has had much success in the Permian Basin, especially in its activity within Lubbock County and a much-praised association with Lubbock, Texas, where Texland promotes health and safety methods while operating more than 100 wells inside the city limits.
Of note, Namy stepped down as CEO in 2010 after surviving a deadly airplane crash and added a second career, owner of Namy Thoroughbreds, which to date has finished in the money on more than half of all its entries, including nearly 140 first place finishes.
(Namy, who grew up on a Kentucky farm, has said in the past that he “fell in love with horse racing when his dad showed him entries for the 1947 Kentucky Derby.” The love affair continues.)
Despite the dual career, Namy still devoted much of his time and efforts toward the Foundation, serving as secretary-treasurer in 2004-05; vice chair in 2008; and chair in 2011.
Stewart “Stew” Chuber
Chuber, a native of Queens Village on Long Island, N.Y., has been an AAPG member since 1953, one year after graduating with a degree in geological engineering from the Colorado School of Mines. His older brother, who was then working with Gulf Oil in Venezuela, suggested that geology and Stew would be a good mix.
Like his brother, Stew worked for Mobil Oil after graduation, but simultaneously he earned both a master’s degree and a doctorate in geology from Stanford University.
In the early 1970s he became a Houston-based consulting geologist, then was named vice president of exploration for Five Resources Inc., also in Houston. He moved to Schulenburg, Texas, as an independent geologist in 1974, where he eventually started his own companies, Fayette Exploration and Mascot Oil, which he continues to operate.
In his own words, he’s “worked all over the Gulf Coast,” although, admittedly, the Wilcox has been an especially good part of his life.
Of note, he has a passion for aviation and has been a pilot for most of his life – in part because as a well-rounded adventurer, it’s his way of having fun, but also because as a geologist he’s “always been fascinated by how easy it is to see fracture patterns from the air.”
He has a particular passion for education and has generously devoted time and money to developing scholarships and establishing mentorships to encourage the next generation of geoscientists.
He also believes in the privilege and responsibility of engagement and “giving back” to others, whether the group is professional, cultural, religious or philanthropic. And as such he has been active in dozens of groups throughout his career.
His time with AAPG, for example, in addition to being a Foundation Trustee Associate since 2006, has included service on nearly 20 separate committees and groups – including terms in leadership in the House of Delegates and as both a society and Section (Gulf Coast) president.
For AAPG, Chuber served on the Executive Committee as vice president in 1994-95.
His efforts have earned him a host of professional honors and awards, including from AAPG a Certificate of Merit, three awards from the House of Delegates – including the Distinguished Member of the House honor – plus the AAPG Distinguished Service Award and, in 2004, honorary membership.