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Geosciences Chairs & Professorships

Endowed Chairs and Professorships are among the highest distinctions a university can bestow on a faculty member.  It is a recognition that honors both the holder and the donor.  The College of Geosciences is fortunate to have a number of generous, capable, and committed benefactors who have made significant gifts to the College. These have allowed the establishment of 12 Endowed Chairs and 9 Endowed Professorships. Currently, donors must pledge $1,000,000 to endow a Chair and $200,000 to endow a Professorship in the College.

The College of Geosciences awards these positions to recruit, retain, and reward the exemplary and distinguished faculty members as well as advance the College's goals and mission.  The support affirms and encourages creativity, originality and inventiveness in the holder's approach to research, teaching, and mentoring.  In return, the honor requires a continuous record of outstanding leadership and a renewed commitment and responsibility to students, to the disciplines, and to the College.  

Honorees are chosen through a rigorous peer process. The Dean appoints all Endowed Chairs and Professorships on the advice of an advisory committee.  The committee is comprised of active Distinguished Professors in the College, one Dean from another Texas A&M College and one full professor from each department.

The 12 Endowed Chairs in the College of Geosciences are:

Michel T. Halbouty Chair in Geology (potentially 2 holders).

This Endowment Chair is presently of sufficient magnitude to support two Chair holders. It was established in 1982 by the late Michel T. Halbouty, a 1930 Texas A&M graduate and pioneering wildcatter, who founded Halbouty Energy Co. and was the first recipient of Texas A&M's professional degree in geological engineering.

Ethan Grossman Andreas Kronenberg

Dudley J. Hughes Endowed Chair in Geology and Geophysics

This Chair was established in 1998 by Dudley Hughes, a 1951 Texas A&M graduate with a degree in Geology, to enhance activities in Geology & Geophysics and a Naming Founder of the Berg-Hughes Center.

David Bullock Harris Chair in Geology

Established in 1979, this endowed Chair was a bequest from the estate of David Bullock Harris, a 1909 graduate of Texas A&M University. The Harris trust established a Chair in Geology and allowed for the creation of additional Chairs and Professorships in his name. The Chair has most recently supported a number of post-doctoral fellows in G&G.

Frederick M. Chester

Dan A. Hughes '51 Chair

This Chair was established in 2005 by Dan Hughes, a 1951 A&M graduate in Geology and a Naming Founder of the Berg-Hughes Center.  The endowment is dedicated to the director of the Berg-Hughes Center for Petroleum and Sedimentary Studies.

Carlos A. Dengo

David Bullock Harris Chair in Geosciences

This endowed Chair was initially established in 1981 as a Chair in Geophysics but redirected as a Chair in Geosciences by action of the Texas A&M Board of Regents in 2006, fully consistent with the intent of the will of Mr. D. B. Harris.

Ping Yang

Harold J. Haynes Chair in Geosciences

This Chair was established in 2000 by Harold (Bill) and Reta Haynes. Harold Haynes, a 1946 graduate of Texas A&M University in civil engineering, is the retired CEO and Chairman of the Board of Chevron (now ChevronTexaco) and a longtime Bechtel advisor.

Renyi Zhang

Reta A. Haynes Chair in Geosciences

This Chair was established in 2000 by Harold and Reta Haynes through the Bright matching program in place at that time.

Michael Bishop

Louis & Elizabeth Scherck Chair in Oceanography

This Chair was established in 1994 by the late Louis and Elizabeth Scherck, who left an endowment to the Department of Oceanography which supports this Chair and student fellowships and scholarships. Louis Scherck, who was a graduate of Brown University, made a career in the oil and gas industry in Houston. The Schercks established this Chair because of their conviction that the oceans of the world represent the frontier of the future.

Ping Chang

William R. Bryant Chair in Oceanography

This Chair was established in 2008 in honor of Professor William Bryant by 22 of his colleagues and former students.

Lisa Campbell

Jane and R. Ken Williams '45 Endowed Chair in Ocean Drilling Science, Technology and Education

Established in 2001, this Chair was given by Jane and Ken Williams. Ken Williams graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1947. He is the 2007 recipient of the Michel T. Halbouty Geosciences Medal. Williams has been a generous supporter of the College and a major player in the oil and gas industry throughout his career.

Michel T. Halbouty '30 Visiting Chair

This endowed Chair is unique in that its purpose is to bring nationally and internationally acclaimed visiting scholars to campus. The individual Chair term is determined by the availability and length of commitment made by the honoree. The first recipient of this Chair in 1999 was Dr. Fred Mackenzie of the University of Hawaii. Other previous Chair holders include Dr. Jay Melosh from University of Arizona; Dr. Albert Bally, Rice University; Dr. Frank Schwartz, Ohio State University; Dr. Jon Olson, University of Texas, and Dr. Doug Burbank, UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Renee Heilbronner, Basel University, Switzerland, will be the 2008 Halbouty Visiting Chair in the spring of 2008.

Mr. and Mrs. James R. Whatley '47 Chair in Geosciences

This endowed chair was established in 2009 with a gift from Mrs. James R. Whatley to support the teaching, research, service and professional development activities of the holder. 

Anthony Knap

The 9 Endowed Professorships in the College of Geosciences are:

Robert R. Berg Professorship in Geology

This Professorship was established to honor Dr. Robert R. Berg, who was Professor and Head of the Department of Geology from 1967 to 1972.  Dr. Berg was also the Associate Dean of the College in 1972, and Director of University Research from 1972 to 1982.  From 1982 until his retirement in 1995, Dr. Berg held the Michel T. Halbouty Chair in Geology.

Franco Marcantonio

E. D. Brockett Professorship in Geosciences

Established in 1974, this Professorship was established by E. D. Brockett, a Texas A&M graduate who began his career in the oil industry in 1934 when he joined the Gulf Oil Corporation as a roustabout in the oil fields of Texas. He later became President of the British American Oil Company Limited.

Courtney Schumacher

Earl F. Cook Professorship in Geosciences

This Professorship was established in 1983 by the Ray C. Fish Foundation through the Endowed Faculty Scholars matching program in place at that time. It honors former Dean of the College of Geosciences (1971-1981) and Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geography Earl F. Cook. He was the first non-Aggie to be awarded the Geosciences and Earth Resources Medal for Distinguished Achievement, now the Michel T. Halbouty Medal. He also held the David Bullock Harris Professorship in Geosciences.

Wilford D. Gardner

Ray C. Fish Professorship in Geology

Established in 1983 by the Ray C. Fish Foundation, this Professorship honors the late Ray C. Fish. Mr. Fish was the founder of the Fish Engineering Corporation in Houston, TX, overseeing engineering and construction of intercontinental gas pipeline systems, including projects such as the Transcontinental Gas Pipeline System (Transco), the Pacific Northwest Pipeline System, and the Campo-Duran Project in Argentina.

Hongbin Zhan

Francesco Paolo di Gangi/Heep Endowed Professorship in Theoretical Geophysics

This new Professorship was established in 2003 by the Heep Trust through a matching program in place at that time. It honors retired Geology & Geophysics Professor Emeritus Anthony F. Gangi. The gift agreement specifies that this Professorship is to be awarded to an assistant or associate professor working in theoretical geophysics.

Richard Gibson

EOG Teaching Professorship in Geosciences

This Professorship was established by EOG in 1994 as a teaching Professorship. It is to be awarded to an associate or full professor who excels in mentoring students in the classroom, lab, and through advising.

David Bullock Harris Professorship in Geosciences

This Professorship was established in 1979 from the David B. Harris bequest which established several endowments in his name. This Professorship has for the past ~10 years supported visiting geosciences scholars through departmental seminar programs.

Kenneth Bowman

Howard Karren Endowed Professorship in Geology and Geophysics

This Professorship was established in 2007 by Howard Karren, a ‘51 Texas A&M graduate with a degree in Geology. Mr. Karren held multiple executive positions with several different oil companies.  Over the course of his 50 year career, Mr. Karren traveled to over 120 countries on 6 continents and negotiated oil development rights and partnership agreements in every major oil and gas producing region in the world. Mr. Karren also managed onshore operations in Canada, Venezuela, Peru, Colombia, Italy, Syria, Egypt, and Kazakhstan and offshore operations in the Ecuador, Indonesia, China, Malaysia, India, Trinidad, the UK and Norwegian North Sea.

Mark Everett

Mollie B. & Richard A. Williford Endowed Professorship in Petroleum Geology

This Professorship was established in 1991 by Richard Williford and his wife, Mollie. Williford was a 1955 A&M graduate who built successful companies in energy, real estate, and aviation. He served the University in a number of advisory posts over the years, from President of the Association of Former Students to Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation.

Yuefeng Sun

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