J. David

The AAPG Foundation was established in 1966 to support programs that benefit the geological profession and the general public. Its purpose is to encourage a better understanding and advancement of the geosciences – and to establish programs and fund projects that support the education, training and career enhancement of earth scientists.

From a modest gift of oil company stock, Foundation assets have increased through the years to today’s value of almost $50 million.

With growth in assets has come an increased need to expand existing programs deemed to be in the public interest, as well as the opportunity to provide financial aid to additional projects suggested by AAPG members or others.

Each year generous donors make contributions that increase the Foundation’s asset base and provide growth of earned income. However, requested funds to expand existing programs and initiate new ones always exceed revenue available from endowment earnings.

That’s why every grant request is reviewed with the tests of supporting the Foundation’s purposes and serving the public interest, and only a few new initiatives are sufficiently attractive to garner Foundation approval and member support.

One that has is the U.S. Military Veterans Scholarship Program, first proposed in 2012 and conditionally approved upon receipt of member contributions totaling at least $500,000.

Within months of approval, several major gifts led to the program’s permanent establishment.

This year was the first in which grants were awarded.

Ten U.S. veterans each received a $2,000 scholarship to support enrollment in classes that could lead to a degree in the earth sciences.

According to Don O’Nesky, a retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and our MVSP Committee chairman, there are far more worthy and outstanding applicants than the Foundation has funds to support.

The Foundation’s intermediate-term goal is to increase the number of awardee grants from 10 to 20 per year.

To accomplish this will require an increase in its asset base allocable to the program from $500,000 to $1 million.

For now, each gift of $50,000 will allow the Foundation to award a veteran $2,000 per year.

This is a program truly worthy of your interest and support.

As you consider your year-end tax-deductible contributions, please remember the AAPG Foundation. A gift that is not designated to the MVSP or other specific fund is available to support the many others the Foundation has traditionally supported.

Existing Funds are included in the contribution list in each EXPLORER. Remember also that a gift to the Foundation of $25,000 or more can be designated as a “named gift” in honor of an individual or a family, or as a memorial tribute to a good friend, a valued partner or a respected mentor

For more information about gifting to the Foundation, call 1-918-560-2664 or email

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