Grant Honors James E. Wilson

The AAPG Foundation Board of Trustees recently approved the establishment of a new Named Grant-in-Aid to benefit graduate students and honor past Foundation Trustee Chairman James E. Wilson.

The James E. Wilson Memorial Grant will be awarded annually through the Grants-in-Aid Program.

Wilson, who in addition to his leadership of the Foundation was a prominent geologist, longtime AAPG leader and Powers Medalist, consultant, oil executive and award winning author, died Sept. 15 of natural causes at his home in Cherry Hills Village, Colo. He was 93.

Wilson was AAPG president in 1972-73 and served as chairman of the Association’s Foundation from 1977-89. He received the Sidney Powers Medal, AAPG’s highest honor, in 1987, and Honorary Membership in 1977.

Wilson spent the greater part of his retirement blending two of his passions: geology and wine. He was a member of – and was honored by – several prestigious international wine organizations, and became an award-winning author with the book Terroir: Geology, Climate and Culture in the Making of French Wine.

Even after losing his sight he continued to write memoirs covering his war years, experiences at Shell and his consulting career. He also continued to contribute articles for AAPG publications, including the EXPLORER. The last of a two part-series he recently completed for the EXPLORER on “The Dead Sea is a Geological Phenomenon of Biblical Proportions ,” can be found in this EXPLORER.

The Foundation’s Named Grants Program was initiated in the 1970s when friends of the late Hugh Miser established a memorial fund in the Foundation to award an annual grant. Since that time 70 Named Grant endowments have been created and provide a way to give a gift that will renew itself indefinitely, and at the same time honor either the donor or someone of his choosing.

Grants are awarded annually in amounts ranging from $500 to $3,000.

All Foundation contributors have the opportunity to make a long-term investment, not only in the future of a well-qualified student, but also in the future of petroleum geology as a science and profession.

To contribute to the James E. Wilson Memorial Grant contact the AAPG Foundation manager at 918-560-2644.


In other Foundation news, West Texas Geological Society members were invited to join AAPG President Scott Tinker and Executive Director Richard Fritz for an informal AAPG/Foundation Midland Town Hall Forum and Reception in early November.

The program also featured a review of the Foundation programs by William Fisher, chairman, Rebecca Griffin, Foundation manager and Alison Robbins, corporation relations development coordinator. Earlier in the day a luncheon for Trustee Associates and guests was held at the Petroleum Club of Midland to discuss Foundation programs and developments.

AAPG and the Foundation are planning similar luncheons and/or town hall meetings around the country throughout 2009 with confirmed dates for Fort Worth (Feb. 19) and Denver (Feb. 25).

Watch the EXPLORER and AAPG Web site for other cities as they are announced.

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Foundation Update is a regular column in the EXPLORER offering news about the AAPG Foundation’s latest activities. For more information about the AAPG Foundation, visit the Foundation website, email, or call (918) 560-2644.

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