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Major Energy Companies Bolster Academic Programs

Giving News

Four of the University’s most generous corporate partners — energy companies Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell — have collectively contributed nearly $3.5 million this year to support academic programs at UT Austin.

$3.5 million donation to support academic programs at UT Austin

ConocoPhillips’ Rex Bennett, BS ’73, at left, was on hand to present the company's donation. Joining him are Bruce Porter, chair, Department of Computer Science; Tom Gilligan, dean, McCombs School of Business; Barbara Thompson of the Cockrell School of Engineering; and Sharon Mosher, dean of the Jackson School of Geosciences.

Most of the philanthropic funding benefits students and programs in the Cockrell School of Engineering, Jackson School of Geosciences, McCombs School of Business, and College of Natural Sciences, reflecting the primary academic backgrounds of the four companies’ personnel.

Chevron’s gift targets scholarships, service organizations, undergraduate research, and other initiatives in the Cockrell School. The Jackson School received support for students in earth sciences, while the McCombs School’s grant goes to fellowships and activities related to its MBA programs. Campuswide, the company’s gift provides a boost to information-technology initiatives, including the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC).

GeoFORCE Texas

GeoFORCE Texas, with support from Shell and other companies, rewards outstanding South Texas and Houston high-school students with the chance to learn about earth sciences in diverse field locations.

ConocoPhillips’ grant includes continued funding for the SPIRIT Scholars Program. Now in its ninth year at UT, it provides scholarships, mentorship programs, enrichment activities, and internship opportunities for students pursuing careers in the energy industry.

ExxonMobil’s gift represents a 3-to-1 match of gifts made by the company’s employees and retirees in the past calendar year. Last year, 406 gifts were matched, ranging in size from $19 to $7,500.

Shell’s donation includes a substantial allocation to the GeoFORCE Texas Program, which rewards outstanding low-income students from diverse South Texas and Houston school districts with the chance to travel the country and learn about opportunities for careers in the geosciences.

Learn more about UT’s Corporate Relations office.

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