As the president of the SPE Foundation, I wanted to provide an update on what the Foundation is doing for SPE. Some history might be helpful to those who are unfamiliar with the Foundation and the important role it plays for SPE members worldwide.
The SPE Foundation was established in 1977. All living past presidents of SPE serve as trustees of the Foundation and we have a single purpose: to support and augment key Society programs. In carrying out this mission, the Foundation helps to ensure excellence in SPE programs through a partnership with individuals, the industry, and the Society.
The most notable past accomplishments include funding or providing significant support for three major initiatives. The first project was to raise the funds needed to build the SPE office in Richardson, Texas, which was completed in 1984, and was owned by the Foundation until 2010. During this period, about 85% of the lease revenue was given back to SPE to support a number of programs.
From 2002 to 2005, the Foundation raised more than half of the funds needed for a major upgrade of SPE’s website to make SPE’s products and services more accessible to its members globally. Even today, the Foundation continues to fund enhancements to spe.org.
The Foundation for many years has been the primary supporter of the SPE Distinguished Lecturer Program, one of the Society’s most popular programs. As an extension of this program, the Foundation has sponsored Distinguished Lecturer web events since they were first offered several years ago.
Last year, the Foundation committed to a fourth significant endeavor, to fully fund all SPE web events for at least 3 years, including Distinguished Lecturer, Technical Section, and Training web events. This benefits all members by providing them the opportunity to enhance their skills without having to leave their desks. It is a cost-effective and convenient way to disseminate technical information.
The Foundation also administers the funds for three major student scholarship awards: the Gus Archie Memorial Scholarship for students pursuing an undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering; the Nico van Wingen Memorial Graduate Fellowship in petroleum engineering; and the Imomoh Scholarship for students from the Africa region pursuing a master’s degree in petroleum engineering. Support is provided for other student programs and public energy education as well.
There is no major capital campaign under way at this time, therefore, most contributions to the Foundation come from individual members. While members may contribute to the Foundation at any time, the annual dues statement affords members an easy way to help support important SPE programs. Through the Moving Forward Giving Back initiative, the Foundation provides a way for individual members to support vital programs that serve current and future generations of petroleum professionals.
We are pleased to be able to provide recognition and benefits to donors and hope you will consider joining other SPE members in helping to ensure the future of the Society through a contribution to the Foundation.
DeAnn Craig is president of the SPE Foundation and served as 1998 SPE president.