HGS Supports Higher Education
HGS Foundation Benefitting Undergraduate Students
The Houston Geological Society Foundation was established in 1984 with the intent of providing scholarships to deserving undergraduate geosciences majors. The Foundation was incorporated in 1985 and achieved tax-exempt status from the IRS later the same year as a nonprofit Section 501c (6) organization for charitable, scientific, or educational purposes. As of March 2011, Foundation trustees include: John Adamick (chairman), David Fontaine (Treasurer), Shannon Lemke (Secretary), James Painter, Susan Black, Paul Hoffman, James Ragsdale, and Evelyn Medvin. The Foundation has provided over $184,000 in scholarships since its inception.
The Foundation uses a variety of means to try and raise scholarship funds. Direct donations, the HGS membership dues process, Vendors Corner proceeds, matching-fund donations, and golf tournaments all produce funds that help support our scholarship program. In 2011, the HGS also allowed the Foundation and Calvert (graduate) scholarship programs to recruit sponsors for Legends Night. Profits from Legends Night were split between the two scholarship funds and were a significant source of funding.
Seven universities participate in the Foundation’s scholarship program. These include: Rice University, the University of Houston, Texas A&M, the University of Texas, Sam Houston State University, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Lamar. Each fall, the head of the geosciences department at each university is contacted. The university submits two nominees and notifies the students of their nomination. Each student is then required to file an application to the Foundation by a deadline. All applications are reviewed in late November and winners are notified in December. The scholarships are presented to the students in January or February at one of the regular HGS dinner meetings. Typically, the Foundation attempts to award a scholarship to each university participating in the program, if the applicants are qualified. Scholarship amounts may vary from year to year but in recent years have been $1500 per student. In addition, the highest overall ranked student each year is awarded the Maby Scholarship and awarded an extra $1,000.
W. L. Calvert Memorial Scholarships Benefitting Graduate Students
The Warren L. and Florence W. Calvert Memorial Scholarship Fund was started in 1974 with a donation from the Calvert family and awarded its first scholarship in 1978. The stated purpose of the fund is “to assist worthy and needy geological students to pursue graduate studies in some branch of Economic Geology leading to a master’s or doctor’s degree at any accredited university of his choice”. The fund is managed by 5 HGS members (currently Carl Norman, President; Pat Gordon, Vice President; Dick Bishop, Treasurer; Alison Henning, Secretary; and the HGS president-elect). Through 2015, the fund has awarded $433,300 in scholarships to students enrolled at 22 different colleges and universities. Typical annual awards vary, but recently have ranged from $3,500-$4,500. The chart below shows scholarship awards by school for the past 5 years.
Growth of the fund comes from contributions from HGS members and interest earned on fund investments. Several appreciative recipients of Calvert scholarships later donated amounts to the fund that matched or exceeded the awards they received.
Selection of a recipient is based primarily on the candidate’s past academic record and their potential to complete graduate degree requirements, as attested to by professional Earth Scientists in academia, government and industry. Financial need will be a secondary consideration. A recipient may pursue studies at any accredited college or university in the United States that awards graduate degrees in the Earth Sciences. Scholarship applicants must present evidence of their unconditional acceptance for graduate study at the school of their choice. Recipients are expected to carry at least 9 credit hours each semester or quarter, summer terms excepted. Second and third year renewals may be granted provided the scholar demonstrates satisfactory progress toward their degree.
Deadline for receipt of applications is June 15. Announcement of awards will be made in July. Application forms can be downloaded here and submitted to:
Dr. Alison Henning
1022 Martin St.
Houston, TX 77018
To view 2010-2011 winners, click here.