Chevron contributes major gift to TU

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bottom floor of Stephenson Hall will be named Chevron Center for Education and Research

Chevron Center CheckThe University of Tulsa has announced the naming of the Chevron Center for Education and Research, made possible by a generous $1 million commitment that stems from the success of TU’s partnership with one of the nation’s leading energy companies.

The donation, made through Chevron’s University Partnership Program and announced during halftime at the Nov. 6 game against Rice University, will establish the Chevron Center on the bottom floor of the soon-to-be constructed Stephenson Hall, home to the McDougall School of Petroleum Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering. The center will comprise the entire bottom floor of the new facility and will include 13 laboratories and two student lobbies.

“Chevron has been one of our key corporate partners for many years, and the successful outcomes of this relationship are testament to the benefits of industry and education working in collaboration,” said Steven Bellovich, dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences. “This generous gift for the Chevron Center for Education and Research solidifies the university’s relationship with an industry giant whose global reach will benefit TU for generations.”

Stephenson Hall, a 38,600-square-foot facility will house 16 laboratories, 33 faculty and graduate assistant offices, two large student commons areas and conference facilities. Its construction will be a major boon for the two TU programs whose growing enrollments have placed current laboratory and classroom space at a premium.

Ali Moshiri, President of Chevron’s Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company, is based in Houston and serves as Chevron’s Executive Sponsor of the Chevron – TU relationship. He joined Chevron after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from TU in petroleum engineering in 1976 and 1978, respectively.

“The University of Tulsa is important to me personally, but it’s also important to the company. Chevron has numerous TU graduates working around the world and as our industry advances, there will be an even greater demand for top quality engineers and scientists such as those studying at TU. Chevron is proud to play a role in preparing our institutions of higher education to accommodate these students, and in turn, we hope to enjoy mutual success through its product,” said Moshiri.

Perhaps the most high-profile example of the university’s productive relationship with Chevron is the TU Center of Research Excellence (TUCoRE), which began in 2002 as a joint research partnership. Jim Sorem, the TUCoRE co-principal investigator and senior associate dean for the college, said the center acts as a research and development operation, supporting the creation or refinement of production systems technologies while providing critical hands-on educational opportunities for TU’s petroleum engineering students.

On the field during TU's Nov. 6 football game, Moshiri presented TU President Steadman Upham with a check for $320,000, representing an initial payment toward the Chevron Center for Education and Research as well as an additional gift of $120,000 to support the engineering, science and energy management programs. With this commitment, Chevron’s generosity to TU through its University Partnership Program now totals more than $11.5 million.


Mona Chamberlin