Williston Basin Chapter API Establishes Endowed Scholarships and Issues Challenge

The Williston Basin Chapter of the American Petroleum Institute (Williston API) has established endowed scholarships at Montana Tech of the University of Montana and the University of North Dakota.

The Williston API is a nonprofit organization comprised of service oriented individuals who serve the local oil and gas industry, as well as the surrounding community. Our members are dedicated to providing a forum for the discussion of energy related issues and promoting improvement of the energy industry through education and community action.

Williston API members are committed to develop and adhere to the highest level industry standards, protect the environment, and lead in health and safety performance. The Williston API raises funds for scholarships, promotes education, and makes an impact in the community where we live and work.

In 2008, the organization established the Williston API Scholarship program at Montana Tech offering two $2,000 scholarships annually to support one junior and one senior in the Petroleum Engineering Program. The scholarships are part of a continued effort to meet the increasing demand for a skilled workforce in the growing oil and gas industry in the Williston Basin.

The University of North Dakota (UND) has recently established the Department of Petroleum Engineering and the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering in the College of Engineering and Mines offering for the first time a petroleum engineering degree program.

The Education and Scholarship Committee presented a proposal to the board of directors and subsequently to the membership to establish a similar scholarship program at UND as the one at Montana Tech. Ultimately the decision was made to establish the Williston API Endowed Scholarship at UND and fund two $2,000 scholarships to be awarded annually for Petroleum Engineering. Additionally, the chapter also established the Williston API Endowment to fund the scholarships at Montana Tech.

“The education and scholarship committee and our board of directors presented the endowment proposal to our members and they voted with great enthusiasm to establish these endowed scholarships,” commented Ken Callahan, president of the Williston API Board of Directors. “The endowments will enable these scholarships to be funded in perpetuity and our members see this as an investment in our future and a legacy of our chapter.”

“This was a record year for Montana Tech with 405 students enrolled in Petroleum Engineering,” explained Luke Meyer with the Montana Tech Foundation. “We are truly pleased to see the Williston API strengthen their commitment to the program by now creating an endowment for their scholarships that were established in 2008.”

“This represents the very first endowed scholarship for our relatively young Petroleum Engineering program which now has over 200 students in its fourth year in existence,” stated Dan Muus, Chief Development Officer, UND Alumni Association & Foundation. “We are excited to have this ongoing support for our students from the Williston Basin API chapter. UND students graduating with degrees from the Harold Hamm School of Geology and Geological Engineering and the Petroleum Engineering department today, will be leaders within the industry for decades to come.”

Contribution Challenge
The endowments have been initially funded with $25,000 to each institution and will only partially fund the annual scholarships. The Williston API will continue to fund the balance of the scholarships until the endowments are fully funded, approximately $50,000 each. The chapter plans to make future contributions as finances allow and as approved by the membership.

The Williston API education and scholarship committee along with the board of directors would like to challenge and encourage its members and their companies to join in the effort to support the future of our industry by making additional contributions to the endowments. Contributions may be made to either or both endowments by contacting the foundations directly. More information is available at the chapter website at www.WillistonAPI.com.

Brent Eslinger, Sr. District Manager for Halliburton and past president of the Williston API added “This is an outstanding achievement for the Williston API Chapter and its members. It is an opportunity for our industry and our chapter members to give back to our community and prepare our youth for success.” He added “This next step of an endowed scholarship will become a standing legacy for the API chapter.”

“I am proud of our organization and the commitment our members have made to this effort,” stated Kathleen Neset, president of Neset Consulting, past board member of the Williston API, and member of the Education and Scholarship Committee. “I for one would like to encourage other companies to support this initiative and I look forward to fully funding these endowments in the near future.”

Companies and individuals interested in contributing to either or both of the endowments can find more information on the chapter website at www.WillistonAPI.com.

Williston Basin Chapter API
Ken Callahan, President

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