Colorado State University today announced a $4.3 million gift to its earth resources program from a renowned geologist, philanthropist and alumnus – which will position the program nationally as a leader in geological education, research, and oil, gas, and mineral exploration.
Ed Warner – an earth resources graduate who founded Expedition Oil Company in Denver and discovered the single largest natural gas field in the Rocky Mountain region over the past 20 years – donated funds to create two endowed chairs in geophysics and economic geology.
"Colorado State has an amazing geology program with the capability of being one of the best," said Warner. "I’m just giving them a few of the tools to realize their full potential."
In addition to the two endowed chairs, Warner’s gift will provide funding for graduate teaching assistantships and a high-tech spatial analysis laboratory, which allows researchers to view seismic data in three dimensionals in order to better explore areas that may contain oil or natural gas.
"Geology is very important to me – I love my career," said Warner, who donates his time working one-on-one with Colorado State’s geology students, passing on his valuable professional knowledge. "I want to support and encourage students to enter this important field. If I can preserve students’ futures, then I have succeeded."
"Ed Warner’s gift is invaluable to the earth resources program and our university as a whole, and we are truly grateful," said Albert C. Yates, Colorado State University President. "His generosity will provide a comprehensive, top-quality learning environment for geology students at Colorado State for generations to come. As an added benefit, his support will allow for cutting-edge research in energy exploration, an area that is critically important to Colorado and the nation."
Warner credits the university as being the catalyst for his success – the field that he helped to discover in Wyoming is projected to produce over $12 billion worth of natural gas.
"Not only did I receive a remarkable education in geology, but the university provided me with financial help and guidance during a difficult time in my life," said Warner. "It has been my longtime goal to be able to give this gift to Colorado State."
The substantial gift is part of Colorado State’s initiative aimed at adding new endowed chairs this year. With this donation, the university has added five new chairs and professorships totaling $7.2 million in the last 6 months.
The Colorado State University Foundation permanently invests funds that are given to establish endowed chairs, and the interest generated is used to support the chair. The principle amount is never drawn upon, so endowments allow continuous funding to supplement the chairholder’s salary, graduate student work, research and activities tied to the industry. Endowed chairs attract and retain top-quality faculty at the university.