Dear Mewbourne College,
The 2021 school year has begun and already we have good news to share.
The University of Oklahoma recently celebrated the inauguration of our 15th president, Joseph Harroz, Jr. I’ve known Joe for many years. I respect his leadership and think he has done an outstanding job during the last two years of his tenure as interim president and now president.
During his address, he spoke about his family’s path to Oklahoma. His grandfather arrived here from Lebanon as a boy after learning there was work to be found because of the booming energy industry. He later married and had children, but at times the family was so poor that Joe’s oldest aunts and uncles took turns temporarily living in an orphanage. Through a scholarship, Joe’s father came to the University of Oklahoma and went on to become a respected physician who delivered more than 12,000 babies in Oklahoma.
“A great university creates the opportunity for those who have the talent regardless of their means,” he said during his address.
Joe’s words brought two things to my mind.
First: Because of you, our generous alumni, we are able to do exactly what Joe described – provide opportunity to students who have the talent but not the means, and materially change their lives through education. Not only can we change their lives, but we can change the lives of their children and their children’s children.
Second: It reminded me that the energy industry provides opportunity to the people and the economy of Oklahoma more broadly. Joe’s father sold groceries to the men and women working in the oil fields of Oklahoma. In fact, the family still owns a grocery store chain. But it was the impact of the energy industry upon this region that brought the Harroz family from the other side of the world. As the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy, our impact goes beyond our graduates. It surpasses energy and geosciences, and impacts all people, regardless of their profession.
I offer a heartfelt congratulations to President Harroz and look forward to working closely with him to continue the OU brand as The Energy University.
OU PETROBOWL WINS AGAIN
You’ll find an entire article in this newsletter about the OU Petrobowl team win, but I cannot write you without highlighting this! Earlier this month, we became the first Petrobowl team IN THE WORLD to win this prestigious competition five times. Last year, we were the first to win the competition four times.
Congratulations to our team of undergraduate and graduate students from Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy and the Gallogly College of Engineering. This accomplishment further highlights the quality of education unique to the University of Oklahoma.
We’ve recently heard from several corporate recruiters and alumni that they’re holding off on hiring interns because their companies won’t have full-time openings in the fall. I would like to take a moment to explain the value of internships for our students.
We always hope that internships can be a bridge that helps students find employment and helps the industry to find its next exceptional employees; however, internships serve other very important functions.
- Internships provide students valuable learning experiences, and internships are an important step for our students to find meaningful full-time employment.
- For our petroleum engineering students, an internship is a graduation requirement. When companies pull back internships, it can cause stressful roadblocks to graduation during students’ last semesters at OU.
Please know that internships provide an important experience for our students. The Irani Center for Energy Solutions can also provide meaningful externship experiences. If you have any questions about this, I would love to talk more.
I hope you enjoy our fall 2021 edition of Earth + Energy.
J. Mike Stice
Dean and Lester A. Day Family Chair