The Independent Oil and Gas Association of West Virginia has announced the founding of the Tom Dunn Energy and Leadership Academy to honor the memory of one of its pioneer members and industry leaders, longtime Buckhannon resident and local businessman Thomas B. Dunn.
Dunn was a 1964 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and a former trustee of the college.
In announcing this new initiative during the 37th annual summer meeting Aug. 7, IOGA President Dennis Xander said the first session of the academy would be at West Virginia Wesleyan College July 9 to 11, in conjunction with IOGA's sixth annual West Virginia Oil & Gas Equipment Show.
Family and friends of the late Thomas B. Dunn are excited about the founding of the new Tom Dunn Energy and Leadership Academy. Shown here are grandchildren Grant and Carson; son-in-law and daughter Mark and Tracy Dunn Cunningham; wife Carol Dunn; daughter and son-in-law Jennifer Dunn Fluke and Eric Fluke; IOGA President Dennis Xander; and IOGA past President John Haskins.
"Starting this fall, the academy will be soliciting applications from every high school, public and private, across West Virginia, seeking science teachers who want to participate," Xander said. "Forty teachers will be selected, and those teachers will be asked to select two of their best and brightest students. We hope to have 40 teachers and 80 students."
Dunn was a past president of IOGA, a recipient of IOGAWV's "Gunslinger" award and was West Virginia's Oil and Gas Man of the Year in 1982. He was actively involved in IOGA for more than 45 years, until his untimely passing this April. His leadership in the early 1970s had a profound impact on the growth and development of the association. He also was an active member in oil and gas associations in several other Appalachian Basin states, and on the national level with the Independent Petroleum Association of America.
The academy will be aimed at students entering their junior or senior years. There will be no costs to the participants for tuition, lodging or meals. Those attending will stay on the campus of WVWC, at the expense of the academy.
Funding will come from donations from the energy industry, and from the many friends of Dunn.
"IOGA has had a number of calls from people that wanted to do something to honor and memorialize Tom," Xander said. "The Tom Dunn Energy and Leadership Academy is designed to do just that.
"Tom Dunn understood the energy business in West Virginia. His company, Union Drilling, employed hundreds of people during the years he ran it," Xander said. "He knew how important properly trained people are to the industry, and the consequences of not having those people. Tom loved Buckhannon, and chose to raise his family here. He also loved Wesleyan, and served the college as a trustee for many years. And he loved the energy industry. I feel certain he would be proud of this academy named in his honor."
More information about the academy is available by contacting Xander at Xander@DenexPetroleum.com or 304-472-2186.