The Henry G. Bennett Distinguished Service Award


Mr. T. Boone Pickens, Jr.
Industrialist and Philanthropist

T. Boone Pickens, Jr.

Mr. Boone Pickens, a man of outstanding citizenship and leadership abilities as well as many other accomplishments, was born in 1928 at Holdenville, Oklahoma. He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1951 with a bachelor of science degree in geology.

After several years of experience in the petroleum industry, he merged two companies he had founded to form Mesa Petroleum Company. Under Mr. Pickens' management as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer for 19 years, Mesa is one of the leading oil and gas exploration and production firms in the nation.

Mr. Pickens is a respected spokesman for business and industry. He has earned a national reputation for his innovative thinking and executive management. In 1981 he was cited by the Wall Street Transcript to receive the gold award as the Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in oil producers' industry.

Mr. Pickens has many other interests that show his genuine concern for people. As a strong advocate of physical fitness he built for his employees a major physical fitness facility at Mesa headquarters. He is a long-times supporter of heart and cancer research, and serves as a member of the board of Visitors for the University Cancer Foundation of the University of Texas Cancer Center, and the National Corporate Cabinet of the American Heart Association. He has also devoted time and leadership to Heart Fund activities in his local area.

Service on other boards of directors has included the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, YMCA and Kilgore Children's Psychiatric Center, and the Board of Regents for West Texas State University. He has been recognized for his staunch support of the arts by the Texas Arts Alliance, which in 1979 presented him the Texas Art Award.

Mr. Pickens was selected as a Fellow in the Academy of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma State University, and more recently was named a Distinguished Fellow of the College of Arts and Sciences. He has a lengthy history of philanthropy, one of the notable examples being his $1 million gift to his Alma Mater to help build a new facility for the School of Geology.

Year of Award: 1983