Mesa State unveils sign of support from energy industry

Phil Castle
Business Times

MSC Williams plaque
Williams Vice President Alan Harrison talks about his company’s scholarship program during a brief ceremony unveiling a plaque designating the Williams Lecture Hall at Mesa State College in Grand Junction. Jim Colosky, coordinator of the landman and energy management program at the college, looks on. Williams has pledged up to $150,000 in scholarships for students enrolled in the program. (Business Times photo by Phil Castle)

A sign of the support Mesa State College receives from the energy industry now hangs outside a lecture hall on the Grand Junction campus.

A new plaque designates Room 104 in the Academic Classroom Building as the Williams Lecture Hall in recognition of a program in which the company has pledged $150,000 for scholarships.

In a brief ceremony unveiling the plaque, Mesa State President Tim Foster praised Williams for its ongoing partnership with the college. “We really love what you do for some of our students.”

Williams explores, develops, processes and transports natural gas in the Rocky Mountains as well as the Eastern Seaboard, Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, and Marcellus shale formation in Pennsylvania.

Williams has pledged a total of up to $150,000 over five years to fund scholarships for up to six students a year enrolled in a landman and energy management program at Mesa State.

The program is available as a concentration for a bachelor’s of business management degree. The program combines coursework in business, energy management, environmental sciences and geology. Employment as a landman usually requires a four-year degree with coursework in energy, law and real estate.

Williams awarded four, $5,000 scholarships for the 2010-2011 academic year. They went to: Khloe Burge and Kayla Haynes, two sophomores from Fort Collins; Traci Van Loan, a senior from Grand Junction; and Jeff Zimmerman, a sophomore from Rifle.

Scholarship applicants must maintain at least a 3.0 grade point average on a four-point scale. They’re also required to submit an essay on leadership in the workplace and undergo an interview process.

Morgan Bridge, chairwoman of the business department at Mesa State, said Williams not only helps students with scholarships, but also helped start the landman and energy management program. The relationship is important, Bridge said, in connecting the college with the energy industry.

Alan Harrison, a vice president for Williams who works out of a regional office in Denver, said the company has enjoyed a “long and rich” involvement with Mesa State that now includes the scholarship program.

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