Members of the Wold Family and Foundation Visit School of Energy Resources for Presentation and Unveiling

wold family and foundation with uw students and ser staff

The School of Energy Resources (SER) was pleased to host members of the Wold family and representatives of the Wold Foundation on September 24.

Created in 1985 by John and Jane Wold and the Wold family, the Wold Foundation exists to assist, encourage and promote charitable, scientific, literary and educational endeavors. The Foundation supports institutions and programs that promote traditional values and free enterprise and gives a preference to projects benefiting Wyoming citizens and Wyoming youth.

The Wold Foundation has generously supported the University of Wyoming, where it has invested substantial resources to advance energy-related research and education for the benefit of Wyoming.

Accompanied by members of the Wold Foundation, representatives of the group included the eldest son of John and Jane, Peter Wold and his wife Marla, as well as Aaron Otteman, the exploration manager for Wold Energy Partners.

During the visit, the party met with professor of geology and geophysics, John Kaszuba, who was the most recently named the recipient of the John and Jane Wold Centennial Chair in Energy. In addition to hearing about the current efforts Prof. Kaszuba is leading, students in his research group attended the meeting to present on their research, offering a first-hand account of the effects the Wold family’s investment in energy education. Additionally, the group toured several of the labs where the research is taking place.

“I appreciate the conversation and scientific dialogue with our guests,” says Kaszuba. “Our students and the research we do benefit from this interactive engagement. I look forward to our next visit.”

Ellen Polites, a leading graduate student under Kaszuba’s tutelage, gave the keynote presentation on her collaborate work on rare earth elements. The presentation entitled, “Critical Minerals in the Phosphoria Fm and the Potential for Mobilization in Hydrocarbons,” was well attended with several members of the Wold family participating via zoom.

“Presenting to the Wold Foundation gave me unique and valuable perspectives for my project,” says Polites. “Their enthusiasm towards energy research made for a fun and productive meeting.”

To conclude the day, the School of Energy Resources paid tribute to John and Jane Wold and their generous contribution to UW through the unveiling of a wall display affixed in the Energy Innovation Center. The fixture highlights the duo and the impact that their support has had and will continue to have on the growth and development of energy research and education in Wyoming.

”It is a great honor for SER to administer the endowed chair and also to work with the Wold family and companies,” said SER executive director Dr. Holly Krutka. “This endowment is paying dividends for the faculty members that hold it, their students who can focus on cutting edge research topics, and the Wyoming energy industry that will benefit from the basic and applied research program being conducted.”

Established in 1990, the John and Jane Wold Centennial Chair in Energy is the first fully funded endowed academic chair at UW. The endowment of over $3 million is well positioned to carry out its mission of advancing leadership in computational, mathematical, geological and geophysical aspects of energy research.

“The visit was an amazing day for our family,” says Peter Wold. “My parents, John and Jane Wold, would have been so proud.  I get a little emotional seeing this wonderful wall display in recognition of my parents. They absolutely would have loved to be here to listen to the innovative thinking by Dr. Kaszuba and his students. We are grateful for the leadership and methods that Dr. Krutka displays to carryout the mission of the Wold Centennial Chair in Energy.”


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