Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650
Oct. 1, 2002


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Marlan Downey

DALLAS (SMU) -- Marlan Downey, former president of Pecten (Shell) International and former president of ARCO International, will be the recipient of the 2002 Hollis D. Hedberg Award in Energy given by the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man (ISEM) at SMU.

The Hedberg Award in Energy is presented annually to an individual who has made exceptional contributions to understanding the earth and its resources. The award pays tribute to the distinguished career of the late Hollis D. Hedberg, a geologist who made substantial contributions in such areas as paleontology, sedimentology, geophysics, the geology of source rocks, hydrocarbon exploration and the history of geology.

Downey is being recognized for his extraordinary contributions to the energy industry worldwide and for his commitment to education and student research. A native of Nebraska, Downey graduated from Peru State College with a degree in chemistry, returned to the University of Nebraska after military service in Korea, and simultaneously completed a B.S. and M.S. in geology. After graduating from the University of Nebraska, he went to work for Shell Oil Company in Tulsa. His career at Shell spanned 30 years in research and operations. After a brief retirement, Downey became president of ARCO International.

Downey is immediate past president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and also was Chief Scientist of the Sarkeys Energy Center and Bartell Professor of Geoscience at the University of Oklahoma. In 2001, Downey organized and chaired the Conference on a National Energy Policy in Washington, D.C. He was recently honored in Houston as "A Living Legend in the Oil Business."

A dinner honoring Downey will be held on Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Dallas Country Club. The featured speaker for the dinner will be Simon Winchester, author of The Map That Changed the World: William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology and The Professor and the Madman. A worldwide adventurer and great storyteller, Winchester studied geology at Oxford University and has written for such publications as Condé Nast, Smithsonian and National Geographic. Copies of his latest book, The Map That Changed the World, will be available for sale and signing at the event.

Tickets for the Nov. 7 event are $95 per person, and proceeds benefit student research at SMU. Sponsorship opportunities for the dinner also are available.

Shell Oil Company also is sponsoring a luncheon honoring Downey on Oct. 31 at the River Oaks Country Club in Houston. For tickets or more information on either event, call ISEM at 214-768-2425.