Frank Harrison Jr., 2017 Chairman’s Awardee

Frank Harrison Jr.

Longtime AAPG Foundation supporter and leader Frank Harrison Jr., a founder of the group's highly successful Trustee Associates, is this year's recipient of the AAPG Foundation Chairman's Award.

This award, given in recognition of those who have made extraordinary contributions (monetary or service) to the AAPG Foundation and who call attention to the role and value of the Foundation, will be presented April 4 at the Chairman's Reception during the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in Houston.

Harrison's relationship with the Foundation began in 1978 when he was invited by James E. Wilson to become a founding member of the Trustee Associates, a distinguished group of donors who provide support for Foundation fundraising efforts and counsel and leadership to the Trustees.

This image of Harrison is from the Winter 1997 cover story of Louisiana Business magazine entitled, "For Frank Harrison the oil business is the ride of his life."

Harrison, believing the Foundation is essential to the future of AAPG, said setting up the Trustee Associates was among the most important decisions made by the AAPG Foundation. Since that time, he has called attention to the Foundation through service as chairman for the group (2000) and sponsored more than 14 new Trustee Associates.

In 1986, when the Foundation became an Oklahoma non-profit organization, Harrison was appointed as a Regular Member of the Members of the Corporation, a seat he still holds.

The members of the Members of the Corporation meet annually to keep abreast of Foundation activities and business.

This lifelong Louisiana resident and Louisiana State University (LSU) graduate (1950) served as president of AAPG from 1981-82. Harrison's optimism about the oil and gas industry during his presidency prompted the Executive Committee members to give him a sign that read "Optimistic Oil Company — Frank W. Harrison, president." After giving thought to the name and his outlook about the oil and gas industry, Harrison did indeed establish the Optimistic Oil Company, where he serves as president.

After he graduated from LSU with a bachelor's degree in petroleum geology, Harrison served in the U.S. Army from 1951-53. He then worked as a geologist for Union Producing Co. and Seaboard Oil Co. in New Orleans.

In 1956 Harrison moved to Lafayette, where he accepted a position as the district geologist for Trans-Tex Drilling for a year before joining American Natural Gas production as head geologist. In 1959, he began his successful career as an independent and consulting geologist in south Louisiana.

Harrison, an AAPG Honorary Member, has served on numerous committees since joining AAPG in 1954; his service as a Visiting Geoscientist, as well as a committee member for that program and the Distinguished Lecture program allowed him to share his optimism about the oil and gas industry and the need for innovative thinking and sound geological reasoning to develop drillable plays with future geoscientists.

Harrison has given generously of his time — both personally and professionally — by serving on boards and holding offices for many other organizations. His professional affiliations include service as president of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (1980); Lafayette Geological Society (1961-62); the American Geosciences Institute (1989-90); and the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association (1977-78).

Harrison received the Colonel Edwin L. Drake Legendary Oilman Award in 2003, honoring a lifetime of achievement within the oil and gas industry by The Drake Foundation. Harrison is the 19th recipient of this award. Past award honorees include Michel T. Halbouty, L. Austin Weeks, James E. Wilson, Merrill W. Haas, Hugh Looney, Lawrence W. Funkhouser, Fred A. Dix Jr., Robert W. Esser, Eugene F. "Bud" Reid, Jack C. Threet, John W. Shelton, David Scott "Scotty" Holland, William E. Crain, Herbert G. Davis, Richard A. Baile, Charles Weiner, William L. Fisher and Donald A. O'Nesky.