Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

April 17, 2003

Engineering gets $10.5 million

The estate of George M. Bevier has donated $10.5 million to Pitt’s School of Engineering, the largest gift in the school’s history.

Bevier, a geologist who earned a B.S. in petroleum engineering from Pitt in 1913, is credited as the inventor of a seismograph used to locate oil and gas fields.

The gift continues the Bevier family’s long history of support for Pitt and, especially, the engineering school. Following Bevier’s death in 1972, his wife, Eva Bevier, continued that legacy until her death last year.

The couple established and maintained the Bevier Engineering Library and provided significant financial support to the school’s petroleum engineering program.

The new bequest will support the library, establish the George M. Bevier Endowed Chair in the School of Engineering, create the George M. Bevier Fellowships in Engineering and create the George M. Bevier Award to support programs in bioengineering, sustainability, and energy and energy resources.

“The School of Engineering and the University of Pittsburgh were important to my father,” said Pamela Bevier. “I am sure that both he and my mother would be pleased that he has contributed to developing areas of such national importance.”

Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said Pitt was deeply appreciative of the Beviers’ ongoing generosity. “Their strong legacy of commitment to Pitt — which spanned seven decades — has enriched our University community as a whole and enabled our School of Engineering to develop new programs and initiatives to enhance the educational experiences of its students and further the school’s most important research programs.”

“This gift will serve as the catalyst that will make engineering education at the University of Pittsburgh one of the top programs in the nation,” said Gerald Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. “George Means Bevier was a visionary entrepreneur in the best traditions of our most outstanding graduates, and we are proud and grateful for his commitment to education and to the University of Pittsburgh.”

In addition to inventing a seismograph, Bevier was one of the first geologists in the nation to combine geology and geophysics in the exploration of oil and gas, techniques which contributed to his discovery of the main production area of the Conroe oil fields in Montgomery County, Tex., one of the leading fields of oil and gas production in the nation.

His career with private corporations, the U.S. government and as an independent geologist brought him many honors, including an honorary doctor of science degree from Pitt in 1937 and a School of Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1964.

Leave a Reply