University of Pittsburgh
April 14, 2003

Estate of George M. Bevier Makes $10.5 Million Donation to the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering

Bevier donation is the largest gift Ever to the School of Engineering
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH—The estate of George M. Bevier has donated $10.5 million to the University of Pittsburgh's School of Engineering.

George Bevier, a petroleum geologist who received the Bachelor of Science degree in engineering in 1913 from Pitt's School of Engineering, is credited as the inventor of a seismograph used to locate the presence of oil and gas fields.

The gift continues the Beviers' long history of friendship with Pitt. Upon George Bevier's death in 1972, Eva Bevier, his wife, continued a relationship with Pitt and the University's School of Engineering until her death in December 2002. Through the years, the couple established and maintained the Bevier Engineering Library in the School of Engineering and provided significant financial support to the school's Petroleum Engineering Program.

This most recent bequest will support the Bevier Engineering 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 Bevier Chair and the Bevier Fellowships will allow us to attract and retain outstanding faculty and students, respectively, in these critical areas," said Gerald Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering.

"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."

"The University of Pittsburgh is deeply appreciative of George and Eva Bevier's ongoing generosity," said Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg. "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."

"Receipt of such a generous gift from an engineering graduate of 1913 reflects on the long history of excellence in the School of Engineering," Holder said. "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. 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 is credited with being 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 state and nation.

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

The Beviers' gift is the largest gift ever made to the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering.