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October 7, 1996E-mail:

1997 Fund-raising Campaign: Off to a Successful Start

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - The 1997 fund-raising campaign of the American Geological Institute (AGI) Foundation, initiated in September, is already yielding very positive results. More than $500,000 in lead funds have been pledged by American corporations and foundations to AGI in support of geoscience education and information programs. The AGI Foundation Trustees have set a goal of $2,225,000 to be raised during a three-year (1996-98) fiscal period.

The Trustees are initially seeking creative partnerships within the corporate and philanthropic community to support four AGI programs. They are: (1) Earth Science in the Community -- Understanding Our Environment (EarthComm), a curriculum project for grades 9- 12; (2) a Congressional Fellowship Program that will introduce young geoscience professionals (recent graduates of programs at American colleges and universities) to the national science policy-making process; (3) the Environmental Awareness Series, a collection of booklets covering environmental issues from a geoscience point of view; and (4) courseware to create an Internet- based, cross-disciplinary geoscience education program.

"These programs, broad in scope, promise to bring substantial benefits to AGI member societies and the entire geoscience community," says Jan van Sant, executive director of the Foundation. "For this reason, they were the first programs to be selected by the Foundation for fund-raising support."

Van Sant urged AGI's member societies to join with the Foundation in identifying program needs and opportunities for future support. "The member societies of the American Geological Institute - representing the diverse interests and needs within the earth-science community - must understand the importance of working closely together," says Van Sant. "We look forward to receiving creative ideas and practical suggestions from these societies in the months ahead."

The AGI Foundation, established in 1984, was expanded earlier this year to include 32 Trustees, dedicated to increasing the financial support base of AGI. The Trustees represent petroleum, mining, and environmental industries as well as academia. Under the direction of Chair Thomas M. Hamilton, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Pennzoil Company, seven leadership committees were established and given specific fund-raising assignments:

More AGI programs are expected to receive fund-raising support from the Foundation in the future and additional committees may be established, as the need arises. A Houston-based firm, Woodway Financial Advisors - A Trust Company, has been selected to manage monies raised for the Foundation.

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