Bird endows petroleum engineering scholarship

Gregory A. Bird '82, president and owner of Jetta Operating Company Inc. in Fort Worth, has endowed a $120,000 scholarship for petroleum engineering students at Texas A&M University.

His gift creates the Gregory A. Bird ’82 Scholarship, funded through the Texas A&M Foundation, in the Von Gonten Scholars Program. Named for former Texas A&M department head Doug Von Gonten, the program was established in 1993 to support students as they earn their petroleum engineering degrees.

“The petroleum industry is doing well, and our graduates are in high demand.” said Dr. Stephen A. Holditch, director of the Texas A&M Energy Institute and former petroleum engineering department head. “As such we have a surging undergraduate enrollment. Gifts from our successful graduates, like Greg Bird, will let us provide needed scholarships to worthy students. These scholarships allow our department to recruit and retain the talented students we need to produce qualified engineers for the oil and gas industry.”

Bird said, “The oil and gas industry is in constant need of well-educated, enthusiastic and promising engineers and the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering produces those talented individuals. I am pleased to be able to help support the efforts of dedicated students working toward careers as petroleum engineers. These students are the future of this industry.”

Bird graduated magna cum laude with a B.S. in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M, where he was named outstanding senior petroleum engineering student and received the Robert L. Whiting Award.

He began his career with Hunt Energy Corp. and then joined Cawley, Gillespie & Associates Inc. in Fort Worth, advancing to partner. Bird founded Jetta in 1991.

Jetta Operating is a privately held oil and gas company operating properties in the Texas Gulf Coast, West Texas Region, Southern Mid-Continent Region and the Appalachian region of Kentucky. The Oil and Gas Financial Journal has listed Jetta Operating in the top 50 U.S. private E&P companies based on operated production in the United States.

Bird is a registered professional engineer in Texas and a member of the Fort Worth chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  He also serves as a board member of several organizations, including the Texas A&M University Petroleum Engineering Industry Board, TCU Energy Institute, Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America Foundation and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Bird is the past president of the Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America and past president and current member of the Petroleum Club of Fort Worth. He is also a member of the Dallas Petroleum Club, Fort Worth Air Power Council and several professional organizations, including the Texas Oil & Gas Association and the Fort Worth Wildcatters. Additionally, he is involved in other community and philanthropic efforts through the Gregory A. and Laura E. Bird Foundation.

Bird’s gift upgrades a $60,000 petroleum engineering scholarship he established in 2005 through the Texas A&M Foundation, which is a private nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance Texas A&M University.