Harold J. VanceHarold J. Vance was born in Geneva, Indiana.  He obtained his bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering and geology in 1923 from the University of California (Berkeley).  He earned his law degree from South Texas Law School in 1939. 

Vance worked for United Oil Company, the U.S. Bureau of Mines, Marlin Oil Company, and Continental Oil Company.  He served as department head of petroleum engineering at Texas A&M from 1934-1953.  He authored two books relating to petroleum engineering and numerous papers on various phases of the petroleum industry. 

Vance was one of the originating directors of The Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE). He served as president in 1963 and on the board of directors in 1964.  In 1980, Vance was awarded with a “Lifetime Membership Award” from SPEE.

The Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering was named in Vance’s honor by a former student. It was the first “named” department in the Texas A&M University System.