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Hal H. Bybee Memorial Fund

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Mrs. Sarah "Sally" Lipscomb Bybee
Mrs. Sarah "Sally" Lipscomb Bybee

The Hal H. Bybee Memorial Fund was established by the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System on June 14, 1985, for the benefit of the Jackson School of Geosciences. Gift funds were provided by Mr. Robert W. Bybee of Dallas, Texas, a 1941 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences, Mrs. Sarah L. Bybee of Austin, Texas, a 1939 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin College of Natural Sciences, and Mr. Paul N. McDaniel of London, England. The endowment honors Mr. Halbert H. Bybee of Austin, Texas, a 1941 graduate of The University of Texas at Austin Jackson School of Geosciences.

A staunch supporter of UT Austin’s Department of Geological Sciences, Halbert Homer Bybee was born in San Angelo, Texas, in 1918. The second of five children of Dr. and Mrs. Halbert P. Bybee (Dr. Bybee was the first Geologist-in-Charge of UT Lands and chair of the Department of Geology at the University of Texas), he graduated from San Angelo High School and received his BA in geology in 1941 from the University of Texas.

In 1940, he married Sarah “Sally” Lipscomb, a State of Texas Valedictorian Scholarship recipient, who earned a BA summa cum laude in mathematics from UT in 1939. Sally recalls joining an “interesting family of all ‘rockhounds’” with UT a big part of the whole family’s life. “Whatever was connected to the University,” she says, “that’s what you did.” Their own family grew to include two children, son Hal H. Jr, a 1969 PhD graduate in electrical engineering from UT Austin, who resides in Richardson, Texas and daughter Ann, an MA graduate from the University of Virginia, who lives in Austin. Sally taught high-school geometry during much of their marriage while also managing a household that followed her “well-sitter” of a husband who “wanted to be out in the fields getting those wells down.” At one time or another, the family lived in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, New Mexico, and West Texas.

Mr. Bybee was employed by the Carter Oil Company for eight years and then joined the Continental Oil Company (Conoco) for 35 years before retiring in 1983. He served as chairman of the American Petroleum Institute Committees on Outer Continental Shelf and Coastal Zone Management, past president of the Houston Geological Society, and a member of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists.

Established seven months after his passing, the Hal H. Bybee Memorial Fund is dedicated to providing summer field support of students or for support of students researching geologic issues related to public policy, both of which reflect Mr. Bybee’s long career at Conoco. Of this endowment, Sally is certain that her husband “would be proud to help present-day students complete a degree and (he) would hope that scholarship funds would decrease the hours spent on jobs and give more time for school studies.” More specifically, she says, “he would hope that scholarship funds would enable students to participate in summer field camp.” Sally’s own reasons for creating this endowment mirror this sentiment, “there is nothing you can do better than to give a person an education.”

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