The Corinne and Toby Carleton Scholarship Endowment Fund
Born and raised in Houston, Toby Carleton attended UT Austin where he received a BS in geology in 1951 and an MA in geology in 1952. He took up geology “by accident,” he says, after enrolling in a historical geology class in his freshman year. His master’s thesis advisor was R.K. DeFord, of whom he says, was great in the field but …tough as a boot” in the classroom.
Upon graduating from UT, Carleton went to work for the Ohio Oil Company (which later became Marathon Oil Company) in June 1952 and was assigned to the Midland division office. He married Corinne Phillips (BA, English, ’51), who he met on campus, on June 20, 1953. The company transferred them to Roswell, New Mexico, where Corinne taught second grade. They have two daughters (the younger of whom is a UT graduate with a BBA in petroleum land management) and a son (a Landman working for the family’s production and ranching interests). One of the Carleton’s six grandchildren is currently pursuing a degree in communications at UT Austin.
Carleton moved back to Midland in 1955 to work for a newly formed company, Zapata Petroleum Corporation. He delights in recalling his interview: Zapata’s president (and later Chairman of the Board of Pennzoil Company), Hugh Liedtke, agreed to hire him for $550 per month subject to the approval of the company’s vice president (and future president of the United States), George H.W. Bush. Bush agreed to the deal but, in Carleton’s words, “chiseled me down to $500 a month.”
A consummate businessman, Carleton has been involved in the formation of many companies. In 1970, he founded Tocor (as in Toby and Corinne) Investments and Tocor Exploration. He was involved in the formation of the Western Division of Pogo Producing Company, having served as the initial Vice President and Western Division Manager. Carleton and his son, Phil, formed Imperial Operating Company an oil producing and salt water disposal company. In addition, he has ventured into the wind energy business with Industry Maintenance and Supply, LLC, which furnishes supplies, parts, and lubrication trailers to the wind energy business.
Carleton has served as president of the West Texas Geological Society (1981-82), president of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (1994-95), and national president of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists (2000-01). Since 1995, he has been a member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council. He and Corinne are both life members of Texas Exes and season football ticket holders. Most recently, they have generously supported the creation of the RK DeFord Graduate Advising Suite in the Jackson School’s new student center.
When asked why he created this endowment, Carleton replies, “it’s payback time for all that I have learned while a student at the University of Texas; also for the contacts that have helped me in both my professional and personal life. Whatever success I have had in life has been largely due to what I learned at UT. I want others to have the same opportunity.” As to the impact he hopes his endowment has on the Jackson School and UT Austin communities, Carleton is clear: while he feels his is “only a small part of the big picture,” he knows that “if enough others would do the same, it would have a big impact on the Jackson School and UT.”