Bill Scoggins (BS ’70, PhD ’78) has had a few surprises along his career path, and each one has led to an exciting new opportunity. The culmination of those successes has earned him the title of TU Distinguished Alumnus.
As a high school student in Bartlesville during the 1960s, Scoggins
envisioned himself becoming the world’s greatest surgeon. But fate
stepped in when he received a visit from Petroleum Engineering Chair
Kermit Brown, who encouraged Scoggins to give engineering – and TU – a
After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Scoggins was hired by Mobil Oil.
“When I graduated from TU, I knew there was oil south of the Red River,”
he said. “But my career grew as the international petroleum industry
Scoggins also completed his doctorate at TU and went on to oversee
Mobil’s production operations for much of the central and western United
States. In 1990, he was named vice president for Exploration and
Production Division Planning and Upstream Technology at Mobil’s
In 1993, Scoggins accepted a position as president and general manager
of Mobil Oil Indonesia in Jakarta. Three years later, he took on a new
role as a Group Operating Officer: first for Mobil’s Africa and Middle
East upstream and downstream businesses, and then for New Exploration
and Producing Ventures and Global Exploration.
Scoggins went on to serve as an executive vice president and member of
the executive committee for Mobil Oil Corporation and president of its
International Exploration and Production Business Unit. He was executive
vice president of ExxonMobil Production Company following Mobil’s
merger with Exxon in late 1999.
He and his wife, Karen, moved 19 times in 35 years of marriage and
thought they were ready to settle down after retiring in 2004. Wrong!
They had one more relocation coming: Golden, Colorado. Since 2006,
Scoggins has served as president of the prestigious Colorado School of
Mines where he puts his vast experience to use every day.
“TU gave me a valuable applied engineering education,” Scoggins said.
“But it was the non-engineering courses, the corporate involvement on
campus, and the connections I developed with faculty mentors and
colleagues outside of class that prepared me for the world beyond
Scoggins, who served on the TU Board of Trustees in 2005-06, credits Dr.
Brown, Professors Emeritus Jim Brill and Richard Thompson, as well as
others from the TU community with contributing to his success. Scoggins
is actively fostering those same experiences for students at the School
“Those relationships are so important to students. They can have such a
huge impact on an individual’s career as well as their life,” he said,
adding that a diverse student body and a sense of community – like those
at TU – are essential elements at world-class universities.
The School of Mines seeks to educate students in three mains areas:
earth resources, energy, and the environment. And, much like TU’s True
Blue Neighbor program, Scoggins has ensured that the School of Mines
encourages all students to participate in humanitarian and service
endeavors locally and abroad.
TU’s physical campus has come a long way from the days when Scoggins
would ride an old blue school bus from John Mabee Hall to the North
Campus for engineering classes. Scoggins was last on the TU campus in
May 2011 for induction as an honorary alumnus member of Phi Beta Kappa,
and called the recent construction of the Lorton Performance Center, J.
Newton Rayzor Hall and Stephenson Hall “spectacular.”
Scoggins said he stays in touch with several faculty members and
administrators within the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences,
including ENS Dean Steven Bellovich.
“Bill is a great example of how TU prepares students to compete and
contribute in the business world,” Bellovich said. “But he also
demonstrates the fact that TU prepares its graduates to be successful in
leadership positions outside of their chosen technical professions.
Presiding over a venerable university, such as Colorado School of Mines,
is no small feat; and Bill does it with skill and aplomb.”