FAIRMONT — A Birmingham, Alabama-based company co-founded by a Fairmont State University alum has committed to fund scholarships at the school for the next five years.

Diversified Gas & Oil Co., whose chief executive officer and co-founder is Fairmont State University graduate and board of governors member Rusty Hutson Jr., has committed an additional $50,000 to assist Fairmont State students.

“Diversified Gas & Oil strongly believes in supporting students who attend colleges in our operating areas and that are seeking to start careers in the gas and oil or related industries,” said Brad Gray, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “We believe that the energy sector in the United States is strong and that it is a driver of economic prosperity for millions of people in the country. Our industry is a major factor in maintaining low energy costs for our country. At Diversified, we are very committed to our business operations in the Appalachian Basin.”

Diversified donated $30,000 in scholarships starting in 2019 for rising seniors earning a degree in a natural gas- and oil-focused major with an overall grade point average of 3.0 or higher. Each student selected receives a $2,500 scholarship for their senior year. The additional contribution will extend the scholarship program for five more years through 2026.

“The investment that Diversified is making in our students is tremendous,” said Julie R. Cryser, Fairmont State Foundation President. “We can’t thank Diversified and Mr. Hutson enough for their continued support of our Falcon Family.”

Gray said that for the gas and oil industry to continue to be productive, innovative and successful, it needs a consistent talent pool of qualified, local, educated young people. Gray stated that the industry not only needs traditional engineers but also needs talented technology, finance, safety and environmental employees to manage the complexity of operations.

“We can think of no better place from which to source this talent — young people from our backyards, our high schools, our universities,” he said.

Fairmont State University President Mirta Martin said students will benefit greatly from these scholarships.

“For most of our students, paying for college is one of the most significant investments they and their families will ever undertake,” said Martin. “But they know that they are really investing in themselves. It’s a sound investment, because Fairmont State graduates have a reputation for being highly skilled, hard-working and optimistic. And now with their generous scholarships, Diversified Gas & Oil and Rusty Hutson are also investing in our students, easing our students’ financial burdens, and allowing them to concentrate on academic success and graduation.”

Diversified views the scholarships as an investment in the communities in which they operate and investment in the lives and the futures of students preparing for a career in the industry.

Diversified is an operator of gas and oil producing assets. Its investment strategy is focused on the acquisition of mature, low-decline and low-risk wells, enhancement of operations with a focus on efficiency, and maximization of profitability for shareholders. Founded in 2001, Diversified has deep roots in the mineral-rich Appalachian United States.

This gift was made through the Fairmont State Foundation. Established in 1960, the Fairmont State Foundation identifies, establishes and cultivates meaningful relationships with Fairmont State alumni and friends to further the mission and purpose of Fairmont State University.

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