Celebrating 40 years: Donor Spotlight– Elijah White

Elijah White M.S. '84
Elijah White M.S. ’84

As a master’s student in geological sciences at Carolina in the early 1980s, Elijah White (M.S. ’84) studied under UNC geology faculty legends John Dennison, Roy Ingram and Walter Wheeler. White says that his experiences with these esteemed faculty members represent some of his best memories of UNC and helped inspire him to give back to the geology department.

White, of Houston, Texas, established the Elijah White Jr. Faculty Excellence Fund in Geological Sciences in 2012 to provide faculty support for research materials, equipment purchases, research leave and participation in professional conferences.

Now the geoscience vice president in the ExxonMobil Production Company, White has come a long way from his days as a kid growing up in Wilson, N.C. Fascinated by rocks at a young age, he spent many hours along the railroad tracks exploring the different types of stones that lined the rail beds. His love of rocks led him to major in geology as an undergraduate at Elizabeth City State University, before choosing UNC for graduate school, where he was impressed with Carolina’s faculty and the family atmosphere in the geological sciences department.

“Carolina offered a wonderful chance to study with preeminent faculty, travel and study in both the Rocky and Appalachian mountains, as well as the opportunity to watch some great basketball and pretty good football,” White said.

After finishing his master’s degree, White went to work for ExxonMobil, where he has held positions in the Exploration, Development, Production and Research companies over his nearly 30-year career.  He is currently a member of the Arts and Sciences Foundation Board of Directors.

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