Steve Wells, GSA Foundation Trustee and President of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, took a moment to share how his lifelong experience of the GSA community inspires his current service and philanthropic support of the Foundation.
What inspires you to give so freely of your time serving as a GSAF Trustee?
The GSA Foundation is the fundraising arm for our Society, and the benefits derived from the Foundation’s efforts will provide positive impacts on current and future generations of geologists. Knowing that I can help to shape the future of our field in such a manner makes it very easy for me to serve in this capacity.
What motivates you to give to GSA?
The Geological Society of America has been my professional society of choice since I was a graduate student in the early 1970s. As a student, young professional, a professor, and academic administrator, I have benefited from the Society in ways that I cannot measure. From support for my graduate research to honing my professional leadership skills, the Society has been one of the most important factors in my career over the past 40 years. Giving is a very small step I can take to ensure that GSA will continue to provide these types of positive impacts in the future.
What would you say to others thinking about make a financial commitment to the Society?
First, as geologists we study the past, so I would encourage them to seriously reflect on the past trajectory of your career and the role that GSA has made on that trajectory. From your first GSA field trip where you could stand among those professionals who may have shaped your career, to the first GSA presentation you gave and the feedback provided by key mentors. Think about the opportunities afforded to publish in outstanding peer-reviewed journals, to those opportunities provided to lead various elements of our Society. It is this remarkable mix of opportunities that needs to be preserved through personal generosity to guarantee such opportunities for generations of students and professionals for decades to come.
What would you like to say to other people who donate their time and resources to GSA?
A very sincere thank you for all you have done, are doing, and hopefully will continue to do for our professional Society. Sometimes, we do not recognize that time is a person’s most precious asset. Giving of time and resources so freely is a form of generosity by our members that makes our Society so special, and quite frankly separates us from most other types of societies.