In 1919, Oklahoma had been a state for only 12 years, and Erle P. Halliburton had just established his first oilfield service company. That spring, a young man named Leon Everette English walked across the stage at the University of Oklahoma’s commencement ceremony, making history as the first person in the U.S. to earn a degree in geological engineering. Later that same year, the university expanded its curriculum to add courses in petroleum technology as well.
Later, these two disciplines were combined into one school. Since 2000, it has been known as the Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering (MPGE), after celebrated alumnus and independent oilman Curtis W. Mewbourne of Tyler, Texas. Housed within the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma, the school is one of the oldest, ranking among the top programs in the nation. It regularly attracts students from all over the world.