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A Brief History Of the Lafayette Geological Society

The Lafayette Geological Society (LGS) indirectly traces its history back to the founding of the South Louisiana Geological Society in Lake Charles, Louisiana, late in 1934. At this time, there were approximately five geologists in the Lafayette area. For the next six years all meetings of the society were held in Lake Charles.

Around 1940, the concentration of geologists increased in the Lafayette area and the South Louisiana Geological Society’s meetings were alternated between Lafayette and Lake Charles, with an occasional meeting being held in Baton Rouge. By 1950, the geologists in Lafayette outnumbered those in Lake Charles.

On December 1, 1952, twenty-three Lafayette geologists met to organize the Lafayette Geological Society. Jesse L. George, Jr., was designated temporary chairman and Gene Whipp agreed to serve as acting secretary. On December 17, 1952, a second meeting was held at which time the Constitution and By-laws were approved. The Society then consisted of 110 members.

The Society continued to grow and prosper and in May, 1953, was affiliated with the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG). Jay Wharton became the first AAPG Representative. In September of this same year, the Society became a member of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies (GCAGS).

The Lafayette Geological Society was incorporated in 1965, and the following year hosted its first GCAGS convention under the leadership of then-GCAGS President Allen M. Borland and General Chairman Robert Copeland. Over the next few years the Society’s membership gradually increased, reaching a total of approximately 500 in 1973. The Society again hosted the GCAGS convention in 1974 with Scott J. Lysinger serving as GCAGS President and Frank W. Harrison, Jr. as General Chairman.

In 1980, the GCAGS held its annual convention in Lafayette for the third time. One of the Society’s most distinguished members, Frank W. Harrison Jr., served as GCAGS President that year, assisted by General Chairman Marvin A. Munchrath. Harrison was subsequently honored by election to a leadership role in the AAPG, serving as President-Elect in 1980-81 and President in 1981-82. In 1990, the Society hosted its fourth GCAGS convention with Peter G. Gray serving as President and Brian E. Lock as General Chairman.

The Lafayette Geological Society, with a current membership of over 200, is most proud of its publications relative to the science of geology and its assistance to the students and faculty of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL). The Society has established endowment scholarships honoring Joe Battle and former ULL Geology Professor William R. Paine. These endowments continue to award cash scholarships to deserving ULL geology students each year. In the Spring of 1998, the AAPG accepted the ULL Student Geological Society as a Student Chapter of the AAPG. William Terrell, LGS student liason, and Bryan Lock, Ph.D., ULL faculty sponsor, were the first members to assist the student chapter.

In 1999, The Lafayette Geological Society hosted the 49th Annual Convention of the Gulf Coast Association of Geological Societies. The 64th Annual Convention of the GCAGS is currently scheduled to be hosted in Lafayette by the LGS.

The LGS holds monthly luncheon meetings at the Petroleum Club of Lafayette that feature technical presentations on geology from a variety of local and out-of-town speakers. In addition, the Lafayette Geological Society hosts several annual events for its members and their families, including a golf tournament and a field trip in the spring, and a bar-b-que in the fall.

– by William Terrell-