NORMAN — Retired chairman of ConocoPhillips and chairman emeritus of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, Archie W. Dunham, will be honored as the eighth recipient of the Oklahoma Trailblazer Award presented by the University of Oklahoma Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy. Established in 2003, the Oklahoma Trailblazer Award honors exceptional individuals in the energy industry who blaze a trail for others to follow.
“Archie Dunham is not only an unquestioned leader in the energy industry, he is also a great advocate for education and for giving opportunities to young people,” said OU President David L. Boren. “He and his wife Linda have been generous contributors to the University of Oklahoma and its mission.”
Past recipients of the award include J. Denny Bartell, Charles Stephenson Jr., Lew O. Ward III, Curtis Mewbourne, the Lloyd Noble Family, John W. Nichols and Brian O’Brien.
Dunham was born in Durant and raised in Ada. In 1960, he graduated from OU with a Bachelor of Science in geological engineering and accepted his commission as a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps. He returned to OU and completed an MBA in 1966, graduating at the top of his class in 1966.
After graduating from OU, Dunham joined Conoco Inc. as an associate engineer, rising rapidly through the ranks and serving in almost every area of the company. Elected to the Conoco Board of Directors in 1985, he became president and CEO in 1996. He was elected chairman of the board in 1999.
Honored by OU as a distinguished graduate, Dunham received OU’s highest award, an honorary doctorate of humane letters, in 1999. At OU, he has served as a board member of OU’s Price College of Business and OU’s Gallogly College of Engineering. He also is a past trustee of the OU Foundation.
Dunham and his wife Linda have endowed significant student scholarships and supported the construction of numerous facilities, including the Archie Dunham Leadership Center, the Dunham Leadership Center in the Gallogly College of Engineering and most recently, Dunham Residential College.
Chairman emeritus of Chesapeake Energy and retired chairman of the board of ConocoPhillips, he was instrumental in orchestrating Conoco's IPO separation from DuPont in 1998 — the largest in U.S. history at the time — and in negotiating the merger of equals between Conoco Inc. and Phillips, creating the third largest energy company in the nation and the fifth largest in the world. He currently serves on the boards of directors of Chesapeake Energy Corporation and Cool Planet Energy Systems Inc.
Dunham previously served as chairman of the United States Energy Association, the National Petroleum Council and the National Association of Manufacturers. He has served on the boards of directors of Conoco Inc., ConocoPhillips, Douglas Oil Company of California, Consol Energy, DuPont, Phelps Dodge Corporation, Union Pacific Corporation, Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, Bell Atlantic-Delaware, Chase Bank of Texas, the JPMorgan Chase Advisory Board and the Deutsche Bank Advisory Board.
A member of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, Dunham also has served as director of the American Petroleum Institute and United States-Russia Business Council. Additionally, he has served as a board member for the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and the Smithsonian Institute. He has been a member of The Business Council and Business Roundtable.
Dunham married his childhood sweetheart, Linda, in 1960. Together they have three children, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.