Montana Tech to Award Honorary Doctoral Degree to Thomas W. Dyk

Montana Tech to Award Honorary Doctoral Degree to Thomas W. Dyk



At the Board of Regents meeting in Helena today, the Regents gave Montana Tech approval to award Thomas W. Dyk with an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. The degree will be awarded to Mr. Dyk at Montana Tech’s 111th Commencement Ceremony on May 14, 2011 at 11:00 am in Alumni Coliseum.

"Our faculty has bestowed a great honor on Tom Dyk,” said Montana Tech Chancellor Frank Gilmore. “It is a privilege to be among the first to officially congratulate him. Tom is a highly accomplished man and I am certain this achievement will rank among the greatest highlights of his career!”

“Montana Tech has graduated many smart and successful people. However, very few are as humble, as generous, or as efficacious as Tom,” announced Mike Johnson, Vice Chancellor for Development & Student Services and President of the Montana Tech Foundation.”

Mr. Dyk was born in Bozeman, MT, the fourth of ten children. He attended public schools in Denver, CO and Billings, MT. He enrolled at the Montana School of Mines where he earned both academic and athletic scholarships. He graduated in 1976 with a bachelor’s degree in Petroleum Engineering and began his engineering career with Marathon Oil Company, working in Cody, WY, and Lafayette, LA until 1980.

From 1980 to 1983, Tom worked as a partner/consultant with Darita Enterprises. In 1983, he began his 13-year tenure with Burlington Resources/Meridian Oil, Inc. During his career with Meridian, Tom’s Williston Basin team expanded the company’s pioneering horizontal drilling program in the largest horizontal program in the United States by completing a majority of the company’s approximately 250 Bakken and 500 Red River B horizontal wells in North Dakota and Montana. As Vice President of Burlington Resources, Tom was the leader of the team that initiated the discovery and development of the world class Cedar Hills Field in Bowman County, ND. Tom’s staff drilled the first horizontal well in the field in 1994 and as well as multiple additional horizontal wells during the following two years. The Cedar Hills Secondary Unit is the world’s largest horizontal water flood oil reservoir.

In 1996, Tom left Burlington to establish Rock Creek Land & Energy, which he sold in 1998. The next stop in Tom’s career was service for six years as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Tom Brown, Inc. Tom played a key role in increasing the firm’s value from approximately $600 million in market capitalization to more than $2 billion when the firm was sold to Encana in 2004.

In 2004, Tom founded Orion Energy Partners in Denver, CO. As the company’s Founder and Chief Operating Officer, he led the development of the Kokopelli Project, which resulted in the expansion of field production from 150 MCF per day of natural gas to 27,000 MCF per day. He was also a driving force in increasing investors’ capital from $130.4 million to more than $500 million in less than five years. Orion Energy was sold in 2009.

Tom currently serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Axia Energy in Denver, CO. Tom is a co-founder of Axia, whose mission is to invest in Rocky Mountain oil and gas exploration and development.

Tom and his wife Mary have been ardent supporters of Montana Tech. The Dyks’ generosity can be measured in dollars as well as hours contributed to the University. Tom has served six terms on the Montana Tech Foundation Board of Directors, and this fiscal year returned for a seventh term. Tom’s soft-spoken, but deliberate guidance has moved the Montana Tech Foundation to a new investment platform, helped the Foundation create a Legacy Endowment, envisioned a University Relations Center for the campus, and improved the Foundation’s policies and procedures for gift acceptance.

Tom was recognized in 1993 by Montana Tech with its Distinguished Alumni Award and he has also been nationally recognized by the American Diabetes Association: 2004 Father of the Year and 2008 Outstanding Fundraising Award.

For more information, please contact Amanda Badovinac, Director of Public Relations, at 406-496-4828 or