A tribute to Tom Dyk, a great man who will be missed

A tribute to Tom Dyk, a great man who will be missed


Thomas Wesley Dyk, 62, of Cody, Wyoming died in his home surrounded by his family on Jan. 25, 2016.

The following was announced on November 17, 2015:


Montana Tech announces $1 million gift from Tom Dyk and wife Mary.

Montana Tech announced today a $1 million gift to the university from Montana Tech alumnus Tom Dyk and wife Mary. The gift will go towards the design and construction of the Living & Learning Center on campus, scholarship support, and an unrestricted endowment.

Tom and Mary Dyk are a special family with a long history of commitment and dedication to Montana Tech, noted Montana Tech Chancellor Don Blackketter. This gift is a reflection of their values and is deeply appreciated as it will make a huge impact on our students.

Tom and Mary are at the head of the table in the Oredigger family, explained Joe McClafferty, Vice Chancellor for Advancement and University Relations. Many of our alumni have Tom to thank for their careers. The Dyks have touched so many lives at our university and their generosity from this gift will touch more for generations to come. We thank Tom and Mary for their constant support and for all that they do to make Montana Tech great.

"We are happy to share this gift that reflects the values instilled by our parents, Montana Tech, and our faith, explained Tom and Mary Dyk. We truly believe Montana Tech has helped make our lives extraordinary."

Tom graduated from Montana Tech with a degree in Petroleum Engineering in 1976. He was an All-Conference/All-District student-athlete for the Montana Tech Oredigger football team from 1971-74.

We are extremely grateful to Tom and Mary for their continued support of Digger Athletics, noted Montana Tech Athletic Director Chuck Morrell. It is truly special to receive this gift that will support student-athlete scholarships in perpetuity. As Athletic Director, I am constantly amazed at the continued generosity of our Alumni.

Mr. Dyk grew up on a rural farm west of Billings. The Dyk family worked hard to ensure their children received a higher education. Art and Myrna Dyk reinforced the importance of education. Seven out of the 10 Dyk children hold bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degrees and all funded their own education.

He and Mary have been consistent donors to Montana Tech. In 2014, they reached one million dollars in aggregate giving to the university. Tom and Mary made their first gift to Montana Tech in 1990 and have been regular and generous donors since. Over the years, the Dyks have supported the Petroleum Department, given unrestricted gifts, supported capital projects like the Natural Resources Building, Digger Turf, and the Frank and Ann Gilmore University Relations Center, and established the Art Dyk Endowed Scholarship.

Professionally Tom has distinguished himself through his many accomplishments in the oil and gas industry. He is currently the Chairman of the Board Axia Energy. In 1983, less than 10 years from graduation, Tom climbed his way up the corporate ladder to become the Regional Vice President for the Rocky Mountain Division at Burlington Resources Inc. He is the leader in pioneering horizontal drilling techniques to unlock oil and gas resources that were previously not recoverable. Using this technology, he was on the cutting edge of the Bakken Formation development in the Williston Basin, currently one of the largest oil fields in the United States.

Tom has been instrumental in the development and success of several companies. As a co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Orion Energy Partners, Tom was the driving force in increasing investors capital from $130.4 million to more than $500 million in less than 5 years. In 2009, Tom cofounded Axia Energy for investment in Rocky Mountain oil and gas exploration and development. Over the past 5 years, Axia was able to return over $650 million to date after drawing on just $60 million of the $150 million in capital committed by investors. Tom serves on the board of Melior Technology, a company developing proppant for the oil and gas industry, and has been able to involve Montana Tech's faculty, students, and equipment in the testing of their product.

Tom continues to selflessly give of himself. Tom has served on the Montana Tech Foundation Board of Directors since 1996 and was a founding member of the Montana Tech Petroleum Advisory Board. He has played an integral role in hiring and helping Montana Tech graduates while securing a significant amount for funding for the school either directly or through the Montana Tech Foundation. He played a critical role in securing considerable private funds for the Natural Resources Building.

Tom finds time to give back not only to his alma mater, but also to his community. He served as a founding committee member for the Jim Elliott School (a private Christian school in the Denver area), and was honored as Father of the Year in 2004 by the American Diabetes Association/Father's Day Council. Currently Tom serves on the ACE (Alliance for Choice in Education) Board of Trustees for Colorado and Montana and is the Chairman of the Board for Select Oil Tools. Tom's accomplishments earned him the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993. Montana Tech also awarded Tom with an honorary doctorate degree in 2011.