SJC Receives $1 Million from Merrion Oil

Thanks to the Merrion Oil and Gas Foundation, San Juan College received $1 million more in support of the School of Energy’s capital building campaign.

This funding is in addition to the initial $4 million investment provided by BP America in August, which is designed to help meet growing workforce needs in the San Juan Basin and across onshore production business in North America.

The capital building campaign will go toward the development of a new building on the Farmington campus. The School of Energy’s existing building, located on the Hutton Street near the south side of Farmington, has reached full usage and exceeded its ability to meet the growing needs of those seeking training from the School of Energy. The older building has a limited number of small rooms where classes are held, and the structural limitations have capped enrollment capacity.

“We are extremely grateful for the support the Merrion family has provided not only the School of Energy, but San Juan College as a whole,” says Gayle Dean, executive director of the San Juan College Foundation. “This family owned company has generously provided the support that has made San Juan College what it is today.”

“The Merrion’s assistance is putting us one step closer to becoming a national leader in oil and gas field technical education,” adds Randy Pacheco, dean of SJC’s School of Energy. “It is support from companies such as Merrion Oil and Gas and BP America that will allow us to develop America’s energy workforce for years to come.”

Along with offering accredited Natural Gas Compression and Lease Operator programs, where students can earn an Associate’s degree or certification, SJC’s School of Energy also offers programs in process technology and maintenance, commercial driving licensure (CDL), solar energy and occupational safety.

“There’s nothing we would rather do than help support programs such as this that will make a significant impact to the economic development of not only our community, but the state as well,” says T. Greg Merrion.

The School of Energy project is expected to cost $15 million. In addition to the $4 million initial investment provided by BP America and the $1 million provided by Merrion Oil and Gas, San Juan College’s governing board pledged $2 million toward the project. Once the San Juan College Foundation raises an additional $2 million, BP has pledged to match another $1 million. Through the capital campaign, the additional $5 million needed to finance the project will be sought from state and private funding sources.

Along with assisting with the School of Energy through the San Juan College Foundation, the Merrions also sponsor the San Juan College Honors Program, the Financial Aid and College Entrance (FACE) program at area high schools, including the Kick-Start Scholarship at SJC.

“We are truly grateful to the Merrion’s for their continued support,” adds Dr. Toni Hopper Pendergrass, San Juan College president. “Their generosity continues to make an increasingly positive impact on our students and in the community.”