Philip Oxley

Philip Oxley, 1943

B.A., Denison University
M.A., Barnard University
Ph.D., Barnard University

Citation awarded May, 1993

Following active service as an officer in the Navy serving in the Pacific Theatre, and graduate study at Columbia, Philip Oxley began his career in education and taught at Hamilton College, where he became chairman of their geology department.

In 1953, he left the classroom and became a petroleum geologist. Phil has said since that this timing was very fortuitous as he entered the business world at a time when there was a real shortage of geologists.

Most of his business career was spent with various subsidiaries of Tenneco. He served as president of Tenneco’s oil exploration and production between 1981 and 1987 and as chairman of Tenneco Europe between 1987 and 1989.

Phil is considered one of the best explorationists in the field and a consummate manager at the same time. When he retired from Tenneco, he taught at the University of Colorado as professor of geology. Recently he has taken a position with Graham Resources where he is overseeing their explorations in Papua, New Guinea. He divides his time between the company’s headquarters in Covington, La., and his home in New York City.

His interests include photography, playing the drums, and painting. Phil has served on the regional board of the Institute of International Education, which raises money for the purpose of bringing foreign students to colleges in the United States.

Phil grew up in Granville, where his father was a minister at the Baptist Church. In addition, his three uncles owned a harness shop in Newark. He majored in geology and was president of the Geological Society as an undergraduate. He lists Frank J. Wright, chairman of the geology department at that time, as having a profound and lasting influence on his life.

He is listed in Who’s Who in America and American Men of Science.