LSU Petroleum Engineering Alumnus, WWII Veteran Honored through Memorial Scholarship


The family of LSU petroleum engineering alumnus Emmett C. Wells has established a scholarship in the Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering to honor his legacy.

A small-town boy from north Louisiana, Wells graduated from LSU in 1936 before serving in the U.S. Army during WWII. A lieutenant colonel, Wells served in the Pacific Theater, landing on Saipan the day after the invasion in June 1944. He was also among the first U.S. troops to walk ashore in Japan after the country’s surrender, serving in a senior capacity and playing a role in the dismantlement of Japanese armaments.

After returning from service, Wells took multiple roles in the oil and gas industry, holding positions with Standard Oil New Jersey in New York, and later, Humble Oil and Exxon in Houston. He retired as vice president for production for Esso Eastern, in charge of Exxon’s production in the Far East.

After his retirement in 1981, Emmett indulged his passions for golf and bird hunting. He also enjoyed spending time with his three children who established the Emmett C. Wells, Jr. Scholarship in Petroleum Engineering to assure students in financial need have the opportunity to receive a quality education in the petroleum field, which their father enjoyed throughout his career.

“Our alumni have always had a passion for supporting future petroleum engineers through scholarships, sponsoring teaching labs, and providing industry mentorship. The most visible sign of this support is the Craft & Hawkins name, which was made possible by an organized, alumni-driven campaign to generate funds for endowed scholarships,” said Dr. Karsten Thompson, chair of the Craft and Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering. “This legacy of support continues with the Emmett C. Wells Jr. Scholarship. Through Mr. Wells’ family’s generosity, we can ensure that future LSU students graduate with the same dreams of success that Mr. Wells surely had on his graduation day.”

The scholarship will be awarded for the first time during the Fall 2014 semester to recognize an outstanding student from Louisiana pursuing a degree in petroleum engineering.

Emmett Wells died in September 2013. He was 97 years old.


Article by Laura Stuart, Coordinator of External Relations, Office of the Dean. For more information, contact Mimi LaValle, College of Engineering, or (225) 578-5706.