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    Marathon, Devon Energy Donate to University of Houston

    Also, ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program awards agency and intern.

    HOUSTON -- With the support of Marathon Oil Corp. and Devon Energy Corp., the University of Houston will offer a new petroleum engineering degree in the spring of 2009.

    Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. pledged a donation of $600,000 to spread over three years, a move that brings its total donations to the university since 1989 to $1 million.

    "The creation of this program at the University of Houston is significant at this important juncture, when global demand for energy is increasing so rapidly," Clarence Cazalot, Marathon president and CEO, said in a statement.

    With a pledge of $1 million dollars over the next three years, the Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy Corp. donation will support scholarships, text books, faculty materials and renovations for an existing lab that will be renamed the Devon Energy Petroleum Engineering Laboratory.

    "We are certain the program will be a great resource for our operations in Houston as we continue to recruit young engineers to fill a growing number of positions within our company," Devon President John Richels said in a statement.

    According to the university, the new Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering will feature a "modern" curriculum with focus areas in reservoir engineering and petroleum geology, as well as electives like project management, economics and energy law.

    In related news, the ExxonMobil Community Summer Jobs Program (CSJP) honored Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers and Brittney Titus, intern at Methodist Dallas Medical Center, by awarding them Agency of the Year and Intern of the Year, respectively.

    In its 37th year nationally, CSJP pairs 75 undergraduate college students with local nonprofits for a paid internship. Salesmanship Club and Titus received their awards during the CSJP wrap-up celebration, attended by 75 participating interns and agencies.

    "We are excited to honor our award recipients for their outstanding participation in the ExxonMobil CSJP," Truman Bell, senior program officer for education and diversity, ExxonMobil Foundation.

    In addition to a silver award, each recipient received a check for $1,000, said Bell. The Salesmanship Club will use the funds for support of its program serving at-risk children and families. Titus' check will go toward educational expenses when she returns to Southern Methodist University this fall.

    "Today, Brittney and her fellow interns will leave the Community Summer Jobs Program with a unique appreciation of the nonprofit sector. Community service agencies, such as the Salesmanship Club, are vital in fostering this understanding," Bell said in a released statement. "We congratulate all 75 interns and nonprofits for their hard work this summer, and wish the students the best of luck as they complete college and enter the professional world."

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