Herd is remembered as a philanthropist and Texas Tech alumnus who valued education and supported those who came after him.
The Texas Tech University community is mourning the loss of former Red Raider Bob L. Herd, who died on Dec. 13 at the age of 91 in Tyler, Texas. Herd was a philanthropist who believed in giving back to his community, especially to Texas Tech.
Herd came to Texas Tech after serving four years in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. He earned his bachelor's degree in petroleum engineering in 1957. After working for Enserch Exploration for seven years, he founded Herd Producing Co. in 1964. The company now has 33 employees and owns and operates more than 400 wells in North Louisiana and East Texas.
Herd was very supportive of Texas Tech, serving on the President's Council and funding a Presidential Endowed Scholarship. He also was a member of the Ex-Students Association (now known as the Texas Tech Alumni Association), the Endowed Insurance Program, the Loyalty Fund and the Building Expansion Project.
"Bob Herd's pride in being a Red Raider was surpassed only by the generosity with which he gave back to Texas Tech," said Lawrence Schovanec, Texas Tech president. "His career of accomplishments is what we hope for every graduate. However, his true legacy will be remembered in the lives of students that benefit from his investments across this university and in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering."
Herd's appreciation for education was known by many, and his support of students was reflected in his commitment to Texas Tech.
"Bob Herd saw in his own life the difference that a Texas Tech education can make. It has been a privilege to know him and see the impact of his gift on our students and faculty," said Marshall Watson, chairman of the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering. "We are forever grateful to him, and we will remember his legacy every day as we educate future generations of petroleum engineers."
Among the many honors Herd received for his work in the petroleum industry was the Society of Petroleum Engineers' 1993 Pioneer Award in the Field of Energy. In October 1994, Herd was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas Tech University. In 1995, he received the Texas Tech Distinguished Engineer Award.
"Texas Tech University is known for the high caliber of its engineering graduates because of outstanding alumni like Bob Herd," said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. "Through his career and through his philanthropy, Bob chose to make a difference in people's lives through engineering. I am grateful to have known him and for the difference he will continue to make in the lives of students and faculty in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering."
In 2008, the Herd family gave Texas Tech a $15 million naming endowment, formally renaming the petroleum engineering department the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering.
"Bob Herd was one of the wisest persons I've ever known and also one of the most generous," said Kent Hance, Chancellor Emeritus of the Texas Tech University System. "He loved Texas Tech University and showed it in every possible way. He gave one of the greatest speeches at Texas Tech when the Department of Petroleum Engineering was named for him. He stared at the audience for 10 seconds, which is a long time, and said, 'Thank you, Texas Tech. You gave me the key.' That was it."
Remembering Bob L. Herd
"Through his incredible gift to the department that bears his name and the decades of support he gave to the Chancellor's Council, Bob Herd made a difference in the lives of students across our universities," said Dr. Tedd L. Mitchell, Texas Tech University System chancellor. "That same desire to help others is at the core of what drives the Texas Tech University System. We are grateful for Mr. Herd's example and for the lasting imprint his gifts will have on countless future students."
"The Texas Tech family will greatly miss Bob Herd – a true philanthropist who was genuine, and a great example of the Texas Tech culture and the toughness of his generation," said Robert Duncan, former Texas Tech University System chancellor. "Bob and his family have been influential in helping expand Texas Tech's ability to attract and educate some of the brightest and most skilled engineers in the world. Bob, and his grandson, Michael, were also tremendous advocates for us during our pursuit for the School of Veterinary Medicine. Bob Herd's legacy and generosity will be remembered for generations in the future."