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GSA Leaders, Past & Present

* = original fellow    # = GSA Founder   † = deceased
GSA Presidents
1889 James Hall* # †
no presidential address found
1890 James Dwight Dana*  # †
"Rock Stars" profile
no presidential address found
1891 Alexander Winchell* # †
no presidential address found
1892 G.K. Gilbert* (1st term)
"Rock Stars" profile
no presidential address found
1893 J. William Dawson
Presidential Address
"Rock Stars" profile
1894 T.C. Chamberlin*
"Rock Stars" profile
1895 Nathaniel S. Shaler*
Presidential Address
1896 Joseph Le Conte*
Presidential Address
1897 Edward Orton*
Presidential Address
1898 J.J. Stevenson* # †
Presidential Address
1899 B.K. Emerson*
presidential address not online
1900 George M. Dawson
"Rock Stars" profile
1901 C.D. Walcott*
Presidential Address
"Rock Stars" profile
1902 N.H. Winchell* # †
presidential address not online
1903 Samuel F. Emmons*
presidential address not online
1904 J.C. Branner*
presidential address not online
1905 Raphael Pumpelly*
presidential address not online
1906 Israel Cook Russell*
"Rock Stars" profile
1907 Charles R. Van Hise*
presidential address not online
1908 Samuel Calvin*
presidential address not online
1909 G.K. Gilbert* (2nd term)
presidential address not online
1910 Arnold Hague
presidential address not online
1911 William M. Davis*
presidential address not online
1912 H.L. Fairchild* # †
presidential address not online
1913 Eugene A. Smith*
presidential address not online
1914 George F. Becker*
presidential address not online
1915 Arthur P. Coleman*
presidential address not online
1916 John M. Clarke
presidential address not online
1917 Frank D. Adams
presidential address not online
1918 Whitman Cross
presidential address not online
1919 J.C. Merriam
presidential address not online
1920 Israel C. White* # †
Presidential Address
1921 James F. Kemp* # †
presidential address not online
1922 Charles Schuchert
presidential address pubished in 1923
in GSA Bulletin, v. 34, p. 151–230
— not yet posted online
1923 David White
"Rock Stars" profile
1924 Waldemar Lindgren
presidential address not online
1925 William B. Scott
presidential address not online
1926 Andrew C. Lawson
"Rock Stars" profile
1927 Arthur Keith
presidential address not online
1928 Bailey Willis
presidential address not online
1929 Heinrich Ries
presidential address not online
1930 R.A.F. Penrose Jr.
Presidential Address
1931 Alfred C. Lane
presidential address not online
1932 Reginald A. Daly
"Rock Stars" profile
1933 C.K. Leith
presidential address not online
1934 W.H. Collins
presidential address not online
1935 Nevin M. Fenneman
presidential address not online
1936 W.C. Mendenhall
presidential address not online
1937 Charles Palache
presidential address not online
1938 Arthur L. Day
Memorial
1939 T. Wayland Vaughan
"Rock Stars" profile
1940 Eliot Blackwelder
presidential address not online
1941 Charles P. Berkey
Memorial
1942 Douglas W. Johnson
presidential address not online
1943 E.L. Bruce
Presidential Address
1944 Adolph Knopf
Presidential Address
1945 Edward W. Berry
presidential address not online
1946 Norman L. Bowen
Presidential Address
"Rock Stars" profile
1947 A.I. Levorsen
Presidential Address
1948 James Gilluly
Presidential Address
1949 Chester R. Longwell
Presidential Address
1950 William W. Rubey
Presidential Address
1951 Chester Stock
no presidential address found
1952 Thomas S. Lovering
Presidential Address
1953 Wendell P. Woodring
Presidential Address
1954 Ernst Cloos
Presidential Address
1955 Walter H. Bucher
Presidential Address
1956 George S. Hume
Presidential Address
1957 Richard J. Russell
Presidential Address
1958 Raymond C. Moore
Presidential Address
"Rock Stars" profile
1959 Marland P. Billings
Presidential Address
1960 Hollis D. Hedberg
Presidential Address
1961 Thomas B. Nolan
Presidential Address
1962 M. King Hubbert
Presidential Address
1963 Harry H. Hess
no presidential address published
NAS biographical memoir (1973)
1964 Francis Birch
Presidential Address
1965 Wilmot H. Bradley
no presidential address found
1966 Robert F. Legget
Presidential Address
1967 Konrad B. Krauskopf
Presidential Address
1968 Ian Campbell
Presidential Address
1969 Morgan J. Davis
Presidential Address
1970 John Rodgers
Presidential Address
1971 Richard H. Jahns
no presidential address found
1972 Luna B. Leopold
Presidential Address
1973 John C. Maxwell
Presidential Address
1974 Clarence R. Allen
Presidential Address
1975 Julian R. Goldsmith
Presidential Address
1976 Robert E. Folinsbee
Presidential Address
1977 Charles L. Drake
Presidential Address
1978 Peter T. Flawn
Presidential Address
1979 Leon T. Silver
no presidential address found
1980 Laurence L. Sloss
Memorial
no presidential address found
1981 Howard R. Gould
Presidential Address
1982 Digby J. McLaren
Presidential Address
1983 Paul A. Bailly
Presidential Address
1984 M. Gordon Wolman
no presidential address found
1985 Brian J. Skinner
no presidential address found
1986 W. Gary Ernst
Presidential Address
1987 Jack E. Oliver
Presidential Address
1988 Albert W. Bally
no presidential address found
1989 Randolph W. Bromery
Presidential Address
1990 Raymond A. Price
no presidential address found
1991 Doris Malkin Curtis
Tribute by R.A. Price
1992 E-an Zen
Presidential Address
1993 Robert D. Hatcher Jr.
Presidential Address
1994 William R. Dickinson
Presidential Address
1995 David A. Stephenson
Presidential Address
1996 Eldridge M. Moores
Presidential Address
1997 George A. Thompson
Presidential Address
1998 Victor R. Baker
Presidential Address
1999 Gail M. Ashley
Presidential Address
2000 Mary Lou Zoback
Presidential Address
2001 Sharon Mosher
Presidential Address
2002 Anthony J. Naldrett
Presidential Address
2003 B. Clark Burchfiel
Presidential Address
2004 Rob Van der Voo
Presidential Address
2005 William A. Thomas
Presidential Address
2006 Stephen G. Wells
no presidential address published
2007 John M. "Jack" Sharp Jr.
Presidential Address
2008 Judith Totman Parrish
Presidential Address
2009 Jean M. Bahr
Presidential Address
2010 Joaquin Ruiz
Presidential Address Slides Only
2011 John Geissman
Presidential Address
2012 George H. Davis
Presidential Address
2013 Suzanne Mahlburg Kay
Presidential Address to come
Richard Alexander Fullerton ("R.A.F.") Penrose Jr. (17 Dec. 186331 July 1931) was an American mining geologist and entrepreneur. He served as the president of GSA in 1930, but his greatest contribution to the Society was his generous bequest of nearly $4 million dollars upon his death in 1931. His bequest continues to support GSA's research grants program and other efforts of the Society. Many say that without this bequest, the Society as we know it would not exist. For example, income from the fund enabled GSA to purchase the land it now occupies on what is aptly named "Penrose Place" in Boulder, Colorado, USA.
Background: Penrose earned a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1885. He performed geological surveys in Texas and Arkansas until 1892, and then traveled the U.S. as a mining surveyor. Most notable was his survey of Cripple Creek, Colorado, for the U.S. Geological Survey. After his father died in 1908, Penrose made a complete career change, using his knowledge as a mining geologist to succeed as a mining investor and as an entrepreneur in other areas as well. Penrose refrained from purchasing or investing in mines in the Cripple Creek area because of what he saw as his ethical responsibility as a USGS employee, but did purchase and invest in mines elsewhere, including silver and copper mines in Arizona.
Contributions to GSA: Having amassed considerable wealth in these efforts, Penrose established the Penrose Medal of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in 1927, a top honor accompanied by a gold medal. Penrose was very active in GSA: he was elected as a member in 1889, served on GSA Council from 1914 to 1916, was GSA vice president in 1919, a member of the Finance Committee from 1924 to 1929, and GSA president in 1930.
REFERENCE
Eckel, E.B., 1982, The Geological Society of America: Life History of a Learned Society: GSA Memoir 155, 168 p.
Newton Horace Winchell, younger brother of Alexander Winchell, was born in Northeast, New York, on 17 December 1839 and died following a surgical operation in Minneapolis on 2 May 1914. Role as a GSA Founder: N.H. Winchell was one of the chief proponents for the establishment of an American geological society during the 1880s, from its conception in 1881 to its birth in 1888. At the AAAS meeting in Cincinnati in August 1881, Winchell was appointed chairman of a committee to consider the advisability of forming a geological society that was independent of the AAAS, and he also chaired a committee appointed to write a constitution for the proposed new society. The idea and the proposed constitution were tabled year after year until 1888. In June of that year, Winchell and C.H. Hitchcock used the June 1888 issue of American Geologist to issue a call to all geologists to assemble at Cleveland at the August meeting of AAAS for the purpose of organizing a new geological society. This proved successful and, at the next meeting in Ithaca on December 27, 1888, the new society was formally approved and GSA was born. Winchell served as a member of the first Advisory Committee to GSA's Executive Council with a charge to consider the character of the publications of the new society, as Councilor (1892–1894), as Second Vice-President (1900), as First Vice-President (1901), and as President (1902).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
Alexander Winchell was born in the town of Northeast, New York, on 31 December 1824 and died of heart disease in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on 19 February 1891. Role as a GSA Founder: Alexander Winchell as among the first of the active founders to propose the establishment of an American geological society and, more than anyone else, saw the effort through to its successful conclusion. At the August 1881 meeting of the AAAS in Cincinnati, it was Alexander, along with his brother Newton, who led the discussion about the desirability of organizing an independent American geological society. After some years during which the idea was tabled, Alexander chaired the reactivated organizing committee that met in August 1888 at the AAAS meeting in Cleveland and approved the idea of a new society. He continued as chairman of this committee during the succeeding months, culminating in the December meeting in Ithaca when the new society was formally approved and officers elected. Winchell continued another year as chairman of the committee to revise the constitution. Truly, Alexander Winchell could be considered the father of GSA, if anyone should be so acknowledged. He also served GSA as the initial Second Vice-President (1889–1890) and as President (1891), though he did not live to complete his term.
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
Israel Charles White was born on 1 November 1848, in Monongalia County, Virginia (now West Virginia), and died from a cerebral hemorrhage on 25 November 1927 in Baltimore, Maryland. Role as a GSA Founder: White was in Ithaca, New York, on December 27, 1888, as one of the original 13 founders of GSA. White's stature with regard to Appalachian coals and hydrocarbons was firmly established by this time, but his presence at Ithaca was certainly influenced by his mentor, J.J. Stevenson, another of the original 13. At the Ithaca meeting, White was appointed to the publication committee along with W.M. Davis, J. Le Conte, W J McGee, and N.H. Winchell. Perhaps his most significant contribution to GSA was his service as Treasurer (1892–1906). During these 15 years, he served without any compensation to himself or for the running of the office, and he raised the publication fund to $10,000 by investing in first-class interest-bearing securities. He also served as a Councilor (1891), as First Vice-President (1912), and as President (1920, while also President of AAPG).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
John James Stevenson was born in New York City on 10 October 1841 and died of pneumonia in New York on 10 August 1924. Role as a GSA Founder: Stevenson was one of the most active of the founders of GSA. He was a member of the first committee appointed to consider organizing a geological society at the Cleveland meeting of AAAS on August 14, 1888. He served on the committee charged with writing a provisional constitution and reporting back to the assemblage the next day. He was also Secretary of the organizing committee that, in the following months, distributed the First Circular, and he prepared the Second Circular of organization of the new geological society in October-November 1888. When the new society was finally born on December 27, 1888, Stevenson was elected its first Secretary (1888–1890), and later served as a Councilor (1891), as Second Vice-President (1893), as First Vice-President (1897), and as President (1898).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
James Furman Kemp was born on 14 August 1859 in New York and died of a heart attack on 17 November 1926, at Great Neck, Long Island. Role as a GSA Founder: Kemp was a young geologist just beginning his affiliation with Cornell University in Ithaca when the organizing committee met there in 1888 to approve a new geological society. Kemp attended the meeting and supported the new organization. In the years that followed, he became more active with GSA, serving as Councilor (1905–1907), First Vice-President (1913), and President (1921).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
James Hall (known to historians as James Hall, Jr.) was born in Hingham, Massachusetts, on 12 September 1811 and died of a stroke in Echo Hill, Bethlehem, New Hampshire, on 7 August 1898. Role as a GSA Founder: Hall, like J.D. Dana, was in his 70s during the decade of the 1880s, which culminated with organization of GSA. The main voices in the efforts to organize and American geological society from 1881 to 1888 belonged to younger geologists. But such efforts benefited greatly by the support of recognized "elder statesmen" in the geological profession. Hall was at the Ithaca meeting in 1888 and was honored by being elected as the first President of GSA (and the only President under GSA's first-year name, The American Geological Society).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
Herman LeRoy Fairchild was born on a farm near Montrose, Pennsylvania, on 29 April 1850 and died of the infirmities of old age following a fall at his home in Rochester, New York, on 29 November 1943. Role as a GSA Founder: Fairchild was the last survivor of the original 13 founders who attended the Ithaca meeting in 1888. In fact, in 1932 he wrote the history of the founding of GSA, in part because he was the only one left who had been there at the beginning. His first service to the new society was, with Alexander Winchell, to revise the constitution and formulate the bylaws of the just-born GSA. He then served as Secretary (1891–1906) and, during the same period, Supervisor of Publications, thereby taking a leading role in establishing the foundations and the scientific reputation of GSA. He served as GSA President in 1912.
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)
James Dwight Dana was born in Utica, New York, on 12 February 1813 and died in New Haven, Connecticut, on 14 April 1895. Role as a GSA Founder: Dana was in his mid-70s when GSA was born in 1888. Although he was not present at the Ithaca meeting on December 27 of that year, as a distinguished elder he had supported the efforts of American geologists to organize a geological society. When the new society was established (the first year as the American Geological Society), Dana was elected First Vice-President of the American Geological Society (1889) and then President of GSA (1890).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky)

GSA Past Treasurers and Executive Directors

# = Founder     † = deceased
Treasurers
1889-1891 Henry S. Williams# †
1892-1906 Israel C. White# †
1907-1917 William B. Clark
1918-1944 Edward B. Mathews
1945 Joseph T. Singewald Jr.
(Acting Treasurer)
1945-1948 William O. Hotchkiss
1949-1963 J. Edward Hoffmeister
1964-1972 Robert E. King
1973-1976 August Goldstein Jr.
1977-1982 William B. Heroy Jr.
1983-1992 Robert L. Fuchs
1993-2001 David E. Dunn
2002-2006 John E. Costa
2006-2009 Robbie R. Gries
2009- Jonathan G. Price
Henry Shaler Williams was born on 6 March 1847 at Ithaca, New York, and died of pleurisy in Havana, Cuba, on 30 July 1918. Role as a GSA Founder: Williams was Secretary of the committee appointed at the AAAS Cincinnati meeting in 1881 to write a constitution for a proposed new geological society; Williams actually wrote most of the constitution, which was approved by the assembly, but further action was deferred. At the AAAS Cleveland meeting in August 1888, Williams was a member of the reconstituted committee to organize an American geological society. Williams apparently invited the geologists to Ithaca for the meeting of December 27, 1888, at which GSA was born, and Williams and his wife hosted the social gathering that followed. After the new society was established, Williams served GSA as its first Treasurer (1889–1891), as a member of the Council (1892–1894), as Second Vice-President (1903), and as First Vice-President (1904).
(Source: The Founding of The Geological Society of America: A Retropect on Its Centennial Birthday 1888–1988 by Arthur Mirsky).

# = Founder   † = deceased
Executive Directors
Name Incumbency Official Title
John J. Stevenson# † 18881890 Secretary
Herman L. Fairchild# † 18911906 Secretary
Edmund O. Hovey 190719221 Secretary
Charles P. Berkey 192319402 Secretary
Henry R. Aldrich 194119593 Executive Secretary
Frederick Betz Jr 1960-1961 Executive Director
Agnes Creagh 19621963 Executive Director
Joe Webb Peoples 19621964 Secretary to Council4
Agnes Creagh 19651967 Secretary to Council4
Raymond C. Becker 1964–1969 Executive Secretary
Edwin B. Eckel 1970–1974 Executive Secretary
John C. Frye 1974–1982 Executive Director
F. Michael Wahl 1982–1994 Executive Director
Donald M. Davidson Jr. 1994–1999 Executive Director
Sara S. Foland 1999–2001 Chief Executive Officer
David A. Stephenson 2001 Acting Executive Director
John W. Hess 2002– Executive Director
1 For most of 19151917, Charles P. Berkey was Acting Secretary while Hovey was on an ice-bound exploratory ship off Greenland.
2 James F. Kemp was Acting Secretary during most of 1925 while Berkey was in Mongolia.
3 Aldrich was the first full-time salaried Secretary; he was also Editor-in-Chief from 1934 until his retirement February 28, 1960.
4 This position, with no management responsibilities, was necessary because the Bylaws required that the Secretary to the Council must be an elected Councilor.