George Thomas Abell
George Thomas Abell was born at Wakeeney, Kansas. While attending Colorado A&M (now Colorade State University), he was a member of Gamma Omega, an honorary fraternity, and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a social fraternity. He graduated with degrees in civil and irrigation engineering and mechanical engineering. In 1927 he moved to Midland, Texas, where he trained himself as a geologist and entered the petroleum business as an independent oil operator. In 1939, he married Gladys Hanger of Ft. Worth, the daughter of a pioneer Tarrant County family.
George Abell passed away in 1979.
During his professional career, he was active in the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, Mid-Continent Oil and Gas Association, and the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. He was a charter member of the Permian Basin Petroleum Pioneers Association.
In addition to his professional endeavors, Mr. Abell was also active in many civic, community, cultural, social, educational and historical activities. He was a member of the Board of Education of the Midland Independent School District. He served as President of the Board during the construction of the present Midland High School auditorium. As a result of these accomplishments, he was awarded a life membership in the Texas Congress of the Parent-Teacher Association. He served as the chairman of the first capital funds campaign for Midland Memorial Hospital and was a member of the hospital's Board of Trustees and Board of Governors. A member of the Downtown Midland Rotary Club, he was recognized on numerous occasions for his contributions to the civic, cultural and educational betterment and growth of Midland.
George Abell devoted much time to the Boy Scouts of America, serving in various capacities in the Buffalo Trail Council. He led the capital fund campaign, which secured the 6,000 acre camp in the Davis Mountains. For his service to the Boy Scouts, he was awarded the highest recognition of the Boy Scouts, the Silver Beaver Award.
While serving as a director of the Midland Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Abell originated the idea for the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library and Hall of Fame. He spent much of his time and effort collecting antique oil field equipment now displayed on the Museum's grounds. Many of the oil paintings of historical events which are on display in the Museum were researched by George and commissioned by the Abell-Hanger Foundation. He was the first president of the Museum's board of trustees and a member of the Hall of Fame.
Gladys Hanger Abell
Gladys Hanger Abell was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, the daughter of a pioneer Tarrant County Family. She graduated from Paschal High School and attended Texas Christian University and the University of Texas at Austin.
Gladys Hanger Abell passed away in 1987.
Throughout her lifetime, Mrs. Abell was an active champion of civic and cultural causes, contributing her time, talents, energy, and financial resources as one of West Texas' most philanthropic citizens. She served on the board of governors of Midland Memorial Hospital, board of trustees of Midland Presbyterian Homes, and the President's Club of the Museum of the Southwest. She took great pride in her service on the board of trustees of the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum, Library and Hall of Fame.
Her interests also included the Midland Odessa Symphony and Chorale, Midland Garden Club, Women's Auxiliary of Midland Memorial Hospital, Delta Delta Delta Midland Alumnae Chapter, and the Midland Women's Club of which she was a life member. An avid American patriot, Mrs. Abell was a member of the Texas Chapter of the National Society of Colonial Dames of America, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Midland.
The Abell-Hanger Foundation has been outstanding in its support of Midland College - its students and its programs. In the years since the Abell-Hanger Scholarship (now known as Midland's Legacy Scholarship) was established in 1986, the Abell-Hanger Foundation - now in partnership with the Helen Greathouse Charitable Trust and the Chaparral Foundation - has supported the education of thousands of students. Each year, these students contribute approximately 20,000 volunteer hours to more than 80 Permian Basin non-profit agencies in exchange for their Midland College scholarships.
The Abell-Hanger Foundation, established by George an Gladys Abell, epitomizes the outstanding community college benefactor. This foundation has assisted not only a college, but an entire community by making education possible for many individuals who do not have the financial resources to take advantage of post-secondary education.
In its history of giving to Midland College, the Abell-Hanger Foundation has donated millions of dollars for a broad spectrum of projects at Midland College, including awarding scholarships; contributing to the Chaparral Circle Endowment Fund; helping to expand academic programs such as nursing; and funding construction projects such as the Fox Science Building, the Williams Regional Technical Training Center (WRTTC) in Ft. Stockton, the Dorothy and Todd Aaron Medical Science Building, the Advanced Technology Center and the Petroleum Professional Development Center.
In 1997, the Foundation gave $35,000 to establish Students-In-Philanthropy (SIP), a Midland College club that provides leadership training for students in fund-raising and grantmaking.