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Chesapeake Energy Commits $100,000 to NMJC, CSW

7/17/2007 3:05:29 p.m. - Hobbs, NM. Some very lucky New Mexico students will soon be able to attend New Mexico Junior College and College of the Southwest -- compliments of Chesapeake Energy Corporation.

According to Jennifer Jordon, Director of the NMJC Foundation, Chesapeake Energy has given each college a generous $50,000 grant, payable over a five-year period. "These $10,000 annual gifts will help a number of deserving students who otherwise might not be able to attend college. And while this benefits them individually, it also creates a stronger workforce and therefore community. The Chesapeake gift is extremely generous in terms of how it ultimately benefits the entire region."

The grant is provided as part of the Oklahoma-based company's Chesapeake Scholars' Program. This year's gift follows a $10,000 donation given to each college in February 2006 during the dedication ceremonies of Chesapeake's new North Permian Basin Field Office in Hobbs.

"We believe the Chesapeake Scholars Program creates a situation in which everyone benefits," said Martha Burger, Chesapeake's senior vice president of human & corporate resources. "In addition to helping students and their communities, this program supports the energy industry by adding young, college-educated professionals to the talent pool. We are proud to be able to contribute to the overall strength of this community through scholarships as well as through high-quality jobs."

According to Jordon, recipients of the scholarships will need to meet several criteria to qualify. They must be a New Mexico native or a graduate of a New Mexico high school, be in the top 25% of their high school graduating class with a minimum overall average of "B" or better, maintain a 3.0 GPA at NMJC or CSW, and be an undergraduate student, with preference given to full-time students who are enrolled in a degree or certificate program. In addition, the scholarship may be used for tuition, fees, books, room and board, and program expenses.

"Anyone who is interested in applying at New Mexico Junior College will simply need to fill out an NMJC Foundation Scholarship application," said Jordon. "In turn, the NMJC Foundation Scholarship Committee will select the recipients, who will then be notified. It's as simple as that."

Kerrie Mitchell, Coordinator for Financial Aid and Admission Operation at CSW, said, "Students can apply for the scholarship by completing the Scholars Application available through the Financial Aid Office. At CSW the scholarship is also available for transfer students. Recipients of the scholarship will have the opportunity to meet representatives from Chesapeake and express their appreciation at the annual scholarship reception hosted by CSW."

According to Dr. Steve McCleery, President of New Mexico Junior College, Chesapeake is to be commended for its ongoing commitment to Lea County. "Chesapeake Energy has clearly demonstrated its sincerity in partnering with this community. These gifts to NMJC and CSW show generous support for higher education in our region, and in turn, we are committed to developing and providing training for students that will benefit Chesapeake. It's a phenomenal partnership," he said.

College of the Southwest's President Gary Dill agrees. "In making the generous contribution to CSW and NMJC, Chesapeake Energy embraces the higher education partnership that serves our community so well. The students who receive these scholarships will be the primary beneficiaries of Chesapeake Energy's continuing commitment to educational opportunity and improved quality of life for all."

Chesapeake Energy Corporation is the third-largest independent producer and sixth-largest overall producer of natural gas in the United States. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the company's operations are focused on exploratory and developmental drilling and corporate and property acquisitions in the Mid-Continent, Barnett Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Permian Basin, Delaware Basin, South Texas, Texas Gulf Coast, Ark-La-Tex and Appalachian Basin regions of the United States. The company's Internet address is www.chkenergy.com.

Chesapeake's new North Permian Basin Field Office in Hobbs, located at 1616 West County Road, employs more than 70 energy professionals in the region.

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