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Geology major David Moore rocks his college experience with scholarship help

David Moore
David Moore stands next to a display he helped create last year as a teaching assistant.

Like most geology majors, David Moore is excited by the prospect of participating this summer in Geology Field Camp, an intensive, four-week capstone course in Bighorn Basin and Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

But the senior from Derby also has a bit of trepidation. Field camp is expensive — about $1,800, plus regular tuition and expenses such as buying heavy-duty hiking boots, rain-resistant notebooks and other specialized equipment. Still, Moore recognizes that he’s better prepared than some students to absorb the costs. As a recipient of the Walter A. Ver Wiebe Scholarship, he receives a generous award to help him afford his college education.

“I try to work as much as possible to help pay my bills, but especially as a senior, it’s hard to work and also keep up with my classes,” said Moore, 21. “That’s why I want to thank everyone who contributes to this scholarship. It helps a lot, and they deserve more than I can give with a ‘thank you.’ ”

The Walter A. Ver Wiebe Scholarship was established in the 1950s to honor Ver Wiebe, an eminent geology professor at Wichita State. Students, faculty and colleagues contributed to the scholarship, and, today, gifts from other WSU supporters help keep it robust. Among recent contributors with a gift of $50,000 was Thornton Anderson, president of Anderson Energy. A graduate of the University of Wichita, Anderson also gives generously to the Thornton Anderson Geology Field Camp fund to help students pay for the hands-on learning experience.

Here's a closer look at David Moore


Childhood: Moore grew up with one brother in a single-parent household. Until recently, his mother, a Wichita State alumna, owned her own tax preparation and accounting business. Like many boys, Moore was fascinated by rocks. “My mother would empty my pockets at the end of the day and find rocks in them,” he said. Though the family’s financial means were modest, Moore’s mother and grandparents made it clear they expected him to get a college degree. “They help as much as they can” with expenses, he said.

Why he chose Wichita State: Affordability had a lot to do with his decision. He attended Butler Community College first to earn credit hours. He liked that WSU had a highly respected geology department, and he could live at home to limit his expenses. “I knew going to college would be hard financially, but I also know that if I want to have a happy, successful life, college is a good place to start.”

Career aspirations: Moore plans to attend graduate school so that he can work as a researcher, possibly at a university. His “unicorn dream” is to work eventually for NASA in some aspect of the space program.

Extracurricular activities: Moore is president of the WSU Geology Club, a mostly social organization. One of the members’ favorite pastimes, he says, is getting together occasionally to watch “bad geology movies” such as “Volcano.”