Hasselmann returned to the United States
in 1933, founded Houston-based Salt Dome Oil Corp. and began looking for
oil in the Gulf of Mexico. After detecting a likely source in Galveston
Bay, he drilled. In February 1938, Salt Dome Oil, in partnership with
Standard Oil Co. of Texas, discovered one of the first oil pools in the
Texas Gulf — a forerunner of the massive offshore developments to come.
Throughout his career, Hasselmann remained a loyal Miner. He served as
president of the Houston Section, president of the Miner Alumni
Association and co-chair of the 1964 centennial campaign. He was awarded
a professional degree in 1945 and an honorary doctorate in 1966. His
generous support included a gift establishing the Karl F. Hasselmann
Chair in Geological Engineering.
But the contribution that made the greatest difference was an estate
gift, including the continued proceeds from mineral rights and oil and
gas leases. To date, this bequest has provided the university with more
than $20.4 million, including nearly $1 million used to purchase land
and establish a maintenance endowment for the alumni house.
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