Dr. David “Scotty” Holland always loved to personally hear from Hardin-Simmons University students, and especially enjoyed getting to know the students who received scholarships from HSU’s Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics.
The Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics was established in 1999 with a major naming gift from Dr. Holland and his wife, Jacque. The Hollands also helped fund the Holland Medical High School and the future establishment of the Holland School of Health Sciences.
The president and chief executive officer of Pennzoil Exploration and Production Company, and a man known for his great generosity and personal interest in HSU’s students, Scotty Holland, passed away on Saturday, January 5, 2013, in Houston at the age of 81.
HSU president, Dr. Lanny Hall, told HSU staff, “It is difficult to express the depth and breadth of the loss we feel in the death of Scotty Holland.
“Dr. Holland was a tremendously generous benefactor of Hardin-Simmons University. He loved this institution and tangibly demonstrated that love by the endowments he built, the scholarships he provided, and through his interaction with faculty, staff, and students. Scotty Holland has left deep and indelible footprints on this campus. He will be long remembered and appreciated.”
The Hollands are 1949 graduates of Abilene High School. Dr. Holland attended HSU on a football scholarship before entering the United States Air Force during the Korean Conflict where he served as an airborne radio operator aboard a B-25 Mitchell aircraft. Following military service, Holland received a Bachelor of Science degree in geology from the University of Texas.
Wayne Roy, senior development officer for HSU, said, “Scotty always took sheer delight in the accomplishment of each student.” Despite his high title and demands on his time, “I recall on a stroll across campus, he would stop and talk to students, always taking a personal interest in their journey here.”
Mike Hammack, HSU vice president for institutional advancement, recalls, “Scotty and Jacque would frequently tell me how much they enjoyed receiving letters from our students. They took a personal interest in each young man’s or young woman’s life.
During the 2009 HSU science and math scholarship awards ceremony attended by the Hollands, Dr. Chris McNair, dean of the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics, told the students that Holland rose to the rank of CEO when, as a senior geologist, he was finally able to convince his company that there was oil to be found in the Gulf of Mexico. The statement drew a laugh from the students born in the late 1980s, since they had never known the Gulf not to have oil!
Holland, expressing his pleasure in meeting the scholarship recipients, told students, “Keep God in your life, and he will take care of you. I am amazed at your ability to handle so many things. You are involved with people, and that’s who you will work with and for all of your life.”
Holland was born March 26, 1931, in Havana, Arkansas, the second of six children to Mae Elizabeth Scott and William Dewey Holland. His family moved to Abilene in 1946 where he met his high school sweetheart, Jacque Nell Hunter, marrying in 1952. Scotty and Jacque Nell had the first of their two sons, David Scott Jr., in 1953 while stationed in Biloxi, Mississippi. Their second son, Terrence Hunter, was born while Holland was attending UT.
Holland was a recipient of Hardin Simmons University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1983, was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree by HSU in 1990, and was inducted into the HSU Hall of Leaders in 2004.
“Scotty Holland was one of the most generous and passionate supporters of higher learning in the history of Hardin-Simmons University,” says McNair. “He and his wife Jacque have been instrumental in furthering the Christian mission and educational dreams of countless numbers of high school and college students at numerous institutions across the state of Texas.
“Scotty loved exploration geology and he shared that passion with HSU students whenever he could. His inspiration and commitment to education and scientific research led Scotty and Jacque to endow the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics at HSU, enabling us to flourish in research, teaching, and field experiences. Dr. Holland was a dear friend to all of our faculty, staff, and students alike, and our thoughts and prayers are with his soul mate, Jacque.”
Dr. Jesse Fletcher, HSU president emeritus, says of Holland, “Scotty was a personal friend with whom Mexican food, along with spouses Jacque and Dot, was a requirement when they came to town (Abilene). It was through HSU that I came to know Scotty and soon was aware of his international reputation as head of Pennzoil Exploration, yet he was a down-to-earth friend and an ardent supporter of HSU. In later years that support led him to give his name and his resources to the cause of science and healthcare through HSU. He will be long remembered and sorely missed.”
Holland served on the boards of the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Geology Foundation of the University of Texas, Austin, and the Geology Foundation of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He was also a devoted father, grandfather, and great grandfather.
He was preceded in death by his parents and four siblings. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jacque Nell; his sister Mae Rue Hazard of Arlington, Texas; sons, David Scott Holland and wife Dashika of San Antonio, Texas; Terrence Hunter Holland and wife Nita of Midland, Texas; and grandchildren Sara Michele Holland and Katie Dyan Holland, Ft. Worth, Texas; Travis Jared Holland and wife Krystal Cathleen; and great-grandchildren, Lyla Grace and Cayson Scott Holland of San Antonio.
A funeral service was held, Tuesday, January 8, 2013, in Houston. Interment is 11 a.m. Friday, January 11, 2013, at Elmwood Memorial Park, 5750 Hwy 277 South, in Abilene. Dr. Fletcher and Dr. Hall will officiate.