David Scott “Scotty” Holland
Oil Executive and Geologist
Dr. David Scott “Scotty” Holland has distinguished himself as an athlete, a geologist, Korean War veteran, corporate executive, business entrepreneur, petroleum industry leader, and philanthropist. Through his many accomplishments, he has brought great honor and recognition to Hardin-Simmons University.
After graduating from Abilene High School in 1949, where he received the Thornton Award as an outstanding athlete, Holland enrolled at Hardin-Simmons and lettered in football. He credits the development of his competitive nature to having played football under coach Warren Woodson, and says that he sees himself as a team player. He has been quoted as saying, “teams are made up of players and leaders, and in most cases, unless a player is able to follow, he will never lead.”
In 1951, Holland’s school days were cut short when the Korean Conflict broke out. He volunteered for the Air Force, served as an airborne radio operator, and was able to play football for the Air Force team. While in the service, he and his high school sweetheart, the former Jacque Nell Hunter, were married on July 11, 1952.
Following military service in 1954, he entered the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology in 1957. Upon graduation from the University of Texas, he joined Marathon Oil Company in Midland, Texas, as a geologist and was employed by the Pennzoil Company in 1966 as a senior exploration geologist. From that position, he rose in the ranks at Pennzoil to President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pennzoil Exploration and Production Company, also serving as a group vice president of the Pennzoil Company.
Since retiring from Pennzoil in 1990, Holland has expanded his entrepreneurial interests to include a vast array of diversified holdings. These holdings include elements such as banking, oil and gas production, research and development, and agricultural interests. He serves as president of Holland Holding, Inc., Holland Energy, Inc., and Post Oak Petroleum, Inc. He is chairman of Trend Exploration, I, L.L.C., a director of Gather Petroleum Co., and has 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.
While throughout his career he has had a demanding schedule and many details to manage, he has always carved out time to remain involved in HSU. He is a past chairman of the HSU Board of Development and is on the Advisory Board of the Kelley College of Business. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1983, was awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from HSU in 1990, and received the Keeter Alumni Service Award in 2002. He is a lifetime member of the HSU Presidents Club and a former member of the School of Music Foundation. He has been active in the leadership of numerous HSU fund-raising campaigns. In 1977 he and Jacque generously established the Endowed Holland Geology Scholarship Fund.
In 2000, the Hollands established a major endowment for the HSU School of Sciences and Mathematics. In recognition of their generous gift, the school is now known as the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics.
Holland has shared not only financially with HSU, but has also devoted his time to the growth of students. He periodically meets with students from the Holland School of Sciences and Mathematics, during their field trips. He arranged a trip for the students to the Houston Museum of Natural History, giving them a personal tour of the energy exhibit that he had helped design.
In the oil industry, Holland looks at long-term strategies, not short-term fixes and has extended that philosophy into his philanthropic endeavors. He views the contributions he has made to the education of students as a way to assist them in getting “their own start in life.” He sees his support of Hardin-Simmons and the Geology Department as a source through which he can return both time and money to his profession of geology and to the youth of tomorrow.
Holland expresses an outward focus on helping others grow through hard work. “What young people need to realize is that they need to temper technical expertise with hard work. A lot of people today think that all they have to do is get an education and the future is theirs. That’s not true. You have to apply your knowledge through hard work.”
Scotty and Jacque have two sons, David, Jr., and Terry. They have been described as “very common folks,” living in the same house where they have lived for many years in Houston when they could afford to live in a much more opulent style. It is this commonness that makes Scotty Holland special.