2011 Alumni Award Winner, John Amoruso, A52

Amoruso giving his acceptance speech at the 2011 Alumni Awards

Carolyn Kroll, AG66, J92P, M99P, Awards Committee Chair; Barbara Clarke, J88, TUAA President; Amoruso; and Michael B. Atkins, A76, M80, Awards Committee Vico Chair at the 2011 Alumni Awards Dinner


John Amoruso, A52, was born in Portsmouth, N.H., and came to Tufts by virtue of a Regular NROTC scholarship. After taking an elective geology course taught by Professor Robert L. Nichols, Mr. Amoruso changed his major to geology and graduated with a B.S. degree and a regular commission as ensign in the U.S. Navy. After his naval service aboard the USS English (DD696) he went to graduate school at the University of Michigan where he earned an M.S. in geology and met his wife-to-be, Camille Klach. They married a year later after Camille had graduated with a B.S. in pharmacy. In 1969, after 12 years working with Pan American Petroleum Corp. in a number of petroleum provinces, he opened offices as an independent geologist in Houston. Since that time he has been continuously involved in the search for gas and oil. He has generated, developed, and drilled a large number of diverse prospects with different geological objectives primarily in Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. His latest discovery was a major gas field, which was named in his honor and estimated in 2007 to contain 2.4 trillion cubic feet of recoverable gas. He has been president of five major geological organizations and has a number of honors, including: the GCAGS Don R. Boyd Award for Excellence in Gulf Coast Geology, the AAPG Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award, and the AAPG 2010 Outstanding Explorer Award. Mr. Amoruso and his wife have two sons, James and Michael, who live in the Houston area. James and his wife, Patty, have two sons, Christopher and David. Michael and his wife, Cathy, have a son, Andrew, and a daughter, Camille. Currently, Mr. Amoruso is a partner in Legends Exploration. He says that Geology is not only his profession, but also his hobby. He and Camille like to travel and do so when time permits. Nothing, however, is allowed to prevent an annual pilgrimage back to New Hampshire to see the fall colors.

Tufts University Alumni Association Citation

"John, you entered Tufts as an engineering student, but instead majored in Geology. You referred to Robert Nichols as 'the most dynamic professor' you had ever had, and your brilliant career in Geology was started. You also mentioned two other Tufts professors, Charlie Stearns and Don Eschman, as critical in providing a solid foundation for you in Geology. You have stated that your service in the U.S. Navy aboard a destroyer was the likely training ground for the many leadership roles that you have assumed. 'There weren’t a lot of officers,' you said, 'and when something was your responsibility, you got it done. We all had to pitch in and show leadership.'

"After serving in the Navy, you began work in energy exploration in Texas and Louisiana. In 1969, you opened an office in Houston as an independent petroleum geologist. In 1977, you became a general partner of the Amoruso Petroleum Company which coordinates investors for petroleum exploration drilling companies and provides consulting services. In 1976, the federal government allowed a consortium of 20 petroleum companies to share the cost of gathering information on the first geological drilling off-shore along the Atlantic Continental Shelf. The consortium sought you out to supervise the entire two-year geosciences project on their behalf.

"In 2007, you used your instinct and your background in wildcatting to make your biggest oil discovery when there were no seismic, computer augmented sound wave pictures of that area. Your discovery, now named the Amoruso Field, could yield two trillion cubic feet of gas and help stabilize U.S. production after many years of decline. In 2007, you also received the inaugural Michel T. Halbouty Outstanding Leadership Award from the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. You have held every leadership position in the AAPG, the largest and most prestigious geological society in the world with more than 30,000 members. You have also led the American Geological Institute and the American Institute of Professional Geologists.

"You are one of Tufts’ shining lights, and it is with great pleasure that we bestow upon you this Distinguished Service Award.


Photos by Matt Moodono

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