Room in Montana Tech's SSC Named after Jocko Evans


Jocko EvansA room in Montana Tech’s new Student Success Center has been named after retired long-time Petroleum Engineering department head and faculty member John “Jocko” Evans. A group of Jocko’s friends, colleagues, and former students came together to name the room, the Jocko Evans Journeys Room.

“The Journeys Room is where prospective students and their families will have their first Montana Tech experience. As a Butte native who started his extraordinary journey at Montana Tech, we felt that it was fitting and proper that Jocko Evans name would be attached to the area of campus that will launch countless extraordinary journeys over the coming years. My hearty congratulations to Jocko on this honor and know that the Montana Tech community appreciates your service to campus and the many lives you’ve touched during your time here,” noted Michael Barth, executive director of the Montana Tech Foundation.”

Jocko’s impacts on campus have been countless and have been recognized in a number of ways. In the spring of 2019, the Montana Tech Society of Petroleum Engineers Spring Symposium was named after Jocko. Also, in the summer of 2016, a group of former students, colleagues, and friends of Jocko and Gaye Evans came together to establish the John ‘Jocko’ and Gaye Evans Endowed Scholarship on Montana Tech’s campus. This scholarship serves as a permanent testament to the impact Jocko and Gaye have had on those around him, the Montana Tech campus and the petroleum industry. Nearing $100,000, the endowment continues to grow and supports students pursuing a petroleum engineering degree who are active in campus or civic volunteer organizations.

Jocko was born and raised in Butte, Montana where he received his bachelor of science degree from the Montana School of Mines in Petroleum Engineering 1965. He later went on to receive his master’s degree in Petroleum Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. John began his career with AMOCO Production Company where he served on the North Sea Gas Pipeline feasibility study group and completed a detailed reservoir engineering report for the Montrose Oil Field in the North Sea. In 1978, John left AMOCO to become Vice President of Operations at Kelpinger Operating Company in Casper, Wyoming, where he managed the Northern Rocky Mountain consulting area.

He and his wife Gaye are partners in Oilfield Consultants, Inc. As an owner and professional engineer, John provides petroleum consulting in projects covering all the Rocky Mountain States, Indonesia, Columbia, Libya and Cook Inlet, Alaska.

In 1991, John came back to his alma mater, Montana Tech, as an assistant professor in the Petroleum Engineering Department. He accepted the position of Department Head in 2003 and has built the department into one of the most reputable in the national. John was instrumental in the fundraising efforts to construct the new Natural Resources Building to house the growing enrollment in Petroleum Engineering.

John “retired” from teaching in 2008. His commitment to Montana Tech and the Petroleum Department never wavered as he continued to teach classes part-time and conduct research in support of the department’s mission. Through his tenure at Montana Tech, he has influenced and mentored hundreds of students. John knew the importance of connecting education with practical experience and created the summer petroleum field course for incoming sophomore students. His passion for connecting his students to industry professionals continued when he developed the Annual SPE Technical Symposium with Montana Tech’s Society of Petroleum Engineers Student Chapter.

A generous contributor to Montana Tech, John has given back to his university both financially and personally. He has served on the boards for the Montana Tech Foundation, the Digger Athletics Association, the Montana Petroleum Association, and served on the Board of Directors for the Montana Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. He received the Chancellor’s Medallion Award at Montana Tech’s 2016 commencement ceremony.

Contributors to the Jocko Evans Journeys Room will be recognized on a plaque that will be placed within the room later this year. Montana Tech’s Student Success Center will be dedicated on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 2:00 pm. The public is invited to attend.