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J.B. "Bert" Ladd

Retired founder and CEO of Ladd Petroleum Corporation
2006 DESA Recipient
Primary office:



  • B.S. Petroleum Engineering, 1949

Ladd enrolled at the University of Kansas in 1942, however placed his college aspirations on hold during World War II. After being honorably discharged as a 1st lieutenant from the U.S. Army Air Corps he returned to KU to finish his degree. Upon graduation, Ladd found employment with a firm that would later become better known as Texaco. He worked several positions in the firm's mountain west division. In 1957, Ladd joined Consolidate Oil and Gas as its vice president of operations, but left to spend a year working in Citibank's new loan group that served the international and domestic petroleum industry. Upon his return to Consolidated Oil, Ladd was able to help the firm grow to dominance among modest sized independent oil and gas entities. In 1968, he formed Ladd Petroleum Corporation, which by 1973 had achieved significant industry stature and about 5,000 shareholders. Ladd Petroleum merged with Utah International, which subsequently was acquired by industry giant General Electric in 1976. Ladd continued to work as president and chairman of Ladd Petroleum until he resigned in 1979. He has remained active in the petroleum industry and corporate world and serves as a director of Whiting Petroleum Corporation, which he helped found 25 years ago.

One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times