"I will endeavor to retain the spirit of youth"
~Sigma Chi Creed, George Ade ΔΔ 1887

Mark Lester Selected For Sigma Chi Honor

J. Mark Lester ‘75

J. Mark Lester ’75 has been selected as Delta Delta’s 43rd Significant Sig for his career achievements in energy exploration and development. Mark joins an illustrious group of Sigma Chis who have contributed significantly to their professions. Brother Lester will be presented his award by his pledge brothers on November 2 at Delta Delta.


Leading the Search

Mark Lester joined Chesapeake Energy Corporation as its eighth employee in 1989. Over the next 20 years Mark, who retired in 2010 as Executive Vice President of Exploration, led a team of more than 250 geoscientists and technical professionals who guided Chesapeake’s asset identification and development programs. Mark’s team was instrumental in Chesapeake becoming one of the leading producers of natural gas in the U.S. with 8500 employees and a market cap of $13 billion.


Mark oversaw the drilling of approximately 10,000 wells operated by Chesapeake, including more than 3,500 horizontal wells, of which approximately 2,700 were horizontal shale wells – levels of activity that are believed to be historically unprecedented in the industry. In addition, Mark led the creation of Chesapeake’s unique state-of-the-art Reservoir Technology Center.


A Total Surprise

When told of his Significant Sig selection Brother Lester commented, “It came as a total surprise to me. My pledge brothers and others who worked on my nomination did a great job keeping it quiet. I am proud of my accomplishments in helping change the face of U.S. energy exploration and I am honored and proud to be a Delta Delta Sigma Chi.”


Mark graduated from Purdue University with a geology degree in 1975, and completed his master’s degree from Purdue in geophysics in 1977.


Giving Back

Mark is active on the Boards of the Oklahoma Geological Foundation and Oklahoma School of Math and Science, and for five years has served as a guest lecturer on Oil and Gas Production at Purdue. In 2008 Mark received the Distinguished Alumni Award for Purdue's Earth and Atmospheric Science Department.


Through the Lester Family Foundation he has supported numerous charitable causes including Special Olympics, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Peppers Ranch ( Home for Abused Boys), Young Life Christian Organization and many others.