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A chemical engineer and entrepreneur who believes biofuels could represent between 20 and 50 percent of energy use in the United States will be the speaker for East Central University’s annual Boswell Lecture on March 25 [FRIDAY].

Graham Towerton will discuss  "Biofuels - Past, Present and Future" at 1:10 p.m. in the Estep Multimedia Center in the Bill S. Cole University Center. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Towerton also believes biofuels can provide sustainable incomes for farmers growing the crops that will supply the biofuels facilities.

Graham Towerton"Biofuels can be produced in the United States without impacting the production volume or cost of food,” he said. “There are numerous factors which influence the cost of grain crops, which I will cover in my talk, and thereby influence farmers and their production levels. However, with the right management principles and a different attitude from government, the farmers can choose to produce food at current low prices and also produce crops for fuel."

Towerton is the president and owner of G&M Global Enterprises, a company formed to house his many business ventures.

“He has ventured into everything from growing roses to inventing a cleaning formula he has turned into over 20 products to setting up a water bottling operation to having designed and/or set up a number of biofuel plants,” said Dr. Pat Fountain, the S.C. Boswell professor in ECU’s School of Business.

Towerton is a native of Australia who lives in Houston. In addition to running his own company, he has worked for Baker Hughes Inc. since December 2008 as the site manager of BP Texas City, managing a $6.5 million contract with a BP refinery for specialty chemicals and service programs.

From 2004 to 2008 he was vice president of sales and marketing for Patriot Chemical Company, a new business start-up through an economic development corporation until  it was purchased fully by his new company, G&M Global Enterprises.

Between 2004 and 2007 he also was a process engineer and general manager for Panhandle Fuels LLC in Spearman, Texas; process engineer for BS&W Solutions LLC in Woodward, Okla.; and vice president and engineering manager for Llanos Altos LLC in Dumas, Texas.

The S.C. Boswell Award, based on effective classroom teaching, professional development, involvement in student activities and contributions to the department, school and university, is presented annually to a faculty member in ECU's School of Business.

The recipient carries the title of S.C. Boswell professor during his or her term, receives a stipend based on income from the S.C. Boswell Memorial Charitable Trust and sponsors a free, public lecture or forum on topics of interest related to business. All full-time faculty of the School of Business are eligible to apply for the award.

Boswell was a respected Ada businessman who served on the Board of Regents for Oklahoma Colleges for 18 years. He donated funds for the construction of ECU's Boswell Chapel in memory of his wife Kathryn. He helped organize the Ada Industrial Development Corporation and establish Valley View Regional Hospital in 1935. Boswell was president of the hospital's board of directors for 12 years.

The Boswell Trust was established through the ECU Foundation Inc. in 1975 by Boswell's daughters, Sara Boswell and Jane Boswell Maher, in order to help attract and hold outstanding faculty members in business.

Fountain is a professor of business administration and the service-learning director. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from ECU, a master’s degree in regional science from the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, and both a master’s degree in human relations and supervision and a doctor of business administration degree from Louisiana Tech University.

He is the immediate past president of the Association of Collegiate Marketing Educators; president of the Ada Rotary Club; treasurer of the ECU Alumni Association and the cubmaster of Ada’s Pack 4 where his son, Nathan, is a Cub Scout.

He is a former Rotary Foundation Ambassadorial Scholar and a past recipient of the ECU Teaching Excellence Award.

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