Dave True

Dave True – It Begins with Leadership

A new named deanship launched in the College of Business

Dave True
An effective organization begins with good leadership, and no knows that better than Dave True, who is a trustee of the University of Wyoming, co-owner of True Companies, and a son of H.A. “Dave” True Jr.

“I believe UW and our state need to have a strong business school because we need the skill and the economic mindset,” says Dave. “I’m also passionate about the state. We are just a great place. People in the state of Wyoming are just good down-to-earth people. The values and legacy of our state need to be reflected in the university.”

That’s why Dave and the True family decided to establish a deanship in the College of Business—the H.A. “Dave” True Jr. Family College of Business Deanship. 

“The True family name is indelibly etched in the history, economy, and culture of Wyoming,” says Kevin Carman, provost and executive vice president of UW. “It is an honor to now have the True name linked in perpetuity with excellence in the UW College of Business.” 

The purpose of the True Deanship is to enrich the business climate within the state by supporting the dean of the UW College of Business and the college’s education, research, and outreach. Funds can be used to recruit and help retain top talent and to foster excellence and address critical needs and priorities of the college. 

For 75 years, the extended family of Wyoming wildcatter H.A. “Dave” True Jr. has been actively engaged in oil and gas, ranching, building companies, and supporting communities. 

For example, established in 1957, True Ranches has been raising beef cattle while expanding acreage and operating feedlots. Companies such as True Oil, the Belle Fourche Pipeline, and Toolpushers Supply in the oil and gas industry have been performing exploration and development of oil and gas resources while supporting the industry as a whole. 

Today, this network of companies— in trucking, pipelines, oil services, purchasing, finance, environment, and ranching—employs more than 1,000 people throughout the United States. 

The Trues have served as trustees of the university for many years. The elder True served as trustee from 1965–77, and sons Hank and Dave served from 1995–2007 and 2013– present, respectively. All three served as board chairman. 

The True family also has supported UW through philanthropy. Before creating this deanship, the family established the H.A. “Dave” True Jr. Chair in Petroleum and Natural Gas Economics in 2004.

This legacy began with the hard work of H.A. “Dave” True Jr., who was born in 1915 in Cheyenne. He grew up in the Rocky Mountain West and then settled in Cody with his wife Jean. He worked for Texaco—formerly Texas Co.—before moving to Casper to work for and then buy out the company Reserve Drilling, a one-rig drilling contracting firm. This became True Drilling. 

In the years that followed, the Trues founded and/or operated a number of companies—True Oil, True Ranches, Belle Fourche Pipeline, Toolpushers Supply, Eighty Eight Oil (formerly Black Hills Oil Marketers), Black Hills Trucking, Equitable Oil Purchasing, and Hilltop National Bank. 

Kevin CarmanTrue was known as a quiet family man, an optimist and a hard worker—he  worked seven days a week. He also was “a big-picture leader” and “the consummate entrepreneur,” said a former dean of the College of Business when True was inducted into the inaugural class of the Wyoming Business Hall of Fame. 

Dave and Jean were “partners in every way,” their sons report. Together, the Trues had four children—Tamma True-Hatten, H.A. “Hank” True III, Diemer True, and David L. True. The elder True passed away unexpectedly in 1994, but since then the next generation of Trues have assumed leadership of the companies and also continue the legacy of service to their communities. 

The True Deanship is now the university’s third named deanship, after the Ellbogen Deanship in Education and the Carrell Family Dean in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. 

“We are truly grateful not only for this remarkable gift of a deanship in the College of Business and the chair before that but also for the years of dedicated service of Dave True and all the members of the True family to UW and also to the state,” says UW President Ed Seidel. “The legacy of the True family is one of dedicated service and entrepreneurial spirit, and we are incredibly thankful.”