A major donation to the department in 2000 was used to establish a new Charles J. Vitaliano Research Grants-in-Aid program, offering $2,000 to support student research on the geology and geophysics of western Montana and adjacent areas. Grants are awarded as part of a nationwide competition among students who intend to do research in Montana, part of which is to be based at the Judson Mead Geologic Field Station of Indiana University.
This grant-in-aid is in honor of Dr. Charles J. Vitaliano, a former member of the Indiana University Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and the Judson Mead Geologic Field Station. It recognizes his important contributions to the creation of the teaching and research programs at the Field Station, as well as his undying love for field geology.
Professor Vitaliano, who died in April 2000, had strong ties to the Field Station, as well as a career-long passion and enthusiasm for Montana geology. For many years he used the Field Station as a base for his teaching and research. He was the instructor for the first Field Station course, taught in 1949, and continued to teach at the Field Station most years until his retirement in 1974. The Field Station Lecture Hall was named in his honor during the 50th Anniversary celebration in 1999, attended by the entire Vitaliano family. Mrs. Vitaliano is informed of all contributions made in memory of her late husband.