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Charles E. Nearburg '72 Th'73 Th'74 P'10
President/Owner, Nearburg Producing Co., Dallas, TX
Board Member: Elected 1990
AB Dartmouth College '72
BE/ME Thayer School of Engineering '73, '74
Founding Nearburg Producing Company in 1979, Charles grew it into one of the Top 100 Independent Producers in the U.S., and always operating in an environmentally conscious way, received two Environmental Awards from the Bureau of Land Management. In 2016- 2017 Nearburg sold its oil and gas operations to two firms backed by private equity.
Nearburg has also restored significant trout habitat in New Mexico, and at Broadacres Ranch in Creede, Colorado, where he employs numerous Dartmouth students as guides and ranch hands each year.
Nearburg also owns STOL Aviation, which is developing the Arctic Tern, a world-class “backcountry” short take-off and landing airplane, and Nearburg Racing which prepares vintage Formula 1 cars and land speed vehicles for competition. These activities have generated numerous engineering projects for Thayer School students. He is also a minority owner and advisory board member of McLaren Racing LTD, a top UK-based Formula 1 and Indy Car Team.
In honor of his son, Rett, who lost an 11-year battle with Ewing’s at age 21, Charles devotes substantial time and resources in support of Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer research and was instrumental in founding the Rett Nearburg International Ewing’s Sarcoma Research Symposia, of which six have now been held (www.rett.org).
A lifelong racecar driver, his career took him to the highest professional level in the United States when he drove the late Walter Payton’s Indy Car in the 1997 CART/FedEx Championship. His career also includes driving a 333SP Ferrari at Le Mans and finishing 4th and 10th overall at the Sebring 12-Hours.
Charles is one of only 6 people in history to have set a piston engine land speed record at over 400 MPH. In September 2010 at the Bonneville Salt Flats driving the “Spirit of Rett” streamliner, Charles set a 414 MPH FIA record with a top speed of 422 MPH. This made the “Spirit of Rett” the fastest single-engine normally aspirated car in history, as well as the
3rd fastest internal combustion engine car in history. The “Spirit of Rett” was designed and built at Nearburg Racing in Dallas.
An engineering/studio art major at Dartmouth, Nearburg was also a 3-year varsity letterman as a member of the Lightweight Crew and won the Marshall Robinson Award. Among many Alumni activities Nearburg has served on the Board of Advisors at the Thayer School of Engineering for over 30 years; served as Vice-Chair of the Executive Committee of the Campaign for the Dartmouth Experience from 2003-2009; is a Steward of the Friends of Dartmouth Rowing; served on the Board of Overseers at the Hood Museum of Art, and is a current member of the President’s Leadership Council. Nearburg has mentored the student-run Dartmouth Formula Racing Team since its inception in 1995. In 2007 his service to Dartmouth was recognized when he received the Dartmouth Alumni Award.
Charles is also a Trustee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation, the Petersen Automotive Museum—Los Angeles, the Art Center College of Design—Pasadena, and a Life Trustee of the St. Mark’s School of Texas—Dallas. He is a past Trustee of the Maryland Institute College of Art–Baltimore, The Hockaday School–Dallas, and the Hood Museum of Art—Dartmouth College.
Nearburg has a daughter, Anna D’10, and stepsons Forrest (29) and Graham Miller (27). He is married to Karen Spencer Miller, who is on the Board of Advisors at the Hood Museum of Art and is the daughter of retired Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry, Thomas Spencer.