UM announces first academic endowed chair for College of Business

Michael and Donna Grainger are presented with a gift after donating $500,000 to the University of Montevallo to establish the Michael J. and Donna H. Grainger Endowed Chair in Business and Accounting. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

Michael and Donna Grainger are presented with a gift after donating $500,000 to the University of Montevallo to establish the Michael J. and Donna H. Grainger Endowed Chair in Business and Accounting. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO–The Michael E. Stephens College of Business at the University of Montevallo received some big news the morning of Wednesday, April 29.

Due to a generous donation, the University’s first endowed chair in business and accounting was announced.

A breakfast was held on campus at the Anna Irvin Dining Hall where Michael and Donna Grainger of Franklin, Tenn. made a commitment of $500,000 to the Michael E. Stephens College of Business at UM. The gift established the Michael J. and Donna H. Grainger Endowed Chair in Business and Accounting.

Grainger is a 1973 graduate of the University of Montevallo, where he received his undergraduate degree in accounting.

Dr. Helen Moshkovich, professor of business and UM faculty member since 2001, was announced as the first academic endowed chair in business and accounting.

“The leaders of the University of Montevallo recognize that it must retain its ability to be a place known for providing a high quality, affordable liberal arts education that competes favorably with equivalent private universities,” said Grainger. “An endowed chair creates a meeting of minds and means. It bridges resources with problem solving, resulting in academics and philanthropy joining forces therefore accelerating the creation of knowledge and responding to society’s needs.”

UM has 305 of its undergraduate students enrolled in the Stephens College of Business. The spring 2015 senior class has been hired by eight national accounting firms for spring internships, according to a UM press release.

Another big success within the last few years is the UM Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program where student volunteers assist clients file free tax returns. When the program began in 2009 the volunteers helped serve 30 clients. This year, the program helped 162 clients and a big reason is due to the success of the students and the Michael E. Stephens College of Business as a whole.