In May of 2014, the University of Montevallo announced its first academic endowed chair in the university’s 119-year history.
Michael and Donna Grainger of Franklin, Tennessee made a commitment of $500,000 to the Michael E. Stephens College of Business at the University. The gift established the Michael J. and Donna H. Grainger Endowed Chair in Business and Accounting.
Mr. Grainger is a 1973 graduate of the University of Montevallo, where he received his undergraduate degree in 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 liber arts education that competes favorably with equivalent private universities,” says Mr. 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.”
Today, the University of Montevallo announced its first academic endowed Chair in Business and Accounting, Dr. Helen Moshkovich, a Professor of Business in the Michael E. Stephens College of Business. She holds an M.S. degree from the Institute of Engineering and Economics in Moscow, Russia, and a Ph.D. from the Institute for Systems Analysis of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Dr. Moshkovich joined the UM faculty in 2001, having previously served on the faculty of the University of West Alabama and the Institute for Systems Analysis of the Russian Academy of Sciences. She teaches a wide range of undergraduate courses including Quantitative Methods in Business, Operations Management, Computerized Data Analysis, Financial Information Systems, Electronic Commerce, and Decision Sciences for Operations Management. She also teaches a graduate course in Decision Sciences for Operations Management.
In recognition of her outstanding record as a researcher, Dr. Moshkovich was named University Scholar in 2008. Her research interests focus on the support of decision making in a complex business environment, as well as on electronic commerce and business education.
“Dr. Moshkovich is a co-founder of a new decision-making methodology known as Verbal Decision Analysis and has published three books, nine book chapters, and over 40 papers in a variety of prestigious national and international journals including Decision Sciences, Journal of Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis, Decision Support Systems, and the European Journal of Operational Research,” said Dr. Stephen Craft, Dean of the College of Business. “She has presented papers at numerous national and international conferences and has received several awards including the Best Theoretical/Empirical Research Paper Award from the Decision Sciences Institute.”
Prior to this endowed chair, the Graingers generously supported the Center for Professional Practice in the Michael E. Stephens College of Business.
The University of Montevallo has 305 of their 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. The Office of Professional Practice in the Stephens College has placed 72% of those seniors with full-time positions at some of the best accounting firms in the country. The Stephens College Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program worked with 120 clients this spring with free tax return filing assistance. This is a 300% increase in participation from when the program began at UM four years ago. This program offers a service to the community and invaluable experience to qualified business and accounting students.
“The University of Montevallo family is extremely grateful for the Grainger’s gift and their commitment to philanthropy. Mike was a student in accounting while here in UM and understands the impact a highly qualified faculty has in the classroom,” said Dr. John W. Stewart III. “Mike has also been a student of history for many years. Now, Mike and Donna Grainger are making history on our campus with our first academic endowed chair in the Stephens College of Business. This generous gift is truly transformational for our students and our faculty.”
About Michael and Donna Grainger:
Michael and Donna are natives of Alabama. Mike is a 1973 graduate of the University, where he received his undergraduate degree in accounting. He retired as President and COO of Ingram Micro, Inc., where in 1996 he led the company’s initial public offering. Mike has also had previous roles at Price Waterhouse, Coble Systems and Ingram Industries, all in Nashville, Tennessee. He serves on the UM Foundation Board and on the College of Business Advisory Board, in addition to the Board of Directors of Ingram Industries, ScanSource, Inc., and Belkin International, Inc..
The Michael J. and Donna H. Grainger Chair will support a faculty member within the College of Business with resources for faculty and student research, classroom experiences, and faculty continuing education opportunities. Mr. Grainger serves on the UM Foundation Board and the College of Business Advisory Board. He understands the impact of philanthropy on our students and especially on our faculty.