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Donor Stories|University of Wyoming Foundation

Donor Stories

The Story of a Gift

The Story of a Gift

Marvin Millgate of Torrington graduated from UW in 1952, served in the U.S. Army, and spent his working life as a geologist for the Atomic Energy Commission and the U.S. Geological Survey. Then, in the late 90s, he thought about his retirement.

He decided to establish two charitable remainder unitrusts (also known as CRUTs) funded with land that he owned in Goshen County. The University of Wyoming Foundation received the gift of land as the Trustee of the CRUTs and quickly developed a plan to sell the property.

The sale of his land in 2003 brought an unexpected surprise. There had been an initial appraisal, but then input from expertise on the UW Foundation Board of Directors indicated that the land was undervalued, and so a new appraisal raised that value by a significant amount. The land was sold during a live auction, and it brought an even higher sum. The proceeds received by the CRUTs upon the sale of the land were invested in a diversified portfolio, which provided Marvin a reliable stream of income during his retirement years.

Marvin’s gift also triggered a state match when the land was sold. The endowment payout from the state matching component has been utilized to make a significant impact across campus since the beginning of 2004—to send faculty and staff to conferences, to develop faculty internship programs, and for leadership development among deans and department heads.

The generous Mr. Millgate passed away on January 6, 2012, leaving his entire estate and the remaining assets in the two CRUTs to the University of Wyoming to be utilized by the Vice President for Academic Affairs for academic enhancements across campus. The remaining assets of the two CRUTs, when combined with the assets of his estate and the Wyoming state matching funds, represent a remarkable gift to UW in excess of $3.5 million that will significantly enhance academics and professional development for the rising stars of UW’s faculty.

“UW’s Office of Academic Affairs has dedicated Mr. Millgate’s gift to the development of the next generation of academic leaders at UW,” says Dr. Myron Allen, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Through his extraordinary generosity, we hope to cultivate a steady stream of capable department heads, deans, and vice presidents. Some will come to UW from other institutions, but I hope that many of the most talented teachers and scholars in our own ranks will feel ready to step into these roles in the coming years.”

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