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Supporting the Leaders of Tomorrow

Pat and Nancy Higgins

Together, Pat and Nancy Higgins have dedicated their lives to building a successful business and a prosperous legacy. Pat is the former CEO of Orrison Distributing, LTD, a distributor of quality beers in Wyoming and Colorado. His career was one that allowed him to pursue his passions and be the person known fondly as the Bud Man.

After more than three decades of doing what he loves for a living, Pat has retired. He has a lot to show for his hard work and dedication. He and Nancy have been enjoying the life they built together. Since departing from the workforce, he says he’s been pondering how his career helped shape his identity and how his sense of self looks differently in retirement. Who is Pat Higgins now that he is no longer the Bud Man? It’s a question with many answers. Pat is a loving husband, a proud father of two, and an attentive grandfather.

He’s also a University of Wyoming alum who’s passionate about helping others. In 2015–2016, Pat was the recipient of the College of Business Distinguished Alumni Award—an honor reserved for individuals who embrace the spirit of hard work, respect the diversity of ideas and all people, demonstrate leadership in their field and/or communities, are persons of integrity, and acknowledge the value of their business education received at the University of Wyoming.

Recently, the Higgins have committed to giving back to Wyoming’s university through a legacy gift that will support three areas on campus through the Pat and Nancy Higgins Family Accounting Chair, the Pat and Nancy Higgins Family College of Business Scholarship, and the Pat and Nancy Higgins Family Wyoming Athletic Scholarship. The Pat and Nancy Higgins Family Accounting Chair will support teaching, research, professional development, and salary augmentation of faculty recipients. Their intent is to enable the University of Wyoming to recruit and retain exceptional faculty in accounting. The Pat and Nancy Higgins Family College of Business Scholarship and the Pat and Nancy Higgins Family Wyoming Athletic Scholarship will support hardworking students in need of financial assistance.

The Higgins’s generosity is encouraging others to consider legacy gifts. The impact of their endowments is far reaching and will provide the University of Wyoming and its students opportunities that would not have been possible without Pat and Nancy’s support.

Pat earned his bachelor’s in accounting in 1975 and an MBA in 1981. After graduating, he served as controller for a Cheyenne Beer Wholesaler until 1987 when he became part of a group of managers that purchased beer operations in Wyoming and Colorado. Nancy is also a UW graduate, earning her degree in education in 1979.

Pat currently serves as a board member of the University of Wyoming Foundation. It was through this experience that led the Higgins to consider how their success could benefit future generations of UW students.  

“We could not have done it alone,” says Pat. “We were fortunate to have support from people who understood what we wanted and knew how to make it happen.”

Over the years, the Higgins have built relationships with others who are also passionate about giving back to UW. These connections were instrumental in realizing their vision.

“I’ve gotten to know Pat and Nancy over the past ten years, ever since I was a student-athlete,” says UW Foundation Director of Annual Giving Jack Tennant. “Having the privilege of assisting the Higgins in accomplishing their philanthropic goals has been a great experience. The two of them are dedicated to the University of Wyoming. It’s been an honor to work with them.”

Pat says that finding a network of other individuals who are devoted to the university’s future has had a big impact on him and Nancy and their giving. Among other endowments, the couple has contributed to the Peter M. and Paula Green Johnson Student Success Center and the Mick and Susie McMurry High Altitude Performance Center. For their legacy gift, they wanted to give to the areas that were personal to them.

“We are very fortunate to have what we have,” says Nancy. “Pat had such a good experience with the College of Business that we wanted to give back. We wanted to inspire up- and-coming business leaders and athletes.”


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