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Professor George McGrail Continues to Serve his Students Through a Scholarship Endowment

george-mcgrail.jpgGeorge McGrail is a professor emeritus from the University of Wyoming College of Business Department of Accounting. He served UW for 30 years, and he is a Certified Public Accountant, running his own accounting firm. He also taught accounting overseas at military bases in Germany and in Moscow, Russia.

He grew up in a small farming and ranching community near Billings, Montana. He earned a bachelor’s in accounting with an emphasis in business education from the Montana State University Billings (formerly Eastern Montana College) and then an MBA at the University of Denver, with stops along the way in the private sector working at filling stations and truck stops and earning his CPA license.

George came to teach at the University of Wyoming in the fall of 1965 and continued to teach for 30+ years. He practiced accounting with his own firm and with Arthur Anderson in Denver and taught cost accounting and managerial accounting, as well as the spectrum of other courses. He served as department chair twice.

George is dedicated, thoughtful, and generous. As an accountant and an accounting professor, he plans ahead while also considering his impact on others.

That’s why in 2013 he decided to set up an endowment for an accounting scholarship for juniors and seniors with financial need—the George McGrail Accounting Scholarship—and to remember UW in his estate plans.

Here’s more about George’s generosity.

What asset should I give?

George began gifting to UW in 1988 by making annual cash gifts to support his department and college. After retiring, he fine-tuned his estate plans, which gave him the flexibility to consider UW for a larger gift at the end of his life. George signed a Notification of Legacy Gift—UW’s future gift acceptance form—which details how he plans to remember UW in his estate. George’s approach is “to place it where people will benefit—not only my family will be taken care of but other institutions that I have a deep interest and love for.”

How much should I give?

George has given what he is able to and what aligns with his charitable giving goals and values. After initially making annual gifts, he later decided to take the next step—a larger gift to establish an endowed scholarship. He also contacted peers and successful former students to pitch in to his scholarship. George also supports other schools and causes he believes in.

When should I give?

George has given throughout his life. As an accountant, George recommends to others to give at a time when it has the most benefit to them—whether it be for tax reasons or otherwise.

Which giving method should I use?

Giving takes a multitude of forms. George accumulated a number of real properties throughout his life. As a result, he recently decided to gift one of the properties to UW. Beyond UW, George incentivizes his grandchildren to get a higher education with substantial gifts when they graduate from college. This also allows them to own their own success, just like he has.

What specific purpose do I want to support?

George’s life purpose has been to be an excellent CPA and to teach that expertise to generations of future accountants. It’s also been to support others in their journeys. He’s done that through his teaching, he’s done that through outright gifts, and now he’s doing it by including the University of Wyoming in his estate plans.

George’s reasoning for gifting to UW is simple: “The University of Wyoming puts out a very good product. In my thirty-odd years I would compare ours to any other program across the country and could guarantee almost without a doubt our students would be equal to or better than any other program. The benefit is not only to the student but also to the university, and it pleases me.”


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