October 13, 2017

Grainger receives 2017 Mary Lou Elder Williams Alumnus Loyalty Award

photo of Michael GraingerThe University of Montevallo honored deserving UM staff, faculty and alumni during the celebration of the University’s 121st Founders’ Day on Oct. 12.  

Michael J. Grainger, former president and chief operating officer of Ingram Micro Inc., was the recipient of this year’s Mary Lou Elder Williams Alumnus Loyalty Award. Each year, this distinguished honor is bestowed to a UM alumnus who has demonstrated loyalty and dedication to the University through contributions of their time, talents and resources.                            

Grainger graduated from UM in 1973 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Throughout his illustrious career with Ingram Micro, Price Waterhouse, ScanSource Inc. and Belkin International, he has consistently remained a tireless advocate for UM’s Stephens College of Business. 

He has served for ten years on the Stephens College of Business Advisory Board, offering his counsel and insight to help the College strive.  

Since 2012, Grainger has been a director on the University of Montevallo Foundation Board, applying his many decades of accounting expertise to its goals. The primary purpose of the Foundation is to receive, solicit, accept, hold, administer, use, invest, endow and disburse private philanthropic gifts, bequests, devises, and all types of property for the exclusive benefit of the University. 

In 2014, Grainger and his wife, Donna, established the Michael J. and Donna H. Grainger Endowed Chair in Business and Accounting, the first academic endowed chair in the University’s history. The position serves to recognize the work and dedication College of Business faculty put into sharpening the academic minds of their students.  

The Graingers donated funds to establish the Center for Professional Practice, an invaluable on-campus resource offering business majors one-on-one lessons in professionalism along with interviewing and networking skills. Grainger has also participated in the Center’s speaker series and conducted mock interviews with students.  

In 2016, the Center for professional practice was dedicated to the Graingers and officially named the Grainger Center for Professional Practice for the decades of time and treasure they have given to UM. 

In a nomination letter for the award, Dr. Stephen Craft, dean of the Stephens College of Business, summed up Grainger’s contributions to the college. 

“Michael Grainger is simply an outstanding example of a loyal and dedicated Montevallo graduate. His financial support and tremendous gifts of time and personal involvement have made a transformative difference in the lives of our students,” wrote Dr. Stephen Craft, dean of the Stephens College of Business in a nomination letter. 

photo of UMNAA Founders' Day award recipients

UMNAA 2017 Founders’ Day award recipients: Tonja Battle – Outstanding Staff Service Award, Michael J. Grainger – Mary Lou Elder Williams Alumnus Loyalty Award and Sherry Ford – Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Award.