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October 24, 2016

Center for Professional Practice Dedicated to Montevallo Alumni Donors

On Oct. 18, UM’s center for professional practice was officially dedicated to Michael J. Grainger ’73 and his wife, Donna Grainger ’74, as part of The Campaign for the University of Montevallo: It’s About Family.

Now referred to as the Grainger Center for Professional Practice, the space will continue to serve as a valuable resource for business students to gain important knowledge on résumé building, interviewing, networking and other essential skills.

Faculty, staff and students were present as Dr. Stephen Craft, dean of the Michael E. Stephens College of Business, began the dedication by informing the crowd of the center’s origins.

According to Craft, the center was established six years ago after a student sought professional advice before an interview for a career-starting job. The student was in need of everything from a suit to a properly formatted résumé.

From that need, Craft and the University had the idea of creating a space that would ensure other students were always ready to impress employers.

The Graingers were instrumental in the center’s establishment. Michael, a member of the business college’s advisory board, not only donated significantly to get the center up and running, but also conducted mock interviews with accounting students.

Craft referred to the room as a place where “lives are transformed,” with much of the credit going to the center’s adviser, University Executive in Residence, Dr. Bill Hamer. He described Hamer as someone who was “tireless” and “as cruel as necessary” in his methods to properly mold students for the business world.

One of those students, Kate Bradner, a senior accounting major, shared her personal story of success thanks to the center’s resources. Bradner switched to an accounting major only last year, and with hard work coupled with the coordination of Hamer and the center, now has a job lined up with KPMG accounting firm upon graduation.

At the dedication, Donna spoke for the couple. She commended the University’s liberal arts education, calling it “educating the entire person” rather than a few select areas. She told the gathered students that true success is based not only on what you know, but who you know and how you present yourself.

As Craft noted, the Graingers have consistently shared their “time and treasure” with their alma mater. Their generosity only proves that when it comes to the relationship between UM students and alumni, it’s about family.


About the Campaign:

The Campaign for the University of Montevallo: It’s About Family is the University of Montevallo’s single largest comprehensive fundraising campaign. An investment in the knowledge, expertise and values that Montevallo graduates will take into their lives and into their professions, The Campaign seeks to build a culture of philanthropy.

The cumulative goal of the $20 million campaign will fund a broad array of needs, from student scholarships to faculty, coach and staff development, innovative facility improvements and the continued preservation of UM’s traditions.

Fore more information, visit the campaign website at

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