SWOSU Receives Substantial Gift from McElmurry Trust


SWOSU Receives Substantial Gift from McElmurry Trust
SWOSU Provost Blake Sonobe (third from left) receives the university’s first check from C.B. Graft, personal representative of the Wilma (Davis) McElmurry estate. SWOSU will receive at least $40,000 each year forever from a trust established by McElmurry. The money will be used for scholarships. Also pictured are (from left): McElmurry friends Jeannine Wilmeth of Custer City and Coleen Mannering of Thomas; SWOSU Vice President Tom Fagan; McElmurry friend Peggy Lash of Custer City; and SWOSU Associate Provost Cindy Foust.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford has received a gift from an estate that will provide at least $40,000 each year to the university for scholarships.

SWOSU Receives Substantial Gift from McElmurry TrustWilma (Davis) McElmurry of rural Custer County near Custer City recently passed away at the age of 89 and designated SWOSU, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, and Clinton Public Schools as beneficiaries of income from her charitable trust, valued over $4.9 million.

C.B Graft, personal representative of the estate, said each institution will receive perpetual payments from the trust.

“SWOSU is extremely appreciative of this most generous gift,” said SWOSU President John Hays. “Mr. and Mrs. McElmurry did not have any children, yet they have provided resources that will benefit many young people forever.”

McElmurry earmarked 1/3 of the trust to SWOSU, 1/2 to the OMRF and 1/6 to Clinton Public Schools. The gifts to SWOSU and Clinton Public Schools are to be used for scholarships, while the OMRF is to use proceeds for heart and cancer research. The scholarships are to be known as the Davis/McElmurry Scholarships.

SWOSU Receives Substantial Gift from McElmurry TrustBoth McElmurry and her husband, Bonnie, were long-time teachers at Clinton Public Schools. Mrs. McElmurry was a 1940 SWOSU graduate. After retiring from teaching, they lived on the family farm north of Custer City where they became very active in farming.

Mrs. McElmurry graduated from Independence High School in 1933. She took a post graduate course at Custer High School in 1934 and entered Southwestern State College in 1936. McElmurry taught at Arapaho until 1956 and then at Clinton until 1973.

Mr. McElmurry graduated from Lake Valley School and attended Southwestern State College. He graduated from Oklahoma State University. He started teaching at Arapaho in 1938 where he was principal for six years and superintendent for nine years. He later taught drivers education classes at Clinton until his retirement.