• The Southwestern

SWOSU receives 2020 Davis-McElmurry distribution of funds

Updated: Jun 29



Southwestern Oklahoma State University (SWOSU) has received its annual distribution from the Davis-McElmurry Testamentary Trust. The trust provides resources each year to the university for scholarship support to students with demonstrated financial need.


Wilma (Davis) McElmurry of rural Custer County near Custer City died in 2005 at the age of 89 and designated SWOSU, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Clinton Public Schools as beneficiaries of income from her charitable trust. 


C.B. Graft (SWOSU Class of 1963 and 2018 Distinguished Alumnus), testamentary trustee of the Davis-McElmurry Estate, meets regularly with SWOSU leaders to evaluate the ongoing support SWOSU receives from the Davis-McElmurry Testamentary Trust.


Each institution receives perpetual payments from the trust. Since April 2007, the trust has provided more than $880,000 to SWOSU to provide scholarships for needy students. At SWOSU, the awards are known as the Davis-McElmurry Scholarships. 


“SWOSU continues to be extremely appreciative of this most generous gift,” SWOSU President Dr. Randy L. Beutler said. “Bulldogs today and tomorrow benefit from the thoughtfulness of the McElmurry Family.” 


McElmurry earmarked a third of the trust to SWOSU, half to the OMRF and one-sixth to Clinton Public Schools. The gifts to SWOSU and Clinton Public Schools are used for scholarships, while the OMRF is to use proceeds for heart and cancer research.


Both McElmurry and her husband, Bonnie, were long-time teachers at Clinton Public Schools. McElmurry was a 1940 SWOSU graduate. After retiring from teaching, they lived on the family farm north of Custer City, where they became active in production agriculture. 


Wilma McElmurry graduated from Independence High School in 1933. She took a postgraduate course at Custer High School in 1934 and entered SWOSU in 1936. McElmurry taught at Arapaho until 1956 and then at Clinton until 1973.


Bonnie McElmurry graduated from Lake Valley School and attended SWOSU before graduating 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 driver’s education classes at Clinton until his retirement.


SWOSU’s share of the Davis-McElmurry charitable distribution is stewarded by the

SWOSU Foundation Inc. The foundation was established in 1977 to promote

philanthropy and distribute funds to support the activities and programs of SWOSU.

Located on the Weatherford campus in the historic Burton House, the foundation

currently manages more than $26 million in assets for the benefit of SWOSU.


For more information, call 580-774-3267 or visit www.SWOSUFoundation.com.

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