After graduating with an accounting degree in 1962, George Mihalik joined Deloitte & Touche (then Haskins and Sells), became a certified public accountant, and audited companies in a wide range of industries, including construction, shipping, food service, and banking. In 1977, George joined the internal audit department of a mining company called Texasgulf, Inc. His assignments required frequent travel throughout the southern and western U.S., the province of Ontario and France. George eventually advanced to become vice president and controller of the holding company of Texasgulf, Inc.’s successor until his retirement in 2000.
"I've always enjoyed the challenge of technical accounting problems, but also the opportunity to work with and visit my peers in company locations throughout the U.S. and France. My time at Fairfield not only gave me a solid foundation in accounting and business studies, but also in writing — a vital but often overlooked skill for an accountant. My education also reinforced the ethical standards so necessary to maintain in dealings with audit clients and executive management,” says George
George's interests include military history, classical music, theater, and films. He is a member of groups devoted to the study of the U.S. Civil War and World War I. He has traveled extensively within the U.S. and Europe to visit battlefields, museums, and other historical sites. His European tours have ranged from Portugal to Turkey, and have covered conflicts from the War of Spanish Succession to World War II.
George has fond memories of his professors at Fairfield. "Accounting Professor Thomas J. Fitzpatrick taught me how to approach and solve accounting problems and Professor of History Walter M. Petry Jr. reinforced my deep interest in history," he says.
To pay the many benefits of his Fairfield education forward, George made his first gift to the University in 1982, in the amount of $50. Since that time, for 38 years, George has continued to support The Fairfield Fund each year, gradually increasing his gifts to become a member of the President’s Circle. His annual gifts provide the University with funds that are vital to sustaining our current operations.
George also wanted to support the future of Fairfield University so that the next generations of students could benefit from a Fairfield education in the same way he has. As an accountant, he gave considerable thought as to what type of gift would work best for both himself and the University. He ultimately chose to establish a Charitable Gift Annuity (CGA) using the funds he had to take from his IRA as a required minimum distribution that year.
George set up his first Charitable Gift Annuity in 2010. This gift provided him with an immediate tax deduction and income for life, most of which is tax-free, and the satisfaction of augmenting Fairfield's endowment. George liked this arrangement because it will help assure Fairfield's future while also allowing him financial security during his retirement.
In fact, George liked the arrangement so much that he set up a new Charitable Gift Annuity each year from 2010 to 2018 and plans to set up another before the end of 2019. He funds his Charitable Gift Annuity each year using the money he is required to take out of his IRA as a required minimum distribution. What’s more, George has named Fairfield as the beneficiary of his IRA so that, upon his passing, Fairfield will receive all of the funds remaining in the IRA as well as any remaining funds related to his multiple gift annuities.
George would recommend a Charitable Gift Annuity to donors who are interested in a fixed income. “The returns are very good and very secure compared with what is available commercially and the gift also benefits Fairfield’s future,” he says.
George is an excellent example of what Fairfield strives to teach its students through its Catholic and Jesuit foundations. He has led a life of service and given back much to society through his gifts to Fairfield, the ethics he demonstrated throughout his career and his kindness to others.