News & Events

Allied Insurance Commits $1.5 Million to UI Insurance Institute

Larry Hershberger Des Moines-based Allied Insurance--a member of Nationwide, one of the country's largest multi-insurers and financial services organizations--has committed $1.5 million to support a faculty position in the University of Iowa's new Institute of Risk and Insurance in the Henry B. Tippie College of Business. The gift commitment, made through the UI Foundation, will eventually endow the Allied Insurance Chair in Risk and Insurance.

The UI Institute of Risk and Insurance, established last year under the leadership of J. Sa-Aadu, chair of the Tippie College's finance department, seeks to provide Iowa's insurance industry with a well-educated work force and to offer high-level continuing education and development for insurance professionals. Larry Hershberger, a 1966 UI business graduate who recently retired as senior vice president of TIAA-CREF in New York, is the institute's director.

"Allied Insurance, the university and its Tippie College of Business, and the insurance industry, with its prominent presence in Iowa, are very natural partners in a research--and education-based insurance institute of this kind," said Gary Fethke, dean of the UI Tippie College of Business. "We are very grateful to Allied for becoming the first major corporate contributor in our campaign to raise $6 million in private support for the institute."

Allied president Kirt A. Walker said he sees many benefits growing from Allied's gift to the UI insurance institute.

"Allied was eager to make this gift because we believe it will provide value for the entire industry and the millions of people it serves," Walker said. "This commitment will also deepen the established relationship between the university and Allied. We look forward to top-flight continuing education delivered in a variety of ways, to formalizing an internship program and to connecting Allied's professionals with UI students through open houses, classroom presentations, career fairs and job-shadow days."

Steve Rasmussen, a 1974 UI graduate and president and chief operating officer for the property and casualty insurance operations of Nationwide Insurance, of which Allied Insurance is a part, said Allied chose to support the UI Institute of Risk and Insurance because of the extraordinary impact the UI has had on the industry.

"That impact can be summed up largely in the name of Emmett Vaughan, one of my mentors while I was at the university, and afterward," said Rasmussen, citing Vaughan's 41-year tenure as a UI business school faculty member. "Emmett is one of the foremost authorities on insurance in the nation, and he has played a major role in strengthening the industry in the state of Iowa and nationally. A sign of our respect for Emmett Vaughan's contributions is that Allied's training center is named for him.

"In light of this history, we are especially proud to play an active role in the university's future in this important field," he added.

Additional UI Institute of Risk and Insurance goals include: Creating a concentration in risk and insurance studies within the college's undergraduate and MBA programs and; Forming an institute advisory committee to ensure responsiveness to the insurance industry's needs for continuing education, executive education, research, new employees and interns.

The institute's $6 million fund-raising campaign--which is part of the UI's current comprehensive campaign--seeks private funding for activities of the institute's director and faculty, undergraduate scholarships and internships, continuing education and outreach events and programs. The private gifts secured in the campaign will provide supplemental support to the institute's operating budget from the college and the university.

Allied Insurance is a property-casualty insurer established in Des Moines in 1929. Allied operates in 26 states through a network of independent agents with regional offices based in Des Moines; Sacramento, Calif.; Denver, Colo.; and Lincoln, Neb. Allied has been a member of the Nationwide family of companies since 1998 and is responsible for Nationwide Insurance's independent agency system. Based in Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide is a Fortune 500 company and one of the country's largest multi-insurers and financial services organizations.

The Allied Insurance gift is part of the UI's $850 million comprehensive campaign, which will run through 2005 and is being conducted under the guidance of the UI Foundation. Named "Good. Better. Best. Iowa: The Campaign to Advance Our Great University," the seven-year effort is raising private funds to help launch a variety of initiatives across the university, substantially increase the number of UI scholarships and endowed faculty positions, support new educational and research facilities, build the UI's endowment and fund outreach and service programs to benefit Iowans.


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