Financial donation from the state’s leading health insurer supports the future of Iowa’s risk management and insurance industry
Monday, February 5, 2024

Des Moines-based health insurer Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield has partnered with the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business on an innovative risk management and insurance program. 

The college’s Vaughan Institute for Risk Management and Insurance—which launched a new undergraduate major for risk management and insurance in fall 2023—is preparing the next generation of insurance leaders to sustain and grow this important industry in Iowa.

wellmark logo

Henry B. Tippie Dean Amy Kristof-Brown says Wellmark’s financial contribution will benefit the institute and also strengthen Iowa’s economy. The risk management and insurance industry comprises 11% of the state’s gross domestic product, second only to agriculture, per the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Additionally, it employs more than 60,000 Iowans according to the Iowa Insurance Division. 

Wellmark’s contribution will assist the Vaughan Institute in strengthening the field of risk management and insurance by supporting innovative leadership within the program, building a strong pipeline to talent, creating experiential learning opportunities, and enabling research that will keep the industry on the cutting edge. 

“Our university has a rich history in risk management and insurance, and so does Wellmark, which has been a driving economic force in Iowa for the last 85 years,” said Kristof-Brown. “This is an incredible opportunity to forge even stronger connections between our college and a longtime industry leader.”

Wellmark’s contribution will assist the college in fueling the insurance industry’s growth.

Cory Harris
Cory Harris

“We are deeply committed to helping prepare the next generation of leaders within our industry,” said Cory Harris, Wellmark’s president and CEO. “Through this contribution and the strength of our continued partnership, Wellmark and the University of Iowa are working to ensure a bright future for the institute and our industry, while improving the health and well-being of those we serve.” 

Fewer than 60 universities in the nation have insurance and risk management programs such as Tippie’s. Named in memory of trailblazing insurance educator Emmett J. Vaughan, the institute offers certificate degrees for undergraduate and MBA students, along with its new undergraduate major. The Vaughan Institute also provides student scholarships, recruiting and networking initiatives, mentoring, and professional-development opportunities. 

Media contact: Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (o); 319-541-8434 (c);