Being a part of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance (the Department) is rewarding in so many ways and this past year has been one of the best. The GSU Risk Management Foundation (RMF) functions as the Department’s unique resource, one that ties students, faculty, and companies together to the benefit of all. The RMF supports faculty research and students with the participation of nearly 30 companies that are represented on our Board of Trustees.
The representatives from these companies who comprise our Board of Trustees are the unsung heroes of our success. Each one of these accomplished individuals have generously contributed their time and money. Each year, a particularly generous individual leads the trustees and devotes extra time and financial support to RMF. For fiscal 2019, it was one of our own graduates, the incomparable Steve Haase (’84) who led the Board of Trustees. He can add the successful 2019 Riskies to his impressive list of accomplishments. He is the founder of INSUREtrust, and one of the pioneers and now leaders in wholesale cyber insurance and technology related coverages. He instituted many improvements to Riskies and almost single-handedly sold more sponsorships this year than in its 5-year history. Thank you, Steve Haase, for an incredible year, and we thank the trustees and their companies for contributing to the record-setting event. All told, the Riskies raised over $100,000 for the Department and $115,000 in endowment.
We would also like to recognize the Duesenberg family for their substantial commitment to student scholarship resources in 2019. At the 2019 Riskies, Southern Insurance Underwriters President, Tripp Duesenberg announced the establishment of the Wes Duesenberg Jr. Surplus Lines Endowment. In addition to the family commitment, friends of the Duesenberg’s contributed enough to reach the threshold funding level and activate the scholarship. As a result, the first scholarship will be awarded in 2020.
Our recent success also included recruiting more students to the RMI major. In fact, it was the fastest growing major in the Robinson College of Business. Credit for this effort goes to Ryan Grelecki, clinical assistant professor of legal studies, and Laura Green, director of External Relations, for their unrelenting campus recruiting efforts. Along with the staff of RMI and RMF, students were informed of the opportunities in the risk and insurance industry and were excited enough to change their majors. Not to be overshadowed by the larger numbers of Risk Management & Insurance students, the Actuarial Science (AS) program remains very successful and connected to employers. The AS program is looking to the future where analytic and soft skills will be valued in addition to the core competencies of the profession.
And to top off the list of achievements, RMF is celebrating its 60th Year! Founded as the Educational Foundation by Dr. Ken Black and Associates, RMF has been providing resources to the department since 1959. Happy Birthday to us