Indiana State University Newsroom

Insurance and risk management program recognized among nation's best

September 19, 2008

The insurance and risk management program at Indiana State University's College of Business has been recognized as among the nation's best.

The program is one of eight profiled in the September issue of Risk Management Magazine, a national publication for corporate risk managers. Other top programs listed are at the prestigious Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Georgia, Temple University in Philadelphia, St. John's University in New York City, among others.

"We are among very distinguished schools," said Nancy J. Merritt, dean of the ISU College of Business. "Our students, instructors, internships, job placement, and development put us right there with other national programs."

According to the article in Risk Management, ISU's insurance and risk management program ranks as a top school because of its support from the Gongaware Center, along with other industry sponsored scholarships and nearly 100 percent job placement.

The Gongaware Center was established in 1998 by an initial $5 million gift from Donald and Patricia Gongaware with the purpose of developing future leaders in the insurance and financial services industry. In addition to insurance and risk management, the center now encompasses all financial services sectors.

Gongaware Scholars participate in summer internships, work with industry leaders and have access to a variety of other opportunities to develop leadership skills. Most complete three internships during their undergraduate years. In the summer of 2008, 25 interns were placed at national companies including Indiana Farm Bureau; GEICO; All Risks, Ltd.; State Farm; Lockton, Inc.; Grain Dealers Mutual and Steak N' Shake.

"The scholarship program has really put us on the map as far as being one of the top insurance and risk management programs," said Terrie E. Troxel, executive director of the Gongaware Center and professor of risk management. "Gongaware Scholars get involved early and are well prepared to enter the job market."

Troxel cited donors and the Insurance Advisory Council as other contributing factors for the program's success. The 23-member council serves as a liaison between the College of Business and insurance and financial community.

"We have very dedicated supporters from throughout the insurance industry," Troxel said. "Moreover, the program has had great faculty leadership. From its inception under Professor Larry Coleman the program grew rapidly and later flourished under his successor, Professor Mary Ann Boose. It now has three full-time faculty members and several adjunct professors teaching a broad range of risk management, insurance, and finance courses."

The recent accolade is not the first for the program. Insurance and risk management is part of ISU's financial services program which the university designated as a Program of National Distinction in 2007. The designation is part of a $1.75 million initiative, funded in part by a $1 million grant from the Lilly Endowment, to strengthen programs with national reputations of quality.

"As dean, I am very proud of this program and its continued reputation of excellence," Merritt said.

The article, "Risk Management U: The Academies," is available online at


Contact: Terrie Troxel, Gongaware Center executive director, Indiana State University College of Business, 812-237-2028 or

Writer: Emily Taylor, assistant director of media relations, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Story Highlights

The insurance and risk management program at Indiana State University's College of Business has been named as one of the best in the nation by Risk Management Magazine. The publication profiled distinguished risk management programs at eight colleges and universities in its September issue.

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