ATLANTA – A $15 million gift from The Starr Foundation to Georgia State University will dramatically expand and enhance its risk education programs and elevate the highly regarded program’s stature worldwide.
The transformational gift is the largest in the history of Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. It will be used to accomplish the following:
- Establish an honors scholarship program to recruit and support the most promising scholars from across the nation who wish to study risk management, insurance, or actuarial science
- Develop a cross-disciplinary program, including endowed scholarships, for students pursuing other majors across the university to gain the specialized educational experiences necessary to enter the insurance industry
- Create a new physical space to house the program and provide a modern learning environment for its students
In recognition of this gift, Georgia State will rename its Department of Risk Management & Insurance as the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Science, pending approval by the University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents. Greenberg is chairman and CEO of Starr Insurance Companies, a leading global insurance and investment organization, and also chairman of The Starr Foundation.
“We are deeply grateful to The Starr Foundation for investing in one of the university’s top-performing and most prestigious departments,” said President M. Brian Blake. “This gift ensures our risk management and insurance programs will continue to produce incredible graduates and outstanding research, all while honoring a legendary insurance executive.”
The Starr Foundation was established in 1955 by Cornelius Vander Starr, an insurance entrepreneur who founded C.V. Starr & Co. and other international insurance companies. Mr. Starr named Greenberg as his successor in 1968. In 1969, Mr. Greenberg formed American International Group, Inc. (AIG) from several of Starr’s insurance companies and took it public. He served as AIG’s chairman and CEO until March 2005. Under his nearly 40 years of leadership, AIG grew from an initial market value of $300 million to $180 billion, becoming the largest insurance company in the world.
With Greenberg as its chairman, The Starr Foundation has made more than $3.8 billion in grants to many academic, medical, cultural, and public policy organizations worldwide.
“The commercial insurance industry–a driving force of the global economy–must be committed to attracting and nurturing the best and brightest young leaders. Helping Georgia State continue to build one of the nation’s best insurance programs will ensure that happens,” said Mr. Greenberg.
“The Starr Foundation is honored to provide scholarship support for Georgia State students at a pivotal time in their lives,” said Florence A. Davis, president of The Starr Foundation.
Georgia State’s Department of Risk Management & Insurance has been a leader in risk and insurance education and research for nearly 70 years. Created initially as the Department of Insurance, the name changed in the 1980s to reflect the unit’s expanding scope of academic programs in alignment with the insurance industry, which was progressing to include risk management. Its undergraduate program is currently ranked No. 4 in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report, and the department is ranked No. 2 for actuarial science research productivity among all North American business schools.
“Our focus on new technology and how we respond to an ever-changing industry has made us a national leader in the study of risk,” said Richard Phillips, dean of the Robinson College. “This gift will allow us to expand the kinds of questions our researchers can address related to complex risk challenges.”
“The Starr Foundation gift provides the resources to recruit top-tier students, create a university-wide talent development pipeline, and foster a research environment for addressing the future risk-related needs of consumers, firms, and society,” said Stephen Shore, chair of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance. “We are excited to prepare students for successful careers in high-demand, risk-related fields at a scale we could only dream about before.”