The Nebraska Actuarial Science Program celebrated its 60th Anniversary with a celebration and a new campaign called “60 Years: Raising the Bar to World Class.” The campaign brings awareness to its unique roots which Sue Vagts, David P. Hayes Memorial Chair and Ameritas Faculty Fellow, believes is critical to making Nebraska the leader in actuarial science education.
“In 1957, the insurance industry in our state decided to ‘grow their own actuaries’ by starting a program at Nebraska,” said Vagts. “To start the program, the Nebraska Actuaries Club formed a chair committee, who were charged with financing, hiring and advising the program. Eighteen Nebraska insurance companies contributed money to underwrite it.”
The program’s continued recognition as a Center of Actuarial Excellence by the Society of Actuaries validated the industry’s early commitment. In the tradition of reaching out to Nebraskans for support, the campaign seeks to double its endowment by raising $2 million over the next four years.
“With the additional endowment, we can increase the number and amount of our scholarships, fund the popular tutor room and provide more funds for student travel to conferences. To support faculty, we want to increase our student employment of graders, teaching assistants and research assistants. Perhaps our most ambitious goal is to begin a Ph.D. program, producing talent that can influence the next generation of actuarial research and education,” she said.
Linda Whitmore ’88, senior vice president and chief actuary-corporate at Ameritas, sees industry support for Nebraska as an ongoing partnership benefiting both sides.
“Our internship program is year round, so that keeps us close to the university,” said Whitmore. “There’s a lot of value to our community in what they provide us. The industry has been very generous in supporting Nebraska’s actuarial science program, and now we have an opportunity to build on that by ensuring we have a strong endowment.”
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