The University of Nebraska–Lincoln Actuarial Science endowment campaign looked to “raise the bar to world class” in 2016. Donations from alumni and friends now impact students, teaching and research to uplift the Nebraska Actuarial Science program designated as a Center of Excellence by the Society of Actuaries.
“We wanted to double our endowment to provide ongoing annual student and faculty support,” said Sue Vagts, director of the Actuarial Science program. “Over the past 12 years, our students and faculty doubled but our funding remained the same.”
The endowment increased to four million dollars from two, which allows $40,000 in annual funding for student scholarships, tutoring, study materials, travel and related expenses. It also provides an additional $40,000 each year for faculty research, database subscriptions, stipends, research assistants and other needs.
The Ameritas Student Researcher program is a significant contributing partner for both faculty and students. It allows professors like Dr. Yijia Lin, N. Z. Snell Life Insurance Professor, to hire students to assist with research.
“Most of our Ameritas Student Researchers begin the program their junior year and stay until graduation,” said Lin. “They work on research topics in actuarial science, insurance and risk management. I ask challenging questions and they use their critical thinking to solve problems.”
Justin Lang, a junior actuarial science major from Sioux City, Iowa, works as one of the Ameritas Student Researchers. He also received the Tim Meyers Scholarship to help support education expenses.
“It means a lot to receive the scholarship from a former student and know someone once in my shoes believes in students and wants us to succeed,” said Lang. “The Tim Meyers Scholarship allowed me to purchase study materials to prepare for my first actuarial exam. I’m grateful I could focus more on the exam without worrying about the cost.”
Tim Meyers, ’94, serves as president at WellCare of Nebraska, an Anthem company. His perspective as a leader in the industry motivated him to get involved in the campaign.
“There has never been a time where those who understand risk and finance have been more in need,” Meyers said. “While attending Nebraska, I didn’t have many resources, and I’m hopeful this scholarship provides exposure for the program. It’s important for the Actuarial Science Program to continue to lead and attract bright students from across the world. Nebraska has produced many business leaders in its relatively short lifetime and has the potential to become the educational destination of choice for even more actuarial college students.”
To Give to the Actuarial Science Program: business.unl.edu/actsciworldclass