RMF Endowed Research & Program Chairs

The Department of Risk Management & Insurance is fortunate to house a number of endowments, special programs, and activities designed to enhance the educational and research opportunities for our faculty, students, and alumni. Each program has its own unique mission and together they stand as a strong indicator of the significant impact the department’s activities have on the many communities we strive to serve.
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GSU Risk Management Foundation
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 4036
Atlanta  Georgia, 30302-4036

The AAMGA Chair was endowed in 2010 through a $1 million gift to the Department of Risk Management & Insurance from members and associate members of the organization. The gift is the largest of its kind involving a business school and an insurance trade association. Through its collaboration with Georgia State, AAMGA's 400 member companies and their 10,000 employees will have access to the latest research in the field of risk management and insurance, preferred access to Robinson College executive education offerings, the opportunity to recruit Robinson graduates on the Georgia State University campus, and the ability to leverage the latest in educational technology. Each year AAMGA conducts a cycle of training for its active and associate members in various U.S. cities through AAMGA University. Robinson faculty will lecture and conduct workshops on such subjects as leadership, communication, and teamwork as part of AAMGA's Leadership Institute.
In 1997 the Robert W. Batten Chair in Actuarial Science was established by Georgia State University to honor Professor Robert W. Batten, who had directed the Actuarial Science program for 30 years prior to his retirement that year. With commitments to date of over $1,000,000 in support from alumni and friends of the program, the chair will enable Georgia State to attract and retain the best teaching and research faculty in the actuarial field, to attract top students, and to expand the actuarial science seminar program. Donors to the chair believe that the program's future success can best be ensured by providing faculty the resources needed to maintain the operation of a top-flight actuarial science program.
Through the combined efforts of a small group of insurance industry leaders, the Kenneth Black Jr. Chair of Insurance was approved by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents in 1989. The Black Chair is unique in academic circles in that it is endowed as a program chair, designed to benefit the various activities of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance, rather than the activities of only one professor. The chair is always held by the chair of the RMI Department. In 1997, the Board of Trustees of GSU Risk Management Foundation (formerly Educational Foundation Inc.), the nonprofit fundraising arm of the RMI Department, undertook a major fundraising campaign relative to the Black Chair. The goal of this initiative was to raise an additional $1.3 million in cash contributions and pledges to augment the funds that were raised previously. This initiative culminated in a gala held in Dr. Black's honor, where nearly 300 distinguished contributors, Georgia State alumni, and insurance industry leaders witnessed the presentation of a $1.45 million check to former Georgia State President Carl V. Patton.
The Bowles Chair was established in 1988 to focus on the changing and complex environment in which the contemporary actuary practices. The Bowles Chair highlights and addresses major trends, and contributes to the continued vitality of the actuarial profession. The Bowles Symposia Series — established in 1995 as a special program of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance — represent a collection of actuarial research and education seminars that focus on specific issues relevant to the changing and complex environment in which contemporary actuaries practice.
In 1983, member companies of the Life Insurers Conference (a trade association with a long relationship with GSU) initiated an effort to fund a Chair of Insurance at Georgia State University. More than 100 insurance companies and individuals contributed to the initial fund drive. The C.V. Starr Foundation, named after Cornelius Vander Starr, gave to fully endow the chair in 1989. In response, the university renamed the chair in honor of Mr. Starr. Cornelius Vander Starr was the founder of the American International Group (AIG) and was the principal benefactor and founder of the Starr Foundation. Starr began his career in the Asia-Pacific area, founding AIG in Shanghai, but had great influence throughout the world. A complex, well-traveled, and educated man, he believed that the peoples of the world have much to learn from each other despite cultural differences. The C.V. Starr Chair of International Insurance at Georgia State University shares this objective.

The C.V. Starr Chair of International Insurance provides resources to support the chairholder and the international aspects of the programs in the Department of Risk Management & Insurance at Georgia State University. The holder of the chair maintains an international profile and uses the resources of the chair to enhance all aspects of the programs from an international perspective. The chairholder conducts research that contributes to our knowledge of international risk and insurance or to the resolution of important issues touching on insurance internationally. The chairholder also helps make our students, faculty, and curriculum more attuned to international matters.

The James S. Kemper Foundation pledged $125,000 to the department to establish the James S. Kemper Professorship of Risk Management and Insurance, an amount that is matched dollar-for-dollar by the Robinson College of Business. The Kemper Professor is engaged in highly visible teaching, research, and service activities, consistent with the mission of the RMI Department and the Robinson College.
After 30 years of service to Georgia State University, Bruce A. Palmer retired on August 31, 2001 as professor and chair of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance. In honor of Dr. Palmer's distinguished career, the Board of Trustees of GSU Risk Management Foundation established the Bruce A. Palmer Professorship of Risk Management and Insurance. Throughout his career, Dr. Palmer worked diligently to achieve national and international recognition for the RMI Department, the Robinson College of Business, and Georgia State University. Under his seven years of leadership as chair, the RMI Department flourished into one of the leading academic institutions of its kind in the world, as highlighted by the following achievements:

  • Georgia State University has the largest combined actuarial science, financial planning, and risk management faculty in North America.
  • U.S. News & World Report has ranked Georgia State’s undergraduate RMI program among the nation’s top 10 since 1999.
  • The RMI Department won the 1999 Board of Regents Teaching Excellence Award in the research university category. It is the only Georgia State department to have received this award.
  • Five RMI faculty members received Robinson College of Business Teaching Excellence Awards and two faculty members received national teaching awards.
  • Faculty research and publications increased substantially, resulting in several national research awards by individual faculty members.
  • Scholarship awards have increased to over $300,000 annually.
  • Gamma Iota Sigma, a national insurance student organization, was reactivated at Georgia State University.
  • The inaugural symposium sponsored by the Thomas P. Bowles Jr. Chair of Actuarial Science was held, followed by three subsequent symposia.
  • The inaugural C.V. Starr Chair of International Insurance Symposium was held.
  • The Robert W. Batten Chair in Actuarial Science was established.
  • The Kenneth Black, Jr. Chair of Insurance received substantial funding increases.
  • Two professorships, The James S. Kemper Professorship and The New York Life Professorship, were established.

Since its inception in 1979, the New York Life Foundation — the primary vehicle through which New York Life Insurance Company (NYL) supports charitable causes — has contributed over $40 million towards making positive differences in the lives of millions of people around the world. NYL is strongly committed to ensuring the success of future generations by funding programs and institutions that help young people realize their intellectual, professional, and personal potentials. To that end, NYL Foundation contributed $250,000 toward the endowment of the New York Life Professorship of Insurance in the Department of Risk Management & Insurance (RMI) at Georgia State University. This marks another milestone in the four-decade relationship between NYL and the RMI Department that began in 1960 with a $15,000 pledge by NYL to advance the academic goals of the young insurance department. Since then, NYL's commitment and support continues to bolster the department's position as one of the world's premier centers for risk management education and research, and strengthen the department's capacity to develop and train tomorrow's insurance leaders.
The R. Means Davis Jr. CPCU Endowed Professorship was established at Georgia State University in 2014 by the R. Means Davis family in honor of his namesake. Mr. Davis, an alumnus of the Department of Risk Management & Insurance, received his B.B.A in insurance in 1968 and a master's of insurance in 1970. e was an active member of the GSU Risk Management Foundation (formerly Educational Foundation Inc.) and was instrumental in establishing the Kenneth Black Jr. Chair of Insurance to honor one of his mentors and role models. The Davis professorship supports the activities of a highly recognized leader in research and education focused on risk and its management.