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American Family Insurance Makes Gift to Wisconsin School of Business

Reflective of American Family’s long-standing partnership with the school, its latest gift establishes a Distinguished Chair.

MADISON, Wis. — American Family Insurance has bestowed a $675,000 gift to the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This gift is the latest generous endowment in a long-standing partnership between American Family and the university. The gift, along with a matching gift from an anonymous donor, creates the Distinguished American Family Insurance Chair of Risk Management and Insurance.

“We are tremendously proud and honored to partner with the Wisconsin School of Business and its top-ranked insurance program,” said Jack Salzwedel, American Family chairman and chief executive officer. “Together, we’re creating opportunities for scholars and students to innovate and advance our industry for our customers. In the end, it’s about helping people pursue their career interests and dreams in an industry that serves a noble purpose of protecting the dreams of others. We’re thrilled to be part of that.”

American Family’s first gift to the Wisconsin School of Business in 1990 helped establish a full professor of risk management and insurance. By 2004, subsequent gifts received from American Family allowed the School to establish a chair in that same area of study. This latest gift elevates the chair to the distinguished category, providing resources that support fundamental research, which include the recruitment and retention of world-renowned research scholars. The results of these research initiatives become the cornerstone of exemplary educational programs that help develop students into future industry leaders.

“With a long history of collaboration with the Wisconsin School of Business and the larger university community, American Family Insurance is an indispensable industry partner,” said François Ortalo-Magné, dean of the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “We’re excited that their generous gift will propel vital research in the risk management and insurance field, which will enhance learning experiences for our students and generate inspiring ideas that will help address today’s challenges.”

Professor Joan Schmit has been appointed to the Distinguished American Family Insurance Chair of Risk Management and Insurance, an honor that is awarded to a small fraction of the leading faculty in a specific field. Schmit was the American Family Insurance Chair in Risk Management and Insurance and has been on the Wisconsin School of Business faculty since 1988. Her areas of expertise include insurance regulation, enterprise risk management, and the interaction of law and economics in an insurance and risk management context. As one of the leading researchers in the field, she serves as an associate editor for the Journal of Risk and Insurance and has published extensively in insurance and legal journals.

“The American Family Insurance gift further enables my current research work in reputation risk, which examines loss of value due to reputation loss, and micro-insurance market development of commercial insurance programs for low-income customers in developing countries,” explained Schmit. “Also, American Family’s generosity further allows me to offer students expansive applied learning experiences, such as the student global trip to learn from other leading insurers, reinsurers, brokers, and consultants, in addition to opportunities for students to attend industry-sponsored events.”

About the Wisconsin School of Business

With the #2 ranked insurance program in the nation, the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a world-renowned institution that prides itself on academic excellence, a commitment to ethics, and real-world experiences for its students. Established in 1900, the school was one of the first five business programs in the nation. Today, it proudly educates students from all walks of life with its nationally recognized undergraduate, MBA, Ph.D., and professional development programs. Web: www.bus.wisc.edu Social: Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

About American Family Insurance

Based in Madison, Wis., American Family Insurance offers auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance in 19 states. American Family insurance is the nation’s third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 373rd on the Fortune 500 list. Web: www.amfam.com; Facebook: www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter: www.twitter.com/amfam; Google+: plus.google.com/+amfam/; YouTube: www.youtube.com/amfam.

News media contact:

Roger Lotz
Media Relations
(608) 890-2045
rlotz@bus.wisc.edu