The Risk Management and Insurance Department remembers two alumni who have made a continuous and forward-looking impact on our community.
Gerald “Jerry” Stephens (BBA ’55)
The start of Badger football this year will be a little less exciting, knowing that Jerry Stephens will not be in the stands. Jerry never lost touch with his beloved Badgers despite his long career in Peoria, IL, where he founded and expanded RLI, a successful and innovative specialty insurance company.
Jerry also never lost touch with our Risk Management and Insurance program from which he obtained a BBA in 1955. His astounding generosity of time and resources was always shared with humility and trust. Jerry and his family gave more than $3 million to our program, creating and supporting the Gerald D. Stephens CPCU Distinguished Chair in Risk Management and Insurance, currently held by Professor Ty Leverty. The Chair supports Ty’s research and further offers students the opportunity to participate in various industry events, including CPCU conferences, which was one of Jerry’s valued industry activities.
More can be learned about Jerry here. We miss him deeply.
Dale Gifford (BBA ’72)
Dale grew up in the small northern Wisconsin town of Ladysmith. At the age of 15, he decided he wanted to become an actuary because of its unique combination of mathematics and business. He graduated from our program with a BBA (Honors) in Actuarial Science in 1972.
As his first job out of school, he joined Hewitt Associates, then a small benefits consulting firm of 140 associates in the suburbs of Chicago, as an actuarial consultant. Thirty-four years later, in 2006, Dale retired from Hewitt Associates, which had grown to a global human resources firm with 23,000 associates, as their Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
During his retirement, Dale served on boards of several non-profit companies. He was one of the core members of the drive to fund the Hickman Larson Chair in Actuarial Science, currently held by Professor Dani Bauer. He also supported the program in other ways, such as being our guest of honor at the department’s 2011 banquet. Dale passed away in June of 2018 after a brief and valiant fight with cancer.
We are proud to be associated with Dale, a true Badger. More can be learned about Dale here.