LAWRENCE — The University of Kansas School of Business has established a new insurance and risk management certificate program, thanks to a $1 million gift.
The gift, from Cheryl Lockton Williams, of Mission Hills, honors her late husband, Jack Lockton, who founded the Kansas City, Missouri-based Lockton Companies. It has grown into the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage firm.
The certificate program, which will launch in fall 2019, will prepare students for careers in insurance and risk management. The curriculum comprises two required business courses in risk management and a choice of two elective courses that equip students with skills to manage and protect assets and organizational value. Three experiential activities, such as job shadowing, internships and industry activities, also will be required.
In addition to earning the Jack Lockton Certificate in Insurance and Risk Management, students also will earn the Kansas Insurance Certificate upon completion of the program, and industry partners will benefit from having skilled graduates join the industry.
The Locktons were married for 31 years until Jack’s death of pancreatic cancer in 2004. Williams said she is happy that the gift will provide students with a quality education and practical skills in risk management. She is a native of Independence, Missouri, and is married to dentist Dr. Bernard Williams.
“Philanthropy feels good, no matter the level of giving,” she said. “And educating students is a top priority.”
Other industry companies also are contributing to the program to help ensure its success. Partners, which will be announced at a later date, are providing $50,000 each over a five-year period to support the program; partner companies will serve on a program advisory committee and participate in career events and speaking engagements at the School of Business. They also will be able to provide opportunities for student experiential activities.
“This gift will allow our students to explore concepts and career opportunities in insurance and risk management,” KU Business Dean Paige Fields said. “The certificate program’s focus on generating interactions with industry professionals will help illuminate pathways beyond graduation for our students. We are truly grateful for this generous gift.”
KU Endowment is the independent, nonprofit organization serving as the official fundraising and fund-management organization for KU. Founded in 1891, KU Endowment was the first foundation of its kind at a U.S. public university.