Veteran initiative to honor 70th anniversary of UNT insurance program
The University of North Texas is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its risk management and insurance program with an initiative to drive veteran students to the field – thanks to a $20,000 grant from the Dallas-based Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation, Texas and Southeast Division.
The initiative, “70 Years, 70 Hours,” will be launched at a special event at 3:30 p.m. Nov. 8 (Tuesday) inside Room 394 of the University Union, located at 1155 Union Circle in Denton. A career fair for students will follow from 5 – 7 p.m. in Room 333 of the Union.
Complete with industry internships, scholarships for textbooks, and conference sponsorships, the effort will give veteran students hands-on experience and connect them with networking opportunities and support needed to thrive in the industry.
“Nothing happens without insurance – no buildings are constructed; no planes fly; no ships sail,” said Dale Sharpe-Jenkins, lecturer of risk management and insurance in the UNT College of Business and founder of The Jenkins Agency, Inc., an independent insurance brokerage and consulting firm.
“There is uncertainty in everything we do, whether we’re launching a startup, buying new property or turning on the computer. Risk management is how we treat the things that are uncertain, and insurance is often how we finance uncertainty. Insurance is everywhere, and it plays a major role in business continuity and personal stability,” she continued.
Sharpe-Jenkins said opportunities are available for veteran students because many of those currently working in the field are nearing retirement age. UNT’s proximity to the Dallas-Fort Worth business sectors makes the university a good place to learn insurance.
“The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been a hub for insurance companies to do business for a long time, and that is only increasing,” she said. “We are one of a few schools in the Southwest that offers a complete risk management and insurance degree program to prepare students with the full set of skills they need for the industry – and we have some great partners in the Dallas-Fort Worth business sector that help make this a great spot for students to get real-life experience in risk management and insurance; scholarships; and most importantly, jobs after graduation.”
Throughout next year, the initiative will help place up to 25 veteran students in four-week, 70-hour paid internships that will give them hands-on practice in claims, underwriting, loss control, risk management, brokerage and other areas of the discipline. In addition to the grant money, employers will contribute to paying each student intern.
Insurance was first offered as a degree program during the 1946-1947 academic year, around the time that the School of Business Administration was formed at what was then North Texas State Teachers College. Previously, however, the university had offered insurance courses for interested students. The program is now housed in the UNT College of Business’ Department of Finance, Insurance, Real Estate and Law.