FSU receives $5 million to embark on ‘Risk Initiative’ and names top-ranked risk management and insurance program

William T. Hold

Florida State University Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Garnett S. Stokes announced on Feb. 28 a $5 million gift from one of the university’s most prominent alumni to the College of Business, as well as the naming of the college’s top-ranked risk management and insurance (RMI) program.

Stokes thanked the donors for their pledged gift during a ceremony at the college. The gift launches “The Risk Initiative,” an upcoming campaign to establish Florida State as a national leader in a number of academic fields that involve risk. She also announced that the RMI program now will be known as the Dr. William T. Hold/The National Alliance Program in Risk Management and Insurance in appreciation of the alumnus and the organization he co-founded, The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research.

In addition to Stokes and Hold, College of Business Dean Caryn Beck-Dudley and chairpersons for The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research also delivered remarks at the event.

“From business continuity and supply-chain management to health and wellness issues and patient safety, Florida State is creating a comprehensive risk management program unmatched by any other university,” Beck-Dudley said. “FSU’s research capabilities, coupled with the teaching expertise of its faculty, will allow the university to conduct research and share the results with both the public and private sectors. In essence, the new initiative will provide leadership to solve the emerging risks confronting individuals, organizations, industry and society.”

The contribution will support the RMI program’s objective of maintaining its position as one of the preeminent risk management and insurance programs of its kind. It consistently ranks among the nation’s top 10.

“The naming and combined resources of Florida State University and The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research will result in a broader and stronger academic and business framework on which to continue to build more meaningful and unique educational programs for both the academic and business communities,” Hold said. “The result will be more valuable programs for all those who participate and for those they serve.”

Hold is co-founder and president of The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, an umbrella organization for research and educational programs geared primarily toward insurance and risk management professionals. In 1969, the Certified Insurance Counselors (CIC) designation program was developed as the initial offering of organization. Today, under Hold’s leadership, The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research offers more than 2,500 programs and attracts more than 140,000 participants each year across the nation, including Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

In addition to the CIC program, The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research offers the Certified Insurance Service Representative (CISR), Certified Risk Manager (CRM) and Certified School Risk Manager (CSRM) designation programs, as well as a variety of specialty courses serving industry professionals at every level and in every job description. William T. Hold Seminars and James K. Ruble Seminars are premier education choices for designees; together, they form the Founders Series, a tribute to two “founding fathers” in insurance education.

Hold has held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin and at the University of Texas, where, as an associate professor, he was responsible for the insurance and risk management area in the Graduate School of Business. His articles have been published in insurance-related academic and trade journals, including the Journal of Risk and Insurance, the Insurance Law Journal and the CPCU Annals. He is the author of several books on industry-related topics.

Prior to developing the CIC designation program, Hold was vice president of the National Association of Independent Insurers and served as a consultant to organizations including the American and Texas Trial Lawyers Associations, the Federal Trade Commission, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas State Board of Insurance.

Hold completed his undergraduate studies at Florida State University in 1963 and earned both his master’s degree (1964) and his doctorate (1967) from the University of Wisconsin. He was named to the Insurance Newscast’s prestigious annual list of the “100 Most Powerful People in the Insurance Industry” six years in a row. In 2011, Hold received the Henry C. Martin Award of Industry Achievement, named after the founder of The Rough Notes Company.