Independent Insurance Agents continue strong support of URI

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Group’s donations total nearly $400,000

KINGSTON, R.I. – October 18, 2007 – The Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island have made a $20,000 gift to the University of Rhode Island to support its College of Business Administration and the University Library.

Including this newest gift, which is part of the $100 million “Making a Difference” capital campaign at URI, the agents have given a total of $397,850 to the University since 1986.

“Our support dates back to when the College of Business Administration had an insurance major,” said Dennis Charland, executive director of the group. “There has been a great deal of change, including the renovation and expansion of Ballentine Hall. With the growth of the business college, we felt it was all the more important to continue our support.”

The donation to the College of Business Administration will boost the Independent Insurance Endowment for student scholarships. The endowment provides four, $2,500 scholarships to Rhode Island students on a need basis.

The donation to the Library will be used to purchase books and electronic serials/databases.

“The donation is designed to benefit all who use the Library,” Charland said.

While the College of Business Administration no longer has an insurance major, insurance is a required course for the supply chain management and general business majors.

“This longstanding commitment to the college has been very important to our students,” said Business Dean Mark Higgins. “This newest gift will help us boost the amount of financial support we can offer them. Because of the generosity of the Independent Insurance Agents, we are able to award two annual scholarships to the best and brightest in the finance area.”

Charland said supporting students is critical to the state’s insurance industry where he said there are 10,000 jobs. “We like to remind people that Rhode Island is the headquarters of Metropolitan Auto and Home, Warwick, the Providence Mutual Insurance Co., Warwick, Narragansett Bay Insurance Co., Pawtucket, and others. It’s important that students are well educated and prepared to work in our industry.”

The $10,000 earmarked for the University Library will be used to purchase books and electronic resources to support the business college. “Without this support, I wouldn’t be able to buy the most current resources,” said University Libraries Dean David Maslyn. “The University’s enrollment continues to grow and so do the demands of the library. During finals weeks, 20,000 students use the library.”

The Independent Insurance Agents gift is part of URI’s Making a Difference campaign, which seeks $100 million to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, enhance the student-centered campus experience, provide undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, and fund cutting-edge academic and research initiatives. For more information on the campaign, click on

Pictured above

INDEPENDENT SUPPORT: Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island join with University of Rhode Island representatives before making a $20,000 gift to the University as part of the “Making a Difference” capital campaign. From left are: David Maslyn, University Libraries dean; Michael R. Britt, director of corporate and foundation relations for the URI Foundation; Sean Donaghey, account executive, Rhode Island Association of Insurance Agents; Myron Mitchell, president, Rhode Island Association of Insurance Agents; David Soucy, president, Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island; Dennis Charland, executive director, Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode and Mark Higgins, dean of URI’s College of Business Administration. URI Department of Communications and Marketing photo by Nora Lewis.