Madison, Wis. ,
27
August
2015
|
09:01 PM
America/Chicago

American Family Insurance and UW-Madison expand partnership to support academics, research, athletics

Jack Salzwedel, president and chief executive officer
"American Family's commitment is, in a small way, also an effort to help alleviate this pressure while maintaining UW-Madison's status as a world-class university."
Jack Salzwedel, president and chief executive officer

Ten-year agreement consolidates and increases American Family legacy of support

Summary

American Family Insurance and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will expand their long-time partnership in support of academic programs, research, athletics and charitable activities.

American Family Insurance and the University of Wisconsin-Madison will expand their long-time partnership in support of academic programs, research, athletics and charitable activities, with the Madison-based insurer pledging $40 million to UW over the next 10 years.

American Family's contribution will directly benefit students through funding of the Career Initiative, student research projects and innovative learning opportunities, including an Internet of Things lab that aligns with American Family's strong interest in home automation.

"We are incredibly proud of this partnership. This agreement strengthens our support of a world-class university that educates our customers' children and influences peoples' lives beyond the classroom," said Jack Salzwedel, president and chief executive officer at American Family Insurance.

The new agreement increases American Family's support of UW athletics through marketing efforts that include an American Family gate at Camp Randall Stadium, signage at athletic venues and exclusive status as the "Official Insurance Sponsor of UW Athletics."

The partnership also provides American Family an opportunity to use the designation "Proud Partner of UW-Madison." American Family is considering options on how to use the designation in appropriate marketing efforts.

"American Family has been a committed supporter of UW-Madison for many years," says Rebecca Blank, chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "This agreement formalizes the existing partnership and adds new elements that provide value to the university and help further our research and academic missions."

American Family's connection with UW-Madison dates back to the company's founder, Herman Wittwer, a 1911 UW graduate and clarinet player in the UW Regimental Band. Over the years, the company and university have collaborated on numerous academic and community efforts, including $15 million toward the construction and later expansion of the American Family Children's Hospital.

The average annual spend of $4 million during the agreement essentially doubles the amount American Family contributes to the university now for academics, research and athletics.

"I am very appreciative of American Family's generosity and commitment not only to our athletic department, but to the greater university as well," said UW¬–Madison Athletic Director Barry Alvarez. "At the end of the day, our objective on and off the fields of play is to create a great collegiate experience for our students. Partnerships like this one go a long way toward helping us."

The agreement consolidates and increases American Family support in the areas of instruction and research, UW student internships at American Family, continuing education for American Family employees at UW-Madison, program and event sponsorships, athletics and philanthropy.

For example, it continues funding of a distinguished chair of risk management and insurance at the School of Business while supporting new business development programs, such as the Internet of Things Lab and business-related research projects with a focus on entrepreneurship and data analytics. American Family is also starting a program to match college and university donations made by its employees and insurance agents, which will bring additional money to UW-Madison.

"We are acutely aware of the funding pressures for colleges and universities these days – pressures on places like UW-Madison, which is seeing its business model shifting," Salzwedel said. "American Family's commitment is, in a small way, also an effort to help alleviate this pressure while maintaining UW-Madison's status as a world-class university."

About American Family Insurance

Madison, Wis. - based American Family Insurance is the nation's third-largest mutual property/casualty insurance company and ranks 358th on the Fortune 500 list. The company sells American Family-brand products, including auto, homeowners, life, business and farm/ranch insurance, through its exclusive agents in 19 states. American Family affiliates (The General, Homesite and AssureStart) also provide options for consumers who want to manage their insurance matters directly over the Internet or by phone. Web www.amfam.com; Facebook www.facebook.com/amfam; Twitter www.twitter.com/amfam; Google+ plus.google.com/+amfam/.