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Gift of $1M Creates Insurance Professorship

“The insurance industry faces an enormous challenge in recruiting and developing top talent.

Photo of MSU alumni Alan Jay Kaufman and his wife Sue E. Kaufman

Gift of $1M Creates Insurance Professorship

Alan Jay Kaufman, a Detroit lawyer, entrepreneur and a leader in the global insurance business, has established a major endowment within the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University to provide academic leadership in insurance.

The gift of more than $1 million from Kaufman and his wife Sue will establish the Alan J. and Sue E. Kaufman Endowed Professorship in Insurance and Risk Management.

A graduate of the MSU business school, Kaufman is chairman, president and chief executive officer of the H.W. Kaufman Financial Group, a specialty insurance, reinsurance and real estate organization with more than 1,600 employees worldwide. He also is the founding senior partner of the Metro Detroit-based law firm Kaufman, Payton & Chapa.

Kaufman said he shares MSU’s passion for fostering growth through education. He has built emerging leadership and executive education programs within his own organization, for universities and insurance professionals around the world, but believes more investment is required.

“The insurance industry faces an enormous challenge in recruiting and developing top talent. It demands a meaningful investment from the insurance community and universities,” Kaufman said. “This professorship is just the first step. We want to build a complete program within the Broad College of Business where talented students can discover the wealth of opportunities that come with pursuing insurance as a career.”

The Broad College of Business seeks to raise more than $136 million through the Empower Extraordinary campaign. Increasing the number of endowed professorships is an important goal.

“The Kaufmans’ leadership gift demonstrates their confidence in our ability to graduate students with business acumen, practical judgment and hardworking excellence,” said Sanjay Gupta, acting dean of the Broad College. “It will go a long way in our quest to develop transformational thinkers and doers who make business happen.”

Today, the Broad College and MSU are among the many organizations and educational institutions Kaufman supports with his time and resources. He has been a member of the MSU Foundation Board of Directors and helped lay the groundwork for the university’s 1995 affiliation with the Detroit College of Law.

“We are tremendously proud of Alan Kaufman for his exceptional contributions and leadership in business, law and the insurance industry,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. “Alan and Sue are philanthropic leaders for MSU at a critical time when greater investment is needed in higher education and specifically within insurance and risk management. It will make a significant difference in our ability to inspire and empower a new generation of business leaders.”