St. John’s University’s Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science (GSRM), part of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, hosted its 27th annual Insurance Leader of the Year (ILOTY) Award Dinner on January 18, raising a total of $4,210,500 to fund student scholarships and support academic program initiatives. The event, held at the New York Marriott Marquis in Manhattan, drew a crowd of nearly 1,600 members of the global insurance industry, senior leadership from the University, students, faculty, business executives, guests, family, and friends.
The historic celebration for the insurance industry and supporters of the University honored Alan D. Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, The Travelers Companies, Inc., as the Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science’s 2022 Insurance Leader of the Year.
The prestigious award, presented annually since 1995, recognizes the contributions of outstanding individuals whose leadership in the worldwide insurance and financial services industry sets them apart from their peers.
The Travelers Companies, Inc. is a leading provider of property casualty insurance for auto, home, and business. A component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Travelers has more than 30,000 employees and generated revenues of approximately $37 billion in 2022.
Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P., President of St. John’s, launched the event by thanking the attendees for their generosity. “On behalf of our students, I thank you for supporting our fundraising efforts and for employing our graduates. I encourage you to continue to hire them because we have wonderfully diverse, talented, and hard-working students studying at St. John’s.”
Honorary Cochairperson Joan K. Woodward, Executive Vice President of Public Policy and President of The Travelers Institute at The Travelers Companies, Inc., introduced Mr. Schnitzer by saying, “Alan has been the driving force behind the innovation investments that have propelled Travelers forward, and he’s fostered a culture of invention and experimentation that sets us apart. His vision is as clear as it is inspiring—it’s why he’s a thought leader in our industry and beyond.”
In a heartfelt acceptance speech, Mr. Schnitzer remarked, “My hope is that one day in the future a recipient of the generosity we’ve seen here tonight will be up on this stage being honored. They’ll be able to talk about their work to bring people together, to confront risks, and to overcome challenges. And they’ll be able to say: ‘Someone saw a future for me that I couldn’t fully see for myself.’ What a fitting tribute that would be to our industry, your generosity, and the promise of partnership.”
During his acceptance speech, Mr. Schnitzer surprised the audience by announcing the creation of The Travelers Scholarship for Future Leaders with a pledged gift of $250,000. The scholarship fund provides annual scholarships to GSRM students with financial needs who demonstrate strong leadership potential.
Mixed into the overflow crowd of insurance industry leaders were current GSRM students who were able to network with them during the cocktail reception in the festive ballroom. Aaron Mann, a graduate student and an infielder on the St. John’s Baseball team, moved from Little Rock, AR, to New York City to pursue a Master of Science degree in Enterprise Risk Management at the GSRM.
He shared, “It is impressive to see so many people from the insurance industry who care about St. John’s and who want to come together to help students like me.”
Another student in the crowd was high school senior Brennan Valane from Rocky Point High School in Rocky Point, NY. Brennan plans to attend St. John’s in the fall and study at the GSRM. “I have always been good at math so my guidance counselor suggested a career in actuarial sciences, and when I started doing research, I discovered St. John’s,” he said. “When I visited the beautiful Queens, NY, campus I learned there are so many opportunities there for me.”
From the second-floor balcony of the crowded ballroom, Brennan surveyed the crowd and shared, “This is an inspiring event.”
The Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science was founded in 1901 as the Insurance Society of New York and over the years evolved into The College of Insurance (TCI). In June of 2001, TCI merged with St. John’s University, becoming a School that is part of The Peter J. Tobin College of Business.
From its location at 101 Astor Place in Manhattan’s East Village, St. John’s awards undergraduate, M.B.A., and M.S. degrees in the insurance, risk management, and actuarial science disciplines. Through its Tobin Center for Executive Education, the University also provides education, training, and consulting services to industry, governments, and regulators worldwide.
“This year’s event was sensational in many respects,” stated Brandon W. Sweitzer, Dean, Maurice R. Greenberg School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science. “Alan Schnitzer was a most-deserving awardee and delivered thoughtful remarks about the insurance industry and society. We had a sold-out ballroom, and a tremendous amount of financial aid support for St. John’s University students was garnered. It was a memorable evening all around.”
The GSRM is a global leader in risk and insurance education and training and draws candidates from many regions of the world. All degree programs offered by The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, and thus by the GSRM, are fully accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
“The Insurance Leader of the Year Award Dinner demonstrates the power and potential of a St. John’s education and our strong bonds with the global insurance industry,” said Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D., Dean, and Joseph H. and Maria C. Schwartz Distinguished Chair, The Peter J. Tobin College of Business.
The 2023 Insurance Leader of the Year Award Dinner is scheduled for January 17, 2024.