NASHVILLE, TN — Fisk University is thrilled to announce a $2,500,000 gift from the R.I.S.E. Opportunity Foundation to support the development of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Risk Management Institute. 

The Institute will focus on preparing Fisk students for outstanding careers in the insurance industry. Over the past five years, Fisk has strategically emphasized the importance of educating the next generation of c-suite executives and business leaders. “The insurance industry provides so many exciting opportunities, and we look forward to seeing Fisk students assume leadership roles within Ryan Specialty and across the industry,” said Michael Blackshear, Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer (Ryan Specialty Group). “This institute is a bold and innovative approach to addressing a need within the insurance industry, and the foundational gift will include faculty, student and programmatic support,” said Patrick Phillips, CEO of the R.I.S.E. Opportunity Foundation.   

For the past five years, Fisk has experienced record enrollment and fundraising numbers. More and more students are interested in business and now with this Institute, Fisk will provide students a significant advantage vis a vis careers in the insurance industry. The Institute will include courses in risk management and actuarial sciences as well as specific leadership programing from executives in the industry. “We are so excited about this Institute and what it will do for our students, said Fisk President Vann Newkirk. “Fisk has positioned itself as a leading institution in terms of the next generation of c-suite executives and business leaders, and our students are continually looking for opportunities.” According to Jens Frederiksen Executive Vice President, “Fisk has established a host of elite corporate partnerships to offer our amazing students all the support and exposure required for them to excel at the highest levels. This investment from the R.I.S.E. Foundation and the Ryan family is game-changing, and we are beyond grateful”.  

Founded in 1866, Fisk University is committed to the success of scholars and leaders with global perspectives, producing graduates from diverse backgrounds with the integrity and intellect required for substantive contributions to society.  

The RISE Opportunity Foundation (R.I.S.E.) is a private foundation dedicated to making a major impact on increasing diversity in the risk management and insurance industry through promoting the recruitment, training, and placement of underserved minorities in all levels within the commercial insurance industry.  The cornerstone of this effort is the establishment of an RMI training, mentoring, and internship program for underrepresented students at select high schools and historically black colleges and universities