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Developing Leaders in Insurance and Financial Services
The Gongaware Center was created in 1998 to support the College of Business' nationally recognized Insurance and Risk Management Program. In 2007, the Center expanded its mission beyond its original focus on insurance and risk management to also encompass financial services.
The Center was established with a $5 million gift from Donald and Patricia Gongaware for the purpose of developing future leaders in insurance and the financial services industry. Since its inception, part of the Gongaware Center's mission has included recruiting top high school students into the program and helping them build the technical, operational and leadership skills necessary to succeed in the industry and in the communities in which they live. Valuable scholarships are available for select students.
Gongaware Scholars current and past gather for a 2012 reunion at the Indianapolis Zoo with Gongaware Center benefactors Don and Pat Gongaware (third and fourth from left) as well as insurance program supporters Pete and Sue Hudson (far left).
We are now accepting nominations for the Gongaware Scholarships...
For more information about our scholarship please see the Scholarships page.
- Please make every effort to nominate students by the end of November by clicking the “Nominate a Student” button above.
- Eligible students need to apply to enroll at Indiana State University by December 1.
- Applications for the scholarship must be received by December 15.
2016 - 2017 Leader in Action - Kimberly O. Smith, J.D., CPCU
President and CEO of Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company
This year's Leader in Action is Kimberly O. Smith, J.D., CPCU, who has served in numerous leadership positions in the insurance, higher education, and not-for-profit industries.
Smith’s insurance career began in 1980 when she joined Indiana Insurance Company (now Liberty Mutual) in Indianapolis as a claims attorney. She went to Indiana Farmers Mutual Insurance Company in 2000 as general counsel and vice president of human resources. She was elected executive vice president and general counsel in May 2012. Smith became President and CEO of Indiana Farmers in January 2014.
In addition to her service in the insurance industry, Smith is on the board of trustees of Indiana State University and is immediate past chair of the Indiana State University Foundation board of directors. Smith has served as a board member for the Insurance Institute of Indiana, the Indiana Guaranty Association, the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau and the advisory board for the Indiana State University School of Business, Department of Insurance and Risk Management.
Smith holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the Indiana University School of Law (cum laude) and a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana State University (magna cum laude). She also holds the Chartered Property and Casualty designation.
Class of 2014 Gongaware Scholar Brad Ketzner explains why he chose ISU.
Brad coordinated the 2012 insurance and risk management golf outing, is president of Gamma Iota Sigma, and chairs the Gongaware Scholar recruitment initiative, among other activities.