Terry and Susan Duke have established the Terry M. Duke Endowed Scholarship for Risk Management and Insurance with a $25,000 donation to the ULM Foundation. The RMI Program, ranked No. 9 in the nation, is in the University of Louisiana Monroe College of Business and Social Sciences. Announcement of the scholarship was made at a press conference on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019.
Terry Duke is the Area Chairman for Arthur J. Gallagher and has been an insurance broker for 36 years. Duke specializes in self-insurance programs which means “I am designing and managing businesses for my clients,” he said. His wife Susan has an interior design business. They live in Monroe with their son, Michael.
Through the years, many ULM students have interned under Duke’s mentorship and he has hired several ULM graduates. Currently, his office employs 10 ULM graduates, six from the RMI program.
“I have watched the development of the ULM Risk Management Program for the last 36 years as a local insurance broker. The insurance industry has given me a rewarding career and improved my family’s standard of living,” Duke said. “Susan and I wanted to give back to the industry and since we have met and know so many people in the ULM family, it felt like the right thing to do.”
When asked what he would say to encourage a young person to choose insurance as a career, Duke said, “The insurance field is so large and has many more facets than most people realize. You literally can find insurance needs in any industry that interests you.”
“We have people here in the Monroe office who work in the agricultural, railroad, restaurant industries and public entities. In my company, I have met people who work with the NFL, NASCAR, wine and movie industries and universities such as LSU and Texas A&M. All of these entities need and require risk management and insurance. Not only need it, but have to buy it every year to stay in business,” Duke said.
President Nick J. Bruno thanked the Dukes for the endowed scholarship and said their generosity is an investment in the future.
“ULM provides such an economic boost to our region, but more importantly, it trains our future professional workforce. That’s what a scholarship such as this is, an investment in students who may need or deserve additional funding to allow them to reach their academic goals and enter the workforce well-trained and well-prepared,” Bruno said.
Dr. Christine Berry, RMI Program Coordinator and Director of the Small Business Risk Management Institute, described Duke as “ … one of Louisiana’s most well-known and successful insurance professionals.”
“We are so grateful for his investment in the future of Louisiana insurance students and professionals and for the role model he has been throughout his career,” she said.
Dean of the College of Business and Social Sciences Dr. Ron Berry said Duke was instrumental in creating new insurance products, especially in the agriculture industry, which led to the success of many ag companies in the South. Berry also said the insurance industry is facing significant changes in the next five years as many people retire – and Duke is aware of that fact. It is estimated 400,000 RMI positions will need to be filled by 2020.
“Terry knows that and he’s passionate about helping us keep that industry on stable ground. With this scholarship, he’s making sure well-qualified people follow him,” he said.
In February, ULM’s RMI program was ranked No. 9 nationally by Business Insurance. RMI majors are often recruited before graduation. ULM’s program is one of the few in the country that provides specialized courses in surplus lines and reinsurance. Surplus Lines insurance is heavily used in Louisiana and across the South in the agriculture, entertainment, petrochemical and tourism industries.