Symetra Life Insurance Partners with Morgan State University for New National Initiative to Promote Diversity in Actuarial Science
Morgan Students to Benefit from Scholarships and Wraparound Support through 2025
BALTIMORE – Morgan State University (MSU) today announced a new partnership with Symetra Life Insurance to provide $750,000 in scholarships supporting 25 MSU scholars pursuing a degree in actuarial science. The scholarship program is part of Symetra’s national commitment to promote diversity in opportunities and outcomes for students, by teaming with HBCUs. The scholarship program will provide wraparound support for critical student needs, such as housing, food, clothing, transportation, and other emergency funding that may be a barrier to degree completion. Morgan is the only HBCU in the nation, and one of two institutions in the state of Maryland, to offer a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science.
Launched in 2008, Morgan’s actuarial science program is housed within the School of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences' Department of Mathematics and has produced 45 graduates since its inception.
“The need for professional actuaries in our country has never been greater and Morgan has been effectively doing its part to meet that need by producing qualified graduates in this growing field,” said David K. Wilson, president of Morgan. “Morgan’s actuarial program—the only offered by an HBCU—is a rigorous program requiring a great amount of focus and commitment from our students. Support from partners, like Symetra, provide invaluable assistance preparing our students with the necessary leadership skills to be competitive in the insurance and finance industry. Through this partnership, Morgan students in our actuarial program will have the resources to persevere and matriculate without disruption or distraction.”
Actuarial science is a specialized field of practice that prepares students to be professional actuaries—skilled, highly paid risk managers who use data, mathematics and statistics to assess financial outcomes. The program incorporates the rigorous discipline of mathematics, finance, accounting, and economics to create a synergistic program that fully equips graduates for the workforce.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of actuaries is projected to grow 24 percent from 2020 to 2030, much faster than the average for all occupations. Each year, on average, there are approximately 2,400 projected openings for actuaries in the United States.
“The funds from Symetra will enable us to offer scholarships to our top performers of the Summer Academy of Actuarial and Mathematical Sciences program,” said Candice Marshall, Ph.D., director of the Actuarial Science Program. “It will also help us to provide funds to students who need it the most so they can focus on completing their degree instead of finding a job, thereby enhancing student success in this rigorous program.”
Many graduates of the program are actuarial students, a term used to describe those who are employed in an actuarial position but have not yet passed all of the exams required to be an actuary. However, because of its well-rounded curriculum, Morgan’s ACSC Program prepares its graduates for a variety of roles in the insurance and financial services industry. Alumni of the program have secured positions at top-tier insurance companies such as Travelers and Prudential, consulting firms such as Willis Towers Watson, and government agencies.
“Symetra is proud to partner with Morgan State University on a new scholarship program designed to recognize and empower excellence by supporting higher-education and professional opportunities for Black students,” said Sharmila Swenson, vice president, Public Affairs and Social Impact. “Symetra’s vision is to ‘create a world where more people have access to financial freedom.’ One way we can support that vision is to address the social and economic inequalities minority and underserved students often face by reducing opportunity barriers like lack of tuition and promoting a diverse workforce, particularly in STEM fields.”
Prioritizing education and scholarship for underserved student populations with a focus on women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) communities is part of the core commitments of Symetra’s recently launched corporate social responsibility initiative, Symetra Social Impact. Over the next three years, the program aims to drive transformation across three priority areas — social commitments, sustainability and governance —through eight goals aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent financial professionals and insurance producers. For more information, visit www.symetra.com.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 140 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.