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tennessee technological university

TTU News

Published: Thu Aug 10, 2006

Tennessee Tech University has once again earned the designation as a "priority school" from the State Farm Insurance Companies.

In addition to the "priority school" designation, State Farm officials are providing the university with a $75,000 check to help fund TTU's Eagle Financial Investments Center, a proposed state-of-the art financial investments training laboratory in the College of Business.

The college also received $75,000 last year from State Farm for a total of $150,000 to create a Risk Management and Insurance concentration in the college’s Distance MBA program. The first course in the new concentration was offered last spring.

“State Farm's mission is to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected, and realize their dreams. To help make dreams come true, we are committed to education, helping to raise the levels of achievement of our nation's teachers and students,” said G. Ron Nichols, Vice President of Operations for Tennessee.

“We make it our business to be like a good neighbor, helping to improve the quality of life in the communities where our associates live and work,” added Nichols.

The State Farm donation is the largest gift yet received for the investments center. The College of Business goal for funding the center’s physical construction is $300,000. Additional gifts will be sought to create an endowment that will provide funds to cover annual operating expenses (e.g., online real-time data feeds). The endowment will be created by selling seats on the “Eagle Exchange” for $25,000 each. Donors will be recognized as “Exchange Members” at the entrance to the Center.

"The new facility will be instrumental in ensuring our students have the skills necessary to compete in the financial services industry," said Bob Niebuhr, dean of the College of Business. "Students will learn how to access and analyze financial information in a real-time, interactive environment."

Students are also expected to have access to some of the most up-to-date and sophisticated computing hardware and software available through the laboratory, Niebuhr added.

"State Farm has been and continues to be a strong supporter of our programs," Niebuhr said. "We are fortunate to have excellent relationships with our local State Farm agents, and their support has helped us with this 'priority school' title."

The "priority school" designation was awarded based on the quality of TTU's academic programs and because a number of TTU graduates are employed by State Farm. Approximately 70 of the State Farm employees in Tennessee are graduates of Tennessee Tech.

The types of grants available to State Farm priority schools include those for insurance studies, actuarial science, and business related fields; university scholarships and leadership training; and financial services centers that offer coursework and resources to students and professionals in the financial services arena.

“The State Farm gift towards the Eagle Financial Investments Center is part of the college’s campaign for renovating Johnson Hall,” said Pat Quillen, Development Director in the College of Business. For more information on becoming an “Exchange Member”, contact Quillen at 931 372-3649.

About State Farm:
State Farm® insures more cars than any other insurer in North America and is the leading U.S. home insurer. State Farm's 17,000 agents and 69,000 employees serve nearly 73 million auto, fire, life and health policies in the United States and Canada. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No.22 on the Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit® or in Canada