North Star Mutual Insurance Company, of Cottonwood, Minnesota, has announced plans to invest $3 million in the Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation to establish the North Star Mutual School of Business and scholarship program.
(COTTONWOOD, MN – Feb. 2, 2023) North Star Mutual Insurance Company, of Cottonwood, Minnesota, has announced plans to invest $3 million in the Southwest Minnesota State University Foundation to establish the North Star Mutual School of Business and scholarship program. The investment, to be paid over the course of five years, will be used to enhance the current school of business, facilities and programs at SMSU, as well as fund an endowment to provide ongoing support. In addition, new scholarship and internship programs will be established on behalf of the company to help support business students in their academic endeavors and career development. North Star Mutual will receive naming rights to the business school and maintain a role on a special advisory committee made up of both school faculty and local business representatives.
“We are very excited to be in a position to support Southwest Minnesota State University in this way,” said alumnus Pete Hellie, President and CEO of North Star Mutual. “We see it as an investment in the growth and development of future leaders, and ultimately, the communities of southwestern Minnesota and beyond.”
North Star Mutual, a Midwestern property-casualty insurer, has called the area “home” for more than a century and has seen steady growth and financial success over the years. The company, now serving over 375,000 policyholders, recently reached two major milestones, recording over $1 billion in assets and $500 million in annual written premium. North Star Mutual currently employs a staff of 280 full-time employees; 220 at their home office in Cottonwood and roughly 60 in the field throughout their eight state operating territory.
“We are grateful to North Star Mutual and their leadership team who see the value in further investing in the next generation of SMSU students,” said SMSU President Kumara Jayasuriya. “This partnership will help us expand opportunities for students in southwest Minnesota which is critical to our mission and allows us to continue meeting the workforce needs of our regional employers.”
Southwest Minnesota State University is a public university in Marshall, Minnesota currently offering four-year degrees in liberal arts and professional studies. The North Star Mutual School of Business will house programs in Accounting, Finance, Management, Marketing, and Business Administration while also supporting programs such as Agribusiness and Hospitality Management. SMSU will also be enhancing curriculum in Risk Management as part of the new partnership.
”We are very fortunate and thankful to have a regional partner like North Star Mutual publicly supporting SMSU and affirming the quality of our faculty, staff, and students. We are very excited for what the futures holds within the North Star Mutual School of Business and look forward to building upon our partnership,” said Jayasuriya. North Star Mutual’s investment will make a significant and immediate impact for students at SMSU and create a direct link to the business community in Southwest Minnesota.
“SMSU is a great school and attracts people to our area from all over the Midwest and other parts of the world,” said Hellie. “For us, and many other area businesses, it’s important to contribute to the success of the university and the next generation of people who will be making a difference in our world and in our industries.” North Star Mutual currently employs 55 SMSU graduates, who work in several different capacities including underwriting, claims, accounting, IT, and research and development.
ABOUT THE COMPANY
North Star Mutual Insurance Company is a Midwest property-casualty insurance company serving the states of Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Kansas. The company writes over $580 million in premium annually and is rated “A+” Superior for financial stability by A.M. Best.
For more information on North Star Mutual Insurance Company, visit www.northstarmutual.com.