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RI Insurance Group Makes Gift to URI Supporting Business Students and Library

The Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island’s Recent Donation Brings its Cumulative Charitable Support to Over $477,000

KINGSTON, RI—December 22, 2011—The Independent Insurance Agents of Rhode Island (IIARI) recently made a $20,000 gift to the University of Rhode Island, marking the twenty-third time the organization has made an annual charitable donation supporting URI. As in past years, the gift will be split to fund scholarships for College of Business Administration students and to provide for the purchase of books, professional journals, and reference materials for the Robert L. Carothers Library. This most recent gift brings the IIARI’s total annual donations, which commenced in 1986, to $477,850.

Michael J. Smith, president of the URI Foundation, said, “IIARI is a great example of the impact an organization’s long-term generosity can have on the University. This group’s foresight and realization that the students coming out of the College of Business are potential future insurance industry employees has made their support more tangible and meaningful on both sides. I look forward to continuing what has been an extremely beneficial relationship.”

According to Smith, the library endowment established by IIARI has a current market value of approximately $447,000. A portion of annual investment earnings provide a funding stream to the
library for the acquisition of books and electronic serials and databases that benefit business students and others who utilize library services. The scholarship funding provided by IIARI designated for the College of Business has provided direct, significant financial assistance to a number of students each academic year, including four students last year, each of whom received a portion of the $10,000 gift.

“Rhode Island has a significant insurance base with many independent insurance agencies located throughout the state that rely on bright young talent to perpetuate the American Agency System. We hope that our support of URI contributes to the increasing competitiveness of the University, while at the same time ensuring there will be competent and capable graduates interested in a lucrative and rewarding insurance career,” commented Mark A. Male, Executive Vice President of IIARI.

Mark M. Higgins, dean of the College of Business Administration, added, “Our ability to attract the some of the best and brightest students to our business program is boosted by the availability of scholarship support. We know that scholarships factor into the decision making process of prospective students and support from IIARI and others helps put us in a more favorable position. We are very grateful for their long tradition of support.”

“The gift for the library will help to purchase resources that support not only the business college but the broader university community,” said David C. Maslyn, dean of the University Library. He added, “As the University’s enrollment grows, the demands on our library resources increase. Keeping up with the demand for the most current and sought after resources is an ongoing challenge but one that is supported by the ongoing commitment of IIARI.”

The IIARI is based out of Warwick, Rhode Island and is made up of almost 200 Rhode Island Independent Insurance Agencies, collectively employing more than 1500 Rhode Islanders.

For more information, please contact Tracey Manni at 874-2145 or To learn more about giving to the University of Rhode Island, visit


Pictured in photo from left to right are:
Marcia L. Berthiaume, State Account Manager, IIARI; Mark M. Higgins, dean of the URI College of Business; Mark A. Male, Executive Vice President, IIARI; David C. Maslyn, dean of the URI library; and Sean R. Donaghey, senior vice president, IIARI.


For information on this or any news item, contact Tracey Manni in Development Communications, at 401.874.2145 or