Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney and Senator Walter Michel have joined with the University of Mississippi to offer a scholarship annually for two seniors in the School of Business Administrations RMI program.

The J. Walter Michel and Michael J. Chaney Risk Management and Insurance Scholarship of Excellence fund will provide a $2,500 scholarship each year to two college seniors in the program. The combined effort brought the $50,000 gift from the two to the University to award the scholarship to a minimum of 20 individuals over the next 10 years. Efforts are being made to continue the scholarship after that point.

The first two recipients will be selected this spring and the benefits will be applied to the fall and spring semesters of the 2021-2022 academic year.

“We both have many of the same values,” said Chaney, now in his fourth term as the state’s insurance commissioner. “We support our church communities and our families and we want to do what we can to leave the state in better shape than we found it.

“If a student is ready to earn a degree and provide a vital service to their neighbors, the RMI program is a wonderful option due to its job placement record,” said Michel, who recently created another scholarship to support UM students pursuing degrees in real estate. He is also a 1983 graduate of Ole Miss.

According to Ole Miss, the university’s RMI program has a 100 percent job placement rate for graduates looking to begin their careers right after college, said Andre Liebenberg, the Gwenette P. and Jack W. Robertson chair of insurance and associate professor of finance at the School of Business Administration.

“Our RMI program is focused on showing students the amazing job opportunities in risk management and insurance and then preparing them for meaningful careers in an industry that is desperate for talent,” Liebenberg said.

“Thus, in addition to benefiting our students, the Michel and Chaney Risk Management and Insurance Scholarship of Excellence Fund will enable our program to better serve the industry by attracting more students to this major.”