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Sentry Insurance receives UW Regents Business Partnership Award

November 30, 2023
UWSP Chancellor Philip Marshall and Sentry CEO John Joanis in 1984.
UWSP Chancellor Philip Marshall and Sentry CEO John Joanis in 1984.

Recognizing decades of support of higher education in central Wisconsin, Sentry Insurance was presented with a UW Regents Business Partnership Award today.

Leadership from Sentry, UW-Stevens Point and the Universities of Wisconsin, as well as Sentry employees who are UW-Stevens Point alumni, were in attendance.

“I am proud to recognize Sentry Insurance for all the opportunities they have helped provide UW-Stevens Point,” said Regent Vice President Amy Bogost. “The partnerships our universities have with businesses throughout Wisconsin are extraordinary. They benefit our students, our communities and our entire state’s economy.”

Sentry, a leading mutual insurance group in the United States and a corporate leader in the Stevens Point community, has long supported UW-Stevens Point. The 100-year-partnership extends beyond financial support; it encompasses a strategic alignment with the university’s academic programs, enriching student experiences with high-quality applied learning opportunities and valuable community programming.

In a landmark move last year, Sentry made a donation of $10 million to the UW-Stevens Point School of Business and Economics, the largest donation in the Sentry Foundation’s history and for the university. It built upon Sentry’s successful partnership in developing the university’s data analytics program, underscoring a shared vision for innovative education. Additionally, the Sentry IT Co-op program, which employs UW-Stevens Point students, offers hands-on experience, bridging academic theory with real-world application.

UWSP Chancellor Thomas Gibson and Sentry Chairman and CEO Pete McPartland.
UWSP Chancellor Thomas Gibson and Sentry Chairman and CEO Pete McPartland.

Sentry’s involvement with UW-Stevens Point extends from leadership engagement to employing more than 600 of the university’s alumni, who make up 25% of its central Wisconsin workforce. This reflects Sentry’s commitment to education and workforce development and the vital role the university collaboration plays to help Sentry thrive in a small Midwestern city.

“We appreciate Sentry’s commitment to the value of quality public higher education afforded by UW-Stevens Point,” said Chancellor Thomas Gibson. “Sentry has supported our students, faculty and staff and community in many ways, from scholarships and cultural events to workforce development and, most recently, the creation of the UW-Stevens Point Sentry School of Business and Economics. Sentry’s commitment to our students offers them skills for lifelong careers.”

“This honor from the UW Regents is a tribute to the many Sentry employees, both past and present, who’ve dedicated themselves to making our partnership with UW-Stevens Point what it is today,” said Pete McPartland, Sentry chairman and CEO. “It’s more than just about our company’s achievements; it’s about a shared commitment to education and the strong community ties we’ve built along the way.”

The UW Regents Business Partnership Award recognizes the reciprocal relationship between a university and a business. These alliances create innovative collaboration and impact on curricular, program or service efforts that reflect the changing nature of education and the needs of our workforce and communities.  

The award presentation was among a day of events as part of the Universities of Wisconsin’s OpportUWnity Tour. UW-Stevens Point was the final stop this semester as UW President Jay Rothman visited the 13 public institutions across the state, sparking connections and collaboration between the Universities of Wisconsin and community partners and emphasizing the importance of public higher education.

“Sentry Insurance invests an extraordinary amount of time, money, and resources to help build the remarkable partnership they have with UW-Stevens Point,” said Rothman. “We know that we are a in a war for talent nationally and globally, and these partnerships are key to building a vibrant economic future for all Wisconsinites.”