As a member of the insurance industry with more than 26 years of experience, Tom Humphreys was ready for a change of pace. As luck would have it, in the fall of 2015 Olivet College had an opening for an assistant professor in the Risk Management & Insurance (RMI) program. Just one year later, in the fall of 2016, Tom will be focused on much more than teaching as he starts his new role as director of the program.
“Of all the places to go, Olivet was it for me because it’s known by everyone in the insurance industry in the state of Michigan as the place for insurance,” said Humphreys. “I absolutely love working here. The students are fantastic. They’re all ready to engage, they’re focused, they want to learn and they know that the skills we’re giving them will help them succeed.”
In his new role, Humphreys will be responsible for the leadership and administration of the undergraduate and graduate insurance programs at Olivet. He will also coordinate numerous special programs under the guidance of the RMI program’s advisory board. These programs include the Michigan Insurance Hall of Fame, a partnership with Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and a collaboration with the Eaton and Genesee Intermediate School Districts through which high school students participate in insurance coursework through Olivet.
Humphreys takes over the director position from Carol Breed, who is retiring and has served five years leading the RMI program at Olivet College. A 1998 Olivet College graduate, Breed also served as associate professor of business and insurance with the college.
“He’s perfect for this position,” said Breed. “I was excited when I learned that Tom was coming here. What has delighted me most is how he blends with the students. The students really like Tom. They say, ‘We’re going to miss you Carol, but Tom’s a cool guy.’ I hear that a lot.”
Breed and Humphreys have been sharing an office for the entire 2015-16 school year in order for Breed to share her knowledge and experience with Humphreys on a day-to-day basis.
“I think it’s been a nice transitional year, I’ve got so much to share with Tom but I think that this has worked out really well. I’m just delighted that we’ve had this year to work together,” said Breed. “I’m ready for retirement, but I will miss these kids. That’s my joy of the day, is working with the students and seeing how they grow.”
The top goals for Humphreys as he steps into his new role will be expanding the existing high school program, creating partnerships with insurance companies in the state of the Michigan, and continuing to grow enrollment into the RMI program.
“Right now we have about 130 students and we’d really like to double that. That’s a huge goal and it’s not going to happen in a year, but the high school program is one of the pieces we need to accomplish that objective,” said Humphreys.