By: Claire Caton
Myron F. Steves & Company, a private, general insurance agency, this week established the $250,000 Myron F. Steves Endowed Directorship for the Insurance and Risk Management (IRM) Center at the University of Houston-Downtown (UHD).
Steves’ children, Fred Steves, Buddy Steves and Terry Steves Skinner, and the employees of Myron F. Steves & Company created the endowment in recognition of Myron Steves’ pioneering leadership and contribution to the development, professionalism and growth of the insurance industry and of his many contributions to education and ethical behavior within the field.
“This tremendous gift to the Insurance and Risk Management Center catapults our ability to bridge top-quality insurance education with real-world input and collaboration from the region’s insurance and risk management leaders,” said Wendall Braniff, J.D., director of the IRM Center at UHD. “Myron Steves’ name is synonymous with professionalism, excellence and proficiency in a broad range of insurance operations and this gift in his name raises the caliber of our own program to the betterment of our graduates and future industry leaders.”
Funds from the endowment will be used to further relationships between students and insurance professionals to facilitate UHD graduates’ transition into the insurance and risk management industry. The endowment also will increase student and faculty community involvement and enhance the overall program.
“We have supported the Insurance and Risk Management Center at UHD for several years assisting its foundational role in educating the next generation of skilled insurance professionals,” said Fred Steves, chairman of Myron F. Steves & Company and member of the IRM Center Advisory Council. “My father taught Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) courses at South Texas Junior College before the University of Houston System founded UHD on the property and the program today espouses the qualities of professionalism, ethics and industry excellence that are hallmarks of Myron F. Steves & Company.”
Among the Insurance and Risk Management faculty are academics and insurance professionals, bringing theory and real-world professional experience into the classroom and teaching classes that enable students to sit for professional designations that are critical to success in the field, such as CPCU.
“Our primary goal at UHD is student success – both in the classroom and following graduation,” said UHD President Bill Flores. “This generous endowment by Myron F. Steves & Company will help to elevate industry knowledge among students and integrate them into Houston’s vibrant insurance market, which is the third largest in the nation.”
UHD students have the benefit, not only of this endowment, but of Steves’ well-known example and legacy in the insurance and risk management industry. He was a founding member of the Houston chapter of CPCU and served as the organization’s president. He was instrumental in founding the Senior Section of the national CPCU Society and received the national CPCU Standard Setter Award, recognizing his contributions to the local Houston insurance community. Steves was awarded the Independent Insurance Agents of Houston Outstanding Service Award, an honor historically reserved for retail agents. Like Steves, his three children also hold the CPCU designation.