A gift from one of Le Moyne College's third-generation families, the McNeil family, will be used to launch a new undergraduate major in risk management and insurance (RMI). The $7 million gift, announced at the College's Founders' Day Gala on Oct. 19, will bring to the College a new academic discipline in one of today's fastest-growing career fields.

"The McNeil family has been a part of this College literally since the first day we offered classes. They value the power of a Jesuit education to produce ethical, intellectually nimble graduates, particularly in today's ever-changing world ," said Le Moyne President Linda LeMura. "We are truly grateful for this generous gift, which is another example of the momentum evident on our campus in so many areas."

Dan McNeil Jr. is a graduate of the Le Moyne class of 1951, the College's first graduating class. He is president of McNeil Development Company in Cortland, N.Y., which owns and manages commercial property. His son, Dan McNeil III, Le Moyne class of 1977, is president of McNeil & Company in Cortland, a provider of insurance programs and risk management services for specialty niche markets nationwide, including Emergency Services Insurance Program for fire and emergency organizations, Ambulance Services Insurance Program for private ambulance services and HOMed for home medical equipment dealers. Mary McNeil, Dan Jr.’s daughter, graduated in 2008 with an MBA from Le Moyne, and currently serves as chief operating officer of McNeil & Company. Dan III’s daughter Lauren Davis is a 2008 graduate of Le Moyne, and serves as vice president of operations at McNeil & Co.

“We owe so much to Le Moyne, not just in our professional lives, but also for how the Jesuit values imbued during our time at the College play such a vital role in shaping us as individuals,” said Dan McNeil III, who currently serves on the Le Moyne Board of Trustees. “We are so pleased to be able to give back to the institution in this way.”

The gift will create a new endowment to establish three to four endowed professorships to support the new program in perpetuity. The College has begun to take steps within the institution to set up the major, and will eventually apply for approval from the New York State Department of Education. When the program will launch at Le Moyne is dependent on receiving state approval.

"We look forward to working with the McNeil family to develop a program that will be on the cutting-edge of the risk management and insurance industry," said Le Moyne Provost Joe Marina, S.J. "This gift will help us to continue to expand our academic offerings to best serve our students now and into the future."

According to the website insuremypath.org, individuals majoring in RMI are in high demand: “An RMI degree is essentially a business degree geared toward careers in the $1.1 trillion insurance industry… Many schools that offer RMI degrees boast job-placement rates well above 90 percent. With this major, it’s the norm for graduates to find a career in the field within three months of graduating, if not long before graduation. And most positions offer significant opportunities for advancement and growth. These perks are why the industry says that insurance offers the ‘career trifecta”- it’s stable, rewarding and limitless.”

The McNeil gift is part of the College's $100 million Always Forward campaign, which was publicly announced earlier this year.

Shown in photo are, from left, Lauren Davis '08, Christine McNeil, David McNeil, Dan McNeil III '77, Dan McNeil Jr. '51, Mary McNeil MBA '08, Brent McNeil '21 and Derek Davis '08.