Ohio State has entered a 10-year partnership with Nationwide Insurance that names the company the “official insurance sponsor for the university community,” an agreement worth $17.1 million.
The partnership with Columbus-based Nationwide is slated to provide discounts for OSU community members, including OSU students, faculty, staff and alumni, on services like auto, home and life insurance, according to an OSU press release.
OSU Interim President Joseph Alutto said Wednesday the partnership should help both parties.
“It’s an opportunity, I think, for two organizations that have worked together over a 30-year period to focus on the key priorities for both the university and obviously for Nationwide,” Alutto said in an interview with The Lantern.
Anne Arvia, president and chief operating officer of Nationwide Direct, Affinity and Growth Solutions, said the agreement will give Nationwide a more direct path to OSU community members.
“It’s allowing Nationwide direct access to Ohio State’s community of alumni, faculty, staff and students and provide a discount to all of those members,” she said in an interview with The Lantern. “We think (this is) what Nationwide does better than anybody and we want to be able to share that experience.”
Alutto also said roughly $350,000 will go to supporting OSU athletics, with about the same amount set to go toward supporting “student life in general.”
With the agreement, Nationwide promised to create 40 internships annually for OSU students in a variety of fields and coordinate with OSU to build a co-investment fund that would support a variety of programs.
An investment fund is a supply of money from multiple investors used to purchase securities, such as stocks or bonds, while investors keep ownership and control of their own shares.
Alutto said the internships will be paid.
“That will be an opportunity for our students to not only earn income during the summer time and other times but also to gain the experience they need as they pursue lives after graduation,” Alutto said.
Arvia said Nationwide has already been hiring more than 40 OSU students per year.
“We’ve been hiring more than that on an annual basis,” she said. “These are internships within the Nationwide community … there are many, many different kinds of opportunities.”
The partnership also includes a five-year extension on Nationwide’s existing agreement to underwrite the Fisher College of Business Risk Institute, which aims to teach students about enterprise risk, insurance and capital management, according to its website.
Underwriting is the process of issuing insurance policies.
Alutto said OSU faculty members and Nationwide executives will be involved with the Risk Institute.
“That will give students an opportunity to be exposed to faculty members who are focusing on risk management and then also hear about the practicalities of actually then using any of those written models and using heavily, relying heavily on Nationwide executives to bring a rich environment to the classroom,” Alutto said.
The partnership is not the first of its kind at OSU — the university has about $671 million in private contracts with companies such as Coca-Cola Co., Nike Inc., Huntington National Bank, QIC Global Infrastructure and J. America Sportswear Inc.
Alutto said the Nationwide partnership aims to benefit students.
“It’s designed mainly to support activities that are valued (by the) students, and that ranges all the way from support for student internships … to support for athletics … (to creating) more of a supportive environment for students on campus,” he said.
Danielle Seamon contributed to this article.