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Darla Moore School of Business

Alumnus establishes scholarship to inspire next generation of insurance executives

Nov. 22, 2019

According to Moore School alumnus Terrance Williams (’90 insurance and economics), the University of South Carolina has played a substantial role in the man he’s become and the success he’s had as an insurance executive, so much so that he created an endowed scholarship to honor the business school in 2018. 

Williams’ generous support will provide scholarships to students from underrepresented populations majoring in risk management and insurance.

“From an early age, I was passionate about going into insurance and risk management, and the industry has been good to me,” he said. “I’ve lived all over the country and had roles with increasing amounts of responsibility, giving me the vantage point to recognize there is opportunity to be more reflective of the marketplace when it comes to diversity and inclusion. My hope is that this financial assistance helps pave the way for the next generation of insurance leaders.”

Williams is president of the Emerging Businesses Group and the chief marketing officer for Nationwide out of their Columbus, Ohio, headquarters.

He chose to name his contribution the Terry and Vera Williams Endowed Scholarship to honor his parents for making a lifelong positive impact on their Ridgeville, South Carolina, community. His father, Terry, is a retired road construction operator, and his mother, Vera, is a retired schoolteacher who worked in the South Carolina K-12 school system for more than 30 years.

“I grew up in an environment where my parents were the go-to people in the community,” Williams said. “Our door was always open. They are kind, patient, understanding and welcoming. Giving back to support others is a small way to honor their example.”

The Terry and Vera Williams scholarship is easing the burden for senior Anishaa Tripuraneni, who is one of its first recipients.

“Freshman year was extremely expensive, and my family and I were having doubts about how we would be able to pay for the remaining years, so scholarships like the Terry and Vera Williams scholarship allow me to continue studying at this great university,” said Tripuraneni, majoring in risk management and insurance and marketing. “The risk management and insurance major can sound a bit dry, but they have been some of my favorite classes so far thanks to the professors and the engaging curriculum.”

Tripuraneni, from Yorktown, Virginia, is a university ambassador who gives tours of the South Carolina campus to prospective students and their families. She said she eagerly shares her enthusiasm for the Moore School and the risk management and insurance major with potential students.

“The Moore School has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and to be a hardworking, intelligent student whose skills will translate into the workforce,” Tripuraneni said. 

Similar to students like Tripuraneni, Williams had a scholarship when he was a South Carolina student and—coming from modest means—he said it helped alleviate a great deal of financial pressure and allowed him to focus on getting his degree.

“The Moore School did an outstanding job of preparing me for life beyond USC. My professors provided more than what was available in the textbooks,” he said. “They guided us on how to collaborate, negotiate and learn from others’ unique perspectives, which are things that occur day-to-day in the workplace. They were setting us up to be successful in the long term. I believe that my Moore School education played a significant role in me having the position I have today.”

Williams said he hopes his contribution will provide financial relief for deserving students while attracting young talent to the insurance industry. He also hopes the students will consider giving back later in their careers and will develop a fondness for the university like he has.

“USC is in my DNA. I’m a Gamecock for life, and I wear it on my sleeve,” Williams said. “When I think about receiving a top-notch education that prepared me well for a rewarding career, plus all the friendships that started in college and are still going strong, my family and I felt strongly that we should give back through a scholarship that would pave the way for other deserving students.”

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