Erie Insurance named Corporate Partner of the Year

Penn State Behrend Chancellor Ralph Ford and Erie Insurance president and CEO Tim NeCastro

Penn State Behrend Chancellor Ralph Ford and Erie Insurance president and CEO Tim NeCastro

Credit: Penn State Behrend

Penn State has recognized national insurance leader and longtime corporate ally Erie Insurance as its 2020 Corporate Partner of the Year. The annual award celebrates corporate partners that have demonstrated exceptional commitment in promotion and support of Penn State, excellent track records of philanthropy and research, and active engagement of students and alumni in the workplace and the classroom.

Founded in 1925 and headquartered in Erie, Erie Insurance offers comprehensive auto, home, business, and life insurance. A Fortune 500 company, rated A+ (superior) by A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Through more than twenty years of partnership with Penn State, Erie Insurance has deepened its mission of community service to the northwestern Pennsylvania region. The company’s philanthropy has supported priorities at Penn State Behrend with more than $2 million in total giving. Its gifts have created scholarships at Behrend and funded enrichment and youth education outreach programs across the college.

In 2018, Erie Insurance pledged $1.5 million to Penn State Behrend to create the Excelerate program, its broadest and most significant contribution to the University yet. Leveraging a match from University funds for economic development initiatives, the gift generated $4 million toward scholarships for first-year students through the Pathway to Success: Summer Start (PaSSS) program, as well as funding for upper-level students to gain experience working with local businesses and nonprofits in the region. The company’s giving also supports the Susan Hirt Hagen Center for Community Outreach, Research and Evaluation (CORE) at Behrend, helping to extend Penn State’s work toward positive youth enrichment in Erie County.

“Erie Insurance has embraced its role as the largest employer in Erie County by actively engaging in projects and initiatives that continue the forward momentum of our community,” Penn State Behrend Chancellor Ralph Ford said. “With financial support and commitments of time and expertise by the company’s employees, Erie Insurance is an active, steadfast partner. The company’s involvement at Behrend, from the Excelerate program to giving at CORE to individual mentoring and scholarship opportunities, doesn’t just support the University and our students. It is an investment in our shared future.”

Erie Insurance has also made annual gifts to career enrichment opportunities and student outreach initiatives like Penn State Behrend’s Math Options Career Day and Women in Engineering program, among others.

The company maintains an active presence at Behrend through leadership roles and support of career development opportunities for students. Company representatives regularly serve on the Council of Fellows as advisers to the college chancellor and participate in efforts to offer industry expertise and mentorship to students.

“Erie Insurance is honored to be named Penn State’s 2020 Corporate Partner of the Year,” said Tim NeCastro, president and CEO of Erie Insurance. “For more than 95 years, we have been committed to following the Golden Rule by treating people right, supporting the community and investing in its future. Partnering with local academic institutions such as Penn State to develop and secure talented people here in Erie, Pennsylvania, is just one way of keeping that commitment.”