AMC-Fairmont, formerly called American Management Corporation, has pledged $100,000 and created an endowed professorship at the University of Central Arkansas, according to a news release Thursday.

The pledge makes AMC-Fairmont the lead donor and strategic partner in advancing the Insurance and Risk Management program by creating the Dr. John Bratton Endowed Professorship at UCA.

Bratton, a professor of insurance and risk management, helped build a strong and successful insurance and risk program, said Stephen L. Strange, president of AMC-Fairmont. Bratton lead UCA to acquire the only accredited insurance and risk management program in the state. He also helped bring the University Associate Certified Insurance Counselor (UACIC) designation program to UCA.

The program was created to give college students pursuing an insurance and risk management undergraduate degree the opportunity to attain a new level of professionalism through advanced practical education.

The gift will provide ongoing financial support for the academic program. The earnings from this endowment will be used to provide resources and opportunities for faculty and students that would not be accessible otherwise, Bratton said.

"I am deeply grateful and humbled and by this recognition from Mr. Strange and AMC-Fairmont," said Bratton in a news release. "Mr. Strange and AMC-Fairmont have been huge supporters of the insurance and risk management program at UCA from its beginning. I think this gift validates that the program is moving in the right direction."

UCA’s program has grown significantly since 2002 — growing from six majors in 2002 to 87 in 2007. Last year, Bratton championed the regulatory change that allowed UCA graduates to take the claims adjusters license exam without the one-year experience or direct supervision requirement.

The endowment will assure the continued success of the program, said Shelley Mehl, vice president for UCA Advancement, in the news release.

"UCA’s Insurance and Risk Management program leads the way in leveraging partnerships such as this," Mehl said. "Privately supported endowments assure the growth of the faculty, services and programs and address the increasing demand to hire our students."