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Release: Jan. 9, 2002

Ericson appointed to Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Board

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- James D. Ericson, who holds an undergraduate and a law degree from the University of Iowa, has been appointed to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Board for a three-year term. Ericson, who graduated Phi Beta Kappa in history in 1958 and earned a law degree in 1962, went on to become chairman and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, the largest provider of individual life insurance in America. He retired in 2001 and now serves as chairman emeritus. A native of Hawarden, Iowa, Ericson is a 1954 graduate of Hawarden High School.

Under Ericson's leadership, Northwestern Mutual's reputation rose to new heights. An annual survey conducted by Fortune magazine has named the company the most-admired U.S. life insurance company every year since 1983, and a new global survey by the magazine found that Northwestern Mutual is also the most admired life insurance company in the world.

Ericson's work in industry, civic, cultural, and educational affairs is extensive. He served as 1999 chairman of the American Council of Life Insurance, an industry trade association representing more than 500 U.S. life insurance companies. This year he serves as chairman of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. He is a director of the Milwaukee Redevelopment Corporation, Greater Milwaukee Committee, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Medical College of Wisconsin, Marcus Center for Performing Arts, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, and Competitive Wisconsin.

In 2000, the UI Alumni Association awarded Ericson the Distinguished Alumni Award for Achievement, which is given for significant accomplishments in business or professional life or for distinguished human service. The Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest honor presented by the UI Alumni Association.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Dean's Advisory Board is made up of 22 members who work with the dean to advance the college's mission and strategic goals. The board is charged with providing counsel on issues raised by the dean, undertaking projects to benefit the college, and assisting in making contacts with alumni and friends of the college, among other tasks. The board meets annually with the dean and other top administrators in the college.

Established in 1900, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is the largest of the UI's 11 colleges. The College seeks to advance scholarly and creative endeavor through leading-edge research and artistic production; to use this research and creativity to enhance undergraduate, graduate, and professional education, health care, and other services provided to the people of Iowa, the nation, and the world; and to conduct these activities in a culturally diverse, humane, technologically advanced and increasingly global environment.