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Medders named Freeman Distinguished Professor of Insurance

By Haley Childers

BOONE, N.C.—Dr. Lorilee A. Medders has been named the Joseph F. Freeman Distinguished Professor of Insurance in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University.

View larger imageDr. Lorilee A. Medders, the Joseph F. Freeman Distinguished Professor of Insurance in the Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University. Submitted photo

Medders will join the faculty at Appalachian at the start of the 2017-18 academic year. Medders serves as director of the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center and a professor of risk management and insurance within the College of Business at Florida State University. Prior to joining the center, Medders taught risk management and insurance at Georgia State University and Georgia Southern University.

The professorship was established by the Freeman family and friends and colleagues in the insurance industry in memory of the late Joseph (Joe) F. Freeman III. His father, Joseph F. Freeman Jr., is a retired insurance agent and a member emeritus of the Walker College of Business Advisory Council and the Appalachian State University Foundation Board of Directors. The Freeman Professorship was previously held by former university insurance professor Dr. Dave Wood from its creation in 1995 until 2016.

“I am delighted that Dr. Medders will serve as our next Freeman Professor of Insurance,” said Dr. Heather Norris, dean of the Walker College of Business. “She brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in academia and practice that will make an immediate impact on our already outstanding insurance program.”

Dr. David Marlett, managing director of the Appalachian’s Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, chaired the search.

“Dr. Medders is a perfect fit for our college,” said Marlett. “She excels in the classroom and has a long history of engagement with the business community, legislators and regulators.”

“This is a particularly exciting time in insurance – an era of great challenge and opportunity,” said Medders. “Appalachian’s risk and insurance faculty are well known nationwide for preparing students to succeed in what has become a highly dynamic business environment. I am excited to join the Appalachian family and contribute to bridging Appalachian’s students with their futures in the risk and insurance field.”

Medders has keen interests in risk modeling, business risk management, global risk challenges, catastrophe risk finance, economic resilience, reputational/crisis risk management and business ethics. She is chair of the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Projection Methodology, a commission on which she has served by appointment from the State of Florida Chief Financial Officer, as a member of the Board of Directors for the American Association of Water Distribution and Management, and as president of the Southern Risk and Insurance Association.

Medders earned a B.S. in commerce and business from The University of Alabama and a Ph.D. in business administration – risk and insurance from Georgia State University.

Appalachian’s risk management and insurance program is the fifth largest in the country. The college’s Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, founded in 1988 with support from the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina, supports research and faculty development, assists the insurance industry in the design and delivery of training and continuing education programs, and facilitates interaction between students, faculty and the professionals in the insurance industry. For more information about the center, visit

About the Walker College of Business

The Walker College of Business at Appalachian State University delivers transformational educational experiences that prepare and inspire students to be ethical, innovative and engaged business leaders who positively impact our community, both locally and globally. The college places emphasis on international experiences, sustainable business practices, entrepreneurial programs, and real-world applications with industry. Enrolling approximately 2,800 undergraduates in nine majors and nearly 150 graduate students, the Walker College is accredited by AACSB International – the premier global accrediting body for schools of business.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.