American College Receives $1 Million Gift for Doctoral Fellowship

To support the nation’s only PhD in Financial and Retirement Planning

BRYN MAWR, PA – February 25, 2014 – The American College of Financial Services today announced that Sy Sternberg, CLU®, retired Chairman of the Board and CEO of New York Life Insurance Company, and Fred Sievert, MSM, FSA, MAAA, the retired President of New York Life Insurance Company, have each donated $500,000 to The American College for a gift totaling $1 million to establish the Sy Sternberg and Fred Sievert Doctoral Fellowship. The gift will support select fellows advancing through the New York Life Doctoral Program in Financial and Retirement Planning at The American College.

“With thousands of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, the need for literacy in planning for financial security during retirement has never been greater,” said Mike Davidson, MSM, CLU®, CAP®, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer of The American College. “We are very thankful to Mr. Sternberg and Mr. Sievert for this generous gift, which will enable talented individuals to become thought leaders in the field by elevating their knowledge of retirement planning and financial decision-making and contributing to the research and theory behind those decisions.”

“We are proud to support the nation’s only doctoral program with an emphasis on retirement planning,” said Sternberg. “We look forward to continuing to support The American College’s academic standing, rigor, and scholarship in this field.”

“We’re very excited to partner with The American College on this initiative, which will have a powerful impact on research and innovation that will help strengthen the long-term financial security of our country’s citizens,” Sievert added.

Promoting state-of-the-art research

The Sy Sternberg and Fred Sievert Doctoral Fellowship is intended to attract bright individuals who are eager about the opportunity to conduct state-of-the-art research on financial issues related to retirement. The fellowship will enable select doctoral students to complete the program at no cost.

With thousands of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age every day, the need for literacy in planning for financial security during retirement has never been greater

The PhD program’s comprehensive curriculum is taught by highly-acclaimed faculty on topics such as retirement income planning, estate planning, taxation, gerontology, and financial planning. Available to financial services professionals who have the desire to learn the theory that informs practice, the demanding program takes approximately three years to complete and consists of 36 hours of advanced coursework in financial and retirement planning areas. In addition, students must pass a comprehensive exam and successfully complete dissertation research of publishable quality. Two one-week residency sessions are also required.

The establishment of this fellowship recognizes the lifetime achievements and industry contributions of Sternberg and Sievert. Sternberg joined New York Life in 1989, and was elected Vice Chairman of the Board and became President and Chief Operating Officer in 1995. In 1997, he became Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer and remained CEO until his retirement in June 2008. During his time at the company, New York Life’s Triple-A ratings were restored. Before joining New York Life, Sternberg spent 13 years at MassMutual.

Sievert began his career with New York Life as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of the Individual Operations and, after a long series of promotions and increased responsibilities, was elected president of the company in 2002. Under Sievert’s leadership, New York Life achieved its first number one market share ranking in the sale of life insurance in the United States and maintained that distinction for seven years.

For more information on the Sy Sternberg and Fred Sievert Doctoral Fellowship, please go here.




About The American College
The American College is the nation’s largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others since 1927. The American College’s faculty represents some of the financial services industry’s foremost thought leaders. For more information, visit