2011 Champions for Philanthropy E. Stempel P’84, ’98H, D. & L. Bergquist P’13, Outstanding Parents
Ernest Stempel and Diana and Lars Bergquist have helped Bryant University advance its mission of providing an education that delivers the highest standards of academic excellence, character, and ethics within a global, real-world context.
For the Stempel and Bergquist families, Bryant is a family tradition that spans three generations.
Ernest E. Stempel P’84, ’98h was a World War II veteran and a legendary Bermuda-based insurance executive renowned for developing AIG’s life insurance operations worldwide, most notably in the Far East. Impressed by the education his son Neil ’84 received at Bryant, Mr. Stempel helped secure funding to establish the University’s nationally recognized actuarial mathematics department in the mid-1980s. Since 1999, his personal foundation, the Ernest E. Stempel Foundation, has provided scholarships for actuarial math majors. An engaged parent, Mr. Stempel stayed connected to Bryant for decades after Neil’s graduation, receiving an honorary degree in 1998.
Mr. Stempel could not have been more thrilled when his grandson, Philip Bergquist ’13, was accepted to Bryant. He believed education was the key to achieving personal success and improving society.
It’s no surprise that Mr. Stempel’s daughter, Diana Bergquist, and her husband, Lars, are involved and supportive parents for the next generation of Bryant students. During their son Philip’s first year at Bryant, the Bergquists joined the Parents Council, a leadership group whose contributions benefit the University’s Douglas and Judith Krupp Library Fund. Despite the distance from their Bermuda home, they visit Philip on campus several times a year.
Following Mr. Stempel’s death in 2009, the Bergquists assumed his role championing philanthropy at Bryant. Through their stewardship, the Stempel Foundation continues to support scholarships and the University’s library, and is an early contributor to Bryant’s ambitious commitment to replicate China’s Forbidden City’s Shu Fang Zhai on the Smithfield campus. An avid reader and ardent supporter of libraries, Mrs. Bergquist also recently made a personal contribution to significantly expand the library’s electronic and print resources.
Ernest Stempel and Diana and Lars Bergquist exemplify the hands-on philanthropy and active participation that have made and continue to make such a difference in the life of Bryant University.
Ernest Stempel and Diana and Lars Bergquist, through your historic and steadfast commitment, you have helped Bryant University advance its mission of providing an education that delivers the highest standards of academic excellence, character, and ethics within a global, real-world context. We are most grateful for your continuing support and involvement.
Bryant University is honored to call you Champions for Philanthropy.