Corporate Contributions at Wausau Insurance Companies 1911-1996: A Case Study
Kordus, Lynn M. V. Krzmarcik
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, College of Fine Arts and Communication
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Wausau Insurance Companies is the largest employer in Wausau, Wisconsin, with approximately 3,000 employees in four individual locations in the city. Wausau's roots date back to 1911 and the social reform that swept the country at the tum of the century. A group of Wausau businessmen, primarily lumbermen, agreed to organize a mutual insurance company in response to Wisconsin's recently passed first constitutionally acceptable workers compensation law. On September 1, 1911, when this new law went into effect, Employers Mutual Liability Insurance Company of Wisconsin (Wausau Insurance Companies) wrote its first policy, a policy still in force today, 85 years later. This thesis, which will partially satisfy the requirements of the Master's in Communication degree at the University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point, will describe the foundations of corporate philanthropy at Wausau Insurance Companies, trace the history of the company's philanthropic activities, place the company in perspective with other property/casualty insurers as well as with corporate philanthropic giving in the U. S. as a whole, and specifically examine current philanthropic activities at Wausau Insurance Companies, using the framework of qualitative case study research to demonstrate corporate philanthropy as a strong method of communication.