SFSP At 75
By Barry Higgins
Seventy-five years ago, 21 professionals graduated from The American College of Life Underwriters Chartered Life Underwriter academic program. This 1928 graduating class was the first from an institution that had just been founded a year earlier by Dr. Solomon S. Huebner.
These 21 graduates met following their conferment exercise in Detroit, Mich., to form what would become the alumni association for the college. Its name was simply that, The Alumni Association of The American College of Life Underwriters.
As professionals graduated from the CLU program the associations membership grew. Only a short while later, the first local chapter of the association was formed in Chicago, Ill. With one local, and several others on the way, the official name for the association became The National Chapter, Chartered Life Underwriters of The American College of Life Underwriters.
Following the formation of the Chicago chapter, local chapters began appearing all over the countryby 1931, the total chapter count came to 10, with representation from New York to Los Angeles.
In 1940, the organization went through its third name change, which still would not be its last. The name was officially changed to The American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters. For the first time, membership exceeded 1,000 program graduates.
Until 1944, the organization was purely an alumni association for The American College of Life Underwriters. But in that year, the Societys board approved an action that would change the direction of the organization. The board approved a change that would embrace the concept of becoming a true professional society, rather than that of an alumni association. The Society would employ a staff and would soon develop a professional journal for members.
Over the next several years the society continued to grow. As professionals graduated from the Chartered Life Underwriter program many would join the professional society to build relationships and learn from other members. By 1956, membership had grown to 4,000, and the number of local chapters was now at 100.
Three years later, the Societys 5,000 members approved the development of a code of ethics and expansion of continuing education programs. This was the year the first CLU national seminar was conducted, held in Philadelphia.
By 1966, this national meeting was combined with a two-day educational forum, where members would learn from educational programs and could network with their peers from other chapters. Membership was approaching the 10,000 level.