seal2002 Honorary Degree

Jerry D. Semler

Doctor Of Management

Jerry D. Semler has received recognition for his business accomplishments, civic contributions to Indianapolis and the state of Indiana and support of Purdue University.

Jerry D. Semler

Mr. Semler is currently the chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of American United Life Insurance Company, where he has been employed since 1959.

Born in Indianapolis and raised in Decatur, Ill., and Evansville, Ind., Mr. Semler attended Purdue University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in industrial economics from the School of Science in 1958. He later graduated from the Stanford University Business Executive Program.

Mr. Semler started at AUL as a management trainee before becoming an agent in 1959. He rose through the ranks to associate general agent in 1965, general agent in 1972, president in 1980, chief operating officer in 1984, chief executive officer in 1989 and chairman of the board in 1991.

Under Mr. Semler’s leadership, the Indianapolis-based American United Life Insurance Company has grown into an enterprise that has more than $11.5 billion in assets and almost 2,000 employees. It is a diversified company offering 401(k) plans and other retirement products, insurance, annuities and reinsurance products and services, licensed to sell nationwide and internationally in Latin America.

Mr. Semler has been very active as a leader throughout the state. He either serves or has served on the board of directors or trustees or on the council of 20 different civic organizations, 10 different professional or industry associations and 12 different educational activities.

Among his civic duties are the United Way of Central Indiana, the James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association, the "500" Festival Association (for which he is an honorary director and past president), Indiana Sports Corporation, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis Downtown Inc., Indiana Chamber of Commerce and Catholic Community Foundation.

Mr. Semler has maintained contact with Purdue through the President’s Council, the Krannert School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council and the John Purdue Club.

His awards and honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Association of Life Underwriters, the Unsung Hero Award from Million Dollar Roundtable, the Sagamore of the Wabash from two Indiana governors, the Whitney Young Award from the Indianapolis Black Community and the Horatio Alger Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.