Eggers named Sumner Insurance Distinguished Scholar

Austin Eggers, an associate professor in Appalachian State University's Department of Finance, Banking and Insurance, has been named the inaugural Wayne L. Sumner Insurance Distinguished Scholar.

The Wayne L. Sumner Professorship is the newest of 16 professorships in Walker College of Business – all helping App State recruit the best business faculty and students.

Named in honor of benefactors who have made a positive impact on the Walker College of Business, each professorship recognizes a faculty member who has demonstrated outstanding performance in instruction, scholarship and service, while serving as a positive role model for students. 

"I commend Austin on his exemplary performance to date and his continuing commitment to excellence in this new role," said Walker College of Business Dean Sandra Vannoy. "We are pleased, too, to recognize Wayne Sumner, founder and chairman of the board for Jackson Sumner Associates, and his outstanding legacy in the field of insurance."

“I am honored that Austin Eggers has been selected as the Wayne L. Sumner Insurance Distinguished Scholar,” added Sumner. “I could not be more excited that Austin will be this scholarship's inaugural recipient. Austin embodies the best of the insurance industry exemplifying a great passion for ensuring students are prepared for a successful career.”

Austin Eggers ’02


Austin Eggers first joined App State’s faculty in 2015. He teaches business law in the Walker College and brings to the classroom a wealth of experience from his time as legal partner with Eggers, Eggers, Eggers & Eggers PLLC. 

Eggers is a member of the Watauga County Bar Association and maintains a State of North Carolina Law License. 

He earned the college's Sywassink Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2022. Related: Seven in the Walker College of Business are honored for excellence

Eggers is an App State alumnus, having earned his bachelor’s degree in political science, as well as a Master of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University.

Wayne Sumner '75

Wayne Sumner is an App State alumnus who earned his BSBA in management before founding Jackson Sumner Associates, an excess and specialty lines broker headquartered in Boone, North Carolina.

Sumner has been honored as Industry Person of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of South Carolina, Company Professional of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of Virginia, and twice as Company Professional of the Year by the Independent Insurance Agents of North Carolina (IIANC). In 2015, Sumner was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NC Surplus Lines Association (NCSLA), for which he served as president thrice during his career. 

Sumner is a past recipient of App State’s Outstanding Service Award, and the university named its Wayne L. Sumner Broadcast Studio, home of WASU Radio, in his honor.  Related: Sumner ’75 supports launch of AppTV mobile studio, shares his thoughts on looking — and giving — back

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper honored Sumner with The Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2017. Related: Alumnus named to Order of the Long Leaf Pine by Gov. Roy Cooper

Sumner has been a long time supporter of the risk management and insurance program in the Walker College, employing interns, hiring graduates and, for many years, serving on the advisory board for the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center (BRIC). 

“The Sumner Professorship, made possible by the Independent Insurance Agents of NC, the NC Surplus Lines Association, and many other contributors, will help the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center continue to remain one of the top insurance programs in the nation,” said Sumner.

Current Jackson Sumner President and CEO Danielle Wade, who is Sumner’s daughter, now continues the tradition of service on the BRIC advisory board.

“Austin personifies the same passion my father has brought for over 40 years to the insurance industry,” said Wade. “This professorship, made possible by so many generous people and associations, provides a lasting legacy for my Dad. It truly honors all he has done for both the insurance business, and Jackson Sumner & Associates, which he started 42 years ago.” 

Endowed Professorships 

Recipients of professorships receive a salary stipend to further advance their work and, in most cases, retain the professorship for a specific number of years. 

Eggers will retain the Sumner Professorship for a period of five years, and he may be re-appointmented to additional terms.

Professorships are funded in part by generous donations from alumni and friends. 

Dr. David Marlett, managing director of the Brantley Risk and Insurance Center, said that NCSLA and IIANC have been instrumental in endowing the Sumner Professorship, creating a means of supporting an endowed professorship indefinitely. 

To help ensure the professorship could be awarded while the endowment matures, more than 40 donors came together to raise funds to begin awarding the honor this year. These fundraising efforts were led by Sumner's daughter. 

Current funds are still being raised to aid in this effort. Contribute to the Sumner Professorship online or contact Dr. Marlett,

To contribute to other professorships in the Walker College, contact Executive Director of Development Kyle Allen at

About the Brantley Risk & Insurance Center

App State maintains the sixth largest insurance program nationally, and has been ranked second in the nation by AM Best, the world’s largest credit rating agency specializing in the insurance industry. The Brantley Risk & Insurance Center is a privately-funded entity that supports this tradition of excellence through promotion of faculty engagement, student scholarships, international and domestic travel, and career readiness support. Learn more at

Published: Oct 12, 2023 10:00am