Illinois State University senior Mark Murdoch, an actuarial science major from Wheaton, Illinois, is a recipient of the prestigious Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship from the Actuarial Foundation. Applicants from around the world vie for the honor, which is awarded only to the top actuarial students.

Murdoch is the eighth student to receive the scholarship while attending Illinois State’s Actuarial Science Program, making the University one of the most celebrated in the nation.

image of Krzysztof Ostaszewski

Krzysztof Ostaszewski

“Illinois State University is among the universities with the most Actuarial Foundation scholarship awards,” said Illinois State’s Actuarial Program Director Krzysztof Ostaszewski. “This is a very satisfying acknowledgement of the highest level of scholarship and hard work of our students, and the high standing of our university among the peers providing education in actuarial science.”

Only one applicant is permitted per school each year, with the Illinois State candidate decided by the University’s Actuarial Committee. Illinois State has one of the leading programs in the United States, accredited as a Center of Actuarial Excellence, and winner of the 2019 University Award of the Casualty Actuarial Society. The University has been recognized as a Global Center of Insurance Excellence.

Along with his studies, Murdoch is active in civic engagement efforts, serving as the director of volunteer efforts for Gamma Iota Sigma, a professional risk management and insurance fraternity, and volunteering for the University’s Alternative Breaks. “The abundance of opportunities, both in and out the classroom, have enabled me to achieve this award,” said Murdoch.

Past Illinois State winners include:
(When known as the John Culver Wooddy Scholarship)
Carol Sorenson ’06 (2005 winner)
Thomas Turner ’07, (2006 winner)
David Prevo ’09 (2008 winner)
Thomas Lauren ’09 (2009 winner)
Emily Ehrstein (nee Byrnes) ’10 (2010 winner)

(Scholarship became known as Curtis Huntington Memorial Scholarship)
Michael Paradiso ’16 (2015 winner)
Kristen Marshall ’19 (2018 winner)
Mark Murdoch, senior, (2019 winner)

*Bright Amudzi ’15 (won as an undergraduate student at the University if Ghana in 2012, earned a master’s degree at Illinois State)

Those interested in learning more about the attending Illinois State’s Actuarial Science Program, can contact Ostaszewski at (309) 438-7226 or

The Curtis E. Huntington, FSA, MAAA, FCA, MSPA (1942-2013) Memorial Scholarship (formerly the John Culver Wooddy Scholarship) was established to recognize the remarkably positive impact Huntington had on the actuarial profession. He worked tirelessly to help students receive the financial assistance they needed. The scholarship is awarded annually to undergraduate seniors who are enrolled as a full-time student at a U.S. accredited educational institution, have successfully completed at least one actuarial examination, have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (on 4.0 scale) and must be nominated by a professor at their school. Each year, selected students receive a $2,000 scholarship award.

The Actuarial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is the philanthropic organization for the actuarial industry in the United States. Since 1994, the Foundation has promoted lifelong math education and financial literacy through its learning resources and scholarships. The mission of the Foundation is to enhance math education and financial literacy through the talents and resources of actuaries. The Foundation’s vision is an educated public in pursuit of a secure financial future.