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Walsh College Will Confer Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree on Keynote Commencement Speaker Daniel J. Loepp

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan President and CEO Daniel J. Loepp will be the keynote speaker as Walsh College holds its 106th Commencement on Saturday, January 23, 2016 at Zion Christian Church. Walsh College will confer an honorary Doctor of Laws degree upon

Loepp, who is now in his 10th year as president and chief executive officer, and has guided Blue Cross to become the eighth largest health insurer in the United States and the third largest among 36 Blue plans throughout the nation.

Loepp has directed sweeping initiatives and innovations that have led not only to a transformation of health care in Michigan, but a historic transformation of BCBSM itself. He played a major role in modernizing the state’s health care system in a process that led to enactment of new laws that transformed Blue Cross to become a nonprofit mutual insurance company in January 2014.

“The importance of business and community leadership cannot be overestimated, and Dan Loepp exemplifies that value admirably within our region and the nation,” said Walsh College President and CEO Stephanie Bergeron. “We are honored he will be our keynote speaker and are proud to recognize his extraordinary contributions with an honorary degree.”

Bergeron noted that BCBSM is one of the largest employers in Southeast Michigan and ranks sixth among companies that employ the largest total of Walsh College students and alumni.

A native Detroiter, Loepp joined Blue Cross in 2000 and has led BCBSM initiatives to transform health care. The company is improving health care quality and slowing cost increases, saving nearly $1 billion through several programs that have garnered national attention and served as models implemented across the country.

Under his leadership, the Blues are helping to revitalize and strengthen Detroit, Grand Rapids and Lansing. In 2011 and 2012, the Blues moved 3,000 BCBSM employees into downtown Detroit and now have more than 6,000 workers in the city’s central business district. In Lansing, BCBSM subsidiary Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. transformed a long abandoned power plant into a national headquarters.

Loepp has stood by a commitment that BCBSM should be a driving force for good in Michigan’s core cities. It is reflected in BCBSM’s workforce diversity and inclusion efforts, supplier partnerships and community initiatives. In his tenure, BCBSM has been named Corporation of the Year in Finance and Insurance Services eight times by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

The company has also been named one of America’s Top Organizations for Multi-Cultural Business Opportunities by and ranked five consecutive years as one of the top 10 Regional Companies for diversity by DiversityInc Magazine, including being ranked #1 for 2015.

Loepp was honored as a 2013 Michiganian of the Year by The Detroit News. He also received the City Change Maker Award from the Detroit Public Safety Foundation. From 2011 to 2013, he served as board chair of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), an organization that includes all 36 Blues plans and provides health coverage to more than 100 million Americans. Loepp continues to serve on the BCBSA board. He also serves on the board of the National Institute for Health Care Management. Loepp is the Executive Committee Chairman of the Downtown Detroit Partnership board and also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors at The Parade Company. In addition, he serves on the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2015.

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