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Susan Sander Honich (BSEd 1970)

St. Louis native Susan Sander Honich broke new ground as the first member of her family to graduate from college, setting her sights out of high school on attending the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

Susan studied secondary education at UMSL, describing a curriculum that challenged her in an academic environment that was down to earth.

"During my time at UMSL, students had to work hard to study in limited library space and tight classroom settings," she said. "There was no promise of a rainbow at graduation, but most graduates had a belief that they could succeed in life. With no silver spoon offered, not much in scholarship assistance, it was faith that brought many in the past 60 years to become alumni of UMSL."

Susan Sander Honic

"UMSL was a new university and an affordable option for the education I sought while working my way through school," Susan said. "UMSL was a perfect fit, providing me with a singular four-year university experience where I could be involved and develop friendships."

After earning a bachelor’s degree in 1970, Susan began a four-decade career in the insurance industry, beginning as a trainee with Aetna Life & Casualty and continuing as regional manager with Trustmark Life Insurance before landing her current role as vice president of Fringe Benefits, Inc., where she specializes in life and health insurance for employer groups and individuals.

Susan has been a member of the National Association of Health Underwriters for more than 25 years. She has received the Golden Eagle award through the Leading Producers’ Roundtable for the past twelve years. As an alum of UMSL, she is past president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and was honored to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2011.

Looking back on the path already traveled, Susan says there is nothing she would change about her academic and career experience.

"It has been fulfilling life, owning my own agency to help companies and individuals with health, life and senior benefits," Susan said. "I chose the right college and a wonderful career that is so fulfilling I never plan to retire"