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September 13, 2011

Prominent Philadelphia Community & Education Leaders to Serve as Sun Life Rising Star Awards Program Judges

Distinguished panel of experts to help award more than $165,000 in grants and scholarships to youth & nonprofit organizations in large urban school districts across Philadelphia

Wellesley, MA (September 13, 2011) – Sun Life Financial Inc. (NYSE: SLF, TSX: SLF) today announced that nine prominent Philadelphia community and education leaders will serve as judges for the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, the financial services company’s signature national philanthropic initiative, now in its second year. The judges will help Sun Life award more than $165,000 in grants and scholarships to Philadelphia youth and nonprofit organizations to reduce the achievement gap faced by low-income students. In 2011, Sun Life will invest more than $1 million to outstanding students and nonprofit organizations affiliated with large urban school districts across the country, including Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and South Florida.

The distinguished panel includes the School District of Philadelphia Deputy Chief of Administration to the Superintendent Claudia Averette; Impacto Latin Newspaper Publisher Napoleon Garcia; Premier Financial Group, Inc. President Brian Grant; Philadelphia Multicultural Affairs Congress (MAC) Executive Director Tanya Hall; Kemp & Associates Retirement Services President Mark Kemp; Citizens Bank of Philadelphia Senior Vice President, Director of Public Affairs Henri Moore; Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing & Corporate Communications Karen Shakoske;  Philadelphia Museum of Art Senior Curator of Education Marla Shoemaker; and Janney Montgomery Scott, LLC Senior Vice President, Head of Annuity and Insurance Products Bob Steinke. The review board is comprised of some of Philadelphia’s foremost education and community leaders, philanthropists, financial advisors, city officials and local activists.

The Sun Life Rising Star Awards program improves the lives of under-served youth in large urban school districts by providing financial resources and education to students and nonprofit organizations committed to increasing success in high school and beyond. Each winning Philadelphia organization will receive a $50,000 grant, while an exemplary student nominated by each organization will receive a $5,000 Sun Life Rising Star scholarship towards financing a college education. The program also seeks to promote financial literacy as a means to achieve long-term financial wellness and stability.

Judges, who will participate in celebratory events and serve as spokespeople for the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program, have evaluated the finalists’ applications and student nominations submitted by Philadelphia nonprofit organizations based on the following criteria:

  • Nonprofit’s commitment to developing and promoting skills that directly translate to educational success for students under the age of 21
  • Nonprofit’s demonstrated partnership with a secondary or post-secondary educational institution
  • Nonprofit’s documented ability to respond to the needs of specific groups of youth in a manner yielding measurable results
  • Student nominee’s plan to pursue post-secondary education, leadership qualities, commitment to his or her community, and a 750-word essay on how financial education contributes to future success

“We are thrilled to have some of Philadelphia’s foremost community and education leaders help us shape the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program in Philadelphia,” said Sun Life Financial U.S. President Wes Thompson. “Their keen understanding of the local educational landscape will be invaluable as we create sustainable programming that helps bridge the achievement gap by promoting financial literacy, a critical factor in helping our Rising Stars embark on the path towards a sound financial future.”

Sun Life will surprise winning students with their $5,000 scholarships at area award presentations led by prominent local community members on October 5.

About Sun Life Financial

Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services organization providing a diverse range of protection and wealth accumulation products and services to individuals and corporate customers. Chartered in 1865, Sun Life Financial and its partners today have operations in key markets worldwide, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Japan, Indonesia, India, China and Bermuda. In the United States and elsewhere, insurance products are offered by members of the Sun Life Financial group that are insurance companies. Sun Life Financial Inc., the holding company for the Sun Life Financial group of companies, is a public company. It is not an insurance company and does not offer insurance products for sale in the United States or elsewhere, and does not guarantee the obligations of its insurance company subsidiaries. Product offerings may not be available in all states and may vary depending on state laws and regulations. As of June 30, 2011, the Sun Life Financial group of companies had total assets under management of US $492 billion. For more information, please visit www.sunlife.com/us.  Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Sun Life Financial Inc. trades on the Toronto (TSX), New York (NYSE) and Philippine (PSE) stock exchanges under the ticker symbol SLF.

Media contacts

Alexi Maravel, Sun Life Financial, 781-446-1624, alexi.maravel@sunlife.com

Keith Gainsboro, elevate, 857-234-1481, kgainsboro@elevatecom.com

SLPC 23664 09/2011 (exp. 09/2016)