David Martin, a rising sophomore from Selinsgrove, Pa., has been selected from a group of finalists for the incoming class of the Kemper Scholars Program. “It is an honor to be representing Ursinus in such a wonderful program,” says Martin, who is a double major in Mathematics and Business & Economics.
The mission of the Kemper Scholars Program, which has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago since 1948, is to prepare students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of organizational administration and business. Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships up to $10,000 based on need during their sophomore, junior, and senior years of college. Kemper Scholars also receive stipends to cover the costs of their work as interns in major non-profit organizations in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year. Scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they can learn about such things as financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising, and non-profit administration. During the Chicago summer, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and participate in a weekly seminar while having opportunities to explore the city.
“I believe any nonprofit I am assigned to is going to provide an amazing amount of both practical experience and personal growth, and I can’t wait to learn from the experiences the Kemper Foundation is making possible,” says Martin, who is eagerly awaiting his first Kemper event, which is a two-day conference during the first weekend of August.
“Having grown up in a small town, I am looking forward experiencing city life,” says Martin. “Chicago is full of culture and history and…I look forward to seeing as much of the city as I can in the weeks I’m there. More importantly, I am excited to meet my fellow scholars, whom I will be interacting with a lot next summer. The Kemper Scholarship coordinators specifically pick 20 people who they believe will be a close and supportive network with diverse interests.”
The Foundation believes that undergraduate study of the liberal arts represents the best preparation for life and career. The program aims to promote education in the liberal arts while providing students opportunities for career exploration and practical experience. The Foundation’s experience shows that students learn the value of their liberal arts education for leadership by seeing how they use what they have learned when they work in a professional environment.
“Kemper Scholars represent the best undergraduates from a group of sixteen exemplary liberal arts colleges around the country,” explains Dr. Ryan LaHurd, President and Executive Director of the James S. Kemper Foundation. “They are selected because they are committed to their studies and service in their communities and because they have exhibited leadership and well-rounded, ethical character. Throughout the over six decades of the program, scholars have gone on to make outstanding contributions as leaders in organizations around the country.”
During the summer following their junior year, scholars are eligible for summer stipends to cover the costs of a learning opportunity in an internship in a for-profit corporation.
Each year all Kemper Scholars attend a national conference to discuss summer projects, meet with former Kemper Scholars, and consider topics in administration, leadership and business. They periodically read and discuss major works on leadership, service, ethics, or business; and they have frequent contact with Kemper Foundation staff to discuss the scholars’ academic and professional goals, as well as their hopes for future careers and learning opportunities.
“In our time of rapid change and globalization and the need for complex problem-solving and innovation skills, we at the James S. Kemper Foundation are proud of our role in helping shape the next generation of leaders whose broad background and experiential learning opportunities as part of the Kemper Scholars Program will make them eminently qualified for the myriad opportunities the future will offer,” said Dr. LaHurd.