During this three-decade period, the Kemper Scholars Program proactively evolved to address the changing business climate.

In the 1960s, men largely dominated the insurance industry. The Kemper Scholars Program recognized the shift in gender roles and selected a growing number of women for the program. James S. Kemper, Jr. joined the board of the Foundation in 1969 when he became chairman and CEO of Lumbermens, serving with the same passion as his father.

When founding President Hiram Kennicott died in 1962, Charles W. Webster took over the role until his death in 1977. Webster emphasized the uniqueness of the Kemper Scholar Program to provide scholars mentoring that “guides, directs and shapes the life of a young person.”

In the 1980s, the Foundation reorganized the Kemper Scholars Program to provide more individualized attention and challenging internships to a smaller group of students. The Foundation also sought to ensure the scholars understood ethics of the workplace.

In 1989, the first Kemper Scholars Conference offered scholars a chance to meet each other, build relationships and gain experience presenting to a group of colleagues, a tradition that continues to the present.

James S. Kemper greets Kemper Scholars in 1967.

James S. Kemper greets Kemper Scholars in 1967.

“It is most difficult to place a value upon the contribution that the Kemper Scholarships has made in the personal development and the life of an individual scholar. Experience has taught us that the practical knowledge gained through our summer–on-the-job-training and the close working relationship with leaders of the Kemper Companies have played an important, constructive and unforgettable part in their lives.”


25th Anniversary report of the Foundation (1967)

James S. Kemper meets with Dr. Charles W. Webster, second president of the Foundation.

Kemper Scholars Neal Gagen (left) and Mai Bui (middle) share a laugh with former Kemper Scholar and Kemper commercial property underwriting manager and now retired President and Chief Operating Officer of CNA Bob Lindemann.


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