In the 1990s, The James S. Kemper Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to working with promising students to provide guided mentorship and internships to develop business leaders.

Dr. Thomas Hellie, president for the Foundation from 1999 to 2006, noted that the Kemper Scholars Program is “…the first of its kind and even now is one of the most prestigious and generous in the nation.”

After extensive strategic planning, the Foundation board determined that the Kemper Scholars Program would have the greatest impact by partnering with a select portfolio of colleges and universities. The program welcomed students at partner schools who had an interest in business leadership to apply to the program and expanded internship opportunities to both non-profit and for-profit organizations.

The current Kemper Scholar Program provides selected students three years of real-world experience through a combination of career coaching, internships and scholarships. The goal is to help Kemper Scholars develop the practical and professional skills they need to successfully launch their business careers … just as James S. Kemper planned.

Kemper Scholars gain valuable experience through internships, career coaching and interactions with each other.



“The Kemper Scholars Program is one of the nation’s premier talent identification and leadership development programs. We will continue to build on its legacy of shaping the next generation of business leaders.”


Jerry Fuller President of the James S. Kemper Foundation


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