About the Foundation

Shaping well-rounded future business leaders, with special focus on the insurance industry.

In 1912, James S. Kemper, Sr. founded the company that would become Kemper Insurance.

This company – Lumbermens Mutual Casualty, in Chicago, Illinois – began with an emphasis on workers compensation insurance. Mr. Kemper pioneered many innovations in the American insurance market, greatly expanding the company’s insurance portfolio and revenues. Ultimately, he changed the firm’s trademark name to the Kemper Insurance Companies, the forerunner of today’s Kemper Corporation.

In 1942, Mr. Kemper established the James S. Kemper Foundation to give back to the community and to raise awareness of challenging and exciting career options in the insurance industry.

The foundation awarded its first scholarships in 1947. In 1948, the Foundation launched the Kemper Scholars Program to help promising undergraduate students from selected colleges and universities develop well-rounded business skills, while learning more about prospective careers in the insurance industry. From the outset, the program offered scholarships and summer professional internships at the Kemper family of companies.

Today, the James S. Kemper Foundation is led by a Board of Directors made up of the senior management team of Kemper Corporation.

The Kemper family of companies is one of the nation’s leading insurers, with $11 billion in assets. Kemper offers insurance for auto, home, life, health and valuables through approximately seven million policies, employs more than 7,800 associates and is represented by more than 30,000 agents and brokers.

Explore career opportunities at Kemper Corporation.

The James S. Kemper Foundation’s Kemper Scholars Program continues to honor Mr. Kemper’s original intent.

As a private, operating foundation, the Foundation focuses primarily on funding and administering the Kemper Scholars Program. The three-year program provides scholarships, mentorship, internships and professional development to help undergraduate students launch careers in business.

Today’s Kemper Scholars Program continues to familiarize participants with the diverse career opportunities in the insurance industry. However, the Foundation does not require that Kemper Scholars choose a career in this industry. In addition to the Kemper Scholars Program, the James S. Kemper Foundation awards a limited number of grants by invitation only and does not entertain letters of inquiry or grant proposals.

Learn more about the Foundation’s history

Board Of Directors

Joe Lacher

Chairman

Tom Evans

Secretary

John Boschelli

Trustee

Charles Brooks

Trustee

Jim McKinney

Trustee

Chris Mullins

Trustee

JAMES S. KEMPER FOUNDATION FOUNDED

KEMPER SCHOLARS PROGRAM FOUNDED

SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Staff

Jerry Fuller

President

Jenn Merriman

Treasurer & Program Administrator

Grant making at the Kemper Foundation

Grant proposals are accepted by invitation only from the James S. Kemper Foundation.

HISTORY

For over 75 years, The James S. Kemper Foundation has been guided by its founding principle: to seek out promising college students and develop their skills to become well-rounded business leaders.

Explore our story

THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!

We will be accepting applications beginning Thursday, August 15, 2019.