• Markell Henderson, Class of 2019
    Markell Henderson, Class of 2019

Markell Henderson has been selected from a group of national finalists to become one of 16 in this year’s incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. The James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, Illinois has been supporting Kemper Scholars since the program’s inception in 1948.

“This is such a huge blessing for me,” says Henderson. “I never imagined myself receiving an internship of this magnitude, one where I actually learn valuable hands-on skills besides just filing papers or writing emails.”

Henderson is a business and economics major, Southwestern football player, and co-founder of a campus organization for African-American males known as Established Men Promoting Intelligence Respect and Efficacy (E.M.P.I.R.E.).

“I believe this opportunity will help me finalize my plans for the future,” says Henderson. “I’m extremely happy to be a part of the Kemper Scholars Program and I’m looking forward to my time in Chicago.”

The Kemper Scholars Program mission is to shape well-rounded business leaders, with a special focus on the insurance industry. By identifying high-potential undergraduate students and supporting them with a comprehensive program of scholarship, mentorship and internships, the Kemper Scholars Program helps students develop both practical and professional skills to become the next generation of effective business leaders.

“The Kemper Program has provided remarkably exciting and transformative experiences for our best student leaders,” says Southwestern Professor of English and Director of National Fellowships and Scholarships, David Gaines. “Markell will grow tremendously and represent Southwestern admirably. I am very happy for him and for Kemper.”

Kemper Scholars receive annual need-based scholarships during their sophomore, junior, and senior years of college.  They also receive stipends to cover the costs of their work as interns in major non-profit organizations throughout Chicago during the summer following sophomore year. During these summer months, scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they gain first-hand experience in financial management, organizational strategy, fundraising, and non-profit administration. Following junior year, scholars are placed in paid summer internships with the Kemper Corporation, focused on gaining experience and skills in the insurance industry, at offices throughout the United States.

“Kemper Scholars represent a select group of undergraduates from a group of exemplary liberal arts colleges around the country,” explains Dr. Ryan LaHurd, President 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.”

Southwestern has been a part of the Kemper Scholars Program since 2005 and welcomes Markell Henderson to the group of more than 14 Kemper Scholars who have graduated from Southwestern.

For more information on the Kemper Scholars Program at Southwestern, please get in touch with David Gaines at gainesd@southwestern.edu or in the Office of Fellowships and Scholarships in the Prothro Building, Room 164.

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