Claire Marie Ehr ’19 and Daniel P. Sukowicz ’19 have been selected from a group of national finalists to become two of 16 in this year’s incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program. The James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago has been supporting Kemper Scholars since the program’s inception in 1948.

Claire, a first-year English major at Valparaiso University, is the daughter of Sue Jenny and Philip Ehr of London. Claire is a member of Christ College — The Honors College and the College of Arts and Sciences. She is involved with the campus Social Action Leadership Team, University Chorale, and Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

“Claire is an insightful student whose wide interests and international experience will be assets to the 2016–2019 Kemper Scholars cohort, said Peter Kanelos, Ph.D., dean of Christ College. “She looks forward to the mentoring and internships the program provides as she develops new perspectives on a future career.”

Daniel, a first-year finance major at Valparaiso University, is the son of Jill and Jim Sukowicz from Lombard, Ill. Daniel is a member of Christ College — The Honors College and the College of Business. He is involved with the student financial management association, which oversees a $100,000 investment portfolio. He enjoys reading, tennis, and volunteer service activities.

“Danny is a highly intelligent student who is eager to combine the breadth of a thorough liberal education with superb training in the increasingly complex world of business and industry,” Dean Kanelos said. “He will make a fine Kemper Scholar and will gain enormous benefit from the mentoring and internships the program provides.”

The Kemper Scholars Program’s 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.

Recent research reports that employers rank real-world experience in internships and work while in college as a primary criterion in hiring recent graduates.

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 nonprofit organizations throughout Chicago during the summer following sophomore year. During these summer months, scholars are placed in full‐time administrative positions, where they gain firsthand experience in financial management, organizational strategy, fundraising, and nonprofit 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.

Every year, all Kemper Scholars attend a national summer conference in Chicago to discuss their summer work and experience, to meet with former Kemper Scholars, and to consider topics in administration, leadership, and business. Starting in the fall and throughout the academic year, scholars continue to have frequent contact with Kemper Foundation staff to discuss academic and professional goals, as well as hopes for future careers and learning opportunities.

Valparaiso University has been a part of the Kemper Scholars Program since its inception and welcomes Claire and Daniel to the group of Kemper Scholars who have graduated from Valpo.