The Columns

Two Washington and Lee Students Named Kemper Scholars

— by on May 25th, 2015

Parker Burrus of Raleigh, North Carolina, and Lee Sommerfeldt of Sealy, Texas, both first-year students at Washington and Lee University, have been selected as Kemper Scholars.

The highly selective Kemper Scholarship Program prepares students throughout their undergraduate days for leadership and service, especially in the fields of administration and business. In five of the last six years, two Washington and Lee students have been selected.

Recipients are selected from a national applicant pool of first-year college students and receive scholarship assistance for three years based on financial need. Each also receives summer project stipends for two years, attends the annual Kemper Scholars Conference and performs a summer internship at a Chicago-area non-profit organization after the sophomore year.

The James S. Kemper Foundation, which funds the program, supports undergraduate study of the liberal arts as the best preparation for life and career, while providing opportunities for career exploration, practical experience and professional growth. It fosters potential leaders who pursue a broad undergraduate education, while participating in community service, campus activities and vocational exploration outside the classroom.

“Kemper Scholars represent a select group of undergraduates from a group of exemplary liberal arts colleges around the country,” said Ryan LaHurd, foundation president. “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.”

Burrus is a volunteer in the special needs program of Rockbridge County (Virginia) public schools, continuing similar service work she performed during high school. She is a member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at W&L and serves on its public relations committee. Burrus plans to major in business administration.

Sommerfeldt is a member of W&L’s Venture Club, which helps students learn about start-up businesses in a hands-on environment and promotes entrepreneurship, and the university’s First-Year Leadership Council, which promotes campus and community activities that lead to an organized, united and active first-year class. He also belongs to Sigma Nu fraternity and plans to major in accounting and Japanese.