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Washington and Lee Has Two Kemper Scholars

Two Washington and Lee University first-year students — Bayan Misaghi, of Charleston, W.Va., and Daniel Raubolt, of Acworth, Ga. — have been selected for the incoming class of the prestigious Kemper Scholars Program.

Each year, the James S. Kemper Foundation selects first-year students from its 16 participating schools to serve as Kemper Scholars. The scholarship-mentorship program has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago since 1948.

This is the second year in a row that Washington and Lee has had two scholars named to the program, which normally chooses only one student from each institution.

“We are obviously pleased to have two more of our students selected,” said Rob Straughan, associate dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics. “Both Bayan and Daniel were very impressive throughout the application and interview process.”

Misaghi belongs to the Williams Investment Society, conducts biology research under programs sponsored by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Grant, and plays first violin in the University-Shenandoah Orchestra.

“Given his varied interests and activities here, Bayan is a clear example of the liberal arts student. He has received awards in the sciences, been recognized for his potential in business, and contributes to campus music programs,” said Straughan. “In addition, Bayan’s perspectives on social justice struck me as thoughtful and mature for a young man of his age.”

Raubolt is also active in instrumental music and in community service at W&L. He is a black belt in tae kwon do.

“Daniel’s involvement through his high school years in the Odyssey of the Mind program are noteworthy not only for the championships his team won, but also for the applicability to potential careers in business,” Straughan said. “The sort of creative problem-solving and teamwork emphasized in Odyssey of the Mind requires broad knowledge and is the sort of thing strategy consulting firms, for example, look for in promising candidates.”

The Kemper Scholars Program’s mission is preparing students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of organizational administration and business. The foundation believes that undergraduate study of the liberal arts represents the best preparation for life and career.   The program aims to promote education in the liberal arts while providing students with opportunities for career exploration and practical experience. The foundation’s experience shows that students learn the value of their liberal arts education for leadership by seeing how they use what they have learned when they work in a professional environment.

“Kemper Scholars represent the best undergraduates from a group of sixteen exemplary liberal arts colleges around the country,” explains Dr. Ryan LaHurd, president and executive director 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.”

Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships of up to $10,000 based on need 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 in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year. Scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they can learn about such things as financial management, organizational strategy, fund-raising and non-profit administration. During the Chicago summer, scholars live in the same apartment residence hall and participate in a weekly seminar while having opportunities to explore the cultural, historical and entertainment aspects of the city.

During the summer following their junior year, scholars are eligible for summer stipends to cover the costs of a learning opportunity in an internship in a for-profit corporation.

Each year, all Kemper Scholars attend a national conference to discuss summer projects, meet with former Kemper Scholars, and consider topics in administration, leadership and business. They periodically read and discuss major works on leadership, service, ethics or business, and they have frequent contact with Kemper Foundation staff to discuss the scholars’ academic and professional goals, as well as their hopes for future careers and learning opportunities.