Two Wake Forest University students named Kemper Scholars

By Maggie Barrett
April 13, 2006

DeeDe Pinckney and Sarah Walker, freshmen at Wake Forest University, have been selected from a group of finalists for the fall 2006 class of the prestigious Kemper Scholar Program. The program has been sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago since 1948.

Wake Forest has participated in the Kemper Scholar Program since 1992.

Pinckney, who plans to major in sociology, is the daughter of James and Sheila Pinckney of Moncks Corner, S.C. Walker, interested in studying business and Spanish, is the daughter of William and Emily Landis Walker of Rome, Italy.

The Kemper Scholar Program's mission is preparing students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of administration and business. The foundation is dedicated to the idea 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 opportunities for career exploration and practical experience.

Helen Akinc, assistant dean for student professional affairs at the university's Calloway School of Business and Accountancy, is the director of Wake Forest's Kemper Scholar Program.

"This is the second, consecutive year that two Wake Forest students have been named Kemper Scholars," said Akinc. "It is a reflection of the quality of students we have at Wake Forest."

Other current Wake Forest students selected for the Kemper Scholar Program during recent years are Roxanna Drake, Adreon Kruger, Ian Afflerbach and Sean Stevens.

"Kemper Scholars represent academically superior, community-spirited, committed and well-rounded undergraduates from a group of 15 excellent liberal arts colleges around the country," said Ryan LaHurd, president and executive director of the James S. Kemper Foundation. "Throughout the almost six decades of the program, scholars have gone on to make outstanding contributions as leaders in organizations around the country."

Selected as freshmen, Kemper Scholars receive annual scholarships of $3,000 to $8,000, based on need, during their sophomore, junior and senior years of college. Scholars also receive $6,000 stipends for work as interns in major nonprofit organizations in Chicago during the summer following their sophomore year. Scholars are placed in full-time administrative positions where they learn about financial management, organizational strategy, fundraising and nonprofit administration.

During the summer following their junior year, scholars are eligible for summer independent project grants ranging from $2,000 to $6,000. Scholars are given great latitude in designing summer projects as part of their personal goal setting. Typically, they focus on a summer learning opportunity in an internship or another form of experiential learning such as an international program.

Each fall, 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 have frequent contact with Kemper Foundation staff to discuss the scholars' academic and professional goals, as well as their hopes for future internships and learning opportunities.