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Jessica ClausenJessica Clausen

Litchfield Student Wins National Scholarship

Jessica Clausen, a freshman majoring in German and economics from Litchfield, Minn., has been named a Kemper Scholar. She's the first Willamette University student to receive this prestigious national award.

The Kemper Scholar Program, sponsored by the James S. Kemper Foundation of Chicago, prepares students for leadership and service, especially in the fields of administration and business. The Foundation believes that undergraduate study of liberal arts is the best preparation for life and a career. Willamette University is one of only 15 universities selected to participate in the Kemper Scholar Program.

Each Kemper Scholar receives scholarships of $3,000 to $8,000 per year for three years; $2,000 to $6,000 for internships in the sophomore and junior summers; and full support to attend the annual Kemper Scholar Conference for three years. Winning a Kemper Scholarship isn't easy. Clausen submitted an application, resume and three essays before participating in two rounds of interviews, including an in-depth interview with Thomas Hellie, executive director of the Kemper Foundation.

"I am extremely excited about being selected as a Kemper Scholar," says Clausen, who plans to pursue a career in international business. "I am looking forward to the new experiences and new challenges that the Kemper Program will provide. I'm especially looking forward to the internships, including the second summer internship, which I will get to design with help and guidance from the Kemper Foundation."

Dr. Monique Bourque, Willamette University director of student academic grants and awards, says Clausen's demonstrated leadership qualities made her a standout for the Kemper Foundation. "Jessica has an extensive record of high school leadership and service," she says. "Here at Willamette, she is a member of the Circle K service organization, a freshman class senator in the student senate and she plays intramural volleyball and flag football where she serves as team captain."