Mitra Kermani ’20 – Ripon Legacy


Hi my name is Mitra Kermani. I started as a freshman at Ripon last fall. I am from Boulder, Colorado, so when most people talk to me, their biggest question is “why Ripon?”

I toured Ripon for the first time my junior year of high school. My mom and I drove up from Chicago; it was a cold day, colder than it should have been over spring break, in my opinion. I remember thinking, “there is no way I want to go to this school.” I had said all throughout high school that I wanted to go to college in the city. I am stuck in the suburbs. My mom and dad (Masoud ’83 and Lexie Shepard Kermani ’83), having graduated from Ripon, didn’t want to pressure me to go here. In fact, my dad wanted me to attend the University of Chicago. So after that first tour, I thought it was a nice school and the campus was beautiful, but I wasn’t sure if Ripon was the right fit.

Next year, when doing college applications, I decided I might as well apply. When I got my acceptance letter to Ripon, it said I got in with a scholarship. This opened a whole new world. This school was the same price as in-state for me, which made going to Ripon seem like a no brainer. Why would I stay in my hometown for the rest of my life when I can move to a new state and learn new things for the same price?

My family was excited I was considering Ripon, but tried to stay calm to make sure that it was my decision not their influence on me. Both my parents and uncle (Chris Shepard ’82) graduated from here, and my great grandma had gone to Ripon as well. It was fun to come here and see the things that my mom had been telling me about for years. She would tell stories about walking past the graveyard and through the woods and now I walk that same path every day. She would tell me about living on 3rd floor Tri and now I am on 2nd floor Tri. Although my parents are still home in Colorado, I feel a closeness with them knowing that they went through all of these things when they were in college as well.

Move-in day at Ripon was one of the most stressful days of my life. It was rainy and humid, a kind of weather I was not used to and did not appreciate. It made me start to panic. Why was I moving to this humid place in the middle of nowhere? Back in Colorado, I thought I lived in a small town with 25,000 people and here I came to a town with less than 8,000 people. People would tell me that Ripon felt huge to them, with fewer than 850 students total, whereas my graduation class in high school was 420. The school was small, the town was small and I was scared to start my life here.

However, Ripon has completely delivered. Despite all my nerves and love for Colorado, Ripon has made me fall in love with it. I love the walks to class with all the trees on campus, I love walking down to Rodman on Thursdays and playing in the Orchestra with the community members at Ripon. I love my dorm and my roommate and all the crazy adventures we have every single day. At Ripon, everyday has been a new adventure. I have begun doing things I would have never considered even trying back home. So far, Ripon has been amazing and I am so excited to have four more years here.

Mitra Kermani ’20