$9.5 million in gifts galvanize comprehensive campaign

Originally published on Feb. 7, 2011

Gifts totaling $9.5 million have jump-started a new comprehensive campaign at Ripon College, which entered its “silent phase” in July 2010. Major gifts from trustees, Wisconsin-based foundations and a longtime supporter account for most of the sum, along with an Annual Fund that has outpaced recent years. Together they represent the most successful fund-raising effort over a comparable period of time in the college’s history.

Leadership commitments came from Ripon College trustees Dena Willmore ’67 and Bob Kirkland ’81, the Mead Witter Foundation, Inc., the Richard and Suzanne Pieper Foundation, and Patricia Emerson. The balance comes from the Annual Fund, which is supported by thousands of individual donors. Some gifts are cash pledges, while others are deferred commitments that will be realized over time. Most will shore up the College’s endowment, which helps fund scholarships, faculty development, facilities, research and more.

President David Joyce said, “We are incredibly grateful to these five leadership donors, whose gifts and commitments set the pace for a successful campaign effort. Equally encouraging is the significant growth in support of the Annual Fund, which will always remain a critical component of our continued success.”

Wayne Webster, vice president for advancement, characterized the gifts as an “encouraging start” to a campaign that will take several years to complete.

“Our objective at this early stage of the campaign is to talk with potential donors about what role they can play in realizing the college’s vision,” Webster said. “So far, that vision is resonating with donors of all levels. That, combined with good stewardship of our resources over the years, has helped build unprecedented enthusiasm for where Ripon is headed. Our challenge is to preserve this early momentum for the duration of the campaign.”

A gift from the Mead Witter Foundation, Inc. will endow a fund that provides scholarships at Ripon College in perpetuity. Ripon’s relationship with the Wisconsin Rapids-based foundation has endured since 1952.

The Mequon, Wis.-based Pieper Family Foundation’s gift will endow a servant-leader chair at Ripon. The endowment will assist Ripon College in furthering its mission to educate socially responsible citizens by expanding curricular and co-curricular service learning opportunities, develop a body of work on servant leadership and pair the existing service work of students, staff and faculty with new service and leadership opportunities that embody the liberal-arts ideals.

Additionally, the endowment will ensure that Ripon College’s servant leadership journey, the philosophy that one must serve others in order to be a true leader, continues to grow through rigorous academic study, outreach opportunities and peer learning that encompasses many topics including service, volunteerism, ethics and leadership. The foundation has established similar positions at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, Lawrence University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering.

Questions regarding the campaign should be directed to alumni@ripon.edu. To make a gift, please visit www.ripon.edu/gift or call toll-free 877-231-0455.

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