Commencement Procession

Ripon College 2014 Commencement


Dear Parents, Family and Friends of 2014 Graduates:

Today was the day! We hope you enjoyed the ceremony and the weekend. Please enjoy the video and photographs located here, and share your own with us via Facebook and Twitter using the hashtag #RCGrad14.


Video from 2014 Commencement Weekend

We’ll post videos from throughout the day’s events here over the coming week.

Highlight Reel

Commencement Speech: David Plotz and Hanna Rosin

Full Ceremony

ROTC Commissioning Ceremony on Friday.

Honored Guests

David Plotz and Hanna Rosin of the online magazine Slate will deliver a joint commencement address during Ripon College’s one hundred forty-eighth graduation exercises, held Sunday, May 18, at 1:30 p.m.

Plotz, editor of Slate, and Rosin, co-founder of DoubleX, a women’s site connected to Slate, and senior editor at The Atlantic, are accomplished authors and journalists as well as early pioneers in the field of online journalism. They are also husband and wife.

The 2014 Ripon College commencement theme is “The New Media,” which will explore the transformation of how we communicate and share information in an age where digital technology has altered the way we receive information.

“Hanna Rosin and David Plotz are two of the most important journalists of their generation,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “Through their books, articles, podcasts and blogging, they were both early pioneers in the transformation from the era of print to today’s dynamic new media landscape.”

A special panel discussion on the topic of new media will take place prior to commencement on Sunday morning from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m., featuring Plotz, Rosin and Mark Porubcansky ’77, foreign editor of The Los Angeles Times. The panel will be followed by a book signing.

About the Speakers

David PlotzDavid Plotz is the editor in chief of the online magazine Slate. He has been with Slate as a feature writer, columnist and editor since Microsoft founded Slate in 1996. He is also the host of the popular Slate Political Gabfest, a weekly podcast. While he has been editor, Slate has won two National Magazine Awards (one for General Excellence) and been nominated for 12 National Magazine Awards.

Plotz worked as a senior editor and staff writer for the Washington City Paper, and has written for the New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Rolling Stone, GQ, The New Republic, and the Washington Post, among other publications, and has appeared on The Colbert Report, The View, and The Today Show, among other TV programs. He is the author of two books, The Genius Factory: The Curious History of the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank (Random House, 2006) and the national bestseller Good Book: The Bizarre, Hilarious, Disturbing, Marvelous and Inspiring Things I Learned when I Read Every Single Word of the Bible (Harper, 2009). A native of Washington, D.C., Plotz graduated from Harvard University with a degree in Social Studies.

Hanna RosinHanna Rosin is the co-founder of DoubleX, a women’s website connected to the online magazine Slate. She is also a senior editor at The Atlantic. She has previously written for The Washington Post, The New Yorker, GQ and New York magazine after beginning her career as a staff writer for The New Republic. Rosin has appeared on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report on Comedy Central.

In 2012, Rosin published The End of Men and the Rise of Women (Riverhead Books) that grew out of a cover story for The Atlantic. Writing in The New York Times, David Brooks noted, “Rosin is not saying that women are winners in a global gender war or that they are doing super simply because men are doing worse. She’s just saying women are adapting to today’s economy more flexibly and resiliently than men. There’s a lot of evidence to support her case.” She is also the author of a second book, God’s Harvard: A Christian College on a Mission to Save America (Houghton Mifflin, 2007) and has written frequently on religious-political issues. Rosin was born in Israel and grew up in Queens, New York where her father was a taxi driver. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Comparative Literature.

Mark PorubcanskyMark Porubcansky ‘77, is foreign editor of The Los Angeles Times. He majored in Politics and Government and Philosophy at Ripon College, and went on to a distinguished career with the Associated Press, serving in Moscow, Vienna and Hong Kong. He covered the Glasnost and Perestroika era in the Soviet Union, and the wars in Croatia and Bosnia.

Porubcansky joined The Los Angeles Times as an assistant foreign editor in 1998, and was named foreign editor in 2013. He has a hand in The Times’ coverage of all major international stories of the last 15 years including Afghanistan, the invasion and occupation of Iraq and the Arab Spring. He also edited and shaped award-winning projects including “The New Foreign Aid,” an examination of the flow of workers’ remittances around the globe, and “Living on Pennies,” a piercing look at Africans’ daily struggle for survival.

Each year, Ripon College presents a Distinguished Educator Award to a schoolteacher from nominations by members of the current graduating class.

This year’s recipient, Nancy Samplawski, is a middle and high school science teacher from the Juda School District in Juda, Wisconsin. “Miss Sam,” as she is known by her students, was nominated by Brittany Lahaie ’14.

“One of Miss Sam’s most unique qualities is her tremendous persistence and determination,” wrote Lahaie in her nomination of Samplawski. “She is often seen working at the school on holidays, weekends, early mornings and late nights. She is determined to challenge her students and prepare them for college. Miss Sam taught her students, and continues to teach today, that life is not always easy, but that great amounts of effort will help us to achieve our goals and dreams.”

Lahaie says Samplawski played a major role in developing her own work ethic.

“Miss Sam has always had the ability to expose her students to a world beyond what we see on a daily basis,” wrote Lahaie.

Samplawski was recognized in 2007 by WMTV Channel 15 with the station’s Crystal Apple Educator Award. She earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1983.

2014 Commencement Theme: The New Media

The 2014 Ripon College commencement theme is “The New Media,” which will explore the transformation of how we communicate and share information in an age where digital technology has altered the way we receive information.

The liberally educated are effective communicators and critical thinkers. They know how to use language; evaluate, select and employ evidence; make strong arguments, and recognize and dismantle weak ones. Historically, expression of this kind was spoken or written and, when written, was fixed and tangible. The emergence of digital technology has changed communication and contributed to the establishment of new media. We recognize the new media because we know that it is essential that our students grasp their intricacies, nuances, power and potential.

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