Academics | Faculty Faculty News
Ripon College has announced the creation of a new Center for Social Responsibility to provide innovative space for students, faculty, staff and the community to examine and experience service, ethics, leadership and social innovation and entrepreneurship..
The Center combines the best of existing programming, and formalizes the curricular role of community engagement, service learning, social entrepreneurship and interdisciplinary studies in the development of ethical, sustainable and socially responsible leaders at Ripon College. In addition, the faculty of Ripon College have approved an innovative new minor in socially responsible leadership. This minor comes with two emphases: social entrepreneurship and innovation, and community engagement and service learning.
“Our college has a long tradition of providing meaningful opportunities with which to gain educational and personal enrichment both on-campus and beyond,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “We believe these opportunities, whether volunteering with Service Corps, conducting research for local businesses, interning at a nonprofit or exercising one’s civic rights, help to further connect our community with the world and serve as catalysts for positive change.”
The new Center and associated academic programming will benefit from resources made available through the Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership thanks to generous gifts from the Suzanne & Richard Pieper Family Foundation of Milwaukee, Wis., and will harness existing resources and expertise formerly connected with Ripon’s Office of Community Engagement and the Creative Enterprise Center.
Lindsay Blumer, current director of the Office of Community Engagement, will serve as the Center’s executive director. In this role, she will provide instructional support for the minor in socially responsible leadership, and continue to oversee faculty and student development grants and alternative breaks, coach/advise the nationally ranked Ethics Bowl and Enactus (formerly Students in Free Enterprise, or SIFE) student teams, and supervise service and ethics consultants, among other duties.
David W. Scott, Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership, and Associate Professor Mary Avery will serve as fellows of the Center and will teach courses offered as part of the minor in socially responsible leadership. In addition, David will serve as academic advisor to students enrolled in the minor, and will be responsible for coordinating leadership and service learning training for faculty and student groups, and assist in the supervision of service and ethics consultants. Mary will continue to supervise the Creative Enterprise Consultants (CEC) who work with nonprofits and other businesses, and serve as a mentor to faculty, alumni and community members interested in innovation and entrepreneurship.
The new Center will open this summer.
With the public launch of the Imagine Tomorrow comprehensive campaign on February 1, Ripon College has been featured in a number of news outlets. Here are a few news highlights and video from the campaign launch event at the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin.
Ripon Commonwealth Press – “Ripon College Racing Through $50 million Campaign”
Fond du Lac Reporter – “Ripon College launches $50 million campaign”
Oshkosh Northwestern - “Ripon College launches $50 million campaign”
To learn more about the campaign, visit the Imagine Tomorrow website here.
“Ripon has had such a positive and important influence on the lives and careers of so many people,” said President Zach Messitte. “The commitment of our alumni, faculty, staff and students to the future of the College is our great strength and the reason we are cautiously optimistic about completing our $50 million goal.” Messitte told the crowd of more than 100 alumni, friends, faculty, staff and students gathered at the campaign kickoff at the Woman’s Club of Wisconsin (813 E. Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, Wis).
“This campaign helps push Ripon into a new place in higher education,” he said. “Our Board has very wisely directed the campaign toward continuing to build our endowment, bolstering scholarships for the best and brightest students and enhancing our faculty’s resources. These are the essential building blocks of Ripon’s future.”
Imagine Tomorrow Campaign Chair Dena Willmore (’67) added, “This campaign is off to a very fast start, exceeding each milestone we have set. It is just one confirmation that many believe as I do: that Ripon College is more than a fine educational institution. It is a community that supports each of its members – students, faculty, staff and alums — as we strive to be the best we can be. It, thus, is deserving of our full support with our treasure, our time and our talent.” Willmore is a retired partner and senior vice president of Wellington Management Co. who now lives in rural Buckland, Mass.
The Imagine Tomorrow comprehensive campaign is the largest campaign in the private college’s history. The leadership phase began in 2010; the campaign is on pace to conclude in 2015. Campaign funds will support new scholarships for students; faculty and student research; off-campus study opportunities; efforts to attract and retain faculty, and enhance facilities.
“At the outset of this effort, we envisioned a broader group of alumni and friends establishing endowed funds—funds that would exist in perpetuity—so that both today’s and future generations of students would benefit from a Ripon education and understand the importance of philanthropy,” said Robert J. Kirkland (’81) of Chicago, Ill., chair of the Ripon College Board of Trustees. “To date, the Imagine Tomorrow campaign has done just this—engaged a number of alumni in securing the College’s future and created opportunities for other alumni to participate in this effort. In recognizing those who have given to the campaign, I invite—indeed urge—other alumni and friends to be part of this important campaign for Ripon’s future.”
During the leadership phase of the campaign, the College brought in more than $35 million in gifts over 2.5 years, including a gift of nearly $4 million in unrestricted funds from the C.B. (’31) and Elizabeth J. Wegner estate – one of the largest individual gifts in Ripon College history. Other notable gifts thus far, include:
- The Franklin C. Brewster Jr. (’65) estate, given in memory of former faculty member Raymond Stahura to support the teaching of music and former faculty member Dino Zei to support the teaching of physics.
- Establishment of the Doreen L. (’73) and David I. Chemerow Chair in Theatre.
- Establishment of the Suzanne and Richard Pieper Family Foundation Chair in Religion and Servant Leadership.
- Sixteen newly established endowed scholarship funds and additional gifts to many currently existing scholarship funds.
- Establishment of the Robert J. Kirkland (’81) Fund for Faculty Development and Student Research.
- Establishment of the Mark (’83) and Janice (’83) Franzen Fund for Student Research.
- Establishment of the endowed Presidential Staff Awards to recognize outstanding job performance across five areas critical to the mission of Ripon College.
- Establishment of the Victoria Bleise (’73) Endowment for Student Health and Wellness.
- Establishment of the K. G. “Doc” Weiske ’50 and Robert G. Gillespie Endowed Fund for Athletics, thanks to a challenge gift by Steven Hopp (’83).
- Generous support of the Annual Fund to help support scholarships, general facility maintenance, and faculty and staff salaries.
- Recent renovations to the College’s Pickard Commons’ private dining rooms, Lane Library and J.M. Storzer Athletic Center.
For more information about the Imagine Tomorrow comprehensive campaign and ways to get involved, please visit the Imagine Tomorrow campaign page.
As Ripon College took a reinvigorated step forward during fiscal year 2012, several areas of campus received physical upgrades and renovations — giving a fresh look and functionality to highly active areas.
New carpeting and furnishings create a more comfortable and attractive look to the North and West reading rooms in Lane Library, as well as an inviting entry. The library improvements were funded by donor gifts.
An investment of more than $1 million by Sodexo, Ripon’s food service partner, funded significant improvements and updates to the dining area in Pickard Commons. There are updated food preparation equipment, new dining furnishings, more stream-lined food pickup areas, and separate food stations for salad bar, sandwiches, desserts and made-to-order specials of the day.
Also within Pickard Commons, the Dahm Heritage Room, Presidents Dining Room and the hallway between them were upgraded with a mix of College funds and unrestricted estate funds given to Ripon. The small dining/meeting areas were extensively upgraded with new furnishings, wall and window treatments, lighting, carpeting and ceilings.
Several other campus buildings also received attention:
- New carpeting within the student residences.
- A new roof on the Collaborative Learning Center.
- Remodeled coaches’ offices in Storzer Center.
- New asphalt in the parking area between Rodman Center for the Arts and Storzer.
To learn more about Ripon College’s future improvements and the Imagine Tomorrow capital campaign, visit the Imagine Tomorrow site.
Ripon College is one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review. The education services company feature Ripon in the new 2013 edition of its annual college guide, “The Best 377 Colleges” (Random House / Princeton Review). Ripon also is listed among the “Best Midwestern” colleges in the publication’s “Best Regional Colleges” website feature.
Ripon is ranked No. 19 in “Town-Gown Relations are Great” category.
“The Princeton Review’s ranking is another important affirmation of Ripon College’s strong academic reputation and our unyielding commitment to the student experience,” said Ripon College President Zach Messitte. “We are particularly pleased to be recognized for our special relationship with the city of Ripon and know how unique it is in higher education to have this kind of partnership.”
Only about 15 percent of America’s 2,500 four-year colleges and three colleges outside the United States are profiled in the book, The Princeton Review’sflagship college guide. It includes detailed profiles of the colleges with rating scores for all schools in eight categories, plus ranking lists of top 20 schools in the book in 62 categories based on The Princeton Review’ssurveys of students attending the colleges.
Among many positive comments, Ripon students surveyed for the book cited small class sizes and a lot of personal attention from professors as pluses. They described Ripon as a “tight-knit and welcoming community” and a “unique institution that helps ordinary people uncover their extraordinary potential to do great things.”
Other student comments included:
- “Ripon College is not all about sitting in a classroom listening to lectures and taking notes; it’s about teaching us to become more educated in the world around us and helping us to develop the skills needed to succeed.”
- “Ripon is a place where a student’s best interest matters; all other agendas are secondary.”
- “I was looking for a liberal arts school that allowed me to do the things I like, namely, be involved in multiple student groups, study abroad, and take classes in different fields, all of which I have been able to do at Ripon.”
The Princeton Review has posted the school profiles and ranking lists in “The Best 377 Colleges” at PrincetonReview.com. Users can find detailed information about the book, access its list, “150 Best Value Colleges for 2013,” and see its “Honor Roll” lists saluting schools that received the highest possible score, 99, for Financial Aid, Fire Safety and Green ratings.