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Lane Library | Archives

Chronology of Ripon College

1844
  • Commune at Ceresco established by followers of Warren Chase. While the commune was a success economically, eventually members began to desire more private and family space and the commune dissolved in 1850.
1849
  • City of Ripon founded
1850
  • (11/23) East Hall “staking” — Captain David Mapes and others staked the area for the first building of the College (called Brockway College) as depicted in the Lester Schwartz painting on cover of the book, Ripon College: A History, by Robert Ashley and George Miller.
1851
  • (01/29) Charter for Ripon Lyceum granted by the State of Wisconsin — for preparatory division only. January 29 is the official date of the founding of Ripon College and the customary date for the celebration of Founders Day each year
1853
  • (06/01) Preparatory Department for women opened
  • (/09) Preparatory Department for men opened
1854
  • Republican Party name proposed at meeting in Little White Schoolhouse in Ripon
1855
  • (02/09) Second charter of Ripon College adopted–”since there was some question as to the legality of the first one.” (Dorothy Crain ’32 — Research paper in Archives)
  • Middle College (Smith Hall) construction begun
1857
  • First formal campus debate — Resolution: “A bad education is worse than no education at all.”
  • First concert held at Ripon College
1861
  • College closed for one year because of the Civil War. Buildings occupied by the First Wisconsin Cavalry Regiment– buildings lent to U.S. government
1862
  • Edward H. Merrell started at Ripon College — became principal of Preparatory Department and Professor of Languages, and later, second president of College
1863
  • (09) Collegiate courses opened
  • William E. Merriman became first president of the College
  • Ripon College –new name adopted about this time as new State charter used Ripon College name
  • The first president’s house was built but owned by President Merriman. When he left, he sold the house which passed through three different hands and then was exchanged for President’s Flagg’s house–Harwood House–in 1901
  • Hughes House built
  • Middle College completed.
1864
  • Tracy House built (first Tracy house, where Mrs. Clarissa Tucker Tracy resided)
1867
  • Ladies Course dropped
  • (06) First College class graduated–four women students
  • West Hall built
1868
  • Formal ties with Congregational and Presbyterian Churches severed
  • Ripon College Days started–first student newspaper in Wisconsin
  • (07/08) Ripon College Seal changed to present seal
  • Alternative Scientific Course, leading to a B.S. rather than a B.A. was added
1875
  • First dramatic society was organized by students and faculty.–The Dramatic Club
1876
  • William E. Merriman retired as president
  • Edward H. Merrell became second president
  • Dawes Cottage built, owned by E.H. Merrell
  • Chemical Laboratory building built — Athenian Hall
  • John G. Ingalls, Class of 1876, donated the land which became Ingalls Field
1877
  • A small one-story frame building known as the Observatory or the Laboratory was constructed just east of the present site of Lane Library. Although used by all the sciences for a time, it was designed principally for chemistry and astonomy. It included a chemistry lab, a chemistry lecture room with facilities for demonstrations, and a”considerable amount of apparatus from Germany.” For a time, astronomy had to get along with a transit telescope and a “slit in the roof,” but it soon acquired ‘a fine astronomical clock” and a much larger telescope.
1879
  • Economia Club started
1880
  • College Library moved to West Hall from Middle College (Middle Hall)
  • Fall of 1880-81, calendar was altered to make the winter break include Christmas
1881
  • First reported football contest at Ripon–an intramural game between members of the Economia Club and another organization known as the Spartans
1882
  • East Hall rebuilt and enlarged
  • (11/17) Football game between Ripon and Lawrence; start of the oldest college football rivalry in the Middle West
1887
  • Dawes Cottage used as girl’s dorm
  • From the College Days, vol. VII no. 1, October 1887, under Local, p. 13, upper right-hand corner, 2nd column: “Ripon College has a young colored student from the northwestern part of the state. His is a bright, wide-awake fellow, and to the credit of the boys may it be said,he is well received and joins in base ball (sic) and other games in full accord. [Ex.]”
1888
  • Bartlett Hall built as first women’s dormitory building on campus with funds from Mrs. Lucy Bartlett, in honor of her late husband, Sumner Bartlett.
  • Courses of study are “remodeled” and include electives, and changes in requirements for Greek and Latin.
1890
  • Men’s glee club founded
  • First intercollegiate Field Day at Ripon at Ingalls Field
1891
  • Edward H. Merrell resigned as president
  • Ripon College purchased Dawes Cottage and property
1892
  • Dr. Rufus Cushman Flagg became third president of College
1896
  • Gym floor obtained in the remodelled confines of West College basement for physical education classes and activities
1900
  • Mask and Wig plays began
  • Ingram Hall constructed. Classes held there in 1901. Ingram was intended as the Science building for the campus, but evolved into a general purpose classroom building. The library was housed there for a while.
1901
  • Dr. Rufus Cushman Flagg resigned as president
  • Dr. Richard Cecil Hughes became fourth president of the College
  • Economia Club ends
  • President’s Merriman’s house switched to College –Harwood House
1903
  • Middle College renamed Smith Hall in honor of donor who gave major funds for renovation at that time. Smith Hall was a men’s dormitory for many years, before it was converted to an administration building.
1905
  • West Hall dining facilities opened–the Commons served all campus except Merriman House
  • Death of Mrs. Clarissa Tucker Tracy, “Mother of Ripon College”
1906
  • Sir Thomas Lipton visits campus
1907
  • History Club organized
  • Science Club organized
  • Crimson (student yearbook) first published. The earliest Crimson bound separately in the Archives collection is the 1907 edition. There is then a gap until 1910. Early years of the Crimson tended to be a record not of the year on their cover but of one or two years earlier. Indexing can be found at the back for many years, but not all. The humor sections at the back of early issues are full of bad jokes and puns and comments on students (like Spencer Tracy in the early 1920s)
1908
  • Lawrence and Ripon break off athletic relations–the Lawrence Controversy
1909
  • Dr. Richard Cecil Hughes resigned as president of the College
  • College Sing instituted, continued until 1930′s
  • Ripon Alumnus publication began. A very good source of information on the accomplishments of alumni, events at the College, and opinions and reminiscences of alums. Edited for a long period by Clem Lueck.
1910
  • Silas Evans, fifth president, begins first term as president of the College
  • Memorial Gymnasium built [1910 -11] — known as Indoor Athletic Field and had an indoor track. Later used for Registration and for the Milwaukee Symphony (until 1990s) as well as student dances and other events and intramural sports.
  • Ripon 1910 Historical Pageant, written and organized by Professor Boody, produced on Ripon campus (Text available in Archives booklet collection.)
1913
  • Pi Kappa Delta, national forensic fraternity, organized by Egbert Ray Nichols, who was first national president
  • First dance on campus–First Junior Prom
1916
  • Ripon College purchased Harwood House.
1917
  • [1917-21] Sanford House (on present site of Merriman House) acquired by College
  • Silas Evans, fifth President, ends first term as President
  • Dr. Henry Coe Culbertson becomes sixth President of the College, between terms of Evans; lived in Parkhurst House on Thorne Street during his presidential term. Evans used Hughes House as the President’s House in both of his terms.
  • College offers facilities to U.S. government for student Army Training Corps
  • Midwest College Conference membership
1918
  • College acquires Duffie House; deeded to the College by Shirley Farr, a trustee
1919
  • ROTC unit established at Ripon College, one of only two in Wisconsin, the other at Madison
1920
  • Ripon College purchased Scribner House–416 Woodside Ave.
1921
  • Dr. Henry Coe Culbertson, sixth President, between terms of Evans, resigns
  • Silas Evans, fifth/seventh President, begins second term as President
1922
  • Participation in the Midwest Debate Conference began
  • Preparatory courses for nurses’ training were added and college became affiliated with Milwaukee’s Columbia School of Nursing
  • 1922-1934 Ripon College postal code certified
  • Pi Delta Omega Sorority (Local) established.
1924
  • Three (3) Ripon College track men participated in the 1924 Olympic trials
  • $600,000 endowment fund drive launched
  • Education department meets all state requirements
1925
  • National Forensics League founded at Ripon College by Bruno Jacob
  • Harold (“Skipper”) Chamberlain arrived to head the Music Department
1928
  • Ripon College football team under Coach Doehling defeated Amos Alonzo Stagg’s University of Chicago football team
1929
  • Ripon and Lawrence join programs in addition to 1917 Midwest College Conference
  • Diamond Jubilee of Republican Party celebrated on campus–Gov. W. J. Kohler and Secretary of War, J.W. Good were speakers
1930
  • Mask and Wig plays ended in Little Theater, East Hall, after many successful productions
  • Rollin H. Lane (former student) gave $100,000 for new library and construction began
  • George Whiting left $62,500 to Ripon College
  • ( 01) Athenian Hall moved to Ingalls Field, from current site of Lane Library. Athenian Hall was converted into a field house, used for changing rooms for athletes playing at Ingalls Field
  • Memorial Gymnasium remodeled.
  • Girls’ Orchestra of Ripon College organized.
1931
  • Men’s and women’s glee clubs combined
  • ( 01) Lane Library open for students to use
  • Middle College (Smith Hall) burned–rebuilt immediately
  • General Education Board completes $133,333 conditional gift
  • 06 15 Lane Library dedication.
  • 01 Smith Hall fire. Building razed and rebuilding begun. In 1931, while it was being used as a dormitory, a fire at noontime in Smith Hall caused serious damage to the interior of the building. Students, some of whom tried to rescue their possessions from fire escaped without major injury, but the driver of the fire engine died of a heart attack while on way to the fire.
1936
  • Cooperative arrangement with Massachusetts Institute of Technology started for engineering degree
1939
  • [1939-40] Sanford House razed for construction of Merriman House
  • Heating Plant built
  • Ripon College sold Ingalls Field to the City of Ripon; field still used for home football games and other events.
  • Evans Hall–Tri-Dorm–constructed. Intended as men’s housing, but has housed women for much of its existence. Later extensively remodelled in 1988 during President Stott’s term.
  • Construction of Clarence A. Shaler Hall–Tri-Dorm; remodeled in 1966 and 1988.
  • John W. Wright Hall –Tri-Dorm–completed; remodeled in 1988.
  • Woodside Fraternity House (on Thorne Street near Bowen’s Woods) razed.
1940
  • Merriman House built; originally owned by the fraternity as a separate facility from the College; built on site of former Sanford House which was razed in 1939
  • Honorary Degree given to Spencer Tracy at Commencement.
1941
  • Ripon is placed on the eligible list of universities and college of the University Club of New York City
1942
  • Frank J. Harwood Memorial Union completed.
1944
  • Dr. Clark Kuebler becomes eighth President of the College
  • The Mace arrives at Ripon during President Kuebler’s term
  • Arrangement with Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University started
  • Wendell L.Wilkie visted Ripon during his Republican presidential campaign for the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Republican Party.
  • Frank J. Harwood Memorial Union dedicated.
1945
  • ( 07) WWII ship named after city and college–”SS Ripon Victory”
1946
  • Professor Henry Boody retired; had been the mentor to Spencer Tracy as well as being a major force in the drama productions during his career at Ripon College. Wrote the 1910 Pageant and at least two other pageants celebrating communities in the Fox Valley and their history.
1947
  • 15 year development program launched to add $5,710,000 to buildings and endowment
1948
  • Ripon College Theater built
1950
  • $600,000 building program launched–”Ripon’s Second Century Fund”
  • Reconstruction of Memorial Gym started.
  • [1950-51] Construction of Marshall Scott Hall started; in 1966 a five-story “New Scott” addition was completed; in 1995, Scott Hall was again remodeled and updated
1951
  • Memorial Gym remodeled and modernized
1952
  • (12/12) Phi Beta Kappa established at Ripon College by President Kuebler–one of his foremost goals for the College and one of his last achievements before resigning
1955
  • Dr. Clark Kuebler resigns as President of the College
  • Dr. Frederick O. Pinkham becomes the ninth President of the College
1956
  • WRPN, student radio station, established on campus
1957
  • Trustee Shirley Farr bequest of $613,495 received
  • ( 12/06) Ripon College bought Lowe House ( corner of Lincoln and Woodside)
1958
  • Smith Hall remodeled for administrative offices — administration moved from East Hall
1959
  • Two dorms for upperclass men built — South Hall (renamed Mapes Hall in 1971) and North Hall (renamed Smith in 1971)– First of the Quads to be built.
  • Major curriculum revision made; program still in effect
1960
  • One dormitory for upper classmen built– Brockway Hall (Center Hall)–third Quad
1961
  • Sadoff Playing Field built
  • Farr Hall built–science building with laboratories and classrooms and greenhouse
  • Guest Professor program initiated
  • (10) Farr Hall of Science dedication
  • 1961? Barker House razed, for Pickard Commons building
  • Construction began on S.N. Pickard Commons, on site of Merrell-Barker House
1962
  • Johnson Hall completed; residence hall for upperclass women, originally intended to house all the sororities on campus, it replaced the smaller houses such as Lyle, which were then sold by the College
  • United Church of Christ gave $100,00 for Lane Library improvement and renovation
  • (11/ 02) Johnson Hall dedication.
  • Lyle Hall (corner of Woodside and Oak Streets–”The Big Red Barn”) sold
  • Parkhurst House (corner of Thorne and Woodside) sold.
1963
  • College Art Gallery set up in Harwood Union; later moved to College Library gallery and then to Rodman
  • GE College Bowl–Ripon appeared four times on National Television; team advised by Spud Hannaford was composed of three men and one woman student
  • ( 05/23) Dedication of Pickard Commons
1964
  • Chapel erected in Harwood Union; replaced in 1994 by the RC Multicultural Lounge
  • Forward Thrust Fund established
  • (05) Red Barn Theatre (where Harrison Ford and Frances Lee McCain starred in productions while students) burned in a fire. (Located on present site of Johnson Hall.) Old Lutheran Church was converted into a theater
1965
  • Fourth quad built — Bovay Hall
  • Boiler plant remodeled and expanded; in 1994 campus heating system was again extensively updated
  • ( 11/ 03) Brand Rex Coffee House opened in the church building next to the Congregational Church through the efforts of Professors Seale Doss and others. Students and faculty gave readings and held discussions here. Brand Rex was the name on the telephone cable holders that were used as tables in the coffee house.
1966
  • Dr. Frederick O. Pinkham resigns as President of the College
  • Dr. Bernard S. Adams becomes tenth President of the College
  • Tri-Dorms remodeled
  • Addition to Johnson Hall completed.
  • (02) Construction is begun on Kemper Building
  • Five-story addition to Scott Hall completed.
1967
  • ( 05/06) President Adams’ inauguration
  • President’s House built at One Merriman Lane, replacing Hughes House as the President’s House
  • Began computer services by remote terminal on rental basis
  • Ingram Hall (approximately located between site of present Farr Hall and Todd Wehr Hall) was razed. Picture of Ingram Hall just before being razed with Todd Wehr Hall in background
  • ( 05 06) Dedication of James S. Kemper Building–Kemper Clinic, the campus health service and offices of physicians who also had private practices. Now the Computer Center
  • J.M. Storzer Physical Education Center built.
  • “College within a college” experiment in living group seminars at Hughes House, with 15 freshman women; experiment ended because of a fire shortly after the beginning of 2nd semester 1967-68.
1968
  • Began computer use through time-sharing
  • Bonn (Germany) program initiated with students in attendance for the first time.
  • ( 01/28) Dedication of J. M. Storzer Physical Education Center
  • Construction of Todd Wehr
1969
  • ( 05/ 17) Dedication of Todd Wehr
1970
  • Grace Lutheran Church Manse made into office and classrooms for speech and drama
  • Established Computer Center in Farr Hall–purchased Digital Equipment Corporation’s TSS/8
1971
  • Linley Lane dedicated
  • Renaming of Quads and administration building–North Hall became Smith Hall; South Hall became Mapes; Center Hall became Brockway (Dormitories) and Smith Hall became Middle Hall (Administration)
  • ( 05) Construction begun on C. J. Rodman Center for the Arts; in the 1990s the Caestaker wing was added.
1972
  • ( 06) Duffie House razed.
  • (06) Hall House razed.
  • (10/ 27) Dedication of C. J. Rodman Center for the Arts
  • First varsity soccer season started Fall semester 1972
1973
  • $1,054,000 received for addition to Lane Library
1974
  • Wehr Learning Resource Center built onto back of Lane Library
  • Lowe House sold
1975
  • Director of Libraries, William Brandt, establishes the official Ripon College Archives in Lane Library, after a sabbatical studying archival methods at UW-Madison; Brandt remained Archivist until 1986 when Louise Schang, current Archivist, was hired on a part-time (4 hours a week) basis
  • (04/26 )Wehr Learning Resources Center dedicated
  • Harwood House (corner of Thorne and Woodside) razed.
1976
  • Long-term capital funds program authorized–”Foundations for 2001″
  • Ransom House (corner of Ransom and Blossom Streets) sold by Ripon College
1979
  • East Hall completely renovated
1980
  • West Hall renovated inside
  • Memorial Gym renovated
1983
  • Thiel organ (after Mildred Thiel who gave funds for it) dedicated; in 1994 the organwas finished by Bedient with funds from Lucile Grams
  • (01) Athenian Hall razed when Ingalls Field was refurbished
1984
  • Central student mail room put in Harwood Union
  • Art Gallery moved to Lane Library; remained College Art Gallery until Rodman addition built
1985
  • Dr. Bernard S. Adams resigns as President of the College
  • (07) William R. Stott, Jr, becomes eleventh President of the College
198?
  • Bartlett Hall remodeled and made the student activities office center of campus; Registrar, Dean of Student offices moved from Middle Hall to Bartlett.
1988
  • Tri-Dorms completely remodeled through fundraising efforts of President Stott
1989
  • (06) Historical Museum installed in the Faculty Lounge area of West Hall; dozens of volunteers on staff and faculty join to make the opening ceremony during Alumni Weekend possible.
1990
  • Lee Shippey designed the cupola logo which is used on stationery and other College items. Lee also created the design for some of the early tee shirts for Alumni Weekend and helped with the labels for the museum when it was first started. Currently she is the Director of the Art Slides Project in the Art Department in Rodman
199?
  • RC Multicultural Lounge, in the former chapel space of Harwood Union, was dedicated to the late Professor Robert Cole of the History Department; in 1996 a mural by the students in the Painting class of Anne Farley-Gaines was painted around the walls of the room.
  • Education department moved from West Hall to Todd Wehr and the Romance and Classical Languages department moved to third floor of West Hall which was remodeled for their use.
  • Caestaker addition to Rodman completed and dedicated. Included custom- designed art gallery, three-dimensional studios for pottery and sculpture and painting and drawing classrooms among other features, such as glass display areas for student work.
  • The heating and wiring systems of the College underwent extensive updating.
  • Signs directing motorists were erected along Highway 41 and others as well as in the city of Ripon to make the College more accessible
1991
  • (?) The nickname of the College was changed from Red Men and Red Ladies (formerly Redmen) to Red Hawks and new logos were designed.
  • (05) Decommissioning of the Ripon unit of ROTC at Commencement; unit no longer a host unit, but grouped with Marion College, St. Norbert and UW-Oshkosh, with the PMST at UW-O.
1995
  • (10/) First annual Homecoming reunion dinner for ROTC alumni
  • Scott Hall remodeled; partially air-conditioned
  • Teri Tomaszkiewicz of the Office of Development appeared on David Letterman show in a Ripon College sweatshirt to distribute Rippin Good cookies to the audience
  • New directional signs were erected on the campus, indicating building names and sites
  • President Ranslow signed the contract to install an automated system in the College Library; Roslin, the automated catalog, was available for use in January 1996 as was the new automated circulation system
  • The Anthropology/Sociology department moved into its newly remodeled headquarters in the basement of West Hall in time for Fall Semeter; extensive remodeling was done at this time.
  • ROTC headquarters were moved to smaller, but remodeled section in the basement of West Hall for the Fall of 1995
  • The First Year Program began, with a ten-week class taught on Tuesday evenings to introduce incoming new students to academic and campus concerns. The courses were taught by professors from a variety of disciplines.
  • A history of the Ripon unit of Ripon College, written and edited by students under the direction of Professor William Woolley, was published, in cooperation with Loren Boone and the Office of College Relations. A revised edition is anticipated, time and resources permitting.
  • New tennis courts (possible through donation from Trustee Audrey Lyke and her husband, Doug, were constructed adjacent to Storzer Gymnasium.
  • New baseball diamond (made possible by Trustee Patricia Francis) and practice fields were constructed near Storzer.
  • Coach Elaine Coll was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame. She led Riponwomen into intercollegiate competition in the 1970s, changing the nature of women’s sports at the College
  • William R. Stott, Jr., resigned as President of the College.
  • Paul Ranslow became the twelfth President of the College
  • Maymester class sessions began; approved by Faculty in Spring of 1995
1996
  • The winningest coach in college baseball joined the staff of Ripon College–Coach Gordon Gillespie, father of Coach Bob “Gilly” Gillespie
  • (06) The Patricia Underkofler Nature Center was dedicated during Alumni Weekend
  • (07) The Faculty/Staff mailroom was moved to Harwood Memorial Union and merged with the student mail facility. A lounge area and reading rack were made the center of the room, which features the original metal mail slots from Middle Hall.
  • (09.30) Inauguration of Paul Ranslow as President of the College
2002
  • Paul Ranslow resigns as President of the College.
  • David Williams serves as interim president 2002-2003.
  • Bill Schang became Vice President and Dean of Faculty.
2003
  • Inauguration of David Joyce as President of the College.
2006
  • Gerald Seaman became Vice President and Dean of Faculty.
2007
  • Campus Apartments built and dedicated.
  • Todd Wehr remodeled.