COVID-19: One Year Later

Students in a biology lab during COVID

Dear campus community,

A year ago today, the College’s administration was sitting around a table in Smith Hall trying to determine whether or not we should allow the softball and baseball teams to go to Florida for their spring break schedule of games. We also were trying to figure out whether to let 15 students go to Washington, D.C., for the annual Career Discovery Tour trip. Both trips were only hours away from departure. After much back and forth, both trips were canceled and our spring break was extended by a week. We all were going to be safer at home for two weeks and #flattenthecurve.

Everyone has their own personal story of the past year, of things lost, found, rediscovered and missed. But it is worth taking a moment to pay tribute to what we have done collectively as a college over the past 365 challenging days.

Learning continued. Professors instructed. Students returned, and nurses diagnosed. Hot food got delivered to those in quarantine. People got sick and then got better. Thank you, Fond du Lac County Health Department, Ripon Medical Center and Ripon College Health Services. We tested with a swab and then we tested with spit and then we tested again and again and again. Athletes and musicians practiced. Art students painted. Articles and papers were written and tests were taken. Marches, commemorations and discussions were organized. Snow fell and was plowed. New laundry machines were installed. Alumni continued to support and donate. Class of 2025 (prospective) students deposited, excited to come next fall. And the list goes on and on because Ripon College, our shared community, gave our best efforts. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni and everyone who cares about the future of Ripon College should be recognized for a job well-done.

So — here’s to the next 365 days and a return to all the small things we took for granted a year ago. I wish you, your family and our community good health, happiness and joy in the year ahead.

Zach Messitte

President
Professor of Politics and Government