Ripon College’s 2019 Commencement will be held Sunday, May 19, at 1 p.m. on the lawn of Harwood Memorial Union.

Each year, the College organizes Commencement activities around a theme. The 2019 Commencement theme celebrates “Sustainability” by recognizing individuals and institutions who are dedicated to supporting this topic and creating space for crucial conversations.

Honorees will share their insights regarding “Sustainability” during the Senior Brunch and Forum at 10 a.m. Sunday, May 19.

Graduates who will participate in the Commencement ceremony and Senior Brunch and Forum are required to fill out the registration form below and include information on any guests who will attend the Senior Brunch and Forum. The Senior Brunch and Forum is free for graduates. There is a charge of $15 per guest.

Schedule of Events

Thursday, May 16, 2019

  • 5:30 - 6:30 P.M. | Senior Cocktail Hour, Joyce Lounge, Lower Level Pickard Commons
  • 8:00 P.M. | Senior Class Champagne Toast, Bovay's Mercantile, Downtown Ripon

Friday, May 17, 2019

  • 1-9 P.M. | Bovay’s Study Bar & Mercantile Special Commencement Hours, 329 Watson Street, Downtown Ripon
  • 3:30 P.M. | Senior Class Photo, Harwood Memorial Union Steps (Rain site: Bear Auditorium)
  • 4-5:45 P.M. | Senior Rehearsal, Bear Auditorium, Farr Hall of Science
  • 7:30 P.M. | Senior Banquet, Bovay Terrace

Saturday, May 18, 2019

  • 7:30 A.M.-4 P.M. | Common Grounds: "We Proudly Brew Starbucks" Coffee Shop, Lower Level, Pickard Commons
  • 8 A.M.- 9 P.M. | Ripon College Senior Art, Lobby, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts
  • 9 A.M.-4 P.M. | Bovay's Study Bar & Mercantile Special Commencement Hours, 329 Watson Street, Downtown Ripon

Saturday Afternoon Academic Receptions

The following Academic Receptions are for graduating majors, minors and their families:

  • 1-2:30 P.M. | Communication, Home of Dr. Jody Roy and Jon Roy, 631 East Jackson Street
  • 1-2:30 P.M. | Psychology/Psychobiology, Evans Admission Center
  • 1-3 P.M. | Biology/Chemistry-Biology/Environmental Studies/Psychobiology/Physics, North Reading Room, Lane Library
  • 1-3 P.M. | Chemistry/Chemistry-Biology, Home of Dr. Colleen M. Byron and Dr. Gary S. Rodman, 908 Nordane Avenue
  • 1-3 P.M. | Exercise Science, Willmore Center Atrium
  • 1:30-2:30 P.M. | Politics & Government and National Security, Faculty Lounge, East Hall
  • 1:30-2:30 P.M. | Philosophy and Religion, Joyce Lounge, S.N. Pickard Commons
  • 1:30-3:30 P.M. | Business Management/Economics Retirement Celebration for Paul Schoofs, Patricia Parker Francis Professor of Economics, College Museum, West Hall
  • 2-3:30 P.M. | Foreign Languages/Cultures and German, Home of Professor Dr. Geoff Guevara-Geer and Ms. Lea Cicchiello, 206 Watson Street, Apt. #1
  • 2:30-3:30 P.M. | Education/Music/Theatre, Lobby, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts

Saturday Evening Events

  • 4-5:30 P.M. | President’s Reception with Complimentary Champagne Toast, for all graduates and their families, faculty and staff and special invitees, Great Hall, Harwood Memorial Union
  • 8-9 P.M. | Baccalaureate Service, An interfaith service featuring senior speakers and musical performances, First Congregational Church, 220 Ransom St.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

  • 7:30 A.M.-4 P.M. | Common Grounds: "We Proudly Brew Starbucks" Coffee Shop, Lower Level, Pickard Commons
  • 9 A.M-12:15 P.M. | One Last Photo: Toast your Graduate with One Last Family Picture (Free), Office of Career & Professional Development, S.N. Pickard Commons
  • 9 A.M-4 P.M. | Bovay’s Study Bar & Mercantile Special Commencement Hours, 329 Watson Street, downtown Ripon
  • 9:15 A.M. | Phi Beta Kappa Induction, Great Hall, Harwood Memorial Union
  • 10 A.M. | Senior Brunch and Forum, A discussion featuring the honorary degree recipients, moderated by Acting President Ed Wingenbach (Free for graduates, $15 for guests of graduates). Notes: Brunch served until 10:30 a.m. for graduates, families, friends, Trustees, faculty and staff, S.N. Pickard Commons, and the forum will follow from 10:30 to 11:30 A.M.
  • 12:15 P.M. | Commencement Procession Assembly, Graduates will line-up on the sidewalk between East Hall and Todd Wehr Hall
  • 1 P.M. | Commencement Ceremony, Harwood Memorial Union Lawn

Speakers and Honorands


General Information

Where can I stay and eat in the Ripon area?
Click here for a list of lodging and dining options in the area.

Where is the Commencement rain location?
Commencement will be held Sunday, May 19, whether it rains, sleets or snows. Though most of us would prefer a warm day filled with bright sunshine, the weather has been known to provide challenges in the past. Sunday’s 1 p.m. ceremony is planned to take place on the lawn of Harwood Memorial Union. If the weather turns sour, however, a decision will be made Sunday morning about whether to move the ceremony inside.

Should the conditions be questionable, an update about the location of the ceremony will be posted by 8 a.m. on the College’s Twitter and Facebook pages, as well as the College’s official website (

In Wisconsin, May weather can be balmy or downright frigid. More often than not, it is both on the same day. Please be prepared for changes in temperature by dressing in layers. The ceremony generally lasts an hour and a half, so it may be 50° F and cloudy at the beginning and 70° F and sunny by the end, or vice versa. Nothing compares to an outdoor Commencement ceremony at Ripon, and, if at all possible, the ceremony will be held on the Union lawn as scheduled. So dress appropriately for any changes in the weather.

Where can I park?
Free parking is available on the streets surrounding the Union; however, spots will fill fast and early. Click to view our Campus Map. Off-street parking, denoted on the map by a P, is available in lots behind Smith Hall, on Thorne Street, at the corner of Seward Street and Woodside Avenue and off Ransom Street across from East Hall. Handicapped-accessible parking, denoted on the map with an H, is available near the Union, outside Pickard Commons and at Evans Admission Center. Handicapped parking also will be marked on Seward Street. If the ceremony is held inside or under a tent, free parking is available.

Is accessible seating and parking available?
Accessible seating and parking is available for the Commencement ceremony. Please ask an usher if you need special assistance. Individuals requiring special assistance should call the Office of Constituent Engagement at 920-748-8126 by May 6 to ensure appropriate accommodations.

When do I need to leave the residence halls?
The residence halls will close at 6 p.m. Sunday, May 13. All students must have their belongings removed and be checked out before that time. Students are reminded that they may donate unwanted items as part of the “Lighten Your Load” program (look for more information to come).

Do I need a ticket to attend the Commencement ceremony?
There are no tickets for the Commencement ceremony. Seating is first-come, first-served. While seating will be available outdoors, there are also plenty of grassy areas, and guests are welcome to bring blankets or lawn chairs. If the ceremony is moved indoors, seating will be more limited; so guests should plan to arrive early.

When and where is Commencement rehearsal?
Graduates are reminded to attend the Commencement rehearsal at 4 p.m., Friday, May 11, in Farr Hall’s Bear Auditorium. Be sure Dean Wingenbach pronounces your name correctly!

When and where is the Senior Class photo to be taken?
Seniors are reminded to show up for the class photo at 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 11. A group photo of the Class of 2018 will be taken on the lawn in front of Tri-Dorms. Rain site is Bear Auditorium.

Will Starbucks be open on Sunday, May 13?
Common Grounds “We Proudly Brew” Starbucks, located in the lower level of S.N. Pickard Commons, will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, May 13. Starbucks offers hot and cold beverages, snacks and other refreshments.

What's the Baccalaureate Service? Is it religious? Who should attend?
Each year, the College includes an interfaith religious service as part of its Commencement weekend activities. Typically held the evening before Commencement, this year’s baccalaureate service will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 13, in First Congregational Church of Ripon. The ceremony is created by officers of the graduating class and the religion department.

The service does not focus on any one religious faith, but rather includes readings from each of the different religious traditions represented within the senior class. Musical selections are performed by students, and a brief address also is given by an individual chosen by members of the graduating class.

All graduating seniors and their families are invited to attend this free event, as are the faculty and staff of the College.

What's the policy on honor cords?
In past years, the College prohibited the wearing of any cords or stoles other than College honor cords and Phi Beta Kappa stoles. All departmental honor cords, Greek stoles and other accoutrements (within reason) are now allowed during the ceremony. Those items, however, will not be provided by the College or listed in the program.

Your question not answered here?
Call or email the Office of Constituent Engagement at 920-748-8126.

Physical Address:
300 W. Seward St. Ripon, WI 54971
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