The Center for Politics and the People at Ripon College was established to promote constructive political debate by informing students, the community and citizens concerned with good governance in politics and public policy.
The foundational premise of the Center is that good governance in the American system requires rich diversity of political thought and that all political viewpoints ought to be given their “fair shake.” Ripon, Wisconsin—historic birthplace of the Republican Party, women’s suffrage leader Carrie Chapman Catt, the National Forensic League, host to Badger Boys State and home of Ripon College—is the perfect venue for restoring the nation’s faith in politics and statesmen.
Today, Ripon College alumni serve in every branch of government, and in many other roles that shape politics and public policy at the international, national, state and local levels. The College’s courses and programs nurture future leaders during their undergraduate experience. Since 1941 the College has also served as the host site for Badger Boys State, a unique weeklong experiential public affairs program for more than 800 Wisconsin high school students to learn about the civic process.
The Center for Politics and the People at Ripon College sponsors scholarship and host special events, featuring elected officials and policy makers, high-level campaign operatives, academic experts, journalists, prognosticators and citizens representing a broad spectrum of political views. The center also helps to support the College’s Career Discovery Tour to Washington, D.C., and to place students in internships.
A lead gift to fund start-up costs for the center was donated by Ripon College Trustee William MacLeod ’73, partner at Kelley Drye & Warren law firm and a former bureau director at the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.