President, Ripon College
People often seem surprised when I tell them that fundraising on behalf of Ripon College is one of the best parts of my job. In the thousands of miles traveled and hundreds of visits with alumni and friends over the past eight years, which now includes virtual Zoom meetings, I’ve been lucky enough to see just how much our alumni and friends care about the College.
Ripon’s giving culture is a constant reminder that the College has always provided students the means to attain an excellent college education. I am heartened by the support of thousands of people who credit a Ripon education with helping them achieve success in their careers and lives.
The Ripon Fund is a critical measure of donor support, which over the past 10 years, has provided an average of $2 million annually to the College’s operating budget to enhance the student experience and complement our endowment and tuition dollars. In 2019-2020, the College raised a record $4.4 million. Once again, the third annual #OneDayRally exceeded expectations, reeling in more than $1.9 million from a total of 2,015 donors. An additional 569 donors contributed over the previous year.
Emergency Assistance Fund
In March 2020, the College launched the Emergency Assistance Fund dedicated to serving our students, faculty and staff during these uncertain times. Over the course of three months, hundreds of alumni donated more than $2 million in cash and pledges. The majority of these critical dollars were used to freeze tuition and implement a one-time, special COVID-19 grant to all returning students. The overwhelming generosity of our Emergency Assistance Fund donors made it possible for the fall 2020 semester to take place on campus.
As of June 30, 2020 our endowment value was just shy of $92 million. Thanks to strong market performance and donor support, the endowment has grown 50% since 2012. Our pursuit of the $100 million mark is an important one given that 62% of the dollars provided off the endowment in FY 2020 directly supported scholarship and aid. At Ripon, we are determined to remain a leader in providing access to a premier liberal arts education.
On behalf of the students, faculty and staff, thank you for all you do for Ripon College. We are especially grateful for the inspiration you provided us in 2020 and wish you all the best in 2021.
– Zach Messitte, President
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