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Ripon’s endowment surpasses $100 million

Ripon College’s endowment crossed the $100 million mark in March for the first time. This milestone indicates Ripon’s financial foundation and the commitment of its alumni and friends to its future.

The college has emphasized building the endowment over the decades to keep Ripon affordable to the best and brightest students, regardless of their financial situation. One hundred percent of Ripon College students receive some form of financial assistance. The Class of 2024 has 23 percent diversity, and 45 percent are first-generation students.

During the spring semester, alumni and former faculty established major funding sources to help bring a more diverse population to Ripon:

• The Richard V. and Frances S. Dietrich Trust Scholarship and Richard V. and Frances S. Dietrich Faculty Development Fund, with a combined value of more than $2 million, focus on first-generation students with financial need and creating opportunities for faculty.

• The Conforti and Chemerow Scholarship will benefit graduates of Tremper High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who display financial need and improve Ripon’s racial and ethnic diversity.

• The Franzen/Cristo Rey Endowed Scholarship will benefit graduates of Cristo Rey Jesuit, a high school in Milwaukee. The focus is first-generation students.

In addition, Ripon’s Student Support Services program received a new five-year grant of $1.4 million by the U.S. Department of Education, TRIO division, to assist first-generation students, students from families with lower incomes relative to family size, and students with physical or learning disabilities. 

“The depth of the commitment of former faculty and alumni to establish these scholarships is inspiring,” said President Zach Messitte. “Their care for the future of education and the promotion of diversity and inclusion is vital in keeping liberal arts colleges like Ripon relevant. They will have a direct impact on the lives and careers of young people for years to come.”