1955–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Dear Class of 1955,


Hope each of you has had a great summer, and will be looking forward to the beautiful trees, followed by the beautiful snow falling on the beautiful trees. Looking forward to the beautiful snow is optional.


Ripon Fund

Has everybody sent in their donation? We must continue to keep our Alma Mater Strong.



After just 18 hours and 51 minutes and thousands of social media shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Ripon College’s first ever #OneDayRally giving day campaign came in 221 percent ahead of goal, raising a total of $656,626 from 940 donors.


Campus Notes

College Days

We all remember our student newspaper. It has won 11 awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association in the 2017 WCMA Better Newspaper Contest Awards. The publication won an honorable mention in the category of General Excellence, the top award available, indicating that it is judged to be one of the best overall college papers in the state.


Financial Success

Ripon College has been named the No. 1 School in Wisconsin whose grads earn the most in mean wages 10 years after graduation.

The study was published by Zippia, a new website dedicated to helping recent graduates with their career choices.

Zippia says they used the most recent college scorecard data to determine the school in each state with the highest average earners 10 years after entry. This report has been shared by news media across the country.


Expanded Edition

Hawthorne Books and Literary Arts released a second, expanded edition of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: the Frank Meeink Story, as told by Jody Roy, this fall.

Roy is a professor of communication and the Victor and Carrie Palmer Endowed Chair for Leadership Values at Ripon College.

The new edition of the acclaimed story included a preface by the author, nine new chapters, an updated epilogue, and resource guides for substance abuse recovery and countering racism. This is Frank’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi Underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred and addiction.


Willmore Center- Great Success

Athletic Business has taken note of the immediate success of Willmore Center. In a feature published this month on the website, it cites several impressive statistics, including 28 percent more student athletes making deposits, 40 percent more student athletes taking tours of campus, and nearly double the number of football recruits to the College in one year’s time (25 recruits in 2017 and 48 in 2018).

“When Ripon College began planning a major upgrade of its primary athletics, health and wellness center, the vision went much further than having a bigger, newer facility,” the article reads. “They wanted the building to be a new hub of activity on campus – not just on game days but every day. They wanted it to be a source of pride for the 800-student private liberal arts college and the community of Ripon, Wisconsin. More ambitious yet, they wanted it to be a recruiting magnet, attracting both athletes and non-athletes…. It is already achieving its mission… and with a cost of $23.5 million, the project is an example of how such results can be achieved on a modest budget.”


The article, “Ripon College’s Willmore Center is Proving its Power as a Recruiting Tool,” highlights the need for the upgrades and how Willmore Center now is serving many more than student athletes. It cites 305 alumni and community residents who have purchased memberships and nearly 50 outside organizations that have held events in the facility.


“To attract athletic recruits, the Willmore Center offers size, facilities and amenities typically only found at much larger schools” the article states. “It also demonstrates to other prospective first-year students the value that Ripon College places on supporting the wellbeing of everyone on campus… (The atrium) has, in fact, become a hub of social life at Ripon College. Located on the opposite end of campus from the student union, ot serves as a second commons where students can hang out between classes or before or after a workout when it is not convenient to return to upper campus.”


Safety Competition

Ripon College students placed well at the International Business Ethics Case Competition held April 18-20 in Boston, Massachusetts.


The team argued for better safety standards in all Toyota vehicles. In their research, they found women are 47 percent more likely to be seriously injured or die in a crash due to minimal regulation with female crash dummy research and development. The average “female” crash dummy stands at 4 feet 11 inches, and weighs about 105 pounds, based off the 1960s 5th percentile body type. Until 2011, it was not required for female crash test dummies to be included in vehicle safety testing, and now it is required only that they be tested in the passenger and back seats – not the drivers seats.


History of Ripon College

Last newsletter, we spoke of the opposition to the President Flagg’s intended program. As the board’s opposition to his program of change became neutralized, Flagg began slowly altering Ripon’s educational structure. In 1982, When Flagg came into office, Ripon College was still a collection of different educational programs serving widely different groups of students, a characteristic that had dominated its life during the Merriman and Merrell administrations.  In 1982, there were six such programs: the Classical Course with only 39 students, which was a four year college program; a special program called “the Select Course” with 6 students, which provided a less-intensive liberal education than the Classical Course; the Preparatory School with 80 students, which was responsible for preparing students for college; a program called “the English Academy” with 50 students, which taught students at the high school level not preparing for college; the School of Music with 63 students; and finally the School of Drawing and Printing with 13, both of which offered their own technical degrees. Flagg realized that of the College was to become truly modern, it would have to focus its attention on the College alone which meant increasing enrollment to a level that would allow it to stand alone while slowly divesting itself of the auxiliary academic enterprises.


History of ROTC

Last newsletter, we spoke of the organizing of campus activities by the ROTC staff.

In seeking to put this program into place, Captain Rice gave immediate attention to the development of the rifle team as the showpiece of the Unit. Although the unit rifle team was never large, with widespread campus backing and under Rice’s supervision, it began to enjoy almost immediate success. In March, Ripon won the 6th Corps Area Rifle Match, finishing ahead of 50 other schools including the University of Wisconsin, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois, all considered being among the finest ROTC units in the country. The Ripon cadets attending the 6th Corps Area Summer Camp in 1921 achieved a glittering record. The unit’s rifle team captured the Chicago Tribune Cup, with the team captain, BURL W. MILLER ’24, qualifying as expert rifleman and finishing second among the nearly 1,000 cadets at the camp. Three other Ripon cadets – GEORGE HAUN ’23, JOHN KRALOVEC ’23 and COLEMAN GUNDERSON ’23 – qualified as sharpshooters. The Ripon camp contingent that summer also included JAMES H. BANVILLE ‘23 who later became not only the first of the seven generals to come out of the Ripon program, but also the secretary of the Reserve Officers Association in the 1960s.


In Memoriam

In case some of you missed the sad passing away of class members, I’ll state the names that I know: MARK DEWOLF ’55 died in April this year. He had just been ordained as an Episcopal Priest.

ROBERT BROTHERS ’55 died earlier this year. He and I were very good friends, and fraternity brothers in Lambda, I miss our frequent phone conversations, which Bob seemed to enjoy in spite of his stroke, which happened several years ago. We would talk about our time at Ripon, and the great education we received.


I wish each of you a wonderful fall season, as well as a joyous Christmas holiday.