Meet Kelly Nielsen
Kelly Nielsen joined the Office of Advancement in 2017 as Associate Director of Annual Giving. Within a year she moved into the Director position and now manages Ripon Fund initiatives like #OneDayRally, Phonathon, reunion gift efforts, the 1851 Club, Senior Class Gift and other annual fundraising projects. She also works closely with volunteers on the Alumni Board and Reunion leadership committees. Kelly also looks forward to hitting the road this fall to meet with many of Ripon’s alumni in person!
A Ripon High School alumna, Kelly attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and graduated from the College of Liberal Arts with a major in Urban Studies. From there she moved to Portland, Oregon, where she worked for 11 years as an admission recruiter for a local art school. After her daughter was born, her young family moved “home” to Ripon to be closer to her parents. Today the family lives across the street from campus where they love to garden, host backyard gatherings, and participate in many College activities. Their nightly routine in the warmer months is to walk around lower campus and into the Prairie, always on the hunt for wildlife and wildflowers. During the winter they enjoy basketball games at Willmore, snowshoeing on the trails and sledding at Sadoff.
What do you love most about Ripon College and your involvement here? I enjoy working where I live, and I can see firsthand the impact the College has on Ripon’s thriving community.
What advice would you give to a potential donor who is considering investing in Ripon? Ripon goes above and beyond to help our students succeed and become future change-makers.
Why do you think giving back is important to the advancement of Ripon and its students? Ripon College works best when we’re all working together; no generation can sustain this very special place on its own.