Keeping the Ripon College campus beautiful takes a lot of attention

The Ripon College campus often is commended for its beauty. The people responsible for maintaining this beauty are part of the grounds department. The staff is responsible for a wide variety of tasks, such as landscaping, mowing, snow removal, trash removal, event setup and package deliveries.

“The best part of my job is the wide variety of tasks we get to tackle as the seasons change,” says Grounds Manager John Tobin. “It never gets boring.”

Tobin has worked for the College for eight years, striving to keep the campus in the best of shape. He says that his favorite project is Commencement, the special ceremony where graduates receive their diplomas. The ceremony typically is held on the lawn of Harwood Memorial Union, and Tobin says it provides a great chance to show off the campus’ beauty to the many visitors.

“An outdoor Commencement ceremony is our opportunity to show off the campus to the largest audience at a beautiful time of year,” he says.

Now, during the summer months, the grounds department is working on maintenance, cleaning up the campus and resetting dorm rooms. Because of the excessive recent rain, the works also must keep up with keep the grass on campus mowed.

“Our goal for the summer is to improve the landscaping around campus with an emphasis on the Admissions Tour route,” Tobin says. The campus’ beauty must be maintained for both prospective students and their families and the returning students in the fall.

When people comment about the beauty of the campus, it makes his job worth the work, Tobin says. “When people enjoy the results of our work, it makes me feel appreciated,” he says. “Most of the work done by the grounds crew is behind-the-scenes and can go unnoticed. It is rewarding when people take the time to pass on words of appreciation.”

Megan Sohr ’18
Oshkosh, Wisconsin

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