Ripon College names new leadership in Advancement and Marketing and Communications

Ripon College announced the appointments of Tracy Muirhead as vice president for Advancement and Melissa Anderson as vice president for Marketing and Communications. Both will serve in Ripon College’s Administrative Council that serves as the President’s cabinet and officers of the College. The positions are effective July 18.

“After a nationwide search, I am very pleased that Tracy Muirhead will lead our advancement team’s fund-raising and alumni relations efforts,” said Ripon’s President Zach Messitte. “Tracy has three decades of fund-raising and management experience in higher education. I am excited to begin working with her.”

Muirhead has served as a vice president of Advancement at Westminster College (Missouri), Lyon College (Arkansas), MacMurray College (Illinois) and St. Vincent College (Pennsylvania). Most recently, she has been vice president for Institutional Advancement at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas. A graduate of the University of Missouri in English with a minor in business, she has been active in the Council for Advancement and Support Education (CASE), Rotary International, Sister Cities, the Boy Scouts of America and Sister Cities.

Anderson will lead a new administrative division focused on marketing and communications, an area that is integral to the college admission process, alumni and community outreach and media relations. Anderson has been executive director of Marketing and Communications at the College since 2012 and spent the last year as the interim vice president for Advancement where she has been leading Ripon’s successful fund-raising campaign to renovate its athletic, health and wellness facility.

“How we reach and what we communicate to our prospective students, alumni and community is more important than ever,” said Messitte. “Ripon College is incredibly fortunate to have someone with Melissa’s intelligence, integrity and passion for the liberal arts to take on this responsibility.”

In Anderson’s new role as the vice president for Marketing and Communications, she will oversee Ripon’s internal and external profile, including information technology. A native of Algoma, Wisconsin, she is a 2002 graduate of Ripon College with a degree in psychology and English, and received her master’s degree from the University of Chicago. Prior to joining Ripon, she led marketing and communications for the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison and a 10,000-member national automotive trade association in Washington, D.C., and consulted with a variety of clients in the tech sector.


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Photo of new vice presidents Tracy Muirhead and Melissa Anderson