State Rep. Joan Ballweg to receive Ripon College Founders’ Day Award, Honorary Degree, May 13

State Representative Joan Ballweg, R-41, will receive Ripon College’s Founders’ Day Award as well as an honorary degree during the 152nd Commencement ceremony, Sunday, May 13, 2018.

Ripon College was officially founded on January 29, 1851. Each year the College celebrates its birthday by honoring a community partner with the Founders’ Day Award, presented to an individual or an organization in the Ripon community who exemplifies the ideals of the founders of Ripon College and who has contributed above and beyond to the mission of the school. Previous recipients include: Thomas Caestecker; Rob Webster ’73; Joan Karsten; Laurie and Peter Kasuboski; Todd and Betty Berens; and Dave and Karen Stoddard Duehring ’72. This is the first year the award will be presented during Commencement. Visit ripon.edu/founders-day for a complete list of past recipients.

“Rep. Ballweg has done so much for Ripon College throughout the years, whether by hosting student internships or as an active participant in numerous campus workshops, discussion forums and town hall meetings,” said Zach Messitte, president of Ripon College. “She is a citizen legislator who listens to the community.”

Republican Rep. Joan Ballweg has represented Wisconsin’s 41st district in the State Assembly since 2004, and served as Majority Caucus Chairperson in 2011 and 2013.

Ballweg lives in Markesan where she and her husband own a farm equipment business. She was on the Markesan City Council from 1987 to 1991 and mayor from 1991 to 1997. She also is a member and former treasurer of the Markesan Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Waupun Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Green Lake County Farm Bureau.

“Ripon College has provided me with many opportunities to actively engage with students, faculty, and the community” said Ballweg. “I am honored to join an outstanding group of community leaders and organizations who have been presented with the Ripon College Founders’ Day Award.”

Now in her seventh term as a State representative, Ballweg is co-chair of the Joint Committee for Review of Administrative Rules, and is a member of the following committees: Colleges and Universities, Children and Families, Mental Health, Rules, Joint Legislative Council, Jobs and the Economy, International Affairs and Commerce, The Speaker’s Task Force on Foster care, and Tourism.

She has served on these special committees: Symposia Series on Supporting Healthy Early Brain Development, 911 Communications, Emergency Management and Continuity of Government, Continuity of Legislative Operations, Review of Higher Education Financial Aid Programs, Differences in Laws Applicable to Cities and Villages, and Review of Emergency Detention and Admission of Minors Under Chapter 51.

Her leadership in education, business and health care include writing legislation impacting agriculture, small businesses, health care, and education in the State of Wisconsin. She is spearheading Red Tape Review, a comprehensive look at Wisconsin’s administrative rules, and initiatives relating to strengthening families and early childhood education. She has achieved passage of Donate to Life Wisconsin license plates in an effort to raise awareness and funds for organ donation; and has achieved the opportunity for residents and non-residents to purchase on-day fishing licenses; and is working to modernize and provide greater access to the small claims courts process in Wisconsin.


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