Ripon College Response to Coronavirus | March 16, 2020

Dear Ripon College Alumni and Friends,

I wanted to share with you some of the measures that Ripon College has taken in response to COVID-19. It has been our philosophy to act rationally and calmly, but to take the health and safety of the community into consideration first and foremost. Since the situation is fast-moving, changing by the hour and without precedent, we are striving to make informed decisions on a timeline about the appropriate steps forward for the community.

As of now, our spring break has been extended by one week until Monday, March 30. We took this action to primarily allow our faculty some extra days to work with our information technology staff to prepare and to move a significant portion of our curriculum online. We plan to have further information about the rest of the academic semester by the end of this week (March 20).

We have postponed all on and off-campus college sponsored events through May 15. At this time, there has not been a decision made regarding Commencement (May 17) or Alumni Weekend (June 25-28). We will continue to use national, state and local health authorities as guideposts for our decision-making. We will also look to creative solutions (online or otherwise) when they can be found to ensure that the college events we all hold dear eventually take place.

In the midst of these unprecedented times, our work will be impacted and some of our traditions altered; however, I am encouraged by the support and outpouring of care for the college’s future. We are humbled by the unexpected donations that have arrived in the past few days to support the unanticipated needs of our students. In reaction to this overwhelming support we have created a special Ripon College 2020 Emergency Assistance Fund. We don’t yet know what all of our students, faculty and staff needs will look like in the coming days and weeks ahead. Your financial support of Ripon is needed now more than ever.

As we move forward, I ask again for your patience and respect for the people that work, study and live here. I will do my best to work with my colleagues to make timely and informed decisions. On behalf of the students, faculty, and staff, thank you for keeping Ripon College in your thoughts during this challenging time.


Zach P. Messitte, PhD

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