Ripon College achieves highest fund-raising year ever

During the 2021 fiscal year which ended June 30, Ripon College achieved its most successful and largest fund-raising year in its history. More than $16.5 million in new gift production was realized.

“The campus community is continually humbled and inspired by the generosity of our alumni,” said Shawn Karsten ’09, vice president for advancement and marketing and communications. “This record-breaking performance was anchored by the creation of several seven-figure endowed scholarships to address access and equity issues – solidifying Ripon’s position as the most affordable private college in the state of Wisconsin.”

Leading these new endowed scholarships are:

  • The Richard V. and Frances S. Dietrich Trust Scholarship and Richard V. and Frances S. Dietrich Faculty Development Fund, with a combined value of more than $2 million, focuses on first-generation students with financial need, and creating opportunities for faculty. They were established in the name of the parents of Professor Emeritus of Music Kurt Dietrich and his siblings.
  • The Conforti and Chemerow Scholarship will benefit graduates of Tremper High School in Kenosha, Wisconsin, who display financial need and improve Ripon’s racial and ethnic diversity. It was established by Doreen Conforti Chemerow ’73 and her husband, David I. Chemerow.
  • The Franzen/Cristo Rey Endowed Scholarship will benefit graduates of Cristo Rey Jesuit, a high school in Milwaukee. The focus is first-generation students. It was established by Mark Franzen ’83 and Janice Heinz Franzen ’83.

Other notable support came with a new five-year grant of $1.4 million to the Student Support Services program by the U.S. Department of Education, TRIO division. The grant, which was secured by Ripon’s Student Support Services staff, supports first-generation students, students from families with lower incomes relative to family size, and students with physical or learning disabilities.

More than $3 million was raised for the Ripon Fund, which provided the campus flexibility and shelter from the uncertainty of the pandemic.

In March, Ripon College’s endowment crossed above the $100 million mark for the first time, and just five months later the endowment stands at $112 million.

“The College has emphasized building the endowment over the decades to keep Ripon affordable to the best and brightest students, regardless of their financial situation,” Karsten said. “One hundred percent of Ripon College students receive some form of financial assistance.

“This milestone indicates Ripon’s financial foundation and the commitment of its alumni and friends to its future,” Karsten said. “In many ways, it secures the institution’s future.”


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