Jeanne Lyke to receive Ripon College’s 2022 Founders’ Day Award

Jeanne Lyke, a Ripon pediatrician, will receive Ripon College’s 2022 Founders’ Day Award at the College’s Commencement ceremony May 15. The award is presented annually to an individual or organization in Ripon and surrounding communities who exemplifies the ideals behind the creation of Ripon College. The College was officially founded Jan. 29, 1851. A celebration cake will be served to the campus community at noon today at S.N. Pickard Commons.

“Ripon College is thrilled to honor Dr. Lyke with our Founder’s Day award,” said Interim President Andrea Young. “Dr. Lyke embodies the ideals of the founders of Ripon College in her service to our community, in her care of our children and in her commitment to education around pediatric health.

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, especially, she has been on the front lines of delivering health care to the children of Ripon. She has impacted the community broadly in her role as medical advisor for the school district and many of us personally as our family pediatrician. The College is grateful for her leadership and dedication to the well-being of our community.”

Lyke has been a pediatrician in the Ripon community for 29 years. “My goal is to promote the health and well-being of children in this area,” Lyke says. “I have a passion for education, teaching parents about their kids, how to support their development and how to take care of them.”

She also is involved with public health. She chaired the Green Lake County Health Advisory Committee through the end of 2021 and is medical advisor for the Ripon Area School District.

“I love the medical field,” Lyke says. “There are always new things happening and something new to learn. I love taking care of kids, I like the alliance you form with the families and the long-term relationships of seeing the kids grow up, change and come into their own.”

She says some of her current patients are children of former patients. “Imagine caring for the newborn of someone whose own birth you had attended!” she says.

The ongoing pandemic has presented challenges “unlike anything in my entire career,” Lyke says. “The biggest and most difficult thing has been handling some of the emotional and behavioral health issues that have come up — stress, changes to school and extracurricular activities. The behavioral health piece has been by far the biggest challenge.”

She says being chosen for the Founders’ Day Award leaves her humbled. “A lot of what I do by its very nature is behind the scenes. I feel honored people feel helped by me in some small way,” she says. “Ripon College is a really important part of the Ripon community. It makes Ripon stand above other communities of its size. There are a lot more opportunities in Ripon, thanks to the College.”

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Jeanne Lyke