Khaatim Boyd ’06 supports Ripon to bring transformative experiences to others

Becoming a student at Ripon College changed the life of Khaatim Boyd ’06 of Lansing, Michigan, and ever since graduating he has sought to help bring that same transformative experience to new classes of Ripon students. That’s why he has given back to Ripon consistently through his service and financial resources.

“Ripon had a tremendous impact on my life,” he says. “I wouldn’t be where I currently am if it wasn’t for the experience I had there. Fantastic faculty, fantastic staff. I want to ensure that the next generation enjoys their time at Ripon as much as I did.”

Boyd developed a keen interest in forensics while he was attending high school at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Madison, Mississippi. Ripon offered forensics opportunities that aligned with Boyd’s interests, and he learned he could receive financial aid and graduate school help if he came here.

“I loved getting in front of people, reciting pieces, doing debate, the competition aspects,” he says. “Some of my best friends both in high school and in college, I met doing forensics.”

His first day at Ripon, he was wearing a T-shirt from a forensics nationals competition he had completed over the summer. His freshman roommate, Guy McHendry ’06, had just completed the same competition. “That was the beginning of a long-lasting friendship,” he says. “He is one of my closest friends today.”

Boyd was active as a student. In addition to forensics, he was a member of Theta Chi/Alpha Omega Alpha, was a student caller for fund-raising purposes, a member of student government and student representative to the Alumni Board of Directors.

He worked as an intern in the Office of Development and was asked to go to dinner with alumni and talk to them about his experiences at Ripon.

He was told he was good at this type of interaction and it was suggested he go to graduate school to specialize in this area. “I can go to grad school for this?” he asked.

He earned a master’s degree in higher education administration with a focus on student affairs from Indiana University. He now is the associate director of development for the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.

He understands the importance of giving back to a school in many ways. He has served on several reunion committees and the Alumni Board as well as being a Partner in the Legacy, pledging support to the College through his estate plan.

“I not only want to give of my financials, but I also want to give back my time, stay involved and know what is happening on campus,” he says. “Even though I’m not able to be there in Ripon physically, being involved with all these other things definitely keeps me in touch.”

For both his professional work and his commitment to Ripon, Boyd says every donor is different and it’s important to hear each alumnus’ story and help them accomplish something some of them never thought they could do.

“There is a misconception that to make a difference you have to donate millions. That’s truly not the case. When you can show them that and you can see the light shine on their face when they realize that, it’s truly a remarkable feeling.

“The costs of tuition are never going to decrease. They’re always going to increase. Even though people don’t like to admit it, everyone needs help at some point. We need to allow students to enjoy themselves while getting a great education and not have to worry about mounting amounts of debt or having to get a high-paying job instead of allowing their true passions and interests to flourish. That’s why you should donate.”

To learn more about making a planned gift to Ripon College, please visit

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