Ripon College installs Victoria N. Folse as its 14th and first female president

On Saturday, Ripon College inaugurated Victoria N. Folse as its 14th president and the first woman to be formally installed as president in the College’s 172-year history.

She outlined institutional fundraising goals as well as introducing a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process. The initiative aims to empower Ripon to adapt to an evolving higher education landscape and ensure a Ripon degree is relevant for generations to come. In the months since Folse began at Ripon on July 1, 2022, she has led the College through the effort to determine a strategic framework and imperatives.

“While we celebrate all that we have accomplished, it is an ideal time to rethink our priorities, and implement strategies to achieve all that is possible,” Folse said. “It is through an appreciation of the College’s history that the importance of this moment in time is best understood.

“This ceremony is about much more than welcoming me as the new president. It is an opportunity for our community to reaffirm the foundational values that shaped this institution and continues to guide us into the future.”

More than 400 guests attended the ceremony, including representatives of colleges and universities from around the nation, state and local dignitaries, members of the Ripon College Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students.

Speakers included David Joyce, Ripon College’s 12th president, who also presented the invocation; Sara Rodriguez, lieutenant governor of the State of Wisconsin; Theodore Grant, mayor of the City of Ripon; and Eric Fulcomer, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Folse also reaffirmed her commitment to the liberal arts education that Ripon offers. “The liberal arts guided all phases of my career and supported me as a lifelong learner, a committed community member and servant leader, a masterful communicator, and a strategic thinker and calculated risk taker,” Folse said. “I believe Ripon College will continue to be successful in preparing graduates for their first career and the many careers and personal and professional interests that follow.”

Folse’s inauguration ceremony comes the day after the College broke ground on two infrastructure projects: the Franzen Science Center and Hopp Stadium.

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