Celebrating Ripon College! Rally Days 2024 surpasses goal

Ripon College’s loyal supporters from around the world came together again for Rally Days 2024, the seventh annual spring giving event, held April 3-5. The multi-day celebration of the College garnered spirited campus engagement and online fundraising in support of the Forever Ripon campaign.    

Last spring, Ripon College publicly launched the Forever Ripon capital campaign focused on expanding access through student affordability and innovative programs, enhancing campus facilities and strengthening the institution through the Ripon Fund. Rally Days specifically focused on raising funds to support the Ripon Fund, the Franzen Science Center and upgrades to the residence halls. 

With 4.5 hours remaining in the giving event, the online campaign reached 100 percent of its goal of 1,000 gifts. When it was completed, the College had received a total of 1,062 gifts and raised more than $750,000. 

Matching gift challenges met included the Henshaw Family Biology Challenge, the Chemistry Challenge and numerous class gift challenges. The reunion class with the highest participation was the class of 2009, fueled by a 15th Reunion gift challenge offered by classmate and Alumni Board member Emily Meyer ’09 and husband Stephen Kennelly ’98.

The 50th Reunion Class of 1974 raised the greatest amount totaling $205,360. For the seventh year in a row, the Class of 1978 had the highest participation, with the Senior Class of 2024 coming in second. 

President Victoria N. Folse and Richard Folse presented the President’s Challenge, doubling the first $17,500 in gifts, to support study abroad, academic internships and faculty-staff-student collaboration on scholarly/creative projects. 

Special gifts and retirement wishes also were designated in honor of Michele Baran Wittler ’76, registrar and associate dean of faculty, who will retire this spring after serving the College for 40 years. 

The fundraising campaign was supported by on-campus activities including alumni engagement events, student thank-you-card-signing stations, Senior Cap and Gown party and coincided with Ripon College’s Alumni Board meetings. 

“Rally Days continues to provide dynamic on-campus and online engagement opportunities for our immediate and extended campus community,” said Shawn Karsten ’09, Vice President for Advancement, Marketing and Communications and Chief of Staff. “Beyond the generous philanthropic support that is realized, it’s rewarding to watch how this annual event provides our students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and friends the opportunity to celebrate Ripon College together.”

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