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Ripon College, founded in 1851, was converted from a college preparatory school to a four-year college in 1863. Its first class, four women — Luthera H. Adams, Harriet H. Brown, Susan A.W. Salisbury and Mary F. Spencer — was graduated in 1867.


The College is located in the historic city of Ripon, Wisconsin — a friendly, safe community of 7,733 people, 80 miles northwest of Milwaukee, 70 miles southwest of Green Bay, 73 miles northeast of Madison, 180 miles northwest of Chicago and 255 southeast of the Twin Cities in Minnesota.


The Ripon campus spans 250 tree-lined acres and includes 26 buildings — 10 of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A sustainable campus, Ripon is home to the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy, consisting of 130 acres of native prairie, oak savanna and wetland habitat in the making.


Life Well Lived Ⓡ

School Colors

Ripon Institutional Red
Institutional Red
PMS 201 C
Hex code: 6a0a1b
RGB: 164 / 29 / 54
CMYK: 24 / 100 / 78 / 18

Ripon Athletic Red
Athletics Red
PMS 200 C
Hex code: be0d34
RGB: 195 / 29 / 54
CMYK: 16.15 / 100 / 86.91 / 6.41


Ripon is just one of 280 select colleges and universities nationwide to hold a Phi Beta Kappa chapter (obtained in 1952), the oldest and most prestigious national honor society. National Forensic League and Pi Kappa Delta, a national honorary society for debaters and orators, were founded at Ripon. In November, 2014, the National Communication Association presented the Ripon College Department of Communication with the prestigious Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award for best undergraduate communication program in the United States. Click here to learn more about Ripon’s national rankings.

National Scholars

Ripon has had three Rhodes Scholars: Latimer Johns, 1911; Thomas Reinecke, 1968; and Zachary Morris, 2002. Lucy Burgchardt ’10, currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program in communication studies at University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, received the coveted Gates Cambridge Scholarship – one of only 29 American students selected that year for the national scholarship. Sam Sondalle ’11, currently enrolled in the M.D./Ph.D. program at the Yale University School of Medicine, received a Goldwater Scholarship.

Nobel Prize Winners

Ripon has one living Nobel Prize winner. Oliver Williamson, 1954, received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2009.


Ripon is a member of the prestigious Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM), which includes: Beloit College, Carleton College, Coe College, Colorado College, Cornell College, Grinnell College, Lake Forest College, Lawrence University, Luther College, Macalester College, Monmouth College, Knox College and St. Olaf College.

Red Hawks Intercollegiate Athletics

Ripon competes athletically as part of the Midwest Conference and boasts 21 NCAA Division III varsity teams: baseball (M), basketball (M+W), cycling (M+W), cross country (M+W), dance (W), football (M), softball (W), soccer (M+W), swimming and diving (M+W), tennis (M+W), indoor and outdoor track and field (M+W), volleyball (W). Approximately 37 percent of enrolled students participate in varsity athletics at Ripon. The Ripon College football program first took the field against Lawrence University in 1893 (Ripon won 24-6) to begin what is believed to be the oldest football rivalry in the state of Wisconsin.

Our Students

Ripon enrolls 807 undergraduates. Nearly 70 percent of all students are Wisconsin residents.

Academic Profile, Class of 2022

Mid-range SAT scores: 1030-1240; Average ACT score: 24 average GPA: 3.4


Ripon has more than 10,000 living alumni. Prominent alumni include: Harrison Ford ’64, Spencer Tracy ’24 (deceased), Al Jarreau ’62 (deceased), Dick Bennett ’65, Gail Dobish ’76, Richard Threlkeld ’59 (deceased), Jeffrey Bantle ’80, Justin Niebank ’78, Elda Emma Anderson ’22 (deceased) and Bill Jordan ’69. Learn more about our prominent alumni.

Academic Calendar

Two 15-week semesters; optional three-week Liberal Arts In Focus sessions in summer, fall and winter. Learn more about off-campus study.

Student-to-Faculty Ratio

Ripon College has 14 students per one faculty member, and the average class size is small: fewer than 20 students. As a matter of fact, 76 percent of classes at Ripon have fewer than 20 students, and 92 percent of classes have fewer than than 30 students.

Our Faculty

Ninety-eight percent of full-time faculty members hold a Ph.D. or the equivalent highest degree in their fields. Unlike many large universities, our professors’ first and largest job is to teach our undergraduate classes. While they research, publish and create with the best of their peers, our faculty come here because they love to teach.

Ripon College President

messitte hoop house
Zach Messitte, the 13th president of Ripon College

Post-Graduate Record

Ninety-eight percent of our students are employed, student teaching or enrolled in graduate programs within six months of graduating from Ripon; approximately 50 percent of alumni continue their education within five years of graduation; the five-year average acceptance rate for students entering medical school is 75 percent, outpacing the national average.

Residential Life

Ninety-two percent of students live on campus. A variety of housing options exist, including theme housing and apartment-style housing for upperclassmen. Ripon has more than 50 student-run clubs and organizations, including College Days, the oldest continuously published student newspaper in Wisconsin. Approximately, 70 percent of students participate in intramural sports and other clubs and organizations, who actively utilize athletics, health and wellness facilities and fields and a 3.5 mile system of recreational trails.


Ripon is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

More information about Ripon’s accreditation status and process are available by clicking on the graphic below or contacting:
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604