All of the best residential liberal arts colleges strive to be true learning communities like Ripon. We succeed better than most because our enrollment of just over 1,000 students is perfect for fostering connections inside and outside the classroom. Our students flourish in this environment of mutual respect, where shared values are elevated and diverse ideas are valued. If you are seeking academic challenge and want to benefit from an environment of personal attention and support then you should take a closer look at Ripon.
In classes that average 20 students, your professors are able to know you, your strengths, and your capabilities extraordinarily well. They'll tailor your course work to make sure you're always challenged to perform at the top of your game. Yet they're always ready to provide extra support when you need it. Faculty collaborate with you on research projects, suggest independent study topics, and connect you with internships and other active learning experiences.
Campus Facilities & Equipment
Located on 250 tree-lined, rolling acres adjacent to downtown Ripon, the campus looks and feels like a college should. Ripon's 25 first-rate buildings are a striking combination of historic (10 campus structures listed on the national register of historic buildings) and modern architecture. Constant improvements, like a new apartment-style residence hall, a multimillion dollar renovation of one of our main classroom buildings, upgrades to the student union, the campus bookstore, our dining facilities, and numerous student activity spaces maintain Ripon's ability to meet the needs of today and tomorrow.
Technology services include high-speed Internet and e-mail, telephone, and video communication. Intranet and Internet services are accessible from systems located throughout the college. Our campus wide network provides access from every room, and several wireless "hot-spots" in key areas let you access the world without tying you down.
Our science labs contain a variety of high-tech instruments, including a 300-Mhz FTNMR Spectrometer, spectrophotometers, an X-ray diffraction instrument, chromatographs, a spectrofluorimeter, modern electroanalytical instrumentation, a HeliumCadmium Laser Lab, transmission and scanning electron microscopes, a super-speed refrigerated centrifuge, a Zeiss universal microscope with digitizing tablet and two Nikon diaphot inverted microscopes. Ripon also houses a small planetarium classroom, but since research is not limited to the lab, Ripon's Ceresco Prairie Conservancy provides the ultimate outdoor classroom_a 130-acre area natural prairie ecosystem where students can not only study science but also become involved in service learning through prairie restoration.
The library staff provides friendly, efficient circulation, reference, instruction, and interlibrary loan services that aid in research. The library also houses the college archives, a computer lab, and more than a dozen online databases. Library holdings include 164,000 volumes, 800 current periodicals, and microfilms.
The C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts is home to a theater with a state-of-the-art computerized lighting system, a recital hall with one of only 50 existing Bedient organs, an art gallery, and a sculpture garden.
The J.M. Storzer Center includes an Olympic-size pool, a first-class gymnasium, tennis and racquetball courts, a dance studio, training facilities, and a weight room. Our outdoor playing fields and courts are the best in their class. In addition, a large, modern exercise facility was recently added in the main student residence area.
U.S. or abroad? Three weeks, one semester, two semesters? We offer you more than 40 different programs to choose from, each one officially sanctioned by and affiliated with Ripon. Although most programs are connected with a major or minor program, all are open to every Ripon student, regardless of major.
U.S. Programs: Chicago Urban Studies Semester; Fisk University-Ripon Exchange Program; Newberry Seminar in the Humanities; Oak Ridge Science Semester; Washington Semester; Woods Hole Marine Biology.
International Programs: Budapest Semester; Central European Studies Program in the Czech Republic; Cost Rica; Cross-Cultural Study Center in Seville, Spain; Florence Program; France and Spain; Bonn, Germany Program; Global Studies Program in Turkey; India Studies; Japan Study; London and Florence Program in the Arts; Madrid Program; Montpellier, France; Paris, France; Ripon and York St. John Exchange; Russia Program; Sea Semester at Woods Hole; Swansea Program; Tanzania; Toledo, Spain; University of Wales in Bangor; Sea Education Association (marine biology abroad).
Student Organizations & Activities
The list of student clubs and organizations is ever-changing, reflecting our students' ever-changing interests. A recent addition is FUERZA Alliance, designed to educate students about Latino cultures and to provide services to the Spanish-speaking community of Ripon. Student initiated and sponsored club sports include Rugby and Lacrosse. These competitive teams travel throughout the Midwest.
Every day at Ripon is packed with a host of activities that include: Concerts we have eight vocal and instrumental groups that perform regularly on campus, as well as many individual student and faculty recitals. The Caestecker Fine Arts Series and the Chamber Music at Ripon Series annually bring national performers to campus. The Ethical Leadership Program sponsors an annual ethics conference which included nationally-known personalities Tim Russert, Miles Brand, and Bud Selig. The Theatre Department sponsors two major productions annually, plus a series of student-directed one-acts. Our most recent Ripon Film Festival (an annual showcase for independent films from around the country) included the premiere of a feature-length horror film written, directed by, and starring a Ripon student.
Ripon's NCAA Division III Intercollegiate Teams compete in the Midwest Conference:
Men's varsity sports: baseball, basketball, cross-country, cycling, football, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and indoor and outdoor track and field.
Women's varsity sports: basketball, cross-country, cycling, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, indoor and outdoor track and field.
With its “tight-knit and welcoming community,” Ripon conveys “a friendly environment conducive to learning, fun, and overall personal growth.” It is “not uncommon to sit down to lunch with a professor, or even go over to their house for tea.” Life at Ripon has proven blissful for one student who now says, “I cannot remember a time when I wanted to be anywhere else.” Besides a “strong academic core,” Ripon College has “many successful sports teams,” and Greek life “is abundant.” Greeks host events and are a big part of many students’ life. Partying “is evident but not huge by any respect.” “Since Ripon College is in a small town, the college sets up a lot of events on weekends for us to take part in!” “The small-town feel of Ripon forces you sometimes to create your own fun, which usually makes for the best memories.” “Being close to several metropolitan areas (Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, and the Twin Cities), there is rarely a weekend when people are not getting off campus to go explore.” But if you are looking for snow days to figure into your schedule, then Ripon may not be for you “because most professors will keep classes going even in negative temperatures with two feet of snow.”