President Folse looks forward to new initiatives and action following her inaugural year.
Associate Director of Athletics Steve Wammer opened up the All-Athlete Fall-Kickoff meeting on Sunday, Aug. 27. He began by introducing an individual entering their sophomore season here at Ripon, praising them for their involvement and energy that they brought to the Ripon College community.
This individual is President Vickie Folse, Ripon’s 14th president, who was inaugurated in April.
Folse and her family have been enjoying all that Ripon has to offer since the start of her tenure here. This past weekend that included attending women’s tennis matches, women’s volleyball matches, women’s and men’s soccer games, a JV football game, and also volunteering at the Village Green for a Ripon Community Concert. She can often be seen around Ripon at various events with her husband, Dick, and at times with their two adult daughters when they visit.
Through many happy memories, inauguration week stood out as one of her favorites from the past year.
“It was exciting because it brought all of us together. It wasn’t just about being formally inaugurated as the first woman president of Ripon College, but all of the things we did that week, from a day of service to catalyst day, and concerts, I mean it was just a great week. To me, that was a great ending to a phenomenal first year,” she said.
As Folse begins her second academic year, the school can expect more changes and developments as she works with administration, students, faculty, staff, and alumni to bring new initiatives to the college.
“We spent our first year doing a lot of assessment,” Folse said. “So now, we’re ready to move forward, and solidify plans, and bring to fruition all the ideas we talked about our first year.”
In the past two years, Ripon College has worked to create a Strategic Plan for the betterment of the college, which has been rolled out alongside the “Forever Ripon” giving campaign. This campaign is described on the Ripon College website as following a set of strategic pillars. These pillars are meant to “Elevate Admission and Enrollment Strategies, Innovate Curricular Programming, Amplify Meaningful Student Experiences, Foster Stakeholder Engagement, and Steward Fiscal Responsibility.” Folse says she is feeling “energized” moving into this second year as these plans are put into action.
For example, the athletic department will be seeing Chris Schumacher as full-time athletic director, as well as strategic planning work surrounding mental health support for student-athletes and DEIAB (diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility, and belonging) initiatives.
Folse also mentioned other initiatives that are coming together this year, such as the completion of Hopp Stadium, the Franzen Science Center, dorm improvements, and the new Ripon College Spain Program that will be debuting this spring.
Along with excitement for the next year at Ripon, President Folse also shared some advice for all students.
“Use the resources we have at Ripon College. Whether it’s an academic advisor or a student leader, be aware that we’re here to invest in every student who comes to Ripon College,” she said.
As Ripon College continues implementing new initiatives and following the Strategic Plan, Folse stresses the importance of connections and relationships at Ripon, expressing a want to get to know individual students.
“I’ll be out and visible and approachable,” Folse said. “I would love to know students on a more personal level.”