RIPON – President Zach Messitte of Ripon College reports he has seen enrollment jump by 10 percent this year, without adjusting admissions standards.
The secret sauce is a new, state-of-the-art $22 million renovated and built-out sports, health and wellness complex. It’s called the Willmore Center. During college tours, students are shown gleaming basketball courts, bright Redhawk-red indoor track lanes, sleek open spaces and a shining weight room.
A new curriculum, admissions practices and marketing have also helped keep average ACT scores and GPA for first-year students exactly the same as last year, even with this year’s 10 percent increase in enrollment, Messitte said.
Messitte said the center will benefit the entire community, offering family memberships in addition to full student access. There’s nothing like it in the area, he said. The new Willmore Center opened its doors in October of 2017.
“There’s always been a tikkun olam spirit in my upbringing,” said Messitte, whose father is a U.S. district court judge in Maryland. “What you do in your career has to be helpful and what you do has to help others and make the world better.”
He added, “I want to help the students that I work with progress in their lives and careers.”