Ripon College A History
About the cover
The painting on the cover jacket is a reproduction of an original oil by Lester Schwartz, professor of art and artist-in residence emeritus at Ripon College. Professor Schwartz has spent nearly 50 years at Ripon and has continued to work in his art studio in Middle Hall since his retirement in 1977. He originally joined the faculty in 1944. Professor Schwartz, the recipient of numerous awards for his art, has had several one-man shows.
The Ripon College Development Office commissioned the painting in 1971. The painting, "The Staking of the College," depicts the original "staking" of Brockway College (now East Hall) in 1851 by Captain David C. Mapes (in the oval) and two other gentlemen. Mapes was founder of the City of Ripon and one of the original incorporators of Brockway College. In describing his dream to build a college, Mapes wrote of those who helped him in his efforts, "They had more than wealth or position, for they possessed imagination and faith."
As Ripon celebrates its first written history, the vision of Captain Mapes and the creativity of Lester Schwartz are intertwined providing a powerful portrait of past, present, and future.
Robert Ashley and George H. Miller, the authors of Ripon College: A History have provided more than 71 years of service to the institution. Their latest endeavor is the culmination of years of research, writing, and editing.
The significance of Ripon College's first written history is reflected in the mark these two authors have had on the institution. Both received honorary doctorates from Ripon in 1985 and both served distinguished careers on the faculty: Ashley as Dean of the College and as a professor of English and Miller as a professor of American history. They have dedicated the majority of their careers to Ripon College. Now in retirement and as professors emeriti, they have provided not only a history a history but a tribute to the determination it took to found the College and the commitment it has taken to move Ripon College to its position of regional and national prominence.