To continue their parents’ devotion to higher education, Ripon College Professor Kurt Dietrich and his siblings have established two separate endowments in their parents’ names to benefit the Wisconsin liberal arts college.

The Richard V. and Frances S. Dietrich Trust Scholarship and the Richard V. and Frances S. Dietrich Faculty Development Fund are reported to have a combined value of more than $2 million coming from the “proceeds of his [the elder Dietrich’s] estate.”

The scholarship fund will mostly benefit underprivileged first-generation college students looking to take “educational or programmatic experiences in the fine arts,” while the faculty fund will be mainly used for creative research and development.

Family of Educators

Richard Dietrich and his wife, Frances Smith Dietrich, always displayed a love for higher education. They graduated from Colgate University and the University of Rochester respectively, with Richard later pursuing a career in academia.

This love for higher education continued with Kurt’s own family. His wife Maria, their sons Erik and Paul, and their daughter-in-law Jessica have all been faculty members at Ripon. In fact, Kurt’s 39-year tenure with the college is among the main reasons why it was chosen as the main benefactor.

College President Zach Messitte acknowledged the family’s generosity while remarking how the funds will have a positive impact on Ripon.

“With the gift from Richard and Frances Dietrich, three generations of the family have made an indelible mark on the institution as valued educators, staff, and supporters. The Dietrich Scholarship will impact Ripon for generations to come,” Messitte said.