Retiring professors at Ripon College include, from left, Bob Wallace, Paul Schoofs, Sarah Kraaz and Kurt Dietrich. They were recognized Feb. 2 during a Red Hawk basketball game.
Retiring professors at Ripon College include, from left, Bob Wallace, Paul Schoofs, Sarah Kraaz and Kurt Dietrich. They were recognized Feb. 2 during a Red Hawk basketball game.

   Lecturing at the front of the class, working alongside students and celebrating when they graduate.

   Long-time Ripon College professors cherish these moments.

   But after 30 to 45 years serving the college and its students, four faculty are set to retire when Ripon College holds its commencement ceremony Sunday, May 19.

   “It’s time to say goodbye,” said biology professor Bob Wallace, who has been at the college for 42 years.
Wallace along with his colleagues — economics professor Paul Schoofs and music professors Kurt Dietrich and Sarah Kraaz — will hang up their caps this year.

   Schoofs — who has been at the college for 45 years — noted he put off retiring for about 10 years because he enjoyed teaching too much to stop. But after last summer, Schoofs felt he was ready to enjoy more free time.

   After 30 years of teaching at the college, Kraaz felt similarly, noting “it was just a good time for me to bow out and make room for somebody younger and newer, who could adapt [to curriculum changes].”

“I thought it was because I was leaving and you thought it would be tough without me,” joked Dietrich, who retires with 39 years at Ripon College under his belt.
Kraaz laughed, ‘Yeah, OK, we can use that ...”

   Dietrich noted he was saying adieu because “I had a really great group of seniors this year in my two ensembles. I like this class so much and when they leave, maybe it’s time for me to leave too.”

Read the full story, with anecdotes about pranks professors pulled and their favorite moments, in the May 16, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.