Dante Houston '01
Setting up a life insurance policy to benefit Ripon College was a quick, easy way to support Ripon's future for Dante Houston '01 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
"I contribute annually to the College," he says. "I want to ensure that my commitment to Ripon College remains well past when I am giving on an annual basis.?
He worked with his financial planner and decided to make Ripon College a beneficiary of a life insurance policy. "It's an easy thing to do to make that commitment," he says. "It was a simple document to fill out and it was not a huge time commitment either."
"This commitment is something we have to plan for. We've seen the tough times of the College. My class was there during the troubled years when we had the lowest endowment in the history of the College. There were no funds to do expansion that was needed to attract good, talented students and be respectful of our great tradition. We've seen those years and no longer want that to be a part of the College's history."
Houston is a native of Milwaukee where he attended Bay View High School. "My first encounter with Ripon College was when I was selected to attend Badger Boys State during the summer of 1996," he says. "After that visit I opted to investigate the college further in the fall and made an overnight visit."
"At that point, I did not have the financial means to attend that overnight. The only way I was able to was that a phenomenal individual in Admission, Lyn McCarthy, picked me up at my home and drove me up to Ripon for the overnight. She then returned me safely home. We were very pleased at that level of commitment from Admission."
He adds, "I was wowed by the level of community and the beautiful campus as well. By the end of the visit everyone I had encountered knew my first name. That meant a lot."
He says he still gets a "welcome-home" feeling each time he visits the campus.
Houston majored in communication and is very proud that Ripon received the 2014 Rex Mix Program of Excellence Award from the National Communication Association, recognizing the best undergraduate communication program in the United States.
He first worked as a compliance officer. He now is the director of recruiting services for MRA, a management organization that helps other organizations with their human resources needs.
"My liberal arts education gave me the ability to quickly shift resources, careers and talents in a way that not everyone has," he says. "I was fortunate to have that ability to write and that ability to talk with individuals."
To give back to Ripon College, he also has served as class agent and volunteer with alumni board of directors. Dante served as the youngest graduate to be elected President of the Ripon College alumni board of directors.
"Based on the history of the College and all the benefits I received, I feel it's integral to ensure that same quality of education is available for current students and future students," he says. "It's similar to the message I have given as a class agent for the last 15 years. Our Alma Mater provided so much for us, and it's our responsibility to ensure that that same level of commitment stays in place. It's just as critical for the younger generation to maintain this commitment."