A newly endowed scholarship will link graduates of Tremper High School in Kenosha, Wis., and Ripon College. The Conforti and Chemerow Scholarship is substantially funded by donors Doreen Conforti Chemerow, a 1973 graduate of Ripon College and her husband, David I. Chemerow of Boca Raton, Fla.
They both are 1969 graduates of Tremper High School. Doreen Conforti Chemerow was a National Merit Scholar and strongly desired to attend a small liberal arts college such as Ripon. “However I needed more financial aid in order to do that,” she said. With added generous scholarship and financial aid from Ripon, she was able to attend.
Both of the Chemerows value the diversity of students they met and interacted with while in college and believe that offering diversity and inclusion is important to a college community. They want to assist other Tremper High School students or those from Southeastern Wisconsin to pursue a Ripon education and experience an internship.
The scholarship will be awarded each year to a student from Tremper High School or Kenosha County who displays financial need and improves the racial and ethnic diversity of the Ripon campus. It will be renewable for up to four years. The recipients also will receive a stipend to support an internship.
“As principal of Tremper High School, I am reminded all the time of the powerful connection that our alumni have to Tremper and Kenosha,” Steven Knecht said. “The Conforti and Chemerow Scholarship at Ripon College is an amazing example of this connection. In a world challenged by so much negativity, it is extremely gratifying to know that good people are still doing great things.
“The way of ‘paying it forward’ by the Chemerows is something that will last for years to come and keep that connection between Ripon College and Tremper High School.”
“The Chemerows are a perfect illustration of what makes Ripon such a special place,” said Zach Messitte, the 13th president of Ripon College. “Their lifetime of commitment and care for the future of education, the promotion of diversity and inclusion and remembering their hometown is an example for all of us to emulate.”
A Ripon education made many good things possible for Doreen Conforti Chemerow, both in her career and personally, including serving as a Ripon College trustee for 22 years. She was awarded the college’s Medal of Merit in 2014, the highest honor bestowed upon an alumnus/a for distinguished professional achievement, exemplary personal qualities and service to Ripon College.
“I would like to make it possible for someone in my situation to attend a great college like Ripon,” she said. “The variety of people you meet at college is as important as your academic experience. I’m happy we can help out in this regard. It means a lot to both of us to enable someone else to have a quality college experience.”