Ripon College may be losing millions of dollars in planned giving, just as it’s about to head back to the courts over a dispute with alumni of a local fraternity.

Reason for both stems from the fact that the college’s board of trustees and alumni of Phi Kappa Pi — better known as Merriman — could not come to an agreement regarding use of the fraternity’s long-time home, Merriman House.

Consequently, the alumni plan to take the issue back to the courts, ending a nine-month truce as the two sides tried to find an amicable end to the issue.

Cody Pinkston, spokesperson for the college, said the decision was based on the college’s “strategic priorities” and that the college was not willing to compromise on them.

Yet, because the issue did not end amicably, Merriman alumni have pledged to take away planned giving.

“The Merriman group is extremely disappointed because we saw an exciting opportunity for the school to re-engage us as an alumni group,” said Mike Maahs, spokesperson for the alumni group. “This certainly has become a very passionate issue for our entire alumni base. For the school not to want to move forward ... basically slams the door shut on us trying to re-engage alumni.”

This, Maahs said, will lead back to the courtroom.

Read the full story in the Feb. 17, 2011 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press

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