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Alice J. Ripley Endowed Scholarship

Alice J. Ripley was an alumna of Eastern Montana Normal School and Eastern Montana College (now MSU Billings), receiving her teaching certificate in 1935, her bachelor’s degree in 1966, and a master’s degree in 1972. Alice taught the sixth grade during her 35-year teaching career, 25 of those years in the Billings school district. Alice was lucky to have the opportunity to continue teaching after she got married. In those days, marriage was a career-ending state for teachers. However, a teacher shortage allowed her to continue the career she loved. It was also uncommon for a teacher to have a master’s degree. Her master’s thesis topic was music education, a particular passion for Alice. Alice passed away in 1985 at age 81. In 2005, her son, Ben Ripley, and daughter-in-law, Sharon Weatherwax-Ripley, established the Alice J. Ripley Endowed Scholarship. The first scholarship was awarded in academic year 2011-2012.


“I would like to first thank you for giving me the opportunity to pursue my education with your generous award of the Alice J. Ripley Endowed Scholarship. I will be the first person in my family to graduate from college. I currently live at home with my parents, adopted sister, four foster sisters, and two foster brothers. Having such a loving and caring, yet sometimes hectic household, I wanted to attend a school that was close to home. Montana State University Billings was the perfect fit. Upon graduation I plan to be a K-12 music teacher or gain a Master’s in music to teach at a university. Ultimately I plan to teach music wherever I end up. Thank you again for this outstanding opportunity, for without the help of the Alice J. Ripley Endowed Scholarship, my education would not be possible.” — Danielle B., Music major with a teaching option