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Meet our Distinguished Alumni

Welcome to our Alumni page!

Thousands of alumni of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures (from 1996 to the present) and the Department of German (from 1886-1996) are living and working around the globe. We would like to provide graduates from our major and graduate programs with this space to connect and to share their stories and experiences.

Take a stroll down memory lane through our Alumni Photo Album pages!

We are pleased to introduce you to our Distinguished Alumni!

Distinguished Alumnus LaVern J. Rippley – PhD 1965 Ohio State

LaVern J. Rippley - PhD 1965
Full Professor of German, St. Olaf College

In the course of his career, Professor Rippley authored, edited or translated some 18 books. His interests included German-Americana, German Romanticism, and the German Novelle.

Rippley succeeded in academia and also in the construction-rental business. He held a Full Contractor’s license with developer status.

Read more about Professor Rippley, his Fulbright experience, and his organizational and business talents.

GLL 2018 Distinguished Alumna Karin A Wurst

Karin A. Wurst – PhD 1985
Professor of German, Michigan State University

Professor Wurst specializes in eighteenth-century Literary and Cultural Studies and Early Modern Studies, Narrative Theory, and Visual Culture Studies at Michigan State University. She has served as Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at MSU and has recently completed an advisory role with the Provost on intercultural learning and student engagement. She was named the winner of the 2015 MSU Inspirational Woman of the Year Award: Culture of Empowerment.

Read more about Professor Wurst and her dedication to innovation in her field.

Ohio State Alum Ken Wilcox

Ken Wilcox - MA 1972, PhD 1977
Chairman of Silicon Valley Bank

Dr. Wilcox currently serves as Emeritus Chairman of Silicon Valley Bank and was Vice Chairman of SPD Silicon Valley Bank. He has been named "Banker of the Year" and "Entrepreneur of the Year" and is also an adjunct professor and member of the International Advisory Board at Fudan University in Shanghai.

Read more about Dr. 魏高思 (Ken Wilcox) and to what led him from graduating with a PhD in German Studies to North Carolina, to Boston, to California, and to China. 



Alumni Resources

Many who have earned degrees in German from our department mention that they would like to pick up the language again and enroll in German courses at Ohio State. If you are an Ohio resident and are 60 years of age or older, we invite you to take advantage of Program 60, a tuition-free, noncredit/non-degree program to connect to the university community. Program 60 students attend undergraduate, graduate-level, and distance learning courses on a space-available basis.

As an alumnus/a of Ohio State, your record already exists in our system. Simply search for your record by name, class year and/or alumni ID and claim your record. You will receive an e-mail prompting you to create your account. Once logged in, you will find many ways to get involved with the entire university community.

Read articles and web exclusives of the Ohio State Alumni Magazine

The Ohio State University Alumni Association