In Memory of John Tripp
John F. Tripp, 58, graduate of the Class of 1972, former C-SC director of student services, former member of the Culver-Stockton Board of Trustees, and senior lecturer in business died suddenly Saturday, May 16, 2009, at his home in Quincy. An active and enthusiastic alumnus and faculty member, beloved by his students, he had been a member of the Culver-Stockton community for nearly 40 years. We will miss him. You are invited to share of memory of John Tripp on this website.
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I loved the experience he could tell his students to give them great insight.
Niven Gray - 2008
John Tripp was the guy you didn't forget. He was fun, caring, and inclusive. He had a way of being right in the middle of the group with everyone else,yet clearly stood out as the leader. Even in his early 20s John had an intuitive insight as how to make other people feel more comfortable. When I think of my time at Culver, John is one I remember with fondness and laughter.
My deepest sympathy goes to Barb and family.
Nancy Turner Gorden - 1973
John Tripp really knew how exciting the world of the mind could be. He told me he learned that at Culver-Stockton...by being the fly on the wall. When he came here he said, he was an indifferent scholar; but a student-help job put him in a commons room where faculty gathered to talk. He said that listening to John Sperry and Bob Mathieson and Tom Wiltshire and Jerry Haldeman, among others, as they batted around ideas of all sorts opened a new world for him. That acquired inclination to find everything interesting and to look forward with positive anticipation to what might come next stayed with him and spilled over into every encounter he had with students, colleagues, trustees, and members of the greater community. I hope that John's spirit of joyous anticipation remains long among us, even though his presence is far too soon gone.
Carol Mathieson -
John was a dear friend and Sig Ep brother. He and I were originally from New York so we developed a bond immediately. We had many great times together. We were in the same pledge class and that brought us even closer together. We spent many nights at Tony's Pizzeria in Quincy eating, laughing and enjoying our fraternity brotherhood. Boomba, as John was often referred to as during his days at Culver,was a great person. I remember the fun we had in the Sig Ep house with Ma Duncan. The way all the guys used to tease her and joke with her about various things. I remember when we were pledges, and John walked the entire marathon for the fraternity.
john v. tucci - 1967-1971
I remember Mr. Tripp came with his wife, Barb to our formal. It was so cute seeing the two together with Barb sitting on his lap. You could tell by just seeing this that the two were very happy together. He will be greatly missed as a faculty member and a friend.
Kayla Pickel - 20012
What a supporter of our student-athletes. A passion for Culver - for what it was, what it is and what it will become. John truly bled Wildcat blue. Thank you for your support and critical opinions. We know you loved our programs win or lose.
Michelle Krassinger -
When John spoke, people listened. I listened because his words were always well spoken and with good intention. In many ways he was an essential part of the heartbeat of the college and always had his finger on its pulse.
He greeted me simply as "Reverend" and maybe I should have called him the same. CSC was his flock, and we will miss our shepherd.
Chaplain Brent Reynolds -
John Tripp’s Memorial
Now that you’ve departed and we
are tied up to our tears,
we must at least be grateful for
your presence these past many years.
Something’s now gone wrong, John
We thank you for your kindnesses
and the wisdom you have shown.
We share our sorrow here and
later each will grieve alone.
Gotta say “So long,” John
We are comforted only by
our good times together spent.
And come to share this moment which
celebrates you at this important event.
We’ll miss your song, John
Al Beck -
My first thought was to write and express my thanks to John for allowing me to lecture in his class room many times over the past four years, to thank him for being such a help and wonderful influence on the Culver-Stockton career my son Ted, to thank him for his friendship and to say, "Well done Sig Ep." But none of that seems enough. Envy is not a virtue, but we can all be envious tonight, envious of the angels, because John is with them.
Rick Daniels - 1967
A Tribute to John Tripp on Behalf of Culver-Stockton College
One week ago today, Culver-Stockton College lost a good friend and colleague. John loved this college and has been a part of its history since the day that his parents brought him to campus in the late 1960s. His impact on the college and the memories of his work here will last for decades into the future. On behalf of President Fox, President Elect Valentine, and all of us at Culver-Stockton let me express our deepest sympathy to Barb Tripp and all the members of John’s family. Let me also express our profound thanks for all of the good work John did for this college over the past 40 years.
I can’t recall the first time I met John Tripp. It must have been sometime in the first few weeks of the fall 1989 semester; my first at the college. One could not spend much time at Culver-Stockton College without knowing about John Tripp. There were always John Tripp stories associated with Culver-Stockton for a newcomer to hear. Over the years I would see John at various events, hear his radio shows, see his TV ads, read his columns, and always hear more stories about his time on the Hill. John affectionately referred to the college as “Harvard on the Hill” not with any humor or sarcasm, but rather with a real belief that there was no better college anywhere than Culver-Stockton. John loved and believed in Culver-Stockton College as deeply as anyone that I know.
When John was invited to be a member of the Board of Trustees, it seemed like a logical choice. Who better to serve the college than John Tripp? His obvious love for Culver-Stockton was always apparent, his connections with people were terrific, and his straight-forward manner of dealing with the important issues of the college made him a valued board member. John had a way of addressing an issue directly - no holds barred - getting to the fundamental core of the problem that others seem to want to avoid. He would sit quietly listening while others took various sides of an issue and, just at the right moment, late in the debate, he would pull all the complexities of the issue together into clear and easily understandable terms - and then urge the group to stop arguing over minutia and fix the problem. John could do this without giving offense to the people involved or even being critical of these people. When John spoke, people listened.
In January 2007, I needed to find a business teacher to cover an immediate opening at the college. John was making a change at that time in his career, and I knew right away that John would be the perfect solution that Culver-Stockton needed. John was very excited about the prospects of teaching at the college. He jumped in with great enthusiasm and full of ideas. I think he thought that this teaching thing was going to be a piece of cake. (Of course I am sure Barb knew better.) John soon found that teaching was hard work that took a great deal of preparation. So what did he do? He sought advice from his colleagues in the department and did the work. John was a quick study and he sincerely wanted to be a good teacher and mentor for our students. When the teaching position was advertised as a permanent position, John applied and won the job over several well-qualified applicants.
John’s first year of full-time teaching at the college was during a time that our faculty was working hard to reinvent the curriculum and enhance the educational opportunities for our students. This process was not without some controversy. Throughout the meetings and debates, John would listen with an amused smile on his face and not say much until just the right moment, and with a dramatic flair, would rise up out of his chair and remind everyone how important it was that the college move forward. His words would, at times, end the debate and unify our faculty moving forward. There were many times over the past two years, I would slip over to John’s office and seek his advice. I could always count on his candor, good humor, and full support.
John embraced our new curriculum, EXP@CSC, with enthusiasm and action. His 3-week classes got the students out of the classroom and into the board rooms of important companies such as John Deere and Caterpillar. He brought corporate leaders to campus to meet our students and talk with them about their companies. John made sure the students were dressed-up, well-mannered, and well-prepared for these visits. He would come back from the class trips exhausted, but very proud of our students, and full of stories of their adventures.
Our students loved John Tripp. He knew more students at this college than possibly any other faculty member. John was not a great scholar presenting theoretical treatises to our students. Rather, he brought a vast amount of hands-on experience into the classroom to be balanced with the theoretical concepts. He was also a master story teller who could bring together all the differing strands and complexities of an issue into clear and meaningful terms. Perhaps most importantly John cared deeply about our students. He took the time to get to know them, to push them to do their best, and, at times, would give them a needed tongue-lashing urging them to amend their ways. One did not sleep through, or waltz in late to John’s classes unnoticed!
If you have not done so, I would urge you see the many tributes to John written by his students, colleagues, and friends on the college website. The words are inspiring.
As many of you know, John wrote a weekly online column entitled "Up, Down and Around our Town." His last entry on Monday, May 11, just two days after our commencement ceremony was a tribute to President Bill Fox as Bill is leaving Culver-Stockton College to become president of St. Lawrence University in July. John wrote a moving tribute to Bill that began with these words:
"'So many of us die with our music still in us', as Oliver Wendell Holmes so aptly put. His words were designed to make sure that we share all of our gifts as often as possible with those that are close. It speaks of making sure that those special talents are developed, shared and most of all, improved upon. Such is the challenge of living in a fast-moving society. Reality tells us that there will always be starts and stops; it's the journey that really counts the most."
John’s journey continues as the music and gifts he shared with all of us will live on for a very long time.
John Tripp, thank you, farewell, and Godspeed from all of your friends at “Harvard on the Hill.”
Joe Dieker, Dean of the College -
Many years from now, after I'm old, fat, and (hopefully) successful, I'll be asked to look back in time and identify the single greatest lesson of my college career. A shrewd look will come over my face, and I'll give the impression of being deep in thought; but the answer will have already came to mind. The one great truth that I learned in my years at Culver-Stockton College is this: "The number-one goal of American business is to make money." That truth was hammered into my head, like so many others, by Mr. John Tripp in his Business 210 class. It's important to note that I always felt that the "Business" label was inappropiate: his lectures seemed more like instructions on how to live a good and honest life. Lessons such as "Your word is your bond", "Learn from your mistakes", and "Never be content with the status quo" can be applied to more areas than business. Above all, Mr. Tripp taught us that there are many things in life that can't be learned out of a textbook, which came as a suprise to this student majoring in accounting and finance. Words that can do Mr. Tripp justice are hard to find, but if you had the honor and pleasure of knowing him, the details aren't necessary. It should suffice to say that John Tripp was a fascinating professor, an extremely interesting person to talk to, and above all, he was a good man. His friends and family are in my prayers.
Neil Gau - 2010
I had class with him twice. I like business but not as much as nursing. John made business an exciting and wonderful field. His excitement for the field of business made you want to apply yourself to it as well. He made it sound so easy but yet made you realize that there is a down side as well. I learned a lot about real life and how business functions from him. He lived it and applied his knowledge to better the community that he lived in not just for himself but for everyone.
He loved his family very much. He constantly would bring them up and say how blessed that he was to have them. Especialy his grandkids; he would tell the class about the fun he would have just sharing his time with his grandkids. He greatly would mention his children as well and the look on his face showed how proud he was of their accomplishments in their lives they made. I truly am proud to have met and gotten to know such a great personality and compassionate person. He will truly be missed. God Bless you John and your family. Sincerely, Jeri Howard
Jeri Howard - 2011
Was a good man and will be missed by all that ever came in contact with him. If anyone truly loved Culver-Stockton College --- it was John Trip...rest in peace John!
Michael McClement - 1977
John was my fraternity brother - we loved Sigma Phi Epsilon and C-S C. John was a gentle giant, as genuine a man as you could meet and one that lived life passionately. I have many fond memories of our times together, particularly when I drove him to Chicago to fly back to NY and we stopped to meet my folks. My Dad took particular interest in John as he pounded the 88s on the baby Grand in our home. I will never forget that moment. Time is too short and I regret not making more frequent contact with my brother after college life. I will change that with the others. Love to Barb and the girls. Your husband and father was one of a kind, and I will miss him.
Jeff Curtis - 1972
This winter I submitted a letter to Sports Illustrated about my favorite baseball player, Jeff Kent,regarding his retirement announcement. To my surprise, it was published in the "Letters section" several weeks later. Several friends mentioned it to me. John Tripp was nice enough to give me his copy of the magazine so that I would have an extra copy. That was the type of person he was - even though he had just gotten to know me, he went out of his way to make a very kind gesture. I will never forget it or him!
James Lynes -
One of my very first classes I took as a first-time college student was Business 210 With Mr. Tripp. Although he made my jaw drop on numerous occasions by throwing out 10-page papers, he provided me with the tools and knowledge to complete the papers with virtually no effort. John Tripp had a natural niche for bringing the real life scenarios and perspective of the business world directly into the class room. Because of the way John Tripp taught, I was confident that I could/would succeed in college. He was so full of life, enthusiasim, and dedication toward his job. I once remember running into Mr. Tripp at County Market during the Flood of '08, He was on his way out of town to relax and go golfing after a hard day's work of sandbagging in Canton. He took the time out of his day to stop and talk with me for several minutes, This is the kind of man John was, He would stop and talk with his students and show compassion toward their concerns or needs. Most people would just wave or give a simple "Hello, How are you?". But not Mr. Tripp. I am greatly influenced by Mr. Tripp, and will never forget the impact he made on my life. Thank you Mr. John Tripp for all you have taught me. You will forever be in my heart and memory. My deepest sympathy to all his family!. The Tripp family will be in my prayers.
Jason Hogan - 2011
Mr. Tripp was more than a professor or in my case an advisor. Mr. Tripp was a friend. He wanted to get to know students on a personal level. When I would go talk to him about something, it was 10 minutes on the help I needed and 15 minutes on life. Mine, his, it didn't matter. Mr. Tripp was the one to help me find my way at Culver-Stockton. He was always willing to help me no matter what he had going on. He worked not for the paycheck but, for the students. He was a great professor, advisor and mentor, but he was an even greater friend. He will be greatly missed on campus in the fall and forever.
To the Tripp family, I give my condolences. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Amanda Gibbs - 2010
I never had a class with Mr. Tripp, but as an accounting and finance major I saw him often in the halls of the Business Division. I particularly remember how he always greeted me with a smile and his love for his students and for Culver-Stockton. He will be sincerely missed. May God be with his family and friends during this time, and may we always remember what a great man Mr. Tripp was.
Ashley Wort - 2008
John Tripp... the man with eyes in every corner. We could never slip anyone into Ziegler Hall without the Tripp-meister knowing. We will miss you. Our hearts and prayers go out to your family.
Bill Shelton - 1979
I only had one semester to get to know "the" John Tripp...And it only took that one semester to realize what a great man he was. He was down to earth and a constant joker. He wanted only good things for all his students. He brought real world experiences to his classroom which was an excellent learning tool. I will always have my fond memories of him, who I am glad to call my friend! You will always have a place in our hearts and be very truely missed, Mr. Tripp!
Beth Bronestine - 2009
I've been sitting on my front porch all day trying to read, but John just won't leave me alone. He keeps reminding me that enthusiasm for the mission of Culver-Stockton - EXP@CSC - and love and caring for students is always at the forefront of what we do here! There is no time for "fiddling" and "wringing our hands" as we forge ahead with energy, sense of humor, and caring more than others think is wise. John was a risk-taker in his life and professional pursuits, a dreamer of sorts who expected so much more of himself and those who surrounded him; he was an "impressario" who loved to prod and provoke (just ask the young lady who he went after as part of his one-man retention crusade!), entertain (especially when he was behind a microphone!), and create (Quincy Hospice was his idea).
I will miss John as comrade and colleague, as one who loved a good conversation and debate, and as a loving member of the Culver-Stockton community.
Terry Sherer -
My first experience with John was as a Board of Trustees member. As a student in a room of what appeared to be very intimidating people, John broke the ice and helped me to find my voice. For that I am forever grateful.
When he returned to working at C-SC, I don't think we went more than two days without seeing each other, and we always exchanged more than small talk. He always took the time.
The parting words and hug I shared with him on May 8th were always going to be remembered, but now they will be particularly treasured.
We were blessed to have him in our community.
Nicole Gravedoni - 2009
I had the privilege of spending the entire 3-week session with him. I learned a lot not only about our subject for our class but also about life in general. If there is an ideal attitude to have as a person, John Tripp had that attitude. He was very jovial, gracious and extremely friendly. I had three classes with him and learned a lot through his wealth of experience. I will miss the great conversations with him. John Tripp was a great person, professor and alumni of Culver-Stockton; and he will be sorely missed.
Brad Baker - 2010
John and I were Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity brothers at Culver in the late '60s and early '70s. He was a year ahead of me in school and, as a fraternity brother and friend, Tripper was always willing to help and participate. There are so many fond memories that I and other Sig Eps hold near and dear to our hearts that included him, Barb and other students. As the years passed, he was always the guy we would call to find out about Culver and what was going on in everyone's life. He organized some wonderful reunions for us and his quick wit and affinity for remembering names was amazing....Barb and girls, please accept our deepest sympathies.
Kent ('73) and Teri Starkey
Kent Starkey - 1973
I can't believe it. What a shock that he is gone. He was my very first teacher at 8 a.m. in the morning my freshman year. I was scared it was going to be my hardest class, but what I found out it was that it was the best class with the best teacher I have had. He cared so much about me and his other students. The last memory I have of him, I will hold forever. He will be missed greatly.
Andrea Kleinsorge - 08-09
I had the privilege of serving as the faculty representative to the Board of Trustees while John was a member of that board and most recently as a colleague in the Business Division. In a short time, John and I became good friends. He certainly loved Culver-Stockton College and served it well. He brought a wealth of experience into the classroom. I found myself seeking out his opinion on a variety of topics. Most importantly he loved his students and wanted them to learn and succeed. He will be greatly missed by so many. Linda and I offer our sympathy and prayers to his family in this difficult time.
Jim Cosgrove -
I had the honor of taking one of his business classes, and it was fascinating. He was such a good and down-to-earth person. He constantly entertained the class; told us about his experiences in the business world and in his own life; and, most of all, he educated us on the business world. He was, no doubt, one of the best professors I have ever had. I will always remember John Tripp and the stories he shared with my class.
Jemeisha Johnson - 2012
John and I worked with others on the retention committee this last semester. I really got to know him through that assignment. He had a great relationship with his students and was a never ending source of inspiration for me. His wealth of experience was shared with all of us at Culver, and this community has suffered a blow with his passing.
Judy Abbott -
I had the pleasure of knowing John for only a couple of years. However, it was obvious that John loved Culver-Stockton and was not hesitant about demonstrating that love to anyone who would listen. This is a great loss for the college and the students, in particular. My sympathy to John's family!
Senior Lecturer Mike Bradshaw -
He was an amazing man. He brought his real world experiences to the class room and inspired his students to become more than what they were. He will truly be missed. May God be with his family during this time of mourning. You will be missed, Mr. Tripp.
Carrie Fischer - 1996, 2010
John was an amazing professor. He combined real world knowledge with text book definitions to create a fun, engaging class. Not only did he care about his students in the classroom, he wanted his students to apply what they learned and excel outside of the lecture hall. He was always available to discuss future plans or just to share funny stories with.
There are no words to express the shock and sadness that we are all feeling at the news of his passing. We would do anything to have him back with us, but he would want us to look forward, remember the precious moments we were given with him and hold Barb and his family in our hearts and prayers. We all miss you Mr. Tripp!
Megan Christy - 2009