John Benka of Park Ridge honored by Ripon College

1960 graduate awarded Distinguished Alumni Citation

RIPON, WI (07/14/2010)(readMedia)-- John T. Benka '60 of Park Ridge, Ill. was honored with the Distinguished Alumni Citation by the Ripon College Alumni Association during its annual dinner June 25.

Benka was a biology major at Ripon College. While on campus, John participated in the ROTC program, played on the football and baseball teams, and was an active member of Phi Kappa Pi.

After graduating from Ripon, John served as a Lieutenant in the United States Army Chemical Corps in Ft. McClellan, Ala. From there John moved to Lake Zurich, Ill. in 1962 to serve as an English teacher and Dean of Students at Ela-Vernon High School. In 1967, John entered a new role in the education system as assistant Principal at Franklin Senior High School in Franklin, Wis. John also served as an educational administrator in the Milton, Wis. and Park Ridge, Ill. school districts. In 1995, after 20 years as Assistant Superintendent of the Maine Township High School District 207 in Park Ridge, John retired.

He holds a master's degree in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a Ph. D. in Educational Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

John grew up in Cudahy, Wis. He is currently is enjoying his retirement in Park Ridge, Ill. He stays busy as a trustee on the Park Ridge Public Library board of directors, is an active member of the Park Ridge Healthy Community Partnership, and volunteers as a classroom assistant for Learning Disabled students at Franklin Elementary School.

The purpose of the Distinguished Alumni Citation is to recognize alumni who have distinguished themselves by representing what the college seeks to achieve in the education it affords. Candidates are selected on any one of the following:

1. For achieving distinction in his/her chosen field.

2. For rendering outstanding service to his/her country, state or community.

3. For rendering outstanding service to, and demonstrating a loyal and active interest in Ripon College.

Nominations may be made by members of the faculty, administration, individual alumni and groups or alumni clubs through the Office of Annual Fund, Alumni Relations & Parent Programs for presentation to the Alumni Association Board of Directors.

About Ripon College

Ripon College, founded in 1851, prepares students of diverse interests for lives of productive, socially responsible citizenship. Ripon's liberal arts curriculum and residential campus create an intimate learning community in which students experience a richly personalized education. Ripon has consistently been recognized as a "best value" and "Best 371 College" by The Princeton Review; a "Best Buy in College Education" by Barron's; a "Best Liberal-Arts College" by Washington Monthly; one of the 40 best liberal-arts colleges nationwide for value by U.S. News and World Report; and among the top 100 private colleges in the nation overall and for value by Forbes Magazine. For more information about Ripon College, visit