Barry McNamara  |   Published September 30, 2020

Family of the Year

Riggs family to be honored as part of virtual Alumni Impact Awards ceremony Oct. 9.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – Three generations of the Riggs family have attended Monmouth College, and members of each generation found their “sweetheart” on campus, marrying a Monmouth student.

That long legacy, as well as the support they’ve given Monmouth through the years, has earned the Riggses the 2020 Family of the Year honor.

The family will be recognized during a virtual, pre-recorded Alumni Impact Awards event, to air Oct. 9.

FESTIVE OCCASION: Gathered in 2013 for Rebecca Riggs' Monmouth graduation are, from left, Joh... FESTIVE OCCASION: Gathered in 2013 for Rebecca Riggs' Monmouth graduation are, from left, John Baumann' 57, Beverly Carlson Baumann' 58, Rebecca Riggs '13, Beth Baumann Riggs '89, David Riggs '87 and Ralph Riggs '60. The family’s connection to Monmouth began in 1956 when Ralph Riggs ’60 enrolled as a freshman. Soon after, he met and fell in love with classmate Judy Irelan. Judy’s brother, Bill Irelan ’62, was also a Monmouth graduate.

One of Ralph and Judy’s children, David Riggs, is a 1987 Monmouth graduate. David is married to 1989 alumna Beth Baumann Riggs, the daughter of John ’57 and Beverly Carlson Baumann ’58. The family’s third generation at Monmouth was the couple’s daughter, Rebecca Riggs ’13, who met her future husband, Josh McEwen ’11, on campus.

Choosing to attend college is not a decision to be taken lightly, but family members have stated the pride they take in knowing that three generations of their family have graduated from Monmouth.

They have also honored the family legacy with endowed scholarships in both Ralph and Judy’s name, and Bill Irelan has also endowed a scholarship. Irelan served on the Monmouth College Board of Trustees from 1993 through 2013.

Wrote the nominator for the award: “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Ralph Riggs when he wanted to establish a named endowed scholarship to honor his late wife Judy. He is a humble giver who supports his alma mater because he and Judy had such a wonderful experience here and he truly wants to pay it forward for other generations of Monmouth College students.”

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