Ruth M. Rippon

Honorary Degrees


Ruth M. Rippon is an accomplished artist who played a major role in lifting the craft of ceramics into the realm of fine art. She was an early innovator of the sgraffito-through-engobe technique and incorporated it into many of her heralded pieces. She was recognized as one of 100 Distinguished Woman Artists by the Fresno​ Art Museum in 2002 and earned Artist of the Year recognition from the California Arts Council in 2008. In October 2017, at the age of 90, Ms. Rippon was featured by the Crocker Art Museum with a wide-ranging exhibition of her ceramic work, showcasing 90 pieces from the 1950s through the 1990s, called “Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon.”

Ms. Rippon held a faculty position at California State University, Sacramento from 1956 until her retirement in 1987. During her time at the university, she shaped the world of ceramic art, elevated the ceramics department and forever changed the arts. During her 31-year tenure, Ms. Rippon not only helped found the ceramics department, she influenced and inspired thousands of students, many of whom advanced to become accomplished ceramists and instructors. She was given the Outstanding Faculty Award by the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society in 1973 and the Meritorious Performance and Professional Promise Award for Teaching from the Woman’s Studies Board at CSU Sacramento in 1985. Ms. Rippon is an active and involved member of the Sacramento arts community and has served as a member of the Creative Arts League of Sacramento as well as on the Crocker Art Gallery Board of Directors, Acquisitions Committee and Exhibitions Council.

In recognition of her distinguished career, contribution to the arts and role as a faculty member at CSU Sacramento, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Sacramento are proud to confer upon Ruth M. Rippon the honorary degree of Doctor of Fine Arts.