After receiving his undergraduate degree in engineering and Master's degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan, Ralph taught at Case Western Reserve College and Swarthmore College before coming to Lake Forest.
A member of the Lake Forest College faculty from 1965 until 1987, he encouraged students as a professor, coach, time keeper and spectator. Ralph was instrumental in helping Lake Forest College gain entry into the MCAC in 1975. He was the faculty representative to the College for the MCAC until 1982. His devotion to the conference and his involvement with conference affairs led to his nomination as Commissioner in 1982.
After his retirement, Ralph continued to do work for the college and is still the Commissioner for the conference. He stays active in his retirement and continues to teach occasionally at Bridgewater College in Bridgewater, Virginia.