1991 – Spring ’23 Class Letter

Dear Class of 1991,

Notices of Sympathy

It is with sadness that I share the passing of Mary Williams-Norton on Sept. 27, 2022. Professor Williams-Norton was a professor of physics at Ripon College for 37 years from 1975 to 2012. She was the Harrison E. Farnsworth 1918 Chair in Physics and chair of the department, taught physics and astronomy and was Ripon’s representative for the Wisconsin Space Grant Consortium. She was a strong role model, emphasizing the contribution of women in science, and designing Physics Fun Force, a group of physics students who visited elementary-school classrooms to engage children in science activities. A strong advocate for Welsh-American relations, culture and heritage, she facilitated Ripon’s study-abroad program at Swansea University and Bangor University. Survivors include her husband, Gregory A. Norton and two daughters JEANNE NORTON ‘99 and Laura Dunday.

Evelyn M. Kain, emerita of art, died on December 30, 2022. Professor Kain taught at Ripon for 28 years from 1983-2011. She was the Helen Swift Neilson Professor of Cultural Studies and received the James R. Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1994. She performed with Collegium Musicum, Ceresco String Band and the college choir for decades.

Professor Kain earned a degree in art history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna, Austria, where she lived for 13 years. Fiber arts were her greatest passion. As an art historian, she wrote and lectured about medieval art, women artists and Vienna 1900, and translated scholarly books from German to English. Survivors include her husband, Eugene J. Kain, associate professor emeritus of art and two sons.

Updates from Ripon College

Inauguration Ceremony: April 22, 2023
Last summer, the College announced the appointment of its first woman president, Dr. Victoria N. Folse. Dr. Folse, a respected scholar, and administrator, brings to Ripon more than 30 years of experience in higher education and a long-standing commitment to the liberal arts. Dr. Victoria N. Folse, will be inaugurated as Ripon’s 14th president on April 22nd, 2023. She will be the first woman to be formally inaugurated as president of Ripon College. More information can be found at ripon.edu/inauguration.

Alumni Weekend: June 22-25 2023
There is still time to make plans to attend Alumni weekend. Our very own TRACY MAHER ‘91 will be in attendance! Full roster of events can be found here. There are room blocks at Heidel House in Green Lake (Book here) and at Cobblestone Suites in Ripon (Call 920.748.5500).

New Professor Bio

Lillian Brown of Columbus, Ohio: Lillian is originally from Las Vegas, Nevada! She is an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Ripon College. Most of her work involves creating theatrical encounters that conjure a sense of enthusiasm and social responsibility. She received her BA in Theatre from The University of Northern Colorado and an MFA in Theatre from The Ohio State University. In addition to being an educator, she is a solo performing artist, actor, and director. Learn more about Lillian here.

More College News

Class Notes

It’s been a while since we did reverse-alpha order!

BART O’CONNELL ‘91: “I’ve been enjoying Austin, TX, the last few years, but still have frequent Chicago trips to visit family.”

AMY MIETZEL ‘91: “I am having an art show with my most recent mixed media art at the Goodman Center Ballweg Gallery in Madison WI. It will be up for the month of April with a small reception on Friday, April 21from 5-6p.m.”

TRACY MAHER ’91 writes: “In September 2022, I officially joined the Ripon College Alumni Association Board. I am thrilled to be representing the Class of 1991. Please share your ideas on keeping Ripon great for future generations. On a personal note, I am still in Florida and working for HDR. I’m really enjoying pre-retirement life in the land of retirees. My shih tzu, Bear, on the other hand is enjoying full retirement and stays home with my parents while I work. I will be on campus this June for Alumni Weekend. Please reach out if you will be attending, I would love to get together.

Also please note my new email address [email protected]. I still have my old email address, but am in the process of transitioning to this new email address. I still have my work email address as well.”

 KARL FELD ’91 was married to Lindsay A. Gardner on October 15 in an intimate ceremony at St. Mark’s Chapel in Raleigh, NC. The wedding was attended by their combined children Stephenie (25), Amelia (18), Sydney (17), and Bridget (16). Stephenie continues to work in manufacturing in Durham, NC. Amelia is in her first year of Simulation and Game Design Studies at Wake Tech Community College in Raleigh, NC. Sydney has been accepted into Middle Tennessee State University beginning in the Fall. Bridget is finishing her sophomore year of high school at Corinth-Holders High School. Bridget continues to play national club volleyball with hopes of a D1 placement in college. Karl continues to work at the Defense Media Activity (www.dma.mil) as a contracted Subject Matter Expert for research and analysis and was recently published in MIlitary Review on DoD survey operations. He is ABD in Communication, Rhetoric and Digital Media at NC State hoping to finish in the Fall and wrapped up his Lean Six Sigma Black Belt over the holidays. Lindsay continues to work in federal policy at the Tennessee Wildlife Federation in Nashville, TN.

SAMANTHA BAILEY FAST ‘91: “The past six months have been rough. In September, I had a series of strokes in my right occipital and parietal lobes, followed by surgery to repair my right carotid artery, which was 95% blocked. I spent a couple months on short term disability focusing on physical and occupational therapy to support recovery. I started back to work part-time in November and built back up to full-time toward the end of January. At this point I feel 90% recovered, but I’m still dealing with fatigue and headaches. I have been extremely fortunate, both that I went to the emergency room in enough time to be diagnosed and treated before a more devastating stroke could occur, and that my recovery is going very well. My prognosis is excellent and I’m very grateful to be alive. I’m also grateful that I can still work, although I’ve radically changed my lifestyle to focus on a stroke preventative diet, daily exercise, stress management, and rest.”

We love hearing from you! 

You don’t need to wait to send an update—send one anytime (like today, as soon as you’re done reading this) and I’ll be sure to include it in the next letter. Or send an update to the college and they’ll pass it along. Also, don’t forget that we can publish pictures!

Do you need to update your email address?

Please be sure to update your email address (and other contact information) at: ripon.edu/update-contact-info/.

We have a Facebook group

If you’re on Facebook, please ask to join our Class of ’91 group for updates and Ripon news. Alternatively, send your email address to [email protected] or text me at 612-978-4124 and we can add you to the group that way.


Samantha ‘91

Tracy ‘91

P.S. There will be a special giving event in conjunction with inauguration weekend, April 20-23, to celebrate Ripon’s 14th President, Victoria N. Folse, and the exciting momentum happening within our campus community. This event will be an extension of the #OneDayRally brand and experience. Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to your participation!