1968 – Spring ’21 Class Letter

1968 – Spring 2021 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1968!

No matter where you are, I hope spring has found you and you are now contemplating what you will add to your garden or whether it’s safe to uncover the patio furniture or maybe you will just turn your face to the warm sun and take a deep breath. By the time you read this, it will be spring on the calendar and a spring following a difficult year.
College News:
This year’s Founders’ Day celebration on January 29, 2021, marked the 170th anniversary of Ripon College. This year, Ripon honored the Fond du Lac County Health Department with its Founders’ Day Award. The award recognizes their work with Ripon College and other educational groups, healthcare facilities and businesses throughout the county to ensure they were up to date on COVID-19 information and practices.
Ripon has been working hard through the Reunite Ripon plan and the Campus Community Pledge, to keep Ripon open and safe throughout these challenges to our public health.
The first semester at Ripon this year was accelerated and without a fall break, using both in-person and virtual classes. Student life outside of the classroom continued but in modified form to comply with safety guidelines. The fall semester taught a lot regarding policies and procedures. The capacity for testing members of the school community was increased. Overall, the school is pleased with how their plan worked.
The spring semester opened January 25th following campus-wide testing. Students and faculty continue learning and teaching in-person, online, and in hybrid forms. COVID-19 continues to make planning and hosting regular events difficult. Summer orientations will be virtual using the new virtual tour tool developed by the school.
There is good news. The Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble will go on as scheduled as it is an outside event where precautions can be taken. Additionally, The Midwest Conference announced that it will resume competition for many of the spring sports. Participation will be based upon local realities due to the pandemic.
Alumni Weekend:
Alumni Weekend 2021 will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen with two distinct summer weekends of Ripon alumni programming for us. No matter how you’d like to connect, virtually or in person, the Office of Constituent Engagement is developing a variety of activities to continue to follow CDC, Fond du Lac County and College guidelines in both June and August. Full schedules, lodging, and programming details will be posted soon to www.ripon.edu/alumni-weekend.
JUNE 2021

  • In honor of our June Alumni Weekend traditions, virtual alumni programming will be held Tuesday, June 22 through Saturday, June 26, and will include: an alumni town hall, R Connections webinars, affinity socials, a summer book club, and special recognition of the 2020 and 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees. 
  • The only in-person event, the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble, will be held off-campus on Friday, June 25

A combination of virtual and in-person Alumni Weekend programming will be held the first week of August. We will continue to evaluate the state of COVID-19. If circumstances change at the local and national level and we need to cancel in-person programming, that decision will be made and communicated by July 1, 2021.

  • Virtual programming will be held Tuesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 7 and will include: a reunion-focused alumni town hall that also previews the new academic year, additional R Connections webinars, the summer book club capstone, and the traditional “That Was Then” storytelling session. 
  • In-person, on-campus programming will be held Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8, and will focus on alumni awards recognition, 2020 and 2021 reunion celebrations, and other outdoor events such as Rally Run and prairie walk.
  • Additionally, the Class of 2020 will officially be welcomed to our alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.

A big “Thank You” to all who supported the College this past year through the Ripon Fund and #OneDayRally. Our class was #7 in total giving and #2 in the number of donors. Well done!
#ONEDAYRALLY, 2021 – This year’s fundraising event will be held on Wednesday, April 28th. Please mark your calendars as it has become a big part of the school’s fundraising and adds some real juice to the fundraising totals. I hope we can continue to be one of the top classes in supporting the College.
The Center for Politics and the People: 
The Center for Politics and the People (CPP) at Ripon College sponsors and conducts online webinars on a variety of topics. If you have not logged on to one of these yet, I think you will find them to be highly informative. They also provide an opportunity to submit questions to the guests about that day’s topic. You can find out more about the CPP here: ripon.edu/cpp/.
Classmate News Notes:
VICKI GIESECKE BARBOUR ’68 of Erie, Colorado, writes, she and JIM BARBOUR II ’68 are enjoying their Arizona winter in Sun City Grand. Jim has been teaching “Abstract Photography Using a Cellphone” via Zoom. He also does a follow-up class where participants can show their photos. The classes have been well received.
SCOTT MATHOT ’68 of Loudon, Tennessee, writes, “Dealing with some lung issues which are being treated…successfully! Cannot wait ’til 2021!”
This issue of the Class Letter is short on classmate news. Fellow alumni have told the school they like hearing about fellow classmates so please let us hear from you. Since the last year has limited our ability to get together, we’ve come to rely on various other forms of communication. If you have had more frequent phone calls, Zoom, Facetime, or Skype calls, that, too, will be of interest. If you’ve taken up a new hobby or gone back to that musical instrument from earlier years, let us know. We’ve all looked for and I hope found, creative ways to get through this.
You can send any news, and of course photos, to me at my email ([email protected]) or to the College (JOLENE RUEDEN SCHATZINGER ’07, associate director of engagement, at [email protected]).
Finally, for those who have not been on campus for a while, you can now take a virtual tour by going to: https://tour.ripon.edu/.
While on the virtual tour you will see the familiar sculpture of Abraham Lincoln and, in these trying times, think of one thing he said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes one day at a time.”
Best wishes,
(512) 762-1479 / [email protected]
Your 1968 Class Agent