1968 – Spring ’22 Class Letter
The expression, “spring forward, fall back” is how many of us remember what to do as we enter and leave Daylight Saving Time. For this Class Letter, l’ll let you know what is coming up for Ripon and what has happened in the recent, and not so recent, past.
Goodbye and good luck: The recent big campus news involved bidding farewell to President Zach Messitte, Ripon’s 13th President. The late fall was filled with events and opportunities to say goodbye and good luck to Dr. Messitte and his family. His legacy includes the strong financial position of the College along with solid enrollment for the near future. I’m sure our class joins me in thanking President Messitte for his accomplishments, as well as for his vision and leadership before and during the pandemic.
Blast from our past: I hope you saw the article in The Winter 2021 Ripon Magazine, “Remembering Lester O. Schwartz.” Lester P’88/P’89 was a notable fixture on our campus from 1944 until his retirement in 1977. We knew him as an artist-in-residence and for his often unique, methods of teaching art, including having students spend time working at his Green Lake farm. I did not know, or had forgotten, that he founded the Department of Art at Ripon College. He was quite a guy and quite an artist.
Back in our day: We all remember going to the bookstore located in the Student Union. Over the years it moved over to the Pickard Commons. Beginning this school year, the Rally Store opened in Ripon Drug, just off the campus at the start of downtown. It features Ripon College items we used to buy at the old bookstore.
Ripon recognized: The town of Ripon was recognized as one of the Seven Best Downtown Areas in Wisconsin. It was also recognized as one of the Ten Most Magical Christmas Towns in December 2021.
Alumni Weekend: Alumni Weekend 2022 will go back to the usual end-of-June time. Save the date, June 23-26, 2022. Remember too, our class will hold its 55th Reunion next year (June 22-25, 2023). Hold the thought!
Fundraising: The spring #OneDayRally will be held on Wednesday, April 27. This special, one-day fundraiser has grown each year since it started. I hope our class will be a leader in showing support for our school and all it has accomplished.
MIKE CLAREY ’68 of Pymont, Australia, reports that Australia, where he has lived for 35 years, has had very tough COVID-19 restrictions. At one point last fall, it was closed to non-citizens who were not permanent residents. Because there was a required two-week quarantine in a hotel, at your expense, and with space limitations, about 30,000 Aussies who wanted to return were unable to do so. Additionally, if you wished to leave the country, you had to apply to do it. At that time, the Clareys were planning to leave in December for a visit with their older daughter in North Carolina, followed by some additional travel around the U.S., including a visit with ’68 classmate, JIM CLARK ’68 and wife, Martha.
RICHARD R. BROCKHAUS ’68 of Rockville, Maryland, died August 12, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in physics and philosophy and was a member of Partners in the Legacy. He received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Brown University and taught philosophy at Bucknell University. He later moved to the Washington, D.C. area and taught calculus and physics at Landon School for close to 30 years. He is survived by his wife, Ann; one son and one daughter.
DAVID KENNICOTT ’68 of University Place, Washington, died August 31, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in philosophy. After serving in the Army in Fort Knox and Bübligren, Germany, he received a Master’s degree in library science from UW-Oshkosh. He was branch administrator for the Pierce County Library Systems for more than 20 years. He enjoyed traveling and crossword puzzles, as well as traveling to car races along with collecting model cars and toys. He is survived by his wife, Elaine and one son.
BONNIE MACDOUGALL BECK ’68 of Hamilton, Missouri, died October 19, 2021. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and was a member of Alpha Delta Pi. She also received a degree in education from Loyola University, Chicago. She worked for 17 years as a Chicago public school teacher while also managing multiple real estate properties. She then bought and operated a family-oriented campground in Turney, Missouri with her husband, Oren D. Beck. Here, she continued her career in education as a school librarian. She is survived by two daughters and two unofficially adopted sons.
Facebook connection: I encourage you to become part of our newly-revised Facebook group, Ripon College Class of 1968. If you were part of the Facebook 50th Reunion page, you are already included. It is a great way to connect with classmates and it is where we will post information about our 55th Reunion (hard to believe!).
In closing, we are always interested in your news. It’s an important connection for those with whom we have a common bond but do not regularly see. Please let us hear from you. My contact information is included above, or you may always submit a class news note at this link: alumni.ripon.edu/services/update-info/.
PETER UHRIG ’68
Your 1968 Class Agent