1969 – Spring ’22 Class Letter

Hello Everyone!

I’m writing this in early February, watching the snow and ice storms rage across the country. Fortunately for CYNTHIA SANBORN NYQUIST ’69 and me, it is in the upper 70s here in Naples, Florida, today.

Presidential Search
Most of you know Ripon College is in the midst of a search for a new president. President Zach Messitte officially left at the end of 2021. Dr. Andrea Young is the acting president until a new president is installed. She came to Ripon as a math professor in 2011, then assumed the position of VP of Finance in 2019. She is the first woman to hold the position of president at Ripon.

Faculty Publications
Philosophy Professor Emeritus Seale Doss P’78/’83/’88 has published two new novels: Hattie’s Pink House and Blood on the Risers.

Previously Professor Doss penned the novel A Game of Inches. They are available through Amazon.

Classes for the Spring semester started on January 18th. All campus personnel and students were tested upon arrival. There were 48 who tested positive and had to quarantine. Some classes are online, some in person, some a hybrid of both. Periodic COVID-19 testing continues for students, faculty, and staff. Most are vaccinated. All had to show proof of vaccination or obtain an allowed exemption by February 1st. Some large gatherings are not happening. Winter and Spring sports are taking place, at least at this writing. For more up to date news visit: ripon.edu/conoravirus-information/.

City of Ripon News
Ripon, Wisconsin was recognized as one of the 7 Best Small Downtown Areas in Wisconsin! www.onlyinyourstate.com/wisconsin/best-wisconsin-small-downtowns-wi/

Ripon also made the list of 10 Wisconsin Downtowns with Magical Christmas Decorations. https://q985online.com/the-10-most-magical-christmas-towns-you-have-to-see-in-wisconsin/.

Here is a view of downtown Ripon with the new lights strung across Watson Street, December 2021.

Ripon Sports News
The Ripon Women’s Basketball team won the 2022 Midwest Conference Tournament by defeating Monmouth in the title game, earning Ripon an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. Ripon faced the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the first round of the tournament. The Ripon Men’s Basketball Team won their first conference championship in 23 years and earned the #1 Seed in the MAC Tournament. The Men’s Red Hawks suffered a heart-breaking loss to Cornell in a thrilling double-overtime game. Ripon’s Head Basketball Coach Ryan Kane was named Coach of the Year in the Midwest Athletic Conference. On the heels of Ripon’s first-ever Midwest Conference Indoor Track Championships, the Red Hawks’ coaching staff, led by Head Coach BOB WOOD ’09, were selected by their peers as the 2022 MWC Men’s and Women’s Indoor Track & Field Coaching Staff of the Year.

55th Reunion
In two years, it will be 55 years since the Class of 1969 graduated from Ripon College. Those who attended our 50-year Reunion in 2019 had a fabulous time celebrating our induction to the Golden R Club. I’d be happy to coordinate another Reunion in June 2024 if you guys are interested. It would be a great opportunity for those who couldn’t make it in 2019 to reconnect with Classmates. The Reunion would likely take place on the Ripon College campus on the Saturday night of Alumni Weekend 2024 (June 27-30, 2024). Let me know if you would try to come. Of course, we are invited to attend Alumni Weekend every year. This summer’s Alumni Weekend will be June 23-26, 2022.

Ripon College #OneDayRally
This will be the third year for Ripon’s #OneDayRally, an annual day of giving. (It’s like Pledge Night on PBS.) The 2022 event will take place on April 27th. Even if you have already made a gift to Ripon, you are encouraged to participate in this fun event. Watch for details in the coming months.

EDWARD SIMETH ’69 of Appleton, Wisconsin, died Dec. 21, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in history, served as a resident assistant, was a member of Phi Delta Theta, and was commissioned through ROTC. He received a master’s degree in counselor education from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. ED worked for 30 years in industrial sales with his brother, Steve. In his younger years, he played football, basketball, racquetball, and softball. He later enjoyed the outdoors, skiing, biking, camping, and kayaking. ED enjoyed learning and reading, including studies of Christian literature, health, finance, nature, and psychology, and also sang in his church choir. Survivors include one son and two daughters.

ED is the twenty-sixth member of the Class of 1969 whose death has been confirmed by Ripon College.

Here are the updates I received from members of the Class. I love hearing from you guys.

FRANK ’69 and BOBBI SUESS ANDERS ’69 of Chesterfield, Virginia, writes, “BOBBI and I are celebrating the December 22nd arrival of a grandson, Leland Theodore Anders, to our son and daughter-in-law, Frank and Kari Anders. COVID-19 permitting, we hope to spend time with Leland sometime this winter or spring in California. Life here in Virginia has been a fluid mixture of social distancing and masking along with rounds of golf in uncommonly cold weather along with knitting, bridge, and bible study gatherings. All functions are among fully vaccinated and masked friends. How different our society has become since the days of MMR and polio vaccination campaigns. One would have thought that generations of education could lead to greater enlightenment. Perhaps we are experiencing American ‘de-enlightenment.’ Thus far we have both avoided COVID-19 and all other viruses and hope that our fellow alum/nae/ni are equally fortunate.”

DON CHESTER ’69 of West Palm Beach, Florida, writes, “When I moved to Florida in 1970, I discovered Christmas is a bit different. The first year I was driving through downtown on Dixie Highway (US 1), there were Christmas lights strung across the road. My first thought was, this is great. They celebrate Christmas in Florida. As I got closer, I realized that the lights were actually plastic oranges. Since then, West Palm Beach has evolved from plastic oranges to a 35 feet tall sculpted Christmas tree made of 700 tons of sand and covered in lights. It was declared the winner of the USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice poll for the best public holiday lights display in 2021. Once in a while, I Google the temperature in Ripon to remind me why I live in Florida in spite of everything that makes this the weirdest state in the nation. Sally and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in November. We did not plan anything special because of COVID-19. Little did we know that our friends had something in mind. We received a message to stand in front of the house at 9 a.m. We started hearing sirens and seeing flashing lights. I’m sure the neighbors thought we were being raided by the SWAT team. A parade of four fire trucks, a dozen police cars, and cars of friends with banners and balloons. The parade stopped for a county commissioner to present us with a commemorative certificate. Great way to celebrate!”

PAUL GELB ’69 of Palm Springs, California, writes, “I stopped shaving during isolation and decided to keep the beard now that I’m venturing out. One of the things that kept me sane during this time was the ability to play tournament bridge online on a daily basis. Currently, I am a sapphire life master and I am closing in on diamond status. I also hope to start attending more face-to-face tournaments now that things are opening up a bit.”

ALICE HALL HAYES ’69 of Washington, D.C., writes, “My life was certainly turned upside down in late August when I suffered a stroke and a heart attack. After many examinations and physical therapy sessions, I have made some progress but the medical team is still assessing and coming up with additional diagnoses. It has all been a learning experience and I am much more knowledgeable now about nutrition and diet and care of the body. Despite my health concern, I am overjoyed to be able to spend time with my two grandsons – ten and seven years old – who live nearby in D.C. and with my granddaughter – 20 months old – who now lives in Philadelphia. I am happy to say that my spirit is good and I look forward to time with family and friends to more adventure, and to more communication with fellow alumni. I appreciate all good thoughts towards my full recovery.”

DEBBIE HAMELE KUKLA ’69 of Carmel, Indiana, writes, “I don’t have much to contribute except that my husband, TOM KUKLA ’70, and I have renovated a condo we purchased in 2020. We love our ‘happy place’ In Longboat Key, Florida, especially our view of the Gulf of Mexico and its stunning sunsets!”

NANCY OLIVER LEIFHEIT ’69 of Sycamore, Illinois, writes, “Not much has changed since last year! My husband DAVE LEIFHEIT ’67 and I flew to Seattle three times to see our kids and we head north to our Wisconsin cabin off and on throughout the summer. The best outcome of this pandemic has been Family Sibling Zoom with my brothers and sisters (eight of us) plus a cousin from Scotland and another from Australia every single Sunday at 4 p.m. central time since that very first Easter in 2020!  The bond among siblings young and old is stronger than ever! This includes SCOTT OLIVER ’69. We are at this moment driving to Oro Valley, Arizona, for two months, escaping the winter snow and temperatures for the first time- new adventures!”

SCOTT NYQUIST ’69 and CYNTHIA SANBORN NYQUIST ’69 of Naples, Florida, write, “SCOTT had his annual October get-together in Siesta Key, Florida, with seven Beta Sigma Pi fraternity brothers: ART SCARLETT ’69ROB HANDEYSIDE ’69STEVE LEITSCHUH ’69FRANK ANDERS ’69MASON SHERWOOD ’68RICK BRANDT ’69, and DON PARK II ’69. They spent five days reliving the stories of their days at Ripon College. (Some were mostly true.) Each night a different guy cooked dinner. The menu included R-Line hot dogs flown in for the occasion and homemade ‘Greeker sauce.’ Thanksgiving was spent in Ft. Myers, Florida at the home of SCOTT’s sister; Christmas Eve we hosted family at our Naples home. Had dinner with PHIL MCCULLOUGH ’69/P’04 and his wife, Pat P’04, during one of their visits to Naples. CYNTHIA continues her almost daily FaceTime chats with our granddaughter, Emma, who turned ten last July. We have made plans to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter in Germany this year and are hoping it will happen. We couldn’t visit in 2020 and 2021.”

Pictured here is the Beta Sigma Pi gathering from October 2021.


Standing left to right:

Seated, left to right:

JOHN RODGERS ’69 of Menominee Falls, Wisconsin, and Celebration, Florida, writes, “We can all agree the last couple of years have really limited our activities. COVID-19 has made it more difficult to enjoy our interests in the ever-shrinking window of time we have remaining. My wife, Carol, and I were bitten by the travel bug long ago and have traveled broadly within the U.S. and quite a bit abroad since our retirements in 2005. We have long had the desire to travel to Egypt and see the antiquities there. We were all ready to make reservations for Egypt in 2010 when the “Arab Spring” resulted in turmoil that made travel there impossible. In the summer of 2019, we made reservations to Egypt for November of 2020, only to be blocked from travel by the COVID-19 virus. We rebooked for November of 2021 with the hope things would calm down and we could make the trip. After two vaccinations and a booster, we were able to take our long-awaited tour, leaving on November 11, returning on November 27, 2021. There were many hoops to jump through but our guided tour with OAT was astounding. We spent some time in Cairo where we saw the Pyramids at Giza, museums, and enjoyed a typical dinner while visiting at the home of a middle-class Egyptian family. We visited Luxor and its antiquities, and for five days cruised the Nile on a dahabiya with eleven other fellow travelers. We took our first hot air balloon ride and rode a camel to the St. Simeon Monastery near Aswan. There are too many other memorable experiences to list them all. Two of the most amazing parts of the vacation were the total lack of crowds and the perfect weather. COVID-19 has tourism in Egypt way down and November is a very good time to travel. The wait was well worth it, and for a change, COVID-19 had a positive effect. Closer to home, we met CHARLIE ’00 and KERSTEN HOLM LARSON ’00, on our daily walk in the neighborhood. It turns out we have been neighbors for quite a while and didn’t realize it until they spotted my ever-present red Ripon College hat.”

BOB “OTTO” WACHHOLTZ ’69 of Papillon, Nebraska, writes, “I have little to report since the last newsletter. I spent time in New Hampshire during August and again in October – that was the highlight of 2021. We are waiting for the world to reopen so that we can resume traveling outside the U.S.”

TIM SOLIDAY ’69 of Tucson, Arizona, writes, “I recently started getting back into golf after about a 30+ year layoff. I have been spending lots of time at the practice range, lots of money on new clubs, and rejoining the club I resigned from years ago as well as lessons, new gadgets, etc. I frequently wonder why I am putting myself through this, but the occasional good shot keeps me trying.  If anyone has suggestions other than practice, practice, practice, and patience I would love to hear them.”

JILL ALEXANDER WILLIAMS ’69 of Snohomish, Washington, writes, “We were very lucky to be able to fly up to Sitka and Ketchikan (from the Seattle area where we live) in June before cruise ships were allowed to go to Alaska, so COVID-19 wasn’t a problem there yet. We kayaked in both areas.  (See picture below of JILL and her husband, Dick, next to the floatplane that took us into the Misty Fjords National Monument which has miles of fjords, lakes, and rugged snow-capped mountains with no roads.)  It was a wonderful trip and it was so nice to get away into such beautiful wild country.”

I usually don’t make personal comments in my Class Letters, but this subject is so important. I was a Chemistry-Biology major at Ripon and spent a lot of time in Farr Hall. Built in 1961, Farr Hall was state-of-the-art when we began at Ripon in 1965. But after 61 years, the building is woefully inadequate. Kudos to the science faculty at Ripon for continuing to turn out top science students under difficult conditions. Remember what Ingram Hall was like? It was 65 years old when we started at Ripon and was well past its prime. When Farr was built, there were no cell phones, no laptop computers, no internet. Color TV, microwave ovens, and space travel were in their infancy. There were no pocket calculators; we all used slide rules. And for entertainment, we listened to transistor radios or watched one of the three or four TV channels. (No cable TV.) Think about how far technology has progressed since 1961. If Ripon is to be a competitive liberal arts college, it must build a new, modern science facility. Renovation is not an option any more than it was with Ingram Hall. The Board of Trustees knows all of this. They know they must find a way to raise the $50-$60 million a new science center would cost. It will be a daunting task but one that must be accomplished. I hope all of you will consider supporting a capital campaign for a new science center if/when one is announced. This leads me to my next topic . . .

Ripon College (and I) would like to thank all of the members of our Class who sent a gift to the College in the past year. Some of you donated more than once! Thank you! Thank you! Also, some additional Class members have included a bequest to Ripon in their estate plan. Outstanding! If you would like to give to Ripon, you can visit the College’s website, www.ripon.edu, or call the Advancement Office at (920) 748-8351. You can give unrestricted, allowing the College to use your gift where most needed; or you can direct where your gift is to be used: scholarships, endowment, faculty, building fund, library, athletics, etc. You can also give in the memory of a favorite professor or a Classmate. You can give annually or have a gift sent to Ripon monthly from your bank account. Ripon College accepts cash or credit card payments (and probably even Bitcoin). You can also give a gift of stock or any of your other assets. Please support Ripon College by making a gift. I could write pages on why you should support Ripon. My experience at Ripon shaped my life in so many ways. I know many of you feel the same.

Keep in touch.
Always for Ripon,

7747 Martino Circle, Naples, FL 34112
(630) 632-1619
Your 1969 Class Agent

P.S. If you need a phone number, email address, or street address to reconnect with a roommate, fraternity brother/sorority sister, lab partner, or fellow ROTC cadet, contact me.

Match the year of completion/opening from the list of years below for each of the Ripon College buildings (original version). Each year is used only once.
(1851, 1863, 1867, 1888, 1901, 1910, 1931, 1939, 1940, 1942, 1951, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1965, 1968, 1969, 1972, 2007)

  • Bartlett Hall _______
  • Campus Apartments _______
  • East Hall _______
  • Farr Hall of Science _______
  • Harwood Union _______
  • Ingram Hall _______
  • Johnson Hall & Pickard Commons _______
  • Lane Library _______
  • Memorial Gymnasium _______
  • Merriman House _______
  • President’s House & Storzer (Willmore Center) _______
  • Quads Bovay Hall _______
  • Quads Center (Brockway) Hall _______
  • Quads North (Anderson) Hall & South (Mapes) Hall _______
  • Rodman Center for the Arts _______
  • Scott Hall _______
  • Smith (Middle) Hall _______
  • Todd Wehr Hall _______
  • Tri-Dorms _______
  • West Hall _______


  • Bartlett Hall          1888
  • Campus Apartments          2007
  • East Hall          1851
  • Farr Hall of Science          1961
  • Harwood Union          1942
  • Ingram Hal          1901
  • Johnson Hall & Pickard Commons          1962
  • Lane Library          1931
  • Memorial Gymnasium          1910
  • Merriman House          1940
  • President’s House & Storzer (Wilmore) Phys Ed Center          1968
  • Quads: Bovay Hall          1965
  • Quads Center: Brockway Hall          1960
  • Quads North: Anderson Hall and South Mapes Hall          1959
  • Rodman Center for the Arts          1972
  • Scott Hall          1951
  • Smith (Middle) Hall          1867
  • Todd Wehr Hall          1969
  • Tri-Dorms          1939
  • West Hall          1863

Information Source: Lane Library Archives Historical Time Line for the College.