1970 – Fall ’21 Class Letter
1970 – Fall 2021 Class Letter
Outgoing Class Agent:
SUSAN HECHT GEBHARDT ’70
We are currently searching for a new Class Agent.
Dear Class of 1970,
After waiting patiently for your Class Reunion to be celebrated, it sure was nice to be able to celebrate your class during August’s Alumni Weekend festivities. For those of you who could attend, it was a joy to have you back at your Alma Mater, a place that you can always call home. For those of you who we missed, please know that you are always welcome back at any time. All of you are now part of the Golden R Club, which you automatically join once you celebrate your 50th Class Reunion. There is a special celebration at each Alumni Weekend for Golden R Club members, which you are always welcome. This past Alumni Weekend, there were alumni and guests from 29 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, on campus August 6-8, representing the classes of 1961 through 2023, for the first-ever August Alumni Weekend after COVID-19 put a pause on campus events over the past 18 months. Your class had 17 people attend the Saturday evening gathering. Enclosed you will find your official 50th Reunion photo commemorating this milestone event. Save the date for Alumni Weekend 2022, which will go back to the traditional end of June date: June 23-26, 2022. We had two of your classmates submit their reflections from the weekend that are shared with you below.
JON MEYER ’70 of Aberdeen, Washington, writes “I want to thank all the Ripon people who helped during my Class Reunion. They were unfailingly polite, efficient, and, most importantly, they were friendly. As a member of the Class of 1970 who hadn’t been on campus since graduation, the reception I received made for a very positive experience.”
LINDA WARD MACK ’70 of Elm Grove, Wisconsin and Scottsdale, Arizona, writes this reflection from her experience at Alumni Weekend:
“The Class of 1970 finally got our 50th Reunion a year late! For those of us who had planned and looked so forward to our awesome gathering in 2020, the actual reunion in 2021 was bittersweet. It was a disappointment that most of those who had planned on attending in 2020 couldn’t come for 2021, yet it was gratifying that, though the event wasn’t as planned, we did it! To those classmates of 1970 who didn’t attend, know you were missed.
“Our delayed 50th Reunion was combined with the 50th Reunion for the Class of 1971, Alumni Weekend, and a graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. Alumni gathered at the Commons to register on a rainy Saturday morning. Wisconsin had little rain leading into August and then Ripon got slammed with a devastating storm uprooting large trees and knocking out power for the city earlier that week. It was amazing that the College even managed the Alumni Weekend!! Rain prevailed all weekend, and yet spirits weren’t dampened.
“As an ADPi, I planned on meeting sorority sisters CHRIS BELTZ MAAS ’70, SUE BRADLEY SORENSEN ’71, JANET BEAN GADDIS ’71, and BEVERLY MOESCHEL HIRSEKORN ’72 who had flown in from Colorado! PHYLLIS HOLLYER ’70 was unable to attend at the last minute. For the 2020 Reunion, a group of ADPi’s had planned a get-together for classes of 1968-1972 with more than 45 gals coming. We went from 45 to five in 2021.
“At the Saturday morning registration, there were a number of familiar faces, though I was thankful we all had name tags. After a meet and greet, we decided to tour campus. Changes most evident are the street closures in front of Commons, Tri-Dorms, and Johnson Hall. It is still an amazingly beautiful campus. The Commons has had a facelift! The Lane Library renovations create a learning environment based on technology. Central campus looks the same, while the newer state-of-the-art gymnasium, known as the Willmore Center, and the fine arts center, known as the C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts, expand the campus footprint, their addition to the College is breath-taking. WOW!! The gym is a tribute to past athletic accomplishments while creating opportunities for today’s team’s success. The fine arts center is a venue for today’s student artists surrounded by works of art from the past. Impressive!
“The downside of our campus tour was Johnson Hall. For those of us who lived there in the ’60s, it is still the same 51 years later. Johnson Hall is neat and clean but it has the same cabinets in rooms, closet doors, etc., like we never moved out. I have no idea what other residence halls look like. My son, DAVID MACK ’97, graduated from Ripon in 1997 and the Quads were still the Quads. My daughter, ASHLEY MACK ’07 lived in Johnson Hall, too! It’s the same as it was in the past at present, but I hope for updating in the future!
“After a delicious lunch at Knuth Brewing Company in town, we met to see other alums. In typical fashion, though, we stayed in our own groups! It was fun seeing alums from other years and mingling with faces and names we recognized. It was great to see long-time past Class Agent JIM WALSH ’70 there. Having worked on a number of reunions with him and enjoyed his newsletters over the years, thanks JIM!! DAVE READ ’70, another of our former Class Agents, was also in attendance during the 50th Celebration, and his time serving is appreciated. Recent Class Agent SUE HECHT GEBHARDT ’70 and husband BILL GEBHARDT ’69 attended looking no worse from his health challenges. Thanks, SUE, for keeping us updated and hope you are in your new house!
“The Golden R Club and Reunion Celebration dinner highlighted the day featuring a formal sit-down dinner with drinks and dessert and a welcome by Ripon College President Zach Messitte and Board of Trustee members. Following their remarks, each one of us ‘oldies’ were recognized and received the Golden R pin. I guess getting old is an achievement unto its own! Our gratitude was expressed in our $220,504 class gift in honor of our 50th Reunion. A great gift to give our gratitude to RC!
“The evening ended at The Spot. No, not OUR Spot, rather The Spot, which we used to call The Pub! Our Spot is closed and gone, this is The Spot of the day. It’s like a coffee bar and sells beverages. Quite nice actually and clearly convenient! A fun day was had by all! Good work RC staff. You knocked it out of the park!
“Sunday morning had 30 or so of us gather for the Remembrance Service in the Commons Pickard Dining Room. The local pastor, JEFFREY DODSON ’06, from the First Congregational Church next to East Hall spoke as we all reflected on those classmates that didn’t live to see this day. Memories were all we had of our time together. Wish we had had a list of all of our classmates who had passed away from the Class of 1970. Always know that you are not forgotten.
“Afterwards, we had a tasty buffet brunch at the Commons that reminded us of the many meals we had there. I remember coming to dinner on Monday after house meetings, dressed up for dinner Thursday and Sunday dress, or ‘borrowing’ a tray for sledding? BTW I still have mine! Finally, we headed home with more memories of times past to last another lifetime….till we meet again, my friends and classmates of Class of 1970!”
NEWS AND NOTES FROM RIPON COLLEGE
Past Fiscal Year Update: A record-breaking 2,087 donors from all around the world supported Ripon’s fourth annual giving day on April 28, known as #OneDayRally, reminding us all that regardless of the circumstances, Red Hawks come together. Thank you to the over 3,600 donors, including many of you from your Class of 1970, who supported the College this past fiscal year through the Ripon Fund and other initiatives.
Campus Upgrades: The McCullough Family Lounge in Farr Hall of Science — a favorite location of students for studying and collaborative work — recently received an extreme makeover with the intent of making the space more contemporary and technologically friendly. The renovations were made possible by a lead gift from Trustee PHILIP MCCULLOUGH ’69/P’04, and his wife, Pat P’04. Also, a new Data Visualization Lab was installed in Todd Wehr Hall, which is a great asset for the math and computer science departments.
Endowment: Ripon’s endowment recently hit an all-time high and as of August 19, 2021, it was at $112 million.
Start of the Academic Year: Classes started on Monday, August 30 and the academic year is in full swing with in-person classes. The College is continuing to follow CDC and Fond du Lac County Health Department guidelines regarding COVID-19 safety protocols.
CLASS AGENT UPDATE
Your Class Agent, SUE HECHT GEBHARDT ’70 has faithfully and caringly served her alma mater for over six years, and, now that the 50th Class Reunion is over, she has communicated that she is hoping that someone else will take over the reins. We thank SUE for her service and for helping to ensure that your class stayed connected over the years.
What does it take to be a Class Agent? Class Agents write a Class Letter each fall and spring that includes updates from classmates. The Office of Constituent Engagement helps with every step of the Class Letter including providing any classmate updates they receive, and they take care of sending out the Class Letters both through email and through the U.S. postal service. Being a Class Agent provides a direct line of communication with a staff member at Ripon College, and it is a great way to contribute to the success of your Alma Mater.
Here are some reasons why you may want to consider being a Class Agent:
- You will have unique opportunities to get information, often before our general alumni population, and you will get to know campus staff and administration on a more personal level.
- You will help the College keep track of the contact information of classmates, helping ensure that all of us get to keep in touch. This is also important to help keep classmates connected to the larger Ripon College family.
- It feels good to give back to your Alma Mater in such a tangible way!
If you are interested in becoming a Class Agent or you simply want to learn more about this opportunity, email me, JOLENE RUEDEN SCHATZINGER ’07, associate director of engagement, at [email protected], or you can call me at (920) 748-8354. Thank you for considering this opportunity!
I want to again take this moment to congratulate you on reaching this milestone of celebrating your 50th Class Reunion. We hope you will come back to visit campus in the future – you are always welcome!
Jolene Rueden Schatzinger ’07, Associate Director of Engagement
[email protected] / (920) 748-8354