1972 – Fall ’20 Class Letter


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Dear Classmates, 

As fall approaches, the year seems to have been going in slow motion as it has been speeding up. The winter sped away as COVID-19 caused the spring and summer to disappear into something that we have never seen. New York, the city that never sleeps, had an eerie quiet throughout the spring, yet you could hear the birds singing and see the trees and flowers blooming. During the summer months, the pandemic has subsided here and the city is coming back to life. As we remember all those lost to the pandemic, let us take a few minutes to remember and offer condolences for a few classmates who left us this year. 

GLEN R. GASIOREK ’72 of Spring Hill, Tennessee, formerly of Arlington Heights, Illinois, died Jan. 15, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in Politics and Government and History and was a member of Beta Sigma Pi fraternity. He graduated from Loyola Academy and Drake University Law School. He was an attorney for the State of Illinois Department of Insurance. He enjoyed reading, crossword puzzles and golf. In 2010, he hiked the Grand Canyon with his brother, ALAN GASIOREK ’73, and a sister, brother-in law and niece. Survivors include his wife, Corryette Gasiorek; one son; and a sister-in-law, our own LYNNE HORNE GASIOREK ’72. 

MARIAN WIEST SOMMERFELDT ’72 of Green Lake, Wisconsin, died May 24, 2020. She studied English at Ripon and received a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She worked on the board of directors at Community Options in Green Lake. Survivors include her husband, Glen; and one son. 

MICHAEL W. FARRELL ’72 of Morris, Illinois, died March 14, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in history. After two years of master’s degree studies in journalism at the University of South Carolina, he worked for the Morris (Illinois) Daily Herald for 36 years as a reporter and editor until retiring in 2010. He and his wife travelled widely in the United States, Russia, China, Europe, Africa and Central and South America. He was an avid student of history, visiting every presidential library. He enjoyed sports, especially the Twins, Vikings and Ripon College teams, gardening and reading history. Survivors include a brother, Martin Farrell, professor of politics and government emeritus. 

I trust that all of you are staying safe as we move through these difficult times. Classes have started at Ripon College and there will be a blend of in-person and online learning. Each Monday, there will be a dashboard on the College website to keep us all informed on the progress of the academic year, especially as it relates to COVID-19. 

I would like to thank everyone who contributed to the 2020 #OneDayRally giving day for Ripon College. Our class was in the top tier of giving this year. If you have not made a contribution to the College, please consider making a gift by the end of the calendar year. 

I wish all of you and your family well and that we will be able to visit the campus soon. Please feel free to send any news about how you have been spending your time.