1974 – Spring ’21 Class Letter

1974 – Spring 2021 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1974!

It’s been a wild winter in Chicagoland. Most of our snow arrived all at once, accompanied by frigid temperatures. But, as I write this, we are experiencing mild weather which is melting the ice and starting to make headway on getting rid of the snow. Everyone here is ready for spring. We are also ready for a bit more freedom.
Many of you report having received your first COVID-19 vaccine and are looking forward to the second. By the time you read this, ANDY MACLEOD ’76 and I will have received both our vaccines, as well. Of all the things we look forward to doing, safe stress-free visits with our family tops the list. How about you?
I know many of us can’t wait to travel again, so I wanted to mention that the College has announced plans for this summer’s 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.

I will try to keep you informed as to updates on Alumni Weekend. Also, since many of us have fond memories of the Heidel House, I thought you would enjoy hearing that the new owners have been making extensive renovations and plan to reopen this summer. In addition, the Heidel House yacht was sold to a company that plans to provide sightseeing tours around Green Lake. It will dock at the Heidel House, as well as downtown Green Lake. This is all in the early planning stages but I will try to keep you informed. If you are interested, you can follow the Heidel House’s Facebook page: www.facebook.com/HeidelHouse2021. Heidel could be an additional gathering spot (and lodging) for our 50th Class Reunion!
A few of you report some pandemic weight gain, and I’m sure you’re not alone. We have been ordering carry-out and delivery from our favorite spots to help them stay afloat, but it soon became apparent we would have to increase our daily exercise. Happy to report we seem to have found a balance, thank goodness!
On that subject, SCOTT DICKS ’74 of Middleton, Wisconsin said, “The pandemic is keeping me very bored. My coffee and Scotch consumption are up, which probably explains my weight gain. However, I have been trying out all kinds of new recipes which hasn’t helped my poundage either!”
SUSAN DELVALLE CARR ’74 of Columbus, Ohio, retired as a Youth Services Librarian at the Westerville Public Library. Congratulations, Susan! Now you will have more time for your own reading and anything else that strikes your fancy!
MARK CHEVALIER ’74 of Annandale, Virginia, writes, “My daughters, Jacqueline and Caroline, delivered two baby boys a week apart!” Wow! Heartiest congratulations, Grand-Dad!
KIM KOBRIGER ’74 of Henderson, Nevada, reports he has bought a condo in Henderson, and now has guardianship of his 16-year-old granddaughter, so now finds himself a parent again. He adds that he is “sad about the state of our country and politics…why people can’t still care for each other and disagree is beyond my ability to comprehend. I fondly remember discussions at Ripon about many things we did not agree on but we still were civil and friends – very, very sad.”
Back before winter really hit hard, CHRIS OVERLY WALLACE ’74 of Homer Glen, Illinois, spent some time working on a house with Habitat for Humanity. Chris likes to keep busy, and Habitat is certainly a worthy endeavor. Hats off to you, Chris!
Thanks to BETH KALMAN KARON ‘74 of Rochester, Minnesota, as well as SCOTT DICKS ’74, who both took the time to notify me of the passing of ROBERT “BARNEY” MERRITT ’74, of Wilmington, Delaware. Barney passed away at home on January 13, 2021, surrounded by his family. He is survived by his wife Maria, his three sons, Jonathan, Benjamin, and Zachary, and his sister, Joan Merritt. Donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.
Finally, I would like to thank all of you who continue to support Ripon College, especially via the Ripon Fund and #OneDayRally. The Rally is coming up on April 28, and you will be hearing more about it in the coming weeks. 
Meanwhile, stay warm, stay safe, and keep me posted on what you are up to.
Let’s talk soon! We can keep in touch in our Facebook group: Ripon College Class of 1974!
(630) 920-2450 / [email protected]
Your 1974 Class Agent