1976 Spring ’23 Class Letter

Hello Classmates:

It is hard to believe but 50 years ago, the Class of 1976 faced its first winter in Ripon. For many of us, the cold was surprising. A classmate or two from Hawaii spent the season in shock. Carly Simon’s “You’re so Vain” was the No. 1 single and Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon” was the top album. The Vietnam War ended and lots of us were relieved to see the draft end. Richard Nixon was re-inaugurated, soon on his way out. The Miami Dolphins captured the Super Bowl after an undefeated season. The Chevrolet Monte Carlo was the nation’s most popular car. The first PC was made (by Xerox), as was the first cell phone. The internet was invented by Xerox, as well (eat your heart out Al Gore.) Honeywell was the best performing U.S. stock and OPEC stuck it to the world in the form of higher oil prices.

There is, as always, a lot going on at Ripon. We have a new president. We have plans to renovate Farr Hall and plans to build our very own campus stadium. To keep up with student demand, you will probably see several new areas of study going forward. As always, please keep Ripon in your thoughts and financial plans.


PETER TUZ ’76 remembers having frozen hair for the first time in early 1973 as he dashed off to an early class. He spent a month in Germany in 2022 visiting his daughter and her family in Bamberg, a town in Northern Bavaria. He plans on spending at least that much time there this year. Peter’s daughter’s husband had a two-year work transfer there that has turned into five years plus due to COVID. If time permits, he will be doing some fishing in the Bavarian Alps, as well. The winters there are milder than Ripon’s!

SUSAN MULLIGAN ’76: “I have just returned from a “celebration of life” event for my college suite-mate/roommate/Alpha Chi Omega sorority sister and best friend, DOROTHY DIX WAGNER REESE ’76. She suddenly passed away in November. She was always full of laughter and fun.  She is survived by her husband, John, and daughter, Katie.”

JOHN RANES ’76 shares images from Scott Hall winter 1971-72:

MICHAEL VERKUILEN ’76: “I’m just back from a 15-day cruise through the Panama Canal with family and friends. What a way to start 2023! Aside from that, we welcomed our third grandchild in November, bringing the total to three precious little ones. My daughter had two boys already, so we feel blessed to have welcomed a baby girl into the fold. Her older brothers couldn’t be happier either. I stopped working in late 2020 and have been enjoying travel and relaxation since. Forty-five years of work was enough for me, although I may dip back into the labor force if the right part-time gig presents itself. Looking forward to visiting Ripon for our 50th!!”

CANDI HUTCHISON ’76: “That was fun remembering Ripon winters…I am not sure if it was my first winter or all four, but being a PhyEd major, I remember trudging from the Tri Dorms through knee high snow drifts, along the back path, to the gym for 7:45 a.m. classes. I arrived, usually panting a bit, with crusty eyelashes and ice chunks on my scarf encircling my mouth. No snow days at Ripon…the professors were always able to make it to class, at least mine were.”

HUGH WHIPPLE ’76 is already looking forward to our 50th Reunion in 2026!

Save the date for Alumni Weekend 2023, June 22-25!

If you’re planning on off-campus lodging, there are room blocks at Heidel House in Green Lake, and at Cobblestone Suites in Ripon (920-748-5500). On-campus lodging will open up in April, and will have plenty of capacity.

Warm Regards,

Peter ’76
(434) 996-7808

Michele ’76
(920) 858-4549

P.S. There will be a special giving event in conjunction with inauguration weekend, April 20-23, to celebrate Ripon’s 14th President, Victoria N. Folse, and the exciting momentum happening within our campus community. This event will be an extension of the #OneDayRally brand and experience. Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to your participation!