1977 – Spring ’22 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1977!

Dear Classmates,

45 years ago, this spring, many of us were enjoying our final semester at Ripon College before graduating. Alumni Weekend, with the primary focus on June 25, will be our 45th Reunion gathering. Classes have special get-together gatherings every fifth year. This is a year for our class to come together. I hope you will consider joining us. As Class Agent, I have a role in this planning, but I really would like a committee to help me.

So far, helping me with our Alumni Weekend Reunion are MARYJO MACSWAIN ’77JEANNIE BLACK ’77, and CONNIE JESS ZOLKOSKE ’77. Are you interested in also helping us?

#OneDayRally 2022 is on April 27. This is a one-day fundraising rally that began several years ago and has become popular. It has been an effective fundraiser, but it has also proven to be a bit of fun and a way to competitively rally alumni classes. It would be great if you would check in to the Ripon.edu website or on the College’s social media sites that day and join in! All money contributed by you, whether for the #OneDayRally or any other fundraising effort during the year, counts towards our “Class Gift” for the Alumni Weekend competition.

Here are notes about some of our classmates:

MARSHA TOLL ’77 of Saint Louis, Missouri, writes “I was fortunate enough to have a visit from SUE LEE BARTLETT ’77 and her husband BILL BARTLETT ’75 in November 2021. They made the trek from Berlin, Wisconsin to St. Louis, Missouri. I have never had guests/friends who bring their own tools to help me fix something, but they did! And Sue brought many wonderful gifts for my recovery from a broken foot. We had a great day at a bird sanctuary near St. Louis and were joined by GINGER NEWTON JACOBI ’77 and her husband Jan Jacobi for dinner. It was truly a special evening and weekend that was a bright spot in an otherwise challenging year. And what’s more fun than knowing we met at 18 and are now discussing Bartlett and Jacobi grandchildren! I hope to make a trip north to see the Bartletts in 2022.”

MIKE MODL ’77 and PEG LITTLEFIELD-MODL ’77 of Brussels, Wisconsin, celebrated 50 years of knowing one another in September 2021 and 41 years of marriage. MIKE practiced law for 30+ years at Axley in Madison, focusing on federal court litigation in the areas of employment, constitutional, and intellectual property law. MIKE retired last year then he and PEG moved to Door County where they are enjoying sunsets, afternoon cocktails, and the sound of the waves.

HARRY QUINN ’77 and SUE LAMBERT QUINN ’79 currently live in Bel Air, Maryland. Along with HARRY’s 45th Ripon College graduation anniversary, he and SUE will be celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary later in 2022. HARRY is a Vice President for Science and Technology Corporation managing the company’s support to Department of Defense customers. SUE continues her support of education as a tutor and as a substitute teacher. They enjoy traveling and love going to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands where HARRY pursues his nature and underwater photography hobby. They have two children and three grandchildren. They plan to attend the Reunion.

PAT BAUER ’77 of Chicago, Illinois, writes “In 2021, after 42.5 years working as a copy editor and an editor at Encyclopedia Britannica, I retired to devote myself full-time to vacation. Well, and also to my grandchildren.”

She tells me she will miss us at the Reunion this summer but promises to join us in five years. PAT recalled her long employment history with Encyclopedia Britannica. I’m including it because it demonstrates some changes we’ve seen in the past 45 years.

When I started there, Encyclopedia Britannica was primarily the set, and only some portion of which got new articles every year. These articles were written by experts in their subjects. They sent in manuscripts, either typed or written longhand, which compositors then translated into printed galleys. As a copy editor, I proofread the galleys. After editing, copy editors then fact-checked and copy-edited each article. In later stages, we adjusted the text as needed to make it fit in its allotted space and appear pleasing to the eye. Copy editors were the last check at each stage. I worked on the Macropedia, the part of the set that had the long, in-depth articles, such as Angiosperms, as well as all the country articles. 

When we started publishing online as well, the online articles did not have the space constraints that print articles did. Each article was then in a computer file, with the text that was to appear online but not in print in a different color, and copy editors had to ensure that both versions were correct and coherent. 

Later, through a series of accidents, I became an editor of the Britannica Book of the Year. By this time the company was much smaller, and editors were increasingly responsible for writing as well as editing. I was responsible for a chronology of the important events of each year in every part of the world in politics, sports, arts, and business. I also kept track of major disasters and maintained movie and literary awards tables. I also wrote obituaries and biographies and an article about major anniversaries of each year. 

For several years that book was our only remaining print project, and eventually, it was discontinued. For the last few years, I was assigned to write articles on a wide variety of subjects and to update other articles, often with a focus on popular culture.

MARYJO MACSWAIN ’77 of Verona, Wisconsin, writes, “I have been spending a lot of time planning international travel and then canceling the trips because of COVID-19. Hope to make it overseas this summer. I am very active in Participatory Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO), a Madison organization that is a self-directed, volunteer-led, nonprofit organization that offers lifelong learning opportunities. Most of us are approaching or actively enjoying retirement. We share a passion for learning and a desire to stay engaged with the world and with others who share their interests. I take classes, do committee work and this spring am co-teaching a class. I encourage Madison area alumni to join in.”

JEANNIE BLACK ’77 of Inverness, Illinois, is helping with our Alumni Weekend Reunion, so we’ve exchanged some mail. We’re both busy, despite retirement. We both wonder how we ever worked and managed to get other stuff done. Summarizing an email from JEANNIE, she describes some of what keeps her busy:

“I haven’t been able to get as much done regarding Ripon as I have hoped. A few funerals, some health issues, plus pressing issues with my IATE (Illinois Association of Teachers of English) group and trying to get our conference organized in Decatur, Illinois. I am on the board – for many, many years and have been a past president, run a conference before, etc. Currently, I am the conference sites chair and am dealing with a new person on the board who is running the conference this year, so there is a lot to mentor and do. Both boards have pressing things to be done at the same time, it seems.”

ANDREW MARVEL, JR. ’77 of Weston, Massachusetts, died September 5, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in tennis and Phi Delta Theta. He also studied at the Boston Architectural Center. He operated Marvel Construction Co. for more than 40 years. He was an Eagle Scout, talented painter, master chef, competitive tennis player, pianist, shellfish connoisseur, amateur inventor, and lover of all activities involving the ocean and heavy winds. He also contributed to his community, serving on the Josiah Smith Tavern and Old Library Renovation Committee. Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth “Beanie” Marvel; and three daughters.

NATALIE S. ADAMS ’77 of Colorado Springs, Colorado, wife of former Ripon College president Bernard S. Adams, died Feb. 13, 2022. In Ripon, she was a founding member of the Green Lake Festival of Music, board member and president of the Ripon South Woods Park Association and a choir member at First Congregational Church. She enjoyed tennis and for one year coached the Ripon College women’s tennis team, leading to a conference championship. After retiring in Colorado, she was a member of Broadmoor Community Church where she was a member of the choir, chair of the Arts Committee and a lay caregiver minister. She also served as president of the Symphony Guild and volunteered at Pikes Peak Hospice. Survivors include one son and one daughter.

I sent an email last May relaying a note I had received from GREGG PETERSEN ’78. He was telling me about one of his classmates, a guy many of us knew. “I’m reaching out on behalf of my classmate, former Class Agent, and friend ROB “TEX” MEYER ’78 who you may remember from his days at Ripon with his Stetson hat and his WRPN radio shows. In the last couple of months, ROB had procedures for throat cancer and some other very serious issues. In the last week, he was contacted by a nurse to discuss possible hospice options. He has some helpful neighbors, but no real family left beyond his Ripon “family.” He has fond memories of the classes of ’75, ’76, and ’77.” ROB and I corresponded a bit, and he apparently heard from some of you, too.

I was informed that ROB died on November 22, 2021, at age 65. GREGG tells me that our class contact with ROB really helped make a difference in his quality of life in his final months.

And, about myself. I retired in late 2020 to avoid working in an office during the peak of Wisconsin’s COVID-19 problem. I had intended to work a bit longer. Last year, without much planning, my wife and I decided to buy a house near Roanoke, Virginia, and move into it. Awkwardly, we really weren’t ready to move or to sell our Appleton, Wisconsin house, so we currently own both homes. We intend to make some improvements to the old home and get it emptied and sold this spring.

Please send news about yourself either to the College or to me to be shared in our next Class Letter. We’d love to hear from you!

As I’m sure you already know, one of the functions of alumni associations is to help raise money to keep their organizations alive and relevant. Ripon College is both, but always needs our money to keep doing it well. All money that you donate during our fiscal year, which ends June 30, counts in contests each class competes in. This includes the Ripon Fund (previously called the Annual Fund), the upcoming #OneDayRally coming April 27, special drives, and a final push before the Reunion. It all counts, and it is all appreciated.

More information will be sent to us in the coming months about our Reunion at Alumni Weekend, and the Class Gift that we will be presenting to the College. Please look for it.

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Remember, also, to refer prospective students to Ripon College. That used to include our kids. Maybe you have grandchildren or other relatives thinking about college.

Ripon is a nice city to call home for a while. In fact, Ripon was recognized as having one of the “Seven Best Downtown Areas in Wisconsin!” And it was recognized as “One of the 10 Most Magical Christmas Towns” in Wisconsin. Come visit this June.

Always for Ripon,


(920) 422-2347
Your 1977 Class Agent