1978 – Spring ’22 Class Letter

Dear Classmates:

It’s time once again for our class letter. Headlining our news is the loss of our larger than life, former Class Agent and friend ROB “TEX” MEYER last November. Rob was co-Class Agent with LYNN BANNON for seven years from 2001-2007 and visited many of us on several extended road trips across the continent over the last few decades. He recruited me to be your current Class Agent. If you were on his text list, once a week you would receive a Tuesday Trivia challenge question and many other texts day-to-day about his take on politics or about his beloved Mariner and Seahawks sports teams. Former Ripon staff members and alumni extending their condolences to our class included: BILL NEILL ’67RUTH ANN STODOLA ’76, and Class Agents, JONDI GUMZ ’75PETER TUZ ’76, and ALAN LAWRENCE ’77.

Another great friend of our classmates, ANDY MARVEL ’77 passed away last September, as well.

I did not get as many updates as were provided for the last letter, so that means I had to make “stuff” up by researching a few things that you would find of interest. Stay with me here, I think you will find some of it interesting.

April 27th is Ripon’s annual #OneDayRally. As a class, we have dominated participation for each of the four years since the #OneDayRally inception. We have a reputation to maintain as the “most loyal class” juggernaut that all of the other Ripon classes are shooting to emulate in April. For us to succeed again, we need everyone reading this letter to participate. Expect to get a call, email, or text from LISA WOLLANLIZ PECHA-POELKERLOUISA GEBELEIN JONESSUE FEITH SHANNON, or me on April 27th asking for your support. Please help us out with your kind support of this worthy effort to support our Alma Mater.


  • ’78 Classmate Updates
  • Faculty Updates of Interest
  • Sad News
  • #OneDayRally April 27th
  • 45th Class Reunion in 2023!
  • Class Letter Updates for Fall Letter

’78 Classmate Updates: 

MIKE CHAMBERLAIN of Auburn, New York, continues some follow-on research to determine names of soldiers and details about locations shown in his father’s 900-plus World War II wartime photos that he recently donated to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. “A couple more pieces have rolled in on my dad and his WW2 photos. One is from a national magazine – World War II, while the other is from a regional magazine geared toward seniors living in the Capital District (New York/Hudson Valley). I expect that these will be the last two articles, although I was contacted by a French website dedicated to commemorating the invasion of southern France. They asked for my father’s bio and some pictures to post on their site. That might shake loose some additional interest.” Regarding the pandemic, MIKE said, “Let’s just hope this all settles down before the 45th Reunion in 2023! Glenda and I are healthy but redoubling our efforts to stay safe given the latest surge. Hoping that everyone on your end is doing well.”

ROBBIE CORDO writes: “I moved from Minneapolis to Oshkosh to be near Ripon after 43 years. I love the area and my Minneapolis-based business is doing very well. I visit the Twin Cities three times per month. I often visit BOB PARDO ’77CATHY LARSEN ’80, and MARTY ERNSER ’78. If you are in the area, please call me at 612-201-6106 or send an email to [email protected].

I was thrilled to get an update from ROBERTA deBOER DURHAM of Toledo, Ohio (pictured right). Before graduating from Beloit College, Roberta spent two years with us at Ripon. She was a freshman roommate to ERICA DOSS and ANNE ERNSER HANSON, respectively, and has great memories of her time at Ripon.A picture containing glasses, personDescription automatically generated With regard to what she is doing now, in 2019, Roberta pursued her passion and founded Toledo Better Together after she retired from 26 years in journalism (with the last 16 years as a columnist at The Blade). The Toledo Better Together non-profit which she also directs “Provides consistent, enduring mentor relationships to young adults exiting foster care. We bring together small groups of six to eight vetted, trained volunteers who commit for one year to weekly dinner gatherings with one young foster alum. The group offers encouragement and support to help that young adult reach whatever goals s/he/they identify. Above all, BTT volunteers offer foster alums unconditional belonging and community, ideally well beyond the initial one-year commitment.”

In early February, ALAN HODKIEWICZ wrote: “Hey Gregg, how’s life in the snowy Mid-Atlantic??? You probably have more snow than we do. Well, we moved the week before Christmas. We are back out in a rural area again. Not a farmhouse. – AL and SUSAN HIGBY HODKIEWICZ ’77 did extensive remodeling in a farmhouse in Columbus, Wisconsin, prior to this place. – This time we live in a one-story that was built in 2003, on top of a hill, with great scenic views in all directions and plenty of updating to be done. Soooooo our new address is in Albany, Wisconsin.”

JOE KEEGAN hJoe Keegan and Parker Vivoda '77ad a “…great time catching up with PARKER VIVODA ’77 in St. Petersburg. He was in town enjoying the beaches with his wife and family. We are hoping for a Bucs/Green Bay NFC Championship game.”

In November, DAVE HANUS of Salem, Oregon, was “…headed to Newport, Oregon, to spend the weekend camping at Southbeach State Park (in a little RV 🙂 …I’m at that point that canvas in winter is not so much fun anymore) we are getting battered by a succession of Pineapple Expresses (aka atmospheric rivers). Amazing to watch the surf!! A third of a mile inland over the foredunes from the beach and we can feel it when the big waves make landfall!! Pretty cool…”

I heard from WILL HIGGINS of Indianapolis, Indiana, in October as he was passing through New Orleans looking for any classmates that might be in the area.  I think he is enjoying his retirement.

DAVE JUNG of Purcellville, Virginia, asked me to reach out to MATT LEISURE of Manheim, Pennsylvania, for an update. I had a great talk with Matt. He became a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor in 1988 and has been a Licensed Social Worker since 2001. Since 1988, he has been working as a therapist in substance abuse and outpatient mental health agencies. He is currently working as a partner for Psychological Associates of Lancaster, Inc. in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, since retiring from WellSpan Behavioral Health (formerly York Hospital) in 2019 where he had worked since 1995. Matt has been happily married to his wife Vickie since 1990.

JONATHAN LOEW says, “After 40 years practicing law, I’ve retired. To anyone on the fence about it, don’t think twice. We’ll be moving from Chicago to Colorado in the spring to join our three kids, who are all living there.”

PAUL NANCARROW of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, said, “Thanks for being in touch on behalf of the Class of 1978. I’ve got the #OneDayRally on my calendar now, and I’ll look forward to making that donation. These days I’m splitting my time between residences in Minnesota and Arkansas, in order to be close to different branches of the family. Having two home bases means having a lot more variety in my bicycle riding as well. I’ve been able to get out for a couple of road rides — even some gravel riding — in Arkansas already this year; that is something I would never have been able to do in Minnesota! I preach occasionally for churches when their regular priests are away, which also offers more variety than being the regular priest in the same parish every week. I don’t have any academic accomplishments to report, but I do keep writing regularly for my blog of theological reflections at paulsnancarrow.wordpress.com.”

JOE O’SULLIVAN of Roy, Washington, says, “I hope everyone is doing ok and adapting to such changes we all have had the last two years now! I am amazed how much our lives, work, and relationships have changed due to this ‘plague’!! Anyhow, since I have had a lot of free time, I am currently back in graduate school, online of course. I am at Purdue University taking Health Informatics Master’s degree. I should be done by October 2022. Writing two-three papers per week is not much fun and I am not sure yet what I will ultimately do with this degree, but it does help to keep the brain sharp. Otherwise, have been visiting grandkids, hiking, going to the gym daily, plus taking care of chickens, dogs, cats, and 20 acres about one hour south of Seattle. Still doing research grants and hope to have another federal grant approved soon as my last two grants expire in 2022. And as we all are getting about that age, I hope everyone is signed up for Medicare!!! Hahaha…Anybody visiting the area is always welcome to an open bedroom!”

At the suggestion of NANCY BUCK HINTZ ’82/P’10 who is already a board member, GREGG PETERSEN of Columbia, Maryland, joined the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory Board of Directors in January. The WGLBBO (sometimes referred to as “Wiggly Bee Bow”) headquarters is located in Port Washington, Wisconsin. The Observatory’S mission is to advance the conservation of birds and bats in Wisconsin and throughout the Western Great Lakes Region through coordinated research, monitoring, and education. Why am I a member of a board back in Wisconsin? In addition to pursuing biology passions outdoors, the board meetings give me a great excuse to visit my mom and other family members in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin three times a year (at least!).

Faculty Updates of Interest:

ANITA WALLACE shared this update: “Olimpia Ogilvie’s daughter, Arabella, has set up a website on Olimpia and her work. Currently, there is an exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Art of Mauricio Lasansky’s The Nazi Drawings. Olimpia studied printmaking in Iowa under Lasansky. Thought some of you might be interested to see her amazing work and legacy.”A picture containing calendarDescription automatically generated

Professor of History Emeritus Bill Woolley’s latest book, “Creating the Modern Army: Citizen Soldiers and the American Way of War, 1919-1939,” will be published in March.

Sad News:

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.

ANDREW “ANDY” MARVEL JR. ’77 of Weston, Massachusetts, passed away September 5, 2021, in Falmouth, Massachusetts. Andy majored in economics and modern architecture at Ripon, where he was also a member of Phi Delta Theta. He furthered his studies at the Boston Architectural Center, working for a variety of architects. This creativity evolved as the foundation for his business career when he founded Marvel Construction Co. in 1981, which he operated for over 40 years. Andy’s life revolved around his beloved wife, Elizabeth “Beanie” Marvel, who he married in 1987 and his three daughters, Stephanie and her husband Graham Allison of Cohasset, Jenna Marvel of Waltham, and Julia Marvel of Charlestown.

ROB “TEX” MEYER of A picture containing ground, outdoor, personDescription automatically generatedMoscow, Idaho, succumbed to the effects from cancer on Nov. 22, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in drama and English and participated in College Days, Parallax, student government, WRPN Radio and theatre. He was a member of Theta Chi, Partners in the Legacy, Phi Beta Kappa, Alumni/Parent Admission Alliance, and the Alumni Board of Directors. He also served as Class Agent. He earned a master’s degree in education from Brown University. He worked as a journalist and English teacher, then as a freelance writer and editor after retiring. Pictured left, is ROB, at JFK’s eternal flame in Arlington National Cemetery when he visited in November 2009.

Annual Giving and #OneDayRally Coming Up on April 27th 
Annual Giving: We have 267 living alumni with 152 of those “solicitable.” Our 152 solicitable donors are the highest of any class before 1988 — thank you for being approachable! So…how does the Class of 1978 stack up to the other 81 alumni classes in the last year?

  • #1 in total number of donors with 95.
  • That’s 22 more classmates than the next closest – Class of 1969 with 73 donors.
  • #2 in total participation at 62.5% – #1 is the Class of 1948 with 7 of 11 donors.
  • #1 in participation to the Ripon Fund (formerly the Annual Fund) – 87 donors for 57.2%. The next closest class is the (11 alumni member) Class of 1948 with 54.6%.
  • #1 in total number of donors to the Ripon Fund with 87 – 17 more than the next closest class, the just-graduated Class of 2021 with 70 donors.
  • The only category we are not in the top ten is for total giving. And with that said, I would rather we be engaged as a larger group than focused on total dollars given. We all have many priorities of which Ripon is one.

#OneDayRally: Our goal for April 27th this year is to at least attain 78 donors for our Class of ’78 (#78for78) just like we did last year. That way other classes that want to achieve our gold standard will remember the number 78 stands for year group 78. In the month before he passed away, ROB MEYER pledged to give to the 2022 #ODR just like he did for every year since its inception, so I will be covering his pledge for him.

If you did not give last year, please consider doing so in 2022. It’s not about the amount, it’s about participation, showing our loyalty to Ripon, and our unity as a class. One of the key measures college rating services use to rate respective schools is alumni affinity. You can personally help Ripon boost that rating by making an annual donation.

Timing of giving: I know some of us like to give early in the year. I realize that it is not my place or ability to direct you to wait until late April to make your gift, but if you could make at least a nominal gift for the #OneDayRally, that helps our annual show of solidarity. Many of our 81 participants last year gave a second time to help our numbers for the #OneDayRally leaderboard.A picture containing text, signDescription automatically generated

This was one of the windows in Pickard Commons last #OneDayRally, April 28, 2021. The name of each of the #OneDayRally donors was written on a Rally sticker affixed to the windows. If you look closely, you may notice stickers displaying the names of nine of our 81 classmates who gave on this window: AL and SUSAN HIGBY HODKIEWICZ ’77JIM WILKESGRETA GLUEK PORTERLISA WOLLANBETH BENEZRAKAREN ROGERS YOUNGJOHN ZINDARLARRY LAUX and NINA WULFF ’77, and HORACE and MARLA BRENDEN GARFIELD.

45th Reunion in 2023! Start planning for it! It will be June 22-25, 2023, and it will be here before you know it. For our last Reunion, we had so many folks come back that the College let us use the main meeting area in Harwood Memorial Union for our venue!! Let’s try to do that again. If you are interested in helping to plan our 45th Reunion, please let me know.

Why should you come back?

  • Your friends!
  • Great treatment by the College when you visit.
  • The Heidel House has reopened!
  • It will be FUN!
  • Ripon is a great town! For example, various publications have recognized Ripon as having one of the Seven “Best Downtown Areas in Wisconsin,” one of “The 10 Most Magical Christmas Towns,” one of the 11 “Magical Main Streets In Wisconsin,” One of the “7 Small Towns In Wisconsin That Are Perfect For A Weekend Escape,” one of “5 Hallmark-worthy Wisconsin small towns to visit during the holidays,” and one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America.”

Class Letter Updates for Fall Letter:

Thanks again for the privilege of continuing as your Class Agent. Please make my job easy and keep sending in your updates or if you have never corresponded, let this next letter be the first one for your news! Your classmates always want to hear from you! If any of you would like to reach out to other classmates or faculty and need contact information, please let me know. I will do my best to find a way to help you reach out to them as we did with MATT LEISURE for this Class Letter. As a group, you are getting better and better at checking in and that eases my job of making these Letters interesting and informative.

Best wishes and warm regards,

 A close up of a device Description automatically generated

(202) 256-8166
Your 1978 Class Agent