1979 – Fall ’19 Class Letter

Kevin L. Warmack

773-220-5360 / [email protected] / [email protected]


Greetings All, it’s a little over a week since the 40th Reunion. Quite a few hardy souls showed up, and in the immortal words of BOB GRANT ’79, “Damn good time was had by all!”

For all, here is a recap of the Weekend:   

Thursday, June 27

After checking in, who should I meet but PAUL “MOSES” SHLIEN ’83. Paul started with us in 1975, roomed with JON “CORNFLAKE” HELLAND ’79 but left mid-year. Paul eventually finished with the Class of 1983. We headed downtown to Roadhouse and who’s holding court but BILL SCHNESE ’79! I hadn’t expected him this year (his son got married the week before), so it was a pleasant surprise. I also got to see GAIL GOODRICH TRACY ’79 and MIKE TRACY ’79.

Friday, June 28

The Courses of Lawsonia and the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble. Yes, I did tee it up along with BILL SCHNESE ’79 and BOB SCHMITT ’79. It was my first time out since last August when I got my bionic equipment. I played with BLAINE GIBSON ’79 and KEN PICKNEY ’79. We shot an 80 but is was a good 80!

Dinner at Norton’s. Usually I go to the Alumni Dinner but this year since we had no one getting any awards, I skipped the event and went to dinner at Norton’s with SUZY MEIER ’79, LEE POTTER ’79 and SANDY LUNDEEN MEYER ’79 and her husband, Jim. Good food, good drink, great conversation!

Saturday, June 29

After the usual, “That was Then,” BOB SCHMITT ’79 and I took part in the All-Campus March to lunch and the presentation of the Class Gift. Of course, I held up the Class of 1979 sign with my usual “4 Beers” salute!  But I also got to run into and have lunch with KAREN STEFFES DRISCOLL ’79 and TONY PONCE DE LEON ’79.

As to our Class Gift, here are the immortal words: “Mr. President, we are proud to share that in the five years since our last reunion, the Class of 1979 has raised $340,122! We also have added one new Partner in the Legacy in that time! With 42% of our class participating, the Class of 1979 is pleased to present to you our Class Gift in the amount of $72,335.00!”

On behalf of our Gift Chair, MIKE TRACY ’79, let me express my thanks to all of us who participated in the Class Gift!

The Alumni Lacrosse Game. On Upper Sadoff, I went down to the Alumni Lacrosse Game to watch the stars – BILL SCHNESE ’79, TED SHALLER ’79, JON HELLAND ’79, TONY PONCE DE LEON ’79, ART PETERS ’79 and members of the Ripon Lacrosse team play a select team of 15-year-olds. ANDY DICKSON ’79 and I stayed on the sidelines and watched as these old men barely got by the Wisconsin Select team by a score of 5-4. 

The Reunion Dinner. The 40th Reunion of the Class of 1979 was held in the atrium of Willmore Center (Storzer). In addition to most of the souls that I mentioned earlier, RUTH HOLLINGER PETERS ’79, KIM GOSSO LAUE ’79, ALAN LOVELL ’79, STORS DOWNEY ’79, DEB MARNOCCA ’79, HEIDI HASTINGS ’79, MATT DACY ’79 and LEA COLQUHOUN DACY ’79, BETH PALMBACK NEMECEK ’79 and JAY MCDONALD ’79 showed up and enjoyed each other and took a look at our yearbook. The highlight of the night was that we got to go to the team locker room to see the locker that a few of us contributed to in the name of NATE BOYA ’79. There was a small parting gift for those who attended; and some of you who didn’t make it just might receive one in the mail.

So the 40th Reunion is in the books and now it’s time to look forward to five years from now when we celebrate 45 years! I plan on being there and I hope that a few more of you will come home to Ripon one last time!

MARK COLEMAN ’79 – Mark had a good excuse, too. Mother-in-law birthday. We husbands do understand, Mark. Let’s just say, we missed you!!

MATTHEW D. DACY ’79 of Rochester, Minnesota, was featured in Ken Burns’ latest documentary, “The Mayo Clinic: Faith-Hope-Science,” which debuted on PBS in September 2018. At Mayo Clinic, he is the director of the Heritage Hall historical museum, assistant professor of the history of medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, and also works in the development department.

ROYCE DUNBAR ’79 – Royce was down in St. Louis at the Elks Convention. But we all know, he just wanted to get close to the Stanley Cup!

MICHAEL GIBBS ’79 of San Antonio, Texas, has been promoted to executive vice president of the Whataburger restaurant chain. He also is continuing in his role as general counsel.

TOM OAKLEY ’79 – Congratulations are in order. Per a press release from February,   “Bioanalytical Systems Inc. is pleased to announce that D. Thomas “Tom” Oakley has been appointed as chief operating officer of the company, effective as of Feb. 11, 2019. Mr. Oakley will be responsible for leading operations among BASi’s three sites located in West Lafayette and Evansville, Indiana, and St. Louis, Missouri.” Tom and his wife were off in Ireland on the “three-hour tour.”

DIANE MOY QUON ’79 of Lake Forest, Illinois, earned an Academy Award nomination as producer of the documentary film “Minding the Gap,” released by Kartemquin Films. It debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018 and won the Special Jury Award for Breakthrough Filmmaking in U.S. Documentary Competition. It also recently won the prestigious Peabody Award.

MIKE ZAHN ’79 – Mike had a good excuse for not attending – he had to walk his daughter down the aisle. Having done that honorable task twice, I know Mike was full. Congratulations! By the way, Mike also retired in June.

As always, it is a pleasure to write to y’all. Special thanks to BETH PALMBACH NEMECEK ’79 for those Facebook posts from the College. Let’s plan to get together soon. By the way, I may be in your neighborhoods (work travel). So watch out for a reach out for a beer or three!

Also, when you got news, don’t hold on. Drop me a note so I can make your Class Letter the best!

Love Always,