1979 – Spring ’22 Class Letter

Greetings All,

As I did with the Fall Class Letter, I’m sweating out working up this Class Letter. This time I can put some of it on work and my big College-related activity (more on that later). But just so you know, as of the time of writing this Class Letter, both the Men’s and Women’s basketball teams are in first place in the Midwest Conference and they play their first game of the tournament tonight, Friday, February 25 in Ripon at the Willmore Center! But you didn’t come here to hear that talk. You want to know what’s going on with your classmates, so here it goes!!


MIKE ZACH ’79: I have a new gig playing guitar and leading singing at various senior living facilities in our area! (If you have Facebook, check out MIKE singing. It’s good stuff.)

ROYCE DUNBAR ’79: As I write this Class Letter today, let me extend a Happy Birthday to ROYCE. He’s been busy living the retired life having recently visited Iceland.

BETH PALMBACH NEMECEK ’79: Today (the day I am writing this Class Letter) is also National Donor Day which is a day to celebrate the gift of love through organ, eye, and tissue donation. As we are very much aware, our own Beth is in need of a kidney. It can be from a living donor. She is still going strong, but let’s keep her in our thoughts and prayers. But in spite of all that, her spirit is still strong!!

STANLEY CIEWLEWICZ ’79STAN died Nov. 11, 2020. At Ripon, he participated in forensics/debate, student government, theatre, and ROTC. He received a degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and a doctor of jurisprudence from the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. He retired in June 2019 after 37 years in federal service from the Office of the Judge Advocate, U.S. Army Europe. He had served as an active-duty officer, an Army and Air Force reserve officer, and as a civilian attorney in several assignments around the world. He was renowned throughout Europe and across the Services for his expertise in contract and fiscal law and was the U.S. Army Europe expert on Acquisition and Cross Servicing Agreements.

Kevin Warmack ’79: On Thursday, February 10, 2022, I along with three other Black Ripon Alumni (BLAINE GIBSON ’81NATASHA HOARD KING ’93, and ORNELLA UMUBYEYI ’13) participated in a panel discussion on Zoom with the Ripon College Center for Diversity and Inclusion. We were asked a series of opening questions about our lives at Ripon as persons of color. Let me say that I enjoyed every minute of the event. to hear how it went, click here.


College President:
Ripon College’s Board of Trustees has announced that Dr. Andrea Young will serve as the interim president of the College beginning in January 2022. As the first woman to lead Ripon College in its 170-year history, she will replace Dr. Zach Messitte, who announced last fall that he would be stepping down as Ripon’s 13th president at the end of the fall semester.

“Dr. Young understands what makes Ripon such a special place and has been a stellar administrator and professor at the College for more than a decade,” said TOM ABENDROTH ’81, chair of Ripon College’s Board of Trustees. “She has been a champion of the student experience and led the way on a number of important initiatives, including making better use of technology in the classroom and data in decision-making.”

As Ripon’s vice president for finance and director of strategic initiatives, Young oversees the business, financial and information technology functions of the College. She is the primary administrative liaison to the Board of Trustees on matters related to finance, investment, construction contracts and approval, risk management and audit. In addition, she is spearheading Ripon’s exploration of a partnership with Marian University in Fond du Lac.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve Ripon College as the interim president,” Young said. “I have seen firsthand the transformative potential of a Ripon College education, and I am deeply committed to promoting our student-centered approach to living and learning.”

Prior to her role as vice president for finance, Young served as the acting dean of faculty for a semester and received promotion and tenure to be an associate professor of mathematics in 2016. The winner of several teaching awards, she has published multiple peer-reviewed articles, including several co-written with Ripon students and faculty. She is the principal investigator on a successful National Science Foundation grant to improve undergraduate STEM education.

Young also served as special assistant to the president and liaison to the Board of Trustees where she led a number of strategic initiatives that focused on the student experience, including promoting academic success.

Young received her Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Texas-Austin and her B.S. in mathematics with a minor in Italian from Pennsylvania State University.

The Presidential Search Committee:
In spite of the wishes of BOB SCHMITT ’79, I am not a candidate for the Office of President of Ripon College. However, The Board of Trustees has approved the formation of the Presidential Search Committee. Members of the committee will work closely with executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates, which was selected to manage the search process based on their depth and breadth of specialized expertise and high-touch client approach.

The search committee will actively engage the immediate and extended Ripon College community in the search, review the credentials of interested candidates, select a group of finalists to interview, and present to the Board a candidate they believe is best-prepared to lead the College into the future. Members were selected from among nominated faculty, staff, students, administration and the greater Ripon community.

Members include:

  • Chair: MARK FRANZEN ’83, Trustee
  • Administrative Liaison: Kara Kinas Jankowski, chief of staff to the president and dean of faculty
  • Committee Members: TOM ABENDROTH ’81, chair of the Board of Trustees; Nick Eastman, assistant professor of educational studies; JACKIE HANSON ’23, current student; DANTE HOUSTON ’01, Trustee; SHAWN KARSTEN ’09, vice president for Advancement, and Marketing and Communications; Memuna Khan, professor of biology, chair of the Department of Biology; Linda Kinziger, director of financial aid; Rebecca Matzke, associate dean for faculty development and Ralph Hale Ruppert Distinguished Professor of History; Tom Moniz, attorney with Von Briesen & Roper, S.C., community representative; CONNIE HERBON MOSER ’84, Trustee; Travis Nygard, associate professor of art history, co-director of the Caestecker Gallery; CARRIE ROCA-DAWSON ’94, member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors; LISA WOLLAN ’78, Trustee; and KIMBERLY WOOLLEY ’94, Trustee.

As always, it is a pleasure to write to y’all.

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

Love Always,

(773) 220-5360 / [email protected] / [email protected]
Your 1979 Class Agent