1982 – Spring ’21 Class Letter

1982 – Spring 2021 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1982!

What an interesting year this has been for all! I (KRISTEN RASMUSSEN OLSON ’82) hope that you are finding ways to continue to engage with others, whether it be work, play, virtual meetings or happy hours, or other ways! I think that many of us will be pleased when we can finally be together again!
Ripon College reports that things are going well at the school, with a healthy student body and many in-person classes offered. Admissions for next year are at a 30% increase from this year. Let’s hope for a continuation of this great trend!

Remember how much fun we had at our 35th Reunion (boat cruise on Green Lake, left)? As your Co-Class Agents, PETER HINTZ ’82/P’10 and I have been putting our heads together to come up with ideas for our 40th Class Reunion, scheduled for June of 2022! Several volunteers have stepped up to help and we thank you for your assistance! If you would like to take on any small part of this planning, from contacting classmates, to sharing old pictures, to organizing a fun outing, or something else, we are all ears! Please contact me at [email protected] or Peter at [email protected]
Let’s try to encourage as many of our classmates as possible to come back for our 40th Reunion! Whatever activities we choose for our group on reunion weekend, we are sure to have fun!
Class Notes: We have the following updates to share with you from our classmates:
ELIZABETH MELCHERT ’82/P’11/P’14 of Appleton, Wisconsin, writes, “Our daughter, KATIE LAVIOLETTE ’11, DPM, has completed her residency, is doing a fellowship in downtown Chicago in sports medicine, and is engaged to a classmate. They are planning for a New Year’s Eve wedding! I’m playing piano and organ for occasional online church services, am active in my twins’ Boy Scout troop, and have been working full time. We’ve stayed most busy during COVID-19, and happy to have had good health and vaccines!”
CHRIS ARTIG ’82 of Park City, Utah, reports that he retired on February 19th from 34 years as a senior engineer at Varex. 
THERESA SVITAVSKY COX ’82 of Durand, Illinois, retired in 2020 after 33 years of teaching physics and chemistry at Durand High School, Durand, Illinois.
LINDA JENSEN HALL ’82 of Cedar Falls, Iowa, writes, “KEVIN HALL ’82 and I have become avid pickleball players, and we were wondering if there would be any interest in having a fun pickleball match for our 40th Reunion. It is a fun sport that virtually anyone can play.” 
KEVIN SHERIDAN ’82 of Evanston, Illinois, writes, “2020. What a year! Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has adversely impacted many people’s businesses and ability to earn a living. The pandemic resulted in the cancelation of most of my live Keynote Speaking events. With that said, I have always found that there is always a silver lining to catastrophic events. Mine was the fact that I authored a management book 13 years ago called The Virtual Manager, which is all about remote work, remote workers, and virtual managers. Friends are calling me prescient. As much as I’d like to claim to be a soothsayer, this fact was strictly coincidental. The good news is that, as more and more organizations are finding the need to train their workers on how to best work in this new virtual work world, these organizations are also finding value in illuminating their managers on how to be the most effective virtual managers. The result is that I have a whole new income stream by conducting podcasts offering such training.
“On a personal note, I recently enjoyed a vacation in Scottsdale, Arizona, visiting one of my brothers. It was great to leave the brutally cold Chicago weather. Both of my daughters will graduate this year, one from The University of Texas in Austin, and the other from New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois. Thankfully, both of my daughters are healthy, happy, and achieving great grades. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for them!”
Kevin was also recently named to The Employee Engagement Award’s Top 100 Global Influencers on Employee Engagement for three consecutive years, as well as being designated as a Senior Fellow at The Conference Board.
CATHY LOTHROP HAGER ’82 of San Ramon, California, writes, “We discovered the joys of vacationing in a motorhome. We were able to see family in Oregon twice over the summer very safely. To the right is one of my favorite pictures in Klamath, California that shows the signs of the times.”

STEVE SHEA ’82 of Cudahy, Wisconsin, writes, “I was elected to the Milwaukee County Board three years ago. The very first vote I cast as a member of the Board was to put a National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, N.O.R.M.L., sponsored referendum on the ballot. If that doesn’t remind one of Ripon College, I don’t know what does. Even though I didn’t run for office to reconnect with fellow Riponites, I saw classmate SIOBHAN CHAMP-BLACKWELL ’82 for the first time in 38 years when she came to town for a government conference.” 
As for me, KRISTEN RASMUSSEN OLSON ’82, my husband and son and I visited Yellowstone National Park this summer. It was my first visit to a National Park, and I think I am hooked! Other than that, we have enjoyed time with our kids (one grown and one in college) and are keeping busy with our work – me with the Austin, Minnesota Area Chamber of Commerce and my husband with the local PBS television station, KSMQ.
As for me, PETER HINTZ ’82/P’10, my news is that NANCY BUCK HINTZ ’82/P’10 and I have moved from Green Lake, Wisconsin, to Rochester, Minnesota to be closer to family. I will finish out my school year teaching here in Green Lake, and join NANCY in Minnesota this summer, and then will be looking for another teaching position in English to begin in the fall in Rochester. Teaching both in the classroom and on-line at the same time this year in the pandemic has proven most challenging! NANCY adds: We are happy to share that we are the proud grandparents of an eight-month old granddaughter and two grandsons, aged two and five years. If you find yourself heading our way, please let us know!
Obituary: Sadly, one of our classmates passed away in late 2019 and we just learned of it. 
BRENDA JOCHUM FOELKER ’82, age 59, passed away on December 6, 2019. She bravely fought mental illness for many years. Despite her courage and the best efforts of family and friends, the disease was incurable. Brenda was born on March 23, 1960, the daughter of Marvin and Patricia (Cowgill) Jochum. She graduated Valedictorian of Rio High School, then received an Undergraduate Degree in Economics from Ripon College. Her love of travel and music was fostered in college when she traveled extensively with her choir through Europe. This love of travel took her on many more U.S. and international trips with her family. Brenda spent many wonderful years as a homemaker, raising three children and living in Green Bay, WI. She was a loving and devoted mother that was active and involved in their schooling, sports and activities. During that time, she remained involved in the community as well as choirs and orchestras including the Dudley Birder Collegiate Chorale that took her to New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. Throughout her life Brenda also enjoyed reading, tending to her gardens, loved her dogs and holidays with her family. Brenda is survived by her daughter, Allyson (Matthew) Warren of Cincinnati, OH, Benjamin (Ann) Foelker of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Courtney Foelker of Cincinnati, OH, and her three grandchildren. Brenda was preceded in death by her parents and her brother David Jochum.”

Alumni Weekend:
Alumni Weekend 2021 will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen with two distinct summer weekends of Ripon alumni programming for us. No matter how you’d like to connect, virtually or in person, the Office of Constituent Engagement is developing a variety of activities to continue to follow CDC, Fond du Lac County and College guidelines in both June and August. Full schedules, lodging, and programming details will be posted soon to www.ripon.edu/alumni-weekend.
JUNE 2021

  • In honor of our June Alumni Weekend traditions, virtual alumni programming will be held Tuesday, June 22 through Saturday, June 26, and will include: an alumni town hall, R Connections webinars, affinity socials, a summer book club, and special recognition of the 2020 and 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees. 
  • The only in-person event, the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble, will be held off-campus on Friday, June 25

A combination of virtual and in-person Alumni Weekend programming will be held the first week of August. We will continue to evaluate the state of COVID-19. If circumstances change at the local and national level and we need to cancel in-person programming, that decision will be made and communicated by July 1, 2021.

  • Virtual programming will be held Tuesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 7 and will include: a reunion-focused alumni town hall that also previews the new academic year, additional R Connections webinars, the summer book club capstone, and the traditional “That Was Then” storytelling session. 
  • In-person, on-campus programming will be held Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8, and will focus on alumni awards recognition, 2020 and 2021 reunion celebrations, and other outdoor events such as Rally Run and prairie walk.
  • Additionally, the Class of 2020 will officially be welcomed to our alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.

Looking Toward the Future:
As we find more of our long-lost classmates, we will share emails with Ripon College so that those classmates can stay up to date with other things going on at the college, in addition to all our reunion plans! If you have moved, or changed your phone number or email, please update your contact information with Ripon College here, https://www.ripon.edu/update-contact-info/.
As we close our spring Class Letter, let’s take this reminder to stay engaged, celebrate those that you love and stay connected, whenever possible. We wish to personally thank all of you who have taken the time to write and share your stories. 
Until next time, stay happy, be healthy and fill your days with fun!
(920) 229-4399
(507) 279-1091
Your 1982 Class Agents