1983 – Fall ’21 Class Letter

1983 – Fall 2021 Class Letter

Class Agent:


(612) 749-5010 / [email protected]

Greetings Class of 1983 – 

Fall is upon us and for the first time in 38 years, JOHN CLAY ’83 will not be preparing for the new school year. We made the retirement decision in late April and now retirement is starting to feel real as the 2021 school year begins. Work with RGA has been great and I am thoroughly enjoying my new role as chief of staff. Three dates have been set and reset for returning to the office. When we return, we will go to a hybrid of two days in the office (Tuesday/Wednesday) and three days optional for work from home. 

A silver lining of the pandemic is that I was able to work from Colorado for the month of April, spend time with my two daughters and son-in-law, and celebrate the birth of our first grandchild, Atlas Keoni Clark. Keoni means John in Hawaiian, JOHN was called Keoni as a little boy when he lived on the Big Island, and Lizzy and Jim met in Hawaii. Full circle so that was pretty cool. The Clay family has been healthy, safe, and happy and we wish the best for all our alumni friends. 

Class Notes:

MARGARET ALGAR AARON ’83 of Oregon, Wisconsin, writes, “I retired recently after a career in public administration. In my spare time, I have continued a hobby of music recording. I am a jazz and blues singer.”

Some sad news to report:

THOMAS A. HOEHNE ’83 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, died Jan. 13, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in art and criminal justice and participated in the Parallax publication. He painted houses and worked as a field foreman for Green Giant in Ripon; at a career placement center and as a supervisor in a commercial laundry in Chicago; in a supermarket in upstate New York; and for a wallpaper factory in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He enjoyed sports, playing baseball and track in school, and enjoyed football and the Green Bay Packers. He enjoyed reading, watching movies, collecting and antiquing. Survivors include one brother, TED HOEHNE ’77; two sisters, SUZANNE HOEHNE KILLIAN ’75 and VICKI HOEHNE MATHIAS ’77; and a sister-in-law, KAREN STOCKDALE HOEHNE ’78.

ELIZABETH ANNE “LISA” FREEMAN ’83, a native of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, died June 28, 2021. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and participated in Alpha Delta Pi. She earned a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Music was a passion. Survivors include her parents, A. John and Maria Freeman.

Here are the updates for Ripon at the time that this letter is written:

  • One Day Rally was a wonderful success with a record-breaking 2,087 donors from all around the world supported Ripon’s fourth annual giving day on April 28, known as #OneDayRally, reminding us all that regardless of the circumstances, Red Hawks come together. 
    • The Class of ’83 came through with flying colors with 33 participants and the 2nd highest class for giving totaling $253,211
  • Our endowment recently hit an all-time high and as of Thursday, August 19, 2021, it was at $112 million.
  • The McCullough Family Lounge in Farr Hall of Science — a favorite location of students for studying and collaborative work — recently received an extreme makeover with the intent of making the space more contemporary and technologically friendly. The renovations were made possible by a lead gift from Trustee PHILIP MCCULLOUGH ’69/P’04, and his wife, Pat. Also, a new Data Visualization Lab was installed in Todd Wehr Hall, which will be a great asset for the math and computer science departments. 
  • Classes started on Monday, August 30 and the academic year is in full swing with in-person classes. The College is continuing to follow CDC and Fond du Lac County Health Department guidelines regarding COVID safety protocols. Here is a link for information on Ripon’s COVID-19 response and current procedures: ripon.edu/coronavirus-information/.
  • Check out this article that highlights more information about the incoming class –  https://ripon.edu/2021/08/31/the-face-of-the-class-of-2025-our-new-first-years/
    • 250 freshman and nine transfer students
    • 40% first-generation students
    • 24 states represented 
  • There are an array of positive things happening at Ripon and you may enjoy checking out the following links

Thanks for not only being a very fun class but for your involvement in supporting Ripon College. Our 40th Class Reunion is just around the corner… June of 2023! Mark your calendars.  


Class Agent 1983