1988 – Fall ’21 Class Letter

1988 – Fall 2021 Class Letter

Co-Class Agents:


(202) 251-9640 / [email protected]


(248) 470-4336 / [email protected]

Dear Classmates,

I (DAVID JONAS ’88) know it has been a while since I have actually written. As many of you may have noticed on social media, I have been spending a lot of time commuting between Baltimore and Chicago. As we get older, apparently so do our parents. Age, health, and mind all seem to be affected and, unfortunately, it’s not just one parent but both. Both of my parents are now over 87. Dad at 90 is the caregiver for my mother who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s during COVID. Dad’s health has started to decline with the stress of caregiving. So, if one parent is not in the hospital the other one might be. 

On a brighter note, I have spent a lot of time with my parents, cleaned out their condo, and seen a lot of my friends. I also was able to slip in a visit with MINDY YOUNG ’91 on one of my last trips to Chicago.

My job has been remote since March of 2020. We will probably go back to some version of the office by October or November once we have an office to go back to. I hope that everyone is staying safe as we navigate a new normal.


SEAN DUGAN ’87 of East Leroy, Michigan writes: “At the end of August, I participated in the regional tournament for axe throwing in Indianapolis. I’m not sure I’m really in the class, (87? or 88?) but maybe it’s news that I’m pretty sure I’m the oldest guy in the regional tournament. I’ve won the local seasonal leagues six times in the last few years. Hoping to go deeper in the region this year. Maybe I’m the top axe thrower of Ripon alumni? I accept all challengers!”

STEVE FORDHAM ’88 of Waukesha, Wisconsin, writes: “My eldest daughter is finishing up her senior year in college and my youngest son is a Marine stationed out in Bangor, Washington. I am working from home full time as a product owner/project manager for an Internet-based company that works primarily with property insurance carriers. I spend a lot of my free time scuba diving so obviously I’m still a total chick magnet.”

JAMIE HAWLEY ’88/P’19 of Halifax, Massachusetts, writes: “KRISTEN DIEMER HAWLEY ’88/P’19 and I spent the month of July at our cottage in Minocqua, Wisconsin. After 2020, it was great to finally see family again. After our time together at the cottage, we drove back to Massachusetts, and I embarked on a solo six-week fishing road trip mainly based around fly fishing. I hit the road with the goal of not spending a single night in a hotel room or paying for a campsite. I spent my nights camping for free on BLM land, national forest land, or with family and friends. 

“I set up my truck for remote camping with a rooftop tent, water filtration, camp kitchen, a battery system that could power my fridge for days, and bear spray! I knew many of the areas that I wanted to fish/camp in would have me find myself off-grid for an extended time, so I subscribed to Gaia GPS which allowed me to download maps and travel off-grid for days at a time. I also used a Garmin InReach satellite communicator to stay in touch with my family. 

“In Wisconsin, I fished the Prairie, Willow, Rush, and Kinnickinnic. In Wyoming, I fished Prune Creek, the South Tongue, and North Platte (Miracle Mile). In Colorado, I fished the South Platte, Cache la Poudre, and North Platte. I caught (and lost) many beautiful brown, brook, and rainbow trout (all released). 

I worked my way out to Monroe, Oregon where I visited my mom! After the fly-fishing part of my trip was done, I headed back to Minocqua and met up with fellow Ripon alum KRAIG FRIEDMAN ’90. We got our mandatory COVID tests, hooked up the boat, and headed to Ontario, Canada for a week of fishing for walleye, smallmouth bass, and northern pike on Eagle Lake. After KRAIG and I returned to the USA, we met up with Ripon alum KATHY WADE ’88 for some local Minocqua beers and dinner! It was a heck of a trip, and I learned a ton for the next one.”

KRISTEN KNOLL-CARLSON HOLLES ’88 of Laramie, Wyoming, writes: “I just started a new job as an Academic Advisor for the University of Wyoming College of Nursing. It’s a nice, new challenge for our new lives as empty nesters as our youngest started college this year. Both girls are back in the Midwest.”

CHUCK NAILEN ’88 of Alexandria, Virginia, writes: “I will be starting a new job soon, pending a background check, at the DEA Academy at Quantico.”

KATHY WADE ’88 of Glendale, Wisconsin, writes: “I celebrated my 25th anniversary with Kelly Services in January of 2021! GREG MILLER ’88 and I have met for dinner a few times in the last year. In July, I met MATT KITTELL ’88, his wife Cathy, and their three daughters in Raleigh, North Carolina. We drove to Lake Lure, North Carolina, for a weeklong vacation with JIM DONNELLY ’88, his wife Jane, and their son. We had a great time! I left the more adventurous stuff like zip-lining and climbing 499 stairs to the top of Chimney Rock to the rest of the group. (I took the elevator and climbed the final 44 stairs!) In September, I had a family event in the Minocqua area. While in Minocqua, I hung out with JAMIE HAWLEY ’88/P’19 and KRAIG FRIEDMAN ’90. On my way home, I met AMY SCHWAAB ’88 for lunch. At the Ripon event at the Brewers vs. Cubs game, I had a great conversation with RANDY ROEPER ’88/P’24. He is working at the College as the Associate Vice President for Development and Operations. where his son is a sophomore.  


I wanted to share an article that was just published by the College featuring the profile of our new class of students on campus: ripon.edu/2021/08/31/the-face-of-the-class-of-2025-our-new-first-years/.

Alumni Weekend:

Alumni and guests from 29 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, were on campus, Aug. 6-8, representing the classes of 1961 to 2023, for the first-ever August Alumni Weekend after COVID-19 put a pause on campus events over the past 18 months. Save the date for Alumni Weekend 2022, which will go back to our traditional end of June date: June 23-26, 2022.

Don’t forget our next Class Reunion will be at Alumni Weekend 2023 (June 22-25)!

This past fiscal year:

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. 

Thank you to the over 3,600 donors who supported the College this past fiscal year through the Ripon Fund and other initiatives.

Campus upgrades:

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 P’04.

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. 

An update on Ripon’s Endowment: 

The College’s endowment recently hit an all-time high and as of August 19, 2021, it was at $112 million.

Start of the 2021 Academic Year:

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 to the news stories published by the College: ripon.edu/news/ 

If you did not receive that latest copy of the Ripon Magazine, which includes features of alumni and faculty we have included the link: ripon.edu/about-ripon/publications/

We wanted to share two Facebook pages you may be interested in regarding topics that are going on at Ripon:

Ripon College Center for Politics and the People: www.facebook.com/RiponCollegeCPP 

Ripon College Center for Diversity and Inclusion: www.facebook.com/ripondiversity 

As always, KATHY and I hope that you will continue to support Ripon by donating to the Ripon Fund. We love hearing from you whether on social media, email, or phone calls so feel free to reach out to us anytime.