1991 – Fall ’21 Class Letter

1991 – Fall 2021 Class Letter

Co-Class Agents:

SAMANTHA BAILEY FAST ’91

(612) 978-4124 / [email protected]

TRACY MAHER ’91

[email protected]

Dear Class of 1991,

I hope this letter finds you happy and healthy (and hopefully without a new COVID variant to worry about). 

Alumni and guests from 29 states, including Alaska and Hawaii, were on campus August 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.

A smattering of folks from our class made it to campus to mark our 30th Class Reunion. Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative for easy outdoor socializing. It was wonderful to see BRIAN FREY ’91 and LORI STICH OBLUDA ’91 when they were honored with the Distinguished Alumni Citation for their professional achievements and support of the College. 

BECKY HUSTAD ’91, BRIAN FREY ’91, DEAN POLSTER ’91, and LORI STITCH OBLUDA ’91 with our Class of 1991 donation. 

 

On August 10, the College arranged for us to have an online Class Reunion via Zoom and several of us had a great time catching up, despite some technical glitches that resulted in some folks from the Class of ’81 joining us!

Class of ’91 30th Digital Reunion attendees

 

Campus Updates


Previous Fiscal Year Update:

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.

Endowment: 

Our endowment recently hit an all-time high and as of Thursday, August 19, 2021, it was at $112 million.

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. 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. 

Start of the 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-19 safety protocols. COVID-19 response and current procedures: ripon.edu/coronavirus-information/.


More News: 


Class Notes:

SAMANTHA BAILEY FAST ’91 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, writes, “In June, I started a new job as Director of User-Centered Innovation at Surescripts. If you’ve had a prescription filled recently, it probably flowed from prescriber to pharmacist on the Surescripts network, as one of the 1.91 billion E-Prescriptions Surescripts processed in 2020. In my new role, I’ll be building a user experience design practice to help make our network and the e-prescribing interfaces used by doctors and pharmacists less frustrating to use and safer for patients.”

TIM FINNEGAN ’91 of Hope, Rhode Island, writes, “Timmy, Kristen, and I were able to travel a bit this summer after staying close to home for 15 months. We visited Disney in Orlando in June and stayed in a beachfront rental in Westerly, Rhode Island. Timmy spent third grade in school every day with no distance learning for him. We have our fingers crossed that this will remain for the upcoming fourth grade. I continue to work as a school counselor at LaSalle Academy in Providence. This past March, I bumped into PERRY ROBINSON ’79 in the breakout room at The Midwest College Showcase Zoom. I spoke with MADDIE VANDENHOUTEN MCCOY ’17 from Ripon’s admission office. She and LYN ROSENBERG MCCARTHY ’83 even sent me a Ripon t-shirt to wear at my high school. 

 

TIM FINNEGAN ’91 and son Timmy

 

BRIAN FREY ’91 and BECKY HUSTAD ’91 of Madison, Wisconsin, writes, “We returned to Ripon for Reunion weekend to celebrate BRIAN’s receipt of the Distinguished Alumni Award. It was fun to see fellow awardee, LORI STICH OBLUDA ’91 and classmates SAMANTHA BAILEY FAST ’91, HEIDI ZWART HEALY ’91, and DEAN POLSTER ’91. We hope for an opportunity to see more of you at the next shindig!

“As of this Class Letter we are not quite empty nesters. Our youngest was delivered to UW Madison on his 18th birthday. The oldest graduated in the spring and is working for Epic Systems, but living with us on the west side of Madison until she finds a place and purchases a car. We like having her around and she’s only declared me (BECKY) annoying once since June (out loud that is). BRIAN continues his chemistry research and grant writing for the UW from home due to some unanticipated remodeling snafus with his building. I’m sometimes back in the office at Greenleaf Media and excited to meet with elementary students in the school garden next week at our neighborhood school.”

CHARLIE MERWIN ’91/P’16 of Rose Valley, Pennsylvania, writes, “We are still living in the Philadelphia suburbs. After 25 years I have retired from my former corporate life in financial services. I highly recommend retirement! For the time being, I am writing, which I have learned is a lot harder than it looks! My focus is on leadership and the importance of well-defined values for both people and organizations. Ellen P’16 and I just celebrated our 29th anniversary and we love being close to our grandson, Guy, now ten months old. Guy is the son of two proud Ripon alums himself, so there is at least one Ripon College tee-shirt (or onesie) being worn in Pennsylvania most days. We are eager to meet other Ripon alums in the Philadelphia area – our house has two bars in it so plenty of room to entertain!”

Please stay in touch

You don’t need to wait to send an update—send one anytime (like today, as soon as you’re done reading this) and I’ll be sure to include it in the next letter. Or, send an update to the College at [email protected], and they’ll pass it along. 

Do you need to update your email address on file?

Please be sure to update your email address (and other contact information) at: www.ripon.edu/update-contact-info/

We have a Facebook group

If you’re on Facebook, please ask to join our Class of ’91 group for updates and Ripon news. Alternatively, send your email address to [email protected] or text me at 612-978-4124 and I can add you to the group that way. 

Warmly,           

SAMANTHA BAILEY FAST ’91 TRACEY MAHER ’91