1992 – Fall ’20 Class Letter


[email protected]


262-796-1531 / [email protected]


262-681-8509 / [email protected] 

Hello, Class of 1992,

BONNIE DEMBROSKI FREDRICK ’92/P’23, JUDEE STOJSAVLJEVIC FISCHER ’92, and I (ERIN M. MCCORMACK ’92) are reaching out to you to update you on what’s been happening in Ripon during this most unexpected and challenging of years. We hope that this letter finds you, your family, friends, and loved ones doing as well as possible in these truly unprecedented times. Instead of focusing on everything that’s been going on in the news, which I’m sure everyone is more than well versed upon at this point in time, we’d like to share updates from Ripon, which, like the rest of the world, continues to be impacted. However, if you have a great new recipe or life hack that you have developed or refined during the pandemic, don’t hesitate to share it with the folks at the College and we’ll include it in the next letter. Personally, I have finally perfected my banana bread recipe – since we live at about 6500 feet above sea level, it took some tweaks, some patience, and some time.

Like other colleges, universities, and schools in the United States, Ripon closed early in the spring and sent students home to avoid virus outbreaks and to maintain the safety of students, faculty, and staff. Classes went online and all the dedicated people who supported that change so rapidly should be commended. Over the subsequent months, many long-held traditions and events were canceled or modified to be virtual, rather than in-person, including Commencement and Alumni Weekend.

Most recently, the decision was made to cancel the 2020 Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble scheduled for the end of September. It was originally hoped that moving it from the canceled Alumni Weekend 2020 would allow it to be held, but as we all now know, that’s simply not the case. Additionally, this decision is in alignment with the College’s decision to suspend campus events and the Midwest Conference’s suspension of athletic competition, both through December 31, 2020. While these were difficult decisions, the spirit of the Ripon College community remains undaunted.

The College leadership, faculty, and athletic coaches continue to be inspired by the Ripon College community’s leadership and engagement throughout this challenging period. There will be an exciting announcement later this fall regarding plans to celebrate the tradition of Ripon College Athletics and opportunities to support the Red Hawks Club.

In the midst of everything, Ripon College continues to move forward with positivity, hope, and detailed planning and preparation. At the end of July, President Messitte announced “Reunite Ripon: Our Plan to Return to In-Person Learning.” He detailed a very carefully constructed course of events to return students to campus as safely as possible, while providing transparent communication to students and their parents and families. On-campus classes resumed Monday, August 17, 2020, as Ripon welcomed the Class of 2024 and welcomed back the classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023. As we all remember fondly, the heart of Ripon College has always been, and always will be, the people.

Ripon is providing detailed updates through social media and its website in order to ensure clear and ongoing up-to-the-minute communication. Currently, as/of August 22nd, the College’s COVID-19 Campus Scenario status is “Green,” with 0 positive cases and 0% current isolation/quarantine beds being used. The college has developed three scenarios: Green, Yellow, and Red. Green is “The New Normal” with students on campus and limited in-person operations. Classes are offering a hybrid of online and in-person instruction. More details are readily available on the college’s website.

During these times, Ripon needs your support more than ever. We realize that so many people have been negatively impacted by the ongoing pandemic, but if your personal financial circumstances permit, now would be a highly meaningful and impactful time to donate to Ripon.

A donation to the Ripon Fund will involve the College directing funds to where they are most needed, or a directed donation or ongoing pledge allows you to support selected areas of the college. I’m personally getting ready to send my annual pledged donation to support the Track and Field/Cross-Country Coach’s Office in the Willmore Center that is named in honor of Coach Dick Hendricks, who coached me in Cross-Country and Track and Field while I attended Ripon. Another way to give to Ripon which won’t impact your current budget is to add Ripon College into your estate gift planning. The Office of Advancement stands by to answer any questions or share information with you in regards to this option. We were all able to get a great education at Ripon through the assistance of generous donors and Ripon supporters. As a point of pride, our class had 15 individuals who made a gift for a total of $8,246 on the College’s giving day known as #OneDayRally. We also had two individuals who stepped up to give to the Emergency Assistance Fund from the Class of 1992.

Wishing you all the best in the days to come, and don’t hesitate to reach out to the College and share any personal news and updates to be included in future class communications. Don’t forget to vote in November!

News notes:

KATHERINE GATCHELL SEARLES ’92 and CLARENCE SEARLES ’91 of Babcock, Wisconsin, write, “Our eldest daughter MAGGIE SEARLES ’24 is now a member of Ripon College, Class of 2024.” 

AMY ECKER REISDORF ’92 of Waunakee, Wisconsin, died Aug. 22, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in economics and French, participated in student government and athletics and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She had a successful career in financial services and enjoyed midget auto racing, UW athletics and travel. Survivors include one son; and her father, Bill Ecker.

Kind Regards,

Erin M. McCormack

Bonnie Fredrick

JuDee Fischer