1995 – Fall ’21 Class Letter
1995 – Fall 2021 Class Letter
TOM LUFT ’95
920-479-5323 / [email protected]
Dear ’95 Classmates,
I hope all of you have stayed healthy, safe, and prosperous since the last Class Letter to the class from AMY DEKEYSER PADILLA ’95. A quick shout out again to AMY, VINCE PADILLA ’95, ANGELA KEITH ’95 and everyone else who has been involved with our class since graduation – we appreciate your efforts.
As I sit in my home office in Oshkosh, just having wrapped up my second GoTo Meeting and first cup of coffee of the day, it’s hard to believe 30 years have passed since we all started our journey at Ripon College. Even though our class was small, I am certain some of you aren’t sure exactly who I am, and so very briefly in my own words: I was a tall, skinny, blonde-haired (sometimes with a mullet) Business Management Major and tennis player. I bounced around from Scott Hall (pre-remodel), to Bovay and then Brockway, never joined a fraternity, and can definitely look back at all of the Ripon experiences over the course of four years with fondness and appreciation. Since then, I’ve lived in Waukesha, Oshkosh, Phoenix, and now back in Oshkosh, where I am married, an empty-nester with two daughters in college, and work as the Director of Sales for NCC Automated Systems, headquartered in Pennsylvania. I won’t bore you with any more details 😊
Despite all that is going on in the world right now, there are many exciting things happening at Ripon. Some of the highlights can be found below. As always, the entire Ripon College Community of Students, Staff, and Alumni appreciate any support you can provide, whether it is financial, potential student referrals, or support of the various events/programs including Alumni Weekend.
Speaking of 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.
Our 25th (26th because of COVID) Reunion group was very small. If we had been able to have the actual 25th and no COVID, it would have been well-attended. Five attended the dinner – VINCE ’95 and AMY DEKEYSER PADILLA ’95, MICHELLE BUSS ’95, MICHELLE SIRINEK ’95, and LEANNE MEIDAM WINCENTSEN ’95. (Names are in order from right to left as shown in the following photo from Alumni Weekend.)
Save the date for Alumni Weekend 2022, which will go back to our traditional end of June date: June 23-26, 2022. All class years ending in the numbers two or seven will be celebrating their Class Reunion this next summer at Alumni Weekend!
If you are interested in what new students are like coming in as Freshmen, here is an article published by the College featuring the profile of the new class of students on campus: https://ripon.edu/2021/08/31/the-face-of-the-class-of-2025-our-new-first-years/.
Fiscal Year Review:
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.
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.
Ripon’s endowment recently hit an all-time high and as of Thursday, August 19, 2021, it was at $112 million.
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. For more information on the College’s COVID-19 response and current procedures, you can visit ripon.edu/coronavirus-information
Read the Ripon Magazine Online:
Following Ripon College on Social Media:
Ripon College Center for Politics and the People: www.facebook.com/RiponCollegeCPP
Ripon College Center for Diversity and Inclusion: www.facebook.com/ripondiversity
CHAD LUECK ’95: BRITTANY EDWARDS LUECK ’94 and I became grandparents for the first time in October of 2019 (Isla Grace Lueck) and will have a second grandchild in October of this year. My oldest son, Elliott, is the father and he has graduated from college, gotten married and is in the real world working for Fidelity Investments in Denver, Colorado. My daughter, Lydia, started her freshman year at Lawrence University this month, and she will play basketball for them. My youngest son, Grayson, is a junior and plays varsity soccer at Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, Illinois. He is thinking about where he wants to continue his education — big year for him. I work for Lundbeck Pharmaceuticals and have been employed there as Senior Director – Sales Training, Development and Meetings for the past five years. My wife, Britt, teaches kindergarten in Lincolnshire, Illinois. We live in Long Grove, Illinois — on a wooded four acres — very peaceful. We have two dogs, four chickens, and two barn cats.
VINCE ’95 and AMY DEKEYSER PADILLA ’95 write, “We continue to travel full-time in our RV. We sold our house in late 2019 and hit the road. People can follow our adventures if they’re on Facebook. Our page is titled ‘We Could Be Lost.’”
ROBERT NEUMAN ’95 of Oak Park, Illinois, writes, “Celebrating 25 years teaching for Chicago Public Schools.”
ANGELIQUE GIANAS FONG ’95 of Mission Viejo, California, was named the 21st Duck by the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks for her extensive community work and inspiring example. Learn more about her story here: https://www.nhl.com/ducks/video/21st-duck-angelique-fongs-season/t-277443296/c-8865788
Please send me your updates to include in future Class Letters at any time.
I am honored to serve as your new Class Agent and wish everyone the best in 2021 and 2022. See you soon!
TOM LUFT ’95