1998 – Fall ’20 Class Letter


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Dear Class of 1998,

I hope this letter finds you and your families well. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives in ways I couldn’t have imagined six months ago. In the face of all of this uncertainty, I have been impressed with Ripon’s handling of the pandemic and their commitment to safeguarding the health and safety of the entire Ripon community. The details of the fall return can be found at Reunite Ripon: Our Plan To Return To In-Person Learning

Despite the challenging circumstances, the #OneDayRally proceeded as planned this spring, exceeding this year’s goal of 1,851 donors – and for a brief moment, our class topped the participation leaderboard! Evidence was posted in our class Facebook group. If you aren’t a member and would like to be, please email me. 

Thanks to all of you who sent in updates for the letter, I always appreciate hearing from you, and being able to share your news with our classmates. The updates below include those that were submitted for the spring, as well as an obituary for our classmate and friend, Lisa Kraus. 

Class Notes:

JEN ANSTEE CHAVEZ ’98 is still happily teaching Spanish in Glen Ellyn, IL to grades 1-5. She ran her first half-marathon last spring and hopes everyone is doing well.

KRISTIN DODDS ’98 married her long-time partner, Tony Meucci, in Pewaukee, WI on December 20, 2019. There was a great group of Ripon College alums on-hand to celebrate with them and TONY SIBLEY ’98 got to make a special wish with Santa Claus! Pictured in the group photo are, from left: SAMIR PATEL ’98, TONY SIBLEY ’98, KRISTIN DODDS ’98, KELLY JOHNSON BECKER ’99, MATT BECKER ’99, ANDREA WEPNER ’96, NICOLE GORSKE SUTTER ’01, JERI BELONGIA LOEWE ’96, JASON LOEWE ’94, and HEIDI MARKS ’96.

BETSY GARDNER ’98 was promoted to Store Manager in October of the Sunglass Hut Open Air store at Southdale Mall in Edina, MN.

LISA M. KRAUS ’98 of Fond du Lac, WI, died Dec. 3, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in global studies and Spanish and played volleyball. She was a billing specialist with Spectrum. She loved water, the ocean and being on the lake. She enjoyed music and going to concerts, dancing, Salvador Dali, watching movies and watching sports, especially the Packers, Brewers, Lakers and Bucks. Survivors include her father, Robert Kraus.

LEILANI KUPO ’98 serves as the Associate Dean of Students at University of California, Merced. She has been selected as a member of ACPA- College Student Educators International’s 2020 Diamond Honoree Class.

TIFFANY PATNODE MICHALAK ’98 graduated from National Louis University with her Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling in June 2020 and passed the Illinois state licensing exam becoming a Licensed Professional Counselor and National Certified Mental Health Counselor.

IAN STEPLETON ’98 recently started a new position as the public relations coordinator for the Fond du Lac Public Library. The new career comes after 20 years at the Ripon Commonwealth Press newspaper, most of which were spent as its editor. He continues to work as an adjunct instructor of journalism at Ripon College, where he is the advisor to the College Days.

Until next time,