1998 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 1998!
Big thanks to those of you who replied to my latest call for updates – especially those of you who didn’t have updates, but just wanted to reach out. I appreciate you all and wish you well!
Classes at Ripon officially started on January 25 with a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid (part online and part in-person) formats. Those who are interested in following the plans and procedures this semester, as well as tracking the College’s COVID-19 positivity rate, can visit www.ripon.edu/coronavirus-information.
About Alumni Weekend – I don’t usually go in non-reunion years, but I may make an exception this summer, safety permitting. Because of the cancelation of last year’s festivities, the 2020 reunion classes will celebrate along with the 2021 reunions. So there’s a good chance of running into friends who graduated in ’95, ’96, ’00, or ’01.
Alumni Weekend 2021 will be unlike anything we’ve ever seen with two distinct summer weekends of Ripon alumni programming for us. No matter how you’d like to connect, virtually or in person, the Office of Constituent Engagement is developing a variety of activities to continue to follow CDC, Fond du Lac County and College guidelines in both June and August. Full schedules, lodging, and programming details will be posted soon to www.ripon.edu/alumni-weekend.
- In honor of our June Alumni Weekend traditions, virtual alumni programming will be held Tuesday, June 22 through Saturday, June 26, and will include: an alumni town hall, R Connections webinars, affinity socials, a summer book club, and special recognition of the 2020 and 2021 Athletic Hall of Fame Inductees, including for our very own ABIGAIL WILLIAMS BUDZYNSKI ’98, a 2020 Athletic Hall of Fame inductee.
- The only in-person event, the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble, will be held off-campus on Friday, June 25.
A combination of virtual and in-person Alumni Weekend programming will be held the first week of August. We will continue to evaluate the state of COVID-19. If circumstances change at the local and national level and we need to cancel in-person programming, that decision will be made and communicated by July 1, 2021.
- Virtual programming will be held Tuesday, August 3 through Saturday, August 7 and will include: a reunion-focused alumni town hall that also previews the new academic year, additional R Connections webinars, the summer book club capstone, and the traditional “That Was Then” storytelling session.
- In-person, on-campus programming will be held Friday, August 6 through Sunday, August 8, and will focus on alumni awards recognition, 2020 and 2021 reunion celebrations, and other outdoor events such as Rally Run and prairie walk.
- Additionally, the Class of 2020 will officially be welcomed to our alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.
And now for our Class Notes:
JEN ANSTEE CHAVEZ ’98 of Lombard, Illinois, writes: “I’m still teaching elementary Spanish in Glen Ellyn, IL- but even after 20 years, making the switch to remote teaching has felt a whole lot like my first year all over again! I am thankful for good health, our new dog, and the extra time with my children (10 and 15) during the last year! Looking forward to the good things to come!!”
TRISHA LYNCH ’98 of Flint, Michigan, writes: “Our family (photo right) is enjoying the extra time with my ability to work from home. Thankfully the kids are back in school. This year was a real reset on balancing back out. There was no more before care, no more summer day camp, and a pause for soccer, dance, and violin. We are enjoying the calmer life. I joked with the kids that our most recently purchased car will be theirs in high school, and at this pace it will be! I just finished my 20th year at Kettering University, can’t believe it has been that long.“
LYNNE PHILLIPS ’98 of Appleton, Wisconsin, writes: “MacMurray College–a small, Liberal Arts college founded in 1846–closed permanently in May due to COVID-19, taking my job as their archivist with it. I moved back to Appleton, and recently became the Visitor Services Supervisor at Bergstrom-Mahler Museum of Glass in Neenah.”
IAN STEPLETON ’98 of Ripon, Wisconsin, started a new career as the Public Relations Coordinator for the Fond du Lac Public Library. Ian was the editor of the Ripon Commonwealth Press weekly newspaper and had been with the paper for nearly two decades. He continues to serve as an adjunct instructor of journalism at Ripon College.
For more news from the College, check out www.ripon.edu/publications where you can find the latest issue of the Ripon Magazine as well as a link to R Connections, where you can catch up on even more alumni news (and read letters from other Class Agents!).
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to thank our classmates who supported the College this past year, especially those who supported the Ripon Fund, as well as #OneDayRally. Our giving participation rate was the highest of all classes from the nineties! The Class of 2000 did outperform us, but I’m looking forward to challenging them again.
The next #OneDayRally will be held on Wednesday, April 28. If you’re interested in being a Social Media Advocate for this annual event, email [email protected] for a toolkit with resources in the days leading up to it.
Until next time,
SARAH ENG ’98
Your 1998 Class Agent