2004 – Spring ’22 Class Letter
Dear Class of 2004,
As I write this update on the Sunday morning of the Super Bowl, I can guarantee that I was sleeping in Brockway Hall at this exact time twenty years ago. How can I be so certain? By mid-February, the swim season had just come to a conclusion which means I was undoubtedly enjoying life as a college student well into the morning. BEN ROTH and I “embraced” life that year with a fervor that provided us with a close relationship with the Dean of Students Office. (Yes, Dean CHRIS OGLE ’80 is still there!) Given how peculiar the past two years have been, it’s oddly comforting to be able to look back at a point in time with such clarity, something that seems to be in short supply lately. I am fairly confident that clarity was also in short supply the morning of February 13, 2002.
Working next to me right now are my fourth and sixth-grade daughters, cranking through their homework earlier than normal so that we can enjoy the Super Bowl with some friends tonight. While U2 was a decent halftime show in 2002, I’m infinitely more excited for the Dr. Dre/Snoop Dog experience that we have in store for us tonight. There is a pretty good chance that Dre or Snoop were also a part of that Sunday back in ’02.
One last note of update from the College. After a few years of goofiness, the traditional Alumni Weekend programming is making a return in 2022. June 23-26 are the dates, and as always, all are welcome regardless of reunion year. Related, and to reaffirm the aging process is indeed unstoppable, our 20th Reunion is coming up in 2024. If watching Dre and Snoop didn’t make you feel old, that sure will. Way to end on a low-note, right?
Life is weird, sure, but it’s also pretty amazing. Hopefully, you and yours find ways to focus on the amazing as you move out of this winter into the spring. I hope you enjoy these updates from your classmates.
ABBY BINDER of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes, “I have grown my company, Abby Windows & Exteriors to a multimillion-dollar company with a team of over 25 employees. I also recently got engaged to my fiancé, Mandy. We split our time in Milwaukee and have a lake house on Legend Lake that we enjoy to fish, boat, and relax on with our three dogs. I hope everyone is well!”
LISA HENKE GRAF of Hortonville, Wisconsin, writes, “I recently accepted an IST Tech Integrator position with the Oshkosh Area School District. I miss teaching eighth-grade science, but I am enjoying my new role in coaching teachers to deliver content in engaging ways with technology. Pandemic Positive: We bought a new house and are enjoying settling in & making it our own!”
TAMMY JOHNSON of Antioch, Illinois, writes, “My wife, Becky, and I welcomed Finnegan Lee Johnson into the world a couple of weeks early on April 22, 2021. Big brothers Ryan (nine) and Reed (seven) cannot wait to teach him all about the joys of burping, wrestling on the couch, and Minecraft. We spent time this summer vacationing in Florida and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee as a new family of five. I am still teaching special education at Antioch Upper-Grade School and I am co-leading the Diversity Club. I am also very excited to be back on the court this year coaching girls basketball.”
DIANE KEELING of Darien, Wisconsin, writes, “I am closing out my two-year term as president of the Organization for Research on Women and Communication this February. TOM BECKER ’05 and I spent January skiing in Crested Butte, Colorado. Positive thing: I started water coloring weekly with friends across the U.S. online.”
KATE PETERSEN KINGREE of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, writes, “We have a precocious, creative, kind, and loving two-year-old boy, William David Kingree, and my husband and I started a business in September 2021 called Kingree Law.”
LINDSEY GORSKE MICHELS of Ripon, Wisconsin, writes, “Last October, I started a new role within the Police Department: Community Liaison and School Resource Officer. During the school year, I am in our 4K-12 schools and in the summer I focus on community outreach. Joe and I continue to try and keep up with our almost eight-year-old son and our five-year-old daughter…Never thought the day would come when I would be sitting in the bleachers watching my kids in their activities, crazy how time flies!”
One positive thing that has happened over the past two years is the plethora of family time that we have gotten to spend together as we weren’t constantly busy!
LIZ KOEPNICK MILLER of San Marcos, California, writes, “We welcomed our son, Lane Allen Miller on November 1, 2020. He has brightened our days and Arielle (six) is the best big sister.”
CANDICE NORTH of Carmichael, California, writes, “My husband, Mo Cisse, and I are still actively funding the education for orphans in Nalerigu, Ghana through our nonprofit BOCAT. Although the pandemic definitely was a barrier to some efforts to expand the program, we have acquired land to someday build an actual orphanage there. If you’d like more information, check out our website www.bocat.net.”
RACHEL SCHMIDT PUFALL, previously of Ashland, Wisconsin, writes, “The Pufalls are now Kentuckians. At the start of 2022, we made the move to Berea, Kentucky where Rachel’s husband, Frank, is now the head baseball coach at Berea College. Rachel continues to work as a statewide coach for the Wisconsin Center for Resilient Schools. One positive thing to come out of the past two years: Having the space to realize that it was time for me to leave schools and become a statewide coach to help educators implement and sustain trauma-sensitive social-emotional learning and comprehensive school mental health systems.”
AMANDA SCHELLINGER of North Prairie, Wisconsin, writes, “I was recently promoted to Senior Director of Campus Services at Carroll University.”
NICK SPAETH of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, writes, “2021 should have been the year I moved into my Past-President role (year three of a three-year term) with the Wisconsin Association for College Admission Counseling, but the President took a job outside of the state. So here I am, with an extraordinarily long term. While I’m looking forward to passing the torch, so to speak, I’m honored to be able to continue to serve my colleagues around Wisconsin and at the national level.”
MICHAEL TIMM of Cudahy, Wisconsin, completed a nonlinear storytelling course with Aubrey Hirsch in January 2022 and participated in the Bending Genres writers retreat in September 2021. With the small but mighty Milwaukee nonprofit Reflo, Michael creates and curates videos, interactive maps, games, and other content to engage the next generation with our connection to water and inspire hopeful actions in the face of climate change.
PAULA RICHARDSON TOMPKINS of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, writes, “A big positive that happened in our life is that we have one new addition to the family, an Aussiedoodle named Desmond aka Desi. He is our first dog and we couldn’t imagine life without him.”
Be sure to send updates to [email protected], and as always, be safe and be well.
NICK SPAETH ’04
Your 2004 Class Agent