2005 – Spring ’22 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 2005!

Guess what?? #OneDayRally, Ripon’s day of giving, is scheduled for April 27! Also, it’s been announced that “Ripon College is planning major infrastructure projects over the next two-to-five years. It plans to remodel Farr Hall of Science, modernize residence halls, and is in early stages of developing a campus stadium.” (Ripon Commonwealth Press) Our women’s basketball team has clinched its spot in the Division III tournament with our men’s and women’s indoor track teams both clinching Midwest Conference Championships! It’s a GREAT time to be a Red Hawk; the excitement on campus is infectious!

In early January, I (AMANDA ZAHN PRZYBYL ’05) tested positive for COVID-19, and, subsequently, so did my youngest. That put us home together for about two-and-a-half weeks in total, with two glorious days in the middle where I was out and about. Having that much time together, at home, with no outside distractions was eye-opening. It was almost as if life for us was paused inside our house while life went on around us. It reminded me how important it is to take time to pause your life, even if it’s just for an hour, a day, a weekend, etc. to really think about what’s important to you and your family. Is being in three traveling leagues and every sport possible allowing you to make the most memories with them or do you need to sign them up for camp or travel league so they can grow? Do you make it a point to talk regularly with your parents/loved ones? Are you spending too much time at work? Is the work you do rewarding for you? Do you need to go on vacation or spend more time at home? Are you active in your community or do you need to focus more attention on loved ones? Have you been putting off that home project- a simple declutter or major renovation? I hope you find a pocket of time to reflect on your life, what you want out of it and what you need to do to get there.

As for me, at the end of September, we sold our home and bought our forever home. We moved back into Ripon from Green Lake, and we now have 3.6 acres, a five-car garage (which my husband has already filled), a sledding hill for the kids, a small creek, and a park right next door. Our home was built in the late 1840s, so even before the College but has an updated feel to it! As much as I really love everything about our new home, I forgot just how much work moving is- ugh. Since the beginning of July when we got an accepted offer on the new house, all I’ve done is clean, pack, sign paperwork, clean, pack, pack some more, paint, paint some more, spend a ton of money at Menards and Ikea, unpack, paint, build storage, unpack more. It was completely exhausting but the holidays were picture perfect in our new house! There have been some fun adulting moments as well, like when I got to get new silverware that replaces the stuff we bought 14 years ago! I hope each of you has had some good adulting moments recently.

Here is what is going on with your Classmates:

HALLIE BROWER ’05 writes, “I’m living in Chicago, just started a great new job with Radiology Partners, recently got a new baby bird (Eli the Parrotlet) and I can’t wait for winter to end.”

CHARLES JOHNSON ’05 writes, “Currently, my family and I are still living in Minneapolis. I’m still in the automotive industry at this time. It’s currently myself, my fiance, Raven, our daughter, Charli, and our pet pig, Cami, and we picked up a new kitten, Carter. Our house is full at this time! We look forward to a wedding later this year.”

PHILICIA KING ’05 writes, “I had my first year as the Principal of Becker Middle School in Las Vegas, Nevada. There’s also a Ripon College connection! Former professor Suzanne Katz was a drama teacher at the same school during her time in Las Vegas in the 90s. What a small world!”

PAUL ’05 and SARAH MCGILL LARSON ’05 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, write, “Our puppy, Colby, left us in December at only eleven months old. We were very quick to get another. His name is Munster (cheese theme). He entertains PAUL while he continues working from home for Humana as an actuary. He thinks he gets to return to an office in March. The kids are great. Parker (nine in May) is reading the Harry Potter series. Tanner (seven in May) reads all the animal nonfiction books the library will let her have. We have plans for a trip to either British Columbia or Yosemite in June with PAUL‘s extended family.”

DAPHNE MYERS LEIGH ’05 of New Berlin, Wisconsin, writes, “I started doing a podcast with a local friend. We read and break down books, fiction and non-fiction, geared toward the anti-racism movement and have recently added a feature on commonly banned books. We look for pieces that we, and our listeners, can act on to begin their own journey in anti-racism and activism while broadening our reading spectrum. We’re not perfect, but we are in it to share what we learn and to grow together, by starting with small things. Find us on Google or Apple podcasts or on Spotify, at Starting Small: An Anti-Racist Book Chat.”

CARLY CORSUN MACHANOVITCH ’05 writes, “I’m still living in France. I haven’t been stateside since before the times of Coronavirus. I was a city youth leader and worked on a toy and game library (Ludothèque) project with my manager and department head a few years back. Now I am a toy librarian and I work literally across the street from my apartment. My kids are ages ten and four and… I’ll be married 15 years this summer! Time flies!”

ASHLEIGH SMITH ’05 of Hohenwald, Tennessee, writes, “While Don and I enjoy being empty nesters, our house is still filled with the pitter-patter of little feet, our three dogs, five cats, two ferrets, and two turtles…and during the week our nearly three-year-old grandson. He comes over while our son and daughter-in-law are at work. I was enjoying being a stay-at-home Nana through the end of last year. But, I got the opportunity to return to my former (and favorite) job as an elephant caregiver at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. Don is now loving being a stay-at-home Papa, playing and having adventures with our grandson.”

A few more thoughts from me: Reflection was my theme for this Class Letter; I hope as you look back you remember the good times you had here at Ripon. We’re still holding those warm memories as we wait for you to return to visit. But until then, we’re always in need of your donation. It’s what helps our current students make those same warm memories. The website is simple: ripon.edu/give and is open 24/7. Give now, give on #OneDayRally or give every month, as long as you give something!

All the best!

(920) 299-1081
(414) 841-7210

Your 2005 Class Agents