2007 – Spring ’23 Class Letter

Hello Fellow Classmates,

What a year it has been for Ripon! We hope you and your families are doing well and you can make it back to campus soon. If you have not heard, Ripon is overflowing with exciting updates. Not only did Ripon welcome their first female president, but in December, Ripon announced a Strategic Infrastructure Plan that will see a major renovation and expansion of Farr Hall, a new campus stadium on lower Sadoff, and upgrades to residence halls. You can read more about the plan here.

Alumni Weekend is scheduled for June 22-25! More information about the event and activities occurring during Alumni Weekend will be available soon. There are room blocks at Heidel House in Green Lake (Book here) and at Cobblestone Suites in Ripon (Call 920.748.5500).

If you haven’t done so already, please consider making a donation to Ripon College. Any amount is impactful and our overall participation percentage is vital in so many ways for Ripon. Let’s all work together to get our participation above 50% in 2023 and keep the exciting developments out of Ripon coming!

Class Notes

Now it is time for some updates, fun facts, and memories of Ripon from your classmates:

ZACHARY NORTON ‘07 of Chicago, IL: “I came to Ripon thinking I would major in the sciences, but ultimately majored in English. Nevertheless I remember Summer Orientation and the late Professor Williams-Norton demonstration of the night sky dome. Also, early morning biology lectures with Skip Wittler.”

ELIZABETH MOLITOR TAFT ‘07 of Franklin, WI returned to Ripon College and is now the executive director of marketing and communications.

Other Notes

Kathy Welch of Ripon, Wisconsin: Kathy Welch’s last day as the Director of Health Services at Ripon College was January 6, 2023. She has taken another position with SSM Hospice Care. Kathy has enjoyed documented positive satisfaction scores from record numbers of visitors to Health Services during her 19 years at Ripon College. She was the first to provide a variety of health initiatives including on campus flu shots, Narcan training, CPR training and other programmatic outreach efforts to our College community. Kathy took the lead organizing and responding to the very challenging Covid crisis over the last two years. The College is grateful for her years of commitment and contributions. 

Jeanne Williams of Ripon, Wisconsin is continuing her long career in education as she returns to Ripon College to teach ENG 402 Secondary English Teaching Methods this fall semester. Since her retirement from the RC Educational Studies Department in 2017, Professor Williams has been the Director of Education at the First Congregational Church of Ripon adjacent to the college campus. She is currently president of the Ripon Education Foundation, a not for profit organization that raises funds to support teachers and students in the Ripon Area School District. Over a 50 year career in education, Williams has taught at every level from preschool through graduate education and in four states. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English Education from Ohio State University and Masters and Doctoral degrees from Kent State University. Williams areas of expertise are literacy education and the social and cultural foundations of education.

Mary Williams-Norton of Poynette, Wisconsin, passed away at 76 years of age after battling metastatic breast cancer at Meriter Hospital in Madison on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Mary served as a professor and department chair in the Ripon College Physics Department for 37 years, retiring in 2012. She not only taught physics and astronomy; she was a role model, emphasizing the contribution of women in science. She worked closely with the Ripon College Education Department to inspire elementary education students to love science teaching. She also worked with the Wisconsin Elementary and Middle Level Science Teachers organization to promote science education in public schools. Outside of the college classroom, Mary led Girl Scout troops in Poynette, WI and enthusiastically supported the Poynette School District.

Evelyn Kain, emerita professor of art, died on December 30, 2022. Professor Kain taught at Ripon For 28 years from 1983-2011. She was the Helen Swift Neilson Professor of Cultural Studies and received the James R. Underkofler Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award in 1994. She performed with Collegium Musicum, Ceresco String Band and the college choir for decades. Professor Kain earned a degree in art history from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from the University of Vienna, Austria, where she lived for 13 years. Fiber arts were her greatest passion. As an art historian, she wrote and lectured about medieval art, women artists and Vienna 1900, and translated scholarly books from German to English. Survivors include her husband, Eugene J. Kain, associate professor emeritus of art and two sons.

Be sure to keep up updated with your memories, promotions, babies, moves, and exciting updates! We look forward to seeing you all very soon!

Your Class Agents,

Adam ‘07

Lindsay ‘07

Liz ‘07

Stacy ‘07

P.S. There will be a special giving event in conjunction with inauguration weekend, April 20-23, to celebrate Ripon’s 14th President, Victoria N. Folse, and the exciting momentum happening within our campus community. This event will be an extension of the #OneDayRally brand and experience. Stay tuned for more information. We look forward to your participation!