2008 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 2008!
It’s hard to believe that it is spring already. 2020 is in the rear-view mirror and it feels good to know that some are getting back to some normalcy. We wanted to share a few updates about our Alma Mater as well as a few exciting updates from our fellow classmates.
As of January 25th, students are back on campus. The college held campus-wide testing for COVID-19. The results came back with less than 1% being positive cases! It is hard to imagine Ripon without being on campus.
One important date that everyone should put in their calendars is April 28th as this will be the 4th annual One Day Rally! This year the theme is going to revolve around nostalgia and Ripon throughout the years. The goal this year is 2021 donors in 20 hours and 21 minutes. This class really stepped-up last year and put up some amazing numbers as a group to help the cause. Everyone should be receiving save the dates soon from the college. Let’s have another great turnout, and remember every little bit helps.
So many of us have enjoyed Alumni Weekend since we graduated, so I wanted to mention that the College has announced plans for this summer’s Alumni Weekend. 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.
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.
We would like to congratulate those below on their exciting updates. After such an unprecedented year it was great seeing such fantastic news, and blessings. If you have an update please feel free to share it on the Class of 2008 Facebook page, or reach out to one of the Class Agents.
Here are our Class Notes:
AMANDA BEERS WOJTANOWSKI ’08: I spent the last year in Germany for the U.S. Army with Regional Health Command Europe as the Chief of Current Operations. I spent my time leading a team through navigating operations in a COVID-19 environment, while directing COVID-19 testing, restrictions, and vaccinations for the U.S. Army throughout Europe and Northern Africa.
KEN LEIVISKA ’08: ELIZABETH KUNDE LEIVISKA ’09 and I welcomed our first child, Mason, into the world in October 2020. Our happy family of three lives in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin
TYLOR LOEST ’07: Katie and I expanded our family with a baby boy, Quincy Charles, born on October 15, 2020.
ERIN MAGUIRE ’08 of Hot Springs, Arkansas, is employed as a licensed master social worker for LHC Group/Elite Hospice and is prayerfully considering international adoption.
ALISON KRINGS OTTO ’08: I was diagnosed with stage one triple-positive breast cancer on December 16, 2019, at the age of 32. Treatment included a bilateral mastectomy, a year of chemo, and hormone blockers. It has been a long and difficult year, but we made it. I had my last chemo on January 23, 2021, and am now a cancer survivor.
MAC SHUMANN ’08: My wife Stephanie and I welcomed our second child, Rory, on October, 31, 2020, and our son Jack is three-and-a-half years old. I am currently working at JJ Keller in Neenah as a Sr. Sales Manager and coaching baseball at Neenah High School.
ADAM SONNTAG ’08: After serving as the city of Hillsboro, Wisconsin, city administrator since 2011, Adam has been named the new city administrator for the city of Ripon, Wisconsin. He and his spouse, Cari, and their young daughter will be moving to Ripon. (Welcome back home to Ripon, Adam!)
ARLENE TORRES ’08: I’m now a Senior Regional Admissions Counselor for UW-Green Bay serving my seventh year with them. I am a new member of the Education Equity Action Team through the Hispanic Collaborative Network. I have been assisting with local initiatives impacting women and children as a Community Impact Leader.
CARL VEENENDAAL ’08: My wife Ashley and I moved to Franklin, Tennessee, last fall and had twins on October 2nd! They are Cade Knox, 3 pounds, 5 ounces and 16 inches long, and Cruz Jaxson, 3 pounds, 0 ounces and 15.4 inches long.
We hope everyone enjoys their spring and summer, and as always Go Red Hawks.
Leah Hover-Preiss ’08