2013 – Spring ’21 Class Letter
Greetings, Class of 2013!
What a year it has been. I (CHARLOTTE LEE WAHLE ’13) can’t even quite believe it’s been a year – wasn’t it just March 2020? Then I realize that my quiet, just walking, one-year-old is now a two-year-old who is tearing around the house and shouting. What a year it has been. But here you all are! Somehow, life has gone on. New jobs and new homes; Quarantine babies and pandemic weddings; Graduations and so many Zoom meetings!
For myself, the excitement of the past year has been purchasing a robot vacuum and our very first big-kid couch! That fact that I’m even writing about those things here is how I know I’ve gotten old. Well, that and the fact that Tik Tok says my side part and skinny jeans are out of fashion. I’ve also completed my graduate program and will be graduating this May with a master’s in higher education administration!
I hope you are all safe, well, and hopeful. I look forward to when we can all catch up again in person! In the meantime, enjoy these life updates from our classmates. And if we haven’t heard from you in a while, please reach out! We want to hear how you are.
Good news regarding this year’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.
ELLIE HEDBERG BEERS ’13 of Minneapolis, Minnesota writes, “Let’s see…January 4th of 2020 I had my wedding in Edina, MN followed by a honeymoon to the southern Caribbean. At the end of February 2020 I took my NCLEX, passed, and have been working as an RN in a long-term care community since then and have worked my way up to working as charge nurse. I am currently pregnant with my first child (EDD April 30th). My husband and I are currently house hunting…hoping to put an offer in soon! I am also currently working on my BSN degree and will be graduating at the end of the year. It has been a busy past year or so for me!”
AMY BROWENDER ’13 of Saint Paul, Minnesota, writes, “I’m attempting new things during quarantine including knitting my first sweater and taking a (virtual) watercolor class! This spring, I look forward to volunteering with the Minnesota State Arts Board again to inform public funding for organizations across the state. I hope everyone is staying healthy and safe.”
ABBY MILBRATH DEBBINK ’13 of McFarland, Wisconsin, writes, “I started my 5th year as a school counselor and have been in between working virtually and in-person. I have two kids: Miles-2.5 years and Murphy Mae-9 months (as of Feb ‘21).”
KAYLYN FREEMAN ’13 of Beaufort, South Carolina, writes, “I am getting married on April 10th, 2021, Covid willing!”
EMILY MILES HAHN ’13 of Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, writes, “In Dec 2019 I got engaged and successfully defended my dissertation for a Ph.D. in Plant Pathology from North Carolina State. I then moved to the Madison area in January 2020 and I am thankful to have found a job during the pandemic. I now work for the USDA at UW Madison researching cranberries. My husband, Corey, and I were able to pull off a mini-wedding in September (with AMANDA VIRTUE ’13 and RACHEL STAEDT ’13 by my side) and wrapped up 2020 by purchasing a home in Cottage Grove”.
JOHANNA BURTON LANPHIER ’13 of Lincoln, Nebraska, writes, “MICHAEL ’15 and I bought our first home in the spring of 2020 in Lincoln, NE! Also, ALEXANDRA MARTIN ’13 and I now live in the same city, so we can reminisce about our good old Ripon days in person now!”
JESSIE LILLIS ’13 of Staunton, Virginia, writes, “My newly formed theatre company, Starling Shakespeare Company, is producing their first festival on Mackinac Island in August! If you’re in the area, come see a show!”
SARAH MOEHRKE ’13 of Florence, Oregon, writes, “I got a promotion at work in August, so my new job title is “Economic Development Catalyst” for the City of Florence on the Oregon Coast. I’ve been able to support businesses through the COVID-19 connecting them with needed resources like funding and PPE. Recently, I’ve distributed over $55,000 of PPE to local businesses, secured a $35,000 grant for the local Boys and Girls Club, and secured another $40,000 grant for the local Community College”.
CHRISTINA MOONEY ’13 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes, “I bought a house in Milwaukee and am learning how to use a screwdriver”.
LAUREN OTT ’13 of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, writes, “I got engaged to KYLE GREENE ’15! We have moved to a house on the Mississippi and I am taking any and all gardening tips. We also got a COVID puppy named Gus!”
ALI PELTIER ’13 of Polk City, Iowa, writes, “I have begun tackling my MBA at the University of Iowa with an expected graduation date of 2023, while continuing my career with Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. I live with my fiancé, Jonathan. We will be married in September 2022.”
MEGHAN RAEBEL ’13 of Appleton, Wisconsin, writes, “I am starting a new job as an Assistant Laboratory Supervisor at Lawrence University!”
STEPHANIE RHYNER ’13 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, writes, “My fiancé and I bought a house in Milwaukee and I am teaching art history at UW Milwaukee, UW Eau Claire, and at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design (MIAD).”
AMANDA VIRTUE ’13 of Lake Mills, Wisconsin, writes, “I was the maid of honor in my best friend’s wedding (EMILY HAHN ’13)!”
ZACHARY WIELAND ’13 of Appleton, Wisconsin, writes, “My oldest son became Picasso and used our entire house as his canvas, while our youngest son decided to go all “Rampage” on the house. Also, we adopted a dog.”
Stay safe and stay well, classmates!
CHARLOTTE LEE WAHLE ’13
LAUREN OTT ’13
ALI PELTIER ’13
Your 2013 Class Agents