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1965–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1965–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


John C. Hyde

414-530-4041 / [email protected]


Class of 1965,


Donna and I will be celebrating our 2nd anniversary this August. We have enjoyed the fact that our Pensacola house is only three hours from New Orleans. We saw Maroon 5 recently and have tickets for Paul Simon in September and Keith Urban in November.


We are leaving for our lake home in Conover, Wisconsin shortly. We have Cousins Camp the second week in July. That is all five grandkids for a week. In October, we have a ten-day Holland America cruise in the Caribbean with two Cuban ports, Havana and Cienfuego.


It is also the time to start thinking about our 55th Class Reunion.


All the very best,




Here are the updates from the class of 1965:


CAROLE COOP ATHERTON ’65 writes, “I am writing from Appiano, Italy, where we are staying with two granddaughters (technically, my step-grands). What a delight! We are staying at Schloss Korb, a restored castle overlooking vineyards and apple orchards with the city of Bolzano in the mid-distance and the Alps as the backdrop.


The big doings back in the U.S. before we left were the high school graduations of two granddaughters and the college graduation of another as well as a too-brief visit to our home in Oregon from classmate MARY SHIRER KROENING ’65 and her husband, John. Mary entertained us with a wonderful selection of ukelele tunes and I showed off the 12 volt spotlight I had just installed to illuminate our flagpole (dug about 170 feet of shallow trench and put the darned thing in myself. I love doing things like that with my own hands). It was so good to see them.


This fall, Malarkey and I are going on a river boat on the Mississippi from Minneapolis to St. Louis. The trip is focused on the life and times of Mark Twain. After that, we will visit with family in Illinois and, we hope, see the Kroenings again.


In January 2019, we have a trip planned to Bogota and Cartagena, Colombia, more details to follow.


Hope all is well with you and yours and, as always, thanks for your devotion to our class.”


DAVID MEISSNER ’65 writes, “I am a happily retired (former) Professor of Psychology at Alfred University in Western New York, and still enjoy organic gardening, collecting antique toy cannons(!), and spending time at our family home on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire in the Summer.


Trivia: Countertop jars of Pickled HB Eggs at “The Greekers” were always a treat to wash-down with a Mug of “Suds” after a winning Redmen football game”


LARRY TICE ’65 writes, ” … inspired by references to his (L. Warchus) local bowling team (which includes a 100-year-old centenarian bowling team member) and, further warned (directly or indirectly) not long ago not to go “Bowling Alone” (Putnam, 2000) which spoke of the potential collapse and loosening of social ties of the American community … I may yet seek to explore additional social solidarity on LSD (otherwise: Lake Shore Drive) by joining up for “bowling on the green” … an activity and site just located behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Still swimming, and biking along south end of Lake Shore Drive; but, much less so at the moment. Mostly walking (thus, perhaps pursuits of alternative exercise).


Elsewhere in the neighborhood (sum) resolution has finally been reached between “friends of the Park” and Obama Presidential Library Commission as precise location in Jackson Park and layout plans generally agreed upon. So finally, Library – in Obama name – to be built (… not far away either it seems from the site of “bowling on the green”). And, perhaps that’s a bit more than might be said or predicted of current president library possibilities: as one book (for July release: “Donald Trump Tweeter Presidential Library” by T. Noah) may say it all. As observed by many it’s possible Mr. Trump doesn’t read much anyway … so he might not worry too much if a library is not built in his name.


At the moment enjoying semi-retirement, presently enjoined in a government survey project part time, while MinJa – in full retirement now – enjoying the lakefront. “


DAVE WORDEN ’65 writes, “So far this year has been one of travels between our condo in Oceanside, California and our home in Scottsdale. Time with our twin two-year-old granddaughters and 18-month-old grandson has tested these old bones! We also managed to take time for a cruise to Alaska which is probably the most beautiful place Terri & I have ever visited.  If you haven’t done so please add it to your bucket list. We’re looking forward to this summer and time at the beach, and then the birth of another grandson in September. The best to all my classmates!


JOHN BURROWS ’65 writes, “Nancy and I remain in good health. The attached photo of me wearing our 50th reunion tee-shirt is appropriate as I am about to start my morning walk.  Having just turned 75 on June 1st, I no longer believe 75 is so old although the guy in the photo is getting up there. We celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary in April and had it not been for The Spot, we might not have connected while at Ripon. I will always remain thankful for this.


President Messitte’s published remarks concerning President Trump still gets me hot under the collar.  


We are about to embark on a two week trip to Italy, Lake Como and Florence, neither of which we have visited before. Upon our return we will be home for a week before having a family vacation with our kids and our grandchildren at Sun River in Redmond Oregon. Should be fun. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the 2018 hurricane season will not be a repeat of Irma that hit Jacksonville last year. I wish all the best to our classmates.


JIM THORSEN ’65 writes, “Nancy and I will spend the summer here in Idaho, hosting kids and grandkids, friends from Tucson and delegates from our Japanese Sister City. The grandkids both play in their high school band which has been selected to perform representing the State of Missouri in the 75th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in 2019 in Normandy. We are planning to attend the event and are involved in planning the trip. Needless to say, most tours are booked a year in advance, and we were lucky to book one. I hope everyone has a pleasant summer and enjoys good health.”


JUDI GONIA SCHAEFER ’65 writes, “We’re fine and keeping busy.  Last winter (December, 2017) we went to New Zealand to spend the Christmas holidays with our youngest daughter, Beth, her husband Mark, and our 18 year old grandson Burgess.  This was our second trip to New Zealand. The first time we flew non-stop from Chicago to Auckland; this time we stopped in Hawaii on our way to and on our way back from New Zealand.  It turned a 20 hour flight into two 9.5 hour flights…much easier for both of us. Our time spent with our family was wonderful. We stayed with our daughter just outside Nelson on the South Island, traveled to Wellington on the North Island, where by the way, our grandson is attending Victoria University, went to a cricket game, and generally had a great time. The country is beautiful and the people are very friendly. If you haven’t been there, go if you ever have a chance.


Now we’re back in the good ol’ USA where we spend our winters in Illinois and our summers in Winter, Wisconsin.”


GREG THOMPSON ’65 writes, “Greetings from Seattle. Thank you for continuing with being our class agent.


The Thompson’s are in our third full year of retirement and enjoying it here in Seattle and elsewhere.


Most of our travel is to San Francisco where our three grandchildren live. They are ages six, four, and one. We got a late start on children and so did our daughter. We are almost frequent flyers just on that route and just got back last night from our latest visit there.


Other travels take us in the winter to sunnier climes to combat grey skies and rain here. A road trip we like to take every year is to beautiful Northeast Oregon. Among other things, you can see wagon tracks from the “Oregon Trail” migration.


This summer we are hoping to have a couple of weeks roaming Wisconsin. That is the home state of both my parents and we have cousins there and in Chicago.


I am lucky to have a Ripon classmate living here in Seattle. JOHN WHEELER ’65 and I get together for lunch on a fairly regular basis. We are in looser touch than we would like with MARK LEDGER ’65, CHARLES BARBER ’65, CRAIG FERRIS ’65, and WARREN WARCHUS ’65 who all live some distance from here.”


DONNA STABEN LONG ’65 is looking forward to a trip to Spain with her daughters. She and Bob didn’t have a winter skiing trip this year since Bob is recouping from an injured rotator cuff. They are looking into the Villages for a winter option.


JOHN NEWHARD ’65 is is also recouping from a torn rotator cuff. So the vigorous golfing plans were replaced by a trip to Cuba with a Rhodes Scholar travel program that has lectures each night by college professors.


DICK BENNETT ’65 and ANNE DONALDSON BENNETT ’65 are celebrating 56 years of marriage. They met at Ripon freshman year. Their son, Tony who attended one our reunions with Dick twenty-something years ago, has built a successful coaching career at Virginia and there may be possibilities pro basketball options. Dick very much misses MIKE REESE ’65 and remembers fondly the Ripon Golf Outings with Mike and CHARLIE LARSON ’65 during homecoming every year. He has enjoyed reading books the lives of a number early US presidents.


Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1964–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1964–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Pat Ostrom Kohnen

925-201-7377 / [email protected]

Class of 1964,

As I write his message to you it is very hot here in California, but my suitcase is packed for the cooler weather of Alaska. I will enjoy a cruise for 14 days on Crystal with a woman from Stoneridge Creek who still works part time as a travel agent. She has been on 100 cruises.

Life at Stoneridge Creek is great. The final phase is almost complete and then we will have about 825 residents in independent living plus residents at Creekview who need more care. Water exercise, book club and excursions continue to be my favorite activities. I am still giving the book Tear Soup: A Recipe for Healing After Loss by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen to people who need it. A friend shared it with me four years ago and I have been sharing it ever since.

I was pleased to see my oldest granddaughter graduate from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her major was Criminal Justice and she will be attending the police academy in Nevada.

I have some news from classmates to share. RICHARD MOSCHEL ’64 of Sun City West, Arizona writes, “Enjoying retirement spending October-May in Arizona and May-October in Ely, Minnesota at our log home. We have one son living in Los Angeles looking for job behind the scenes in film. Our second son is bartending in Scottsdale and our third son is in New Orleans.”

DAVID SCHENCK ’64 of Tampa Florida writes, “I am very happy to report on the publication of a new book entitled Communication and Bioethics at The End of Life: Real Cases, Real Dilemmas, by Lori Roscoe and David Schenck. The book is intended for advanced undergraduates interested in careers in healthcare, medical and nursing students, persons in allied healthcare, as well as physicians and educators.” David is Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida.

DANIEL SICULAN ’64 of Columbia, South Carolina, writes, “We celebrated the birth of our latest grandchild, Rylan Mae on March 8th. My daughter’s other two children are aged 15 and 17!”

Is anyone thinking of returning to Ripon next June for our 55 year reunion? Please contact me at (925)201-7377 or [email protected] if you are in San Francisco so we could meet for a visit.

Join me in donating to Ripon. I’m grateful for the wonderful education and experience I had at Ripon.



Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1963–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1963–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Wayne Wolfgram

313-882-1712 / [email protected]


Greetings Classmates,

Well, it’s been 55 years since we received our diplomas, said goodbye to classmates and began our adult lives. It sure flew by. I hope this finds everyone in good health and enjoying their “golden years.”

TERRY BOOTH ’63 of Kenilworth, Illinois ([email protected]) writes, “Only a few from our class made it to the 55th reunion, but it was still a fun time. Besides me and my wife Carol, DAVE NEUBAUER ’63 and wife Linda helped celebrate our class coming in 4th place among reunion class donors. The class donation per attendee was surely in 1st place. We all had dinner with MARCIA MACLEISH HIGGINS ’63 and JUD HIGGINS ’62, who live nearby in Green Lake. President Zach Messitte earlier led a state of the college discussion suggesting Ripon still values a liberal arts focus versus professional preparation, but it does mean graduate school for many (as it did for me).

I almost didn’t go, since the college lumps all classes after the 50th reunion into a big ‘Golden R’ punchbowl of grey hairs. So the 55th wasn’t as special or highlighted as the 50th, but we still had a delightful dinner. If the college ever decides to promote the over 50th reunions, I still may try the 60th.

Can you imagine, the state of the college discussion had people lamenting that the quads were still there despite being built “in the 80’s.” Someone else spoke up and said “Oh no, they were built in the 70’s.” I held my tongue, but of course they were there when our class of ’63 arrived. It does date our generation doesn’t it. The younger classes were remembering famous alumni, headed by AL JARREAU ’62 and HARRISON “HARRY” FORD ’64. But Al’s now gone – so sad – and perhaps an honorary degree might persuade Harry to show his head on campus again – I’d go back for that if it included Alumni.”

JUDY ELLICSON KOVARIK ’63 of Aurora, Illinois ([email protected]) writes, “DICK KOVARIK ’64 and I are both doing fine. Dick has been retired for a full year. We had a cruise through the Panama Canal in April. Our oldest grandson, Charlie, graduated from Butler University in May, and is gainfully employed. Our other 5 grandchildren are all doing well. We have not seen anybody from Ripon, except the neighbors, one who graduated in 1953 and PAT CARSON ’60.”

I am headed to Brisbane, Australia for my niece’s wedding and a family reunion. All my six siblings, including my brother DAN WOLFGRAM ’69 and his wife JOAN KNUTSON WOLFGRAM ’69 will be there. It will no doubt be interesting listening to Aussie comments regarding U.S. politics.

Have a great summer everyone!


Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1960–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1960–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Deborah Johnson Van Slyke

480-284-5564/619-889-5061/[email protected]

Class of 1960,


BOB BORGER ’60 writes, “We have been busy since returning from our winter home in Florida. The weather in Ohio has finally allowed for landscaping and flower planting to be finalized. We attended grandson Bobby’s graduation from Ohio Northern University and his acceptance of a position with Welltower in Toledo, Ohio. He also achieved academic All American in track. Our granddaughter Megan was a freshman cheerleader at Bowling Green State University. Yvette and I will be going to Idaho in June to visit son Barry. Hope all is well with Ripon alums.”


DEE GREY HOLDEN ’60 writes, “Our winter season in Arizona has been the usual fun with local friends and visitors escaping snow. More of Abbey Springers come to Arizona so there is much socializing going on here. Things became more complicated in spring when it became evident that Dan would need cervical surgery, diseconomy, and fusion. This was done in May and he is recovering well. We will return in a few weeks to the Midwest in time to get ready to a trip to Northern Italy. It will be the last grandchild trip and we are looking to relax at Lake Garda and then the Italian Alps. A few wineries will also be visited.


We are so proud of our 2 grandsons in the military. Cooper Holden was commissioned in December and is now training in Florida with the United States Air Force. Beckett has completed his nuclear engineering course and has been assigned to the United States Navy base in Seattle where he will be on the USS Kentucky, a ballistic missile sub.


Our granddaughter just finished her freshman year at University of Arizona and will be volunteering in Laos at an elephant rescue camp.


Summer will have us socializing at the lakefront of Lake Geneva. I do not look forward to having to keep Dan from golfing before he gets the doctor’s okay to play.  A river cruise in September will round out the summer.”


JANET GORN ‘60 “has no retirement plans on the horizon. She is a Diplomat with the U.S. State Department in Washington D.C. She has had temporary duty assignments in Buenos Aires, Bucharest, Paris, and Vienna this year. In Paris, she served as the U.S. Representative to the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency Steering Committee meetings and in Vienna was the U.S. Representative and Head of delegation to the Meeting of the Parties of the Joint Convention on Nuclear Spent Fuel and Radioactive Waste. She was named a lifetime achiever by Marquis Who’s Who. Check out her extension career in the 2017-18 Who’s Who in America.”

I was unable to drive from Scottsdale to drive to Idyllwild, California for the inaugural performance of KEN LUBER’S ’60 musical Esperanza: The Musical of Hope. He wrote the lyrics for a song “Revenge is Near.” The song won “Best Song” at the Italian Oniros Film Awards.


I will escape the heat of summer in Arizona and visit Chicago in August where I will see my roommate and sorority sister BARBARA KOUBA HOFFMAN ’60 in Highland Park.


LIVIO VALLE ’60 passed in Chicago on October 22, 2017

BILL BROOKS ’60 passed on March 8, 2017


Let us keep in touch. Send me your news, gossip or your thoughts, DEB

Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1955–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1955–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Art Lundeberg
Class of 1955
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

Dear Class of 1955,


Hope each of you has had a great summer, and will be looking forward to the beautiful trees, followed by the beautiful snow falling on the beautiful trees. Looking forward to the beautiful snow is optional.


Ripon Fund

Has everybody sent in their donation? We must continue to keep our Alma Mater Strong.



After just 18 hours and 51 minutes and thousands of social media shares on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, Ripon College’s first ever #OneDayRally giving day campaign came in 221 percent ahead of goal, raising a total of $656,626 from 940 donors.


Campus Notes

College Days

We all remember our student newspaper. It has won 11 awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association in the 2017 WCMA Better Newspaper Contest Awards. The publication won an honorable mention in the category of General Excellence, the top award available, indicating that it is judged to be one of the best overall college papers in the state.


Financial Success

Ripon College has been named the No. 1 School in Wisconsin whose grads earn the most in mean wages 10 years after graduation.

The study was published by Zippia, a new website dedicated to helping recent graduates with their career choices.

Zippia says they used the most recent college scorecard data to determine the school in each state with the highest average earners 10 years after entry. This report has been shared by news media across the country.


Expanded Edition

Hawthorne Books and Literary Arts released a second, expanded edition of Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead: the Frank Meeink Story, as told by Jody Roy, this fall.

Roy is a professor of communication and the Victor and Carrie Palmer Endowed Chair for Leadership Values at Ripon College.

The new edition of the acclaimed story included a preface by the author, nine new chapters, an updated epilogue, and resource guides for substance abuse recovery and countering racism. This is Frank’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi Underground and his ultimate triumph over hatred and addiction.


Willmore Center- Great Success

Athletic Business has taken note of the immediate success of Willmore Center. In a feature published this month on the website, it cites several impressive statistics, including 28 percent more student athletes making deposits, 40 percent more student athletes taking tours of campus, and nearly double the number of football recruits to the College in one year’s time (25 recruits in 2017 and 48 in 2018).

“When Ripon College began planning a major upgrade of its primary athletics, health and wellness center, the vision went much further than having a bigger, newer facility,” the article reads. “They wanted the building to be a new hub of activity on campus – not just on game days but every day. They wanted it to be a source of pride for the 800-student private liberal arts college and the community of Ripon, Wisconsin. More ambitious yet, they wanted it to be a recruiting magnet, attracting both athletes and non-athletes…. It is already achieving its mission… and with a cost of $23.5 million, the project is an example of how such results can be achieved on a modest budget.”


The article, “Ripon College’s Willmore Center is Proving its Power as a Recruiting Tool,” highlights the need for the upgrades and how Willmore Center now is serving many more than student athletes. It cites 305 alumni and community residents who have purchased memberships and nearly 50 outside organizations that have held events in the facility.


“To attract athletic recruits, the Willmore Center offers size, facilities and amenities typically only found at much larger schools” the article states. “It also demonstrates to other prospective first-year students the value that Ripon College places on supporting the wellbeing of everyone on campus… (The atrium) has, in fact, become a hub of social life at Ripon College. Located on the opposite end of campus from the student union, ot serves as a second commons where students can hang out between classes or before or after a workout when it is not convenient to return to upper campus.”


Safety Competition

Ripon College students placed well at the International Business Ethics Case Competition held April 18-20 in Boston, Massachusetts.


The team argued for better safety standards in all Toyota vehicles. In their research, they found women are 47 percent more likely to be seriously injured or die in a crash due to minimal regulation with female crash dummy research and development. The average “female” crash dummy stands at 4 feet 11 inches, and weighs about 105 pounds, based off the 1960s 5th percentile body type. Until 2011, it was not required for female crash test dummies to be included in vehicle safety testing, and now it is required only that they be tested in the passenger and back seats – not the drivers seats.


History of Ripon College

Last newsletter, we spoke of the opposition to the President Flagg’s intended program. As the board’s opposition to his program of change became neutralized, Flagg began slowly altering Ripon’s educational structure. In 1982, When Flagg came into office, Ripon College was still a collection of different educational programs serving widely different groups of students, a characteristic that had dominated its life during the Merriman and Merrell administrations.  In 1982, there were six such programs: the Classical Course with only 39 students, which was a four year college program; a special program called “the Select Course” with 6 students, which provided a less-intensive liberal education than the Classical Course; the Preparatory School with 80 students, which was responsible for preparing students for college; a program called “the English Academy” with 50 students, which taught students at the high school level not preparing for college; the School of Music with 63 students; and finally the School of Drawing and Printing with 13, both of which offered their own technical degrees. Flagg realized that of the College was to become truly modern, it would have to focus its attention on the College alone which meant increasing enrollment to a level that would allow it to stand alone while slowly divesting itself of the auxiliary academic enterprises.


History of ROTC

Last newsletter, we spoke of the organizing of campus activities by the ROTC staff.

In seeking to put this program into place, Captain Rice gave immediate attention to the development of the rifle team as the showpiece of the Unit. Although the unit rifle team was never large, with widespread campus backing and under Rice’s supervision, it began to enjoy almost immediate success. In March, Ripon won the 6th Corps Area Rifle Match, finishing ahead of 50 other schools including the University of Wisconsin, the University of Michigan, and the University of Illinois, all considered being among the finest ROTC units in the country. The Ripon cadets attending the 6th Corps Area Summer Camp in 1921 achieved a glittering record. The unit’s rifle team captured the Chicago Tribune Cup, with the team captain, BURL W. MILLER ’24, qualifying as expert rifleman and finishing second among the nearly 1,000 cadets at the camp. Three other Ripon cadets – GEORGE HAUN ’23, JOHN KRALOVEC ’23 and COLEMAN GUNDERSON ’23 – qualified as sharpshooters. The Ripon camp contingent that summer also included JAMES H. BANVILLE ‘23 who later became not only the first of the seven generals to come out of the Ripon program, but also the secretary of the Reserve Officers Association in the 1960s.


In Memoriam

In case some of you missed the sad passing away of class members, I’ll state the names that I know: MARK DEWOLF ’55 died in April this year. He had just been ordained as an Episcopal Priest.

ROBERT BROTHERS ’55 died earlier this year. He and I were very good friends, and fraternity brothers in Lambda, I miss our frequent phone conversations, which Bob seemed to enjoy in spite of his stroke, which happened several years ago. We would talk about our time at Ripon, and the great education we received.


I wish each of you a wonderful fall season, as well as a joyous Christmas holiday.




Submitted by: Olivia Heck

Spotted: Tom Horvath, Larry Huebner, Bret Jaeger
Submitted by: Yvonne Nicklaus
Ripon, WI

Spotted: Tom Horvath, Larry Huebner, Bret Jaeger

Tom Horvath
Class of 1984
Ripon, WI

alumni Tom Horvath, Larry Huebner, and Bret Jaeger

TOM HORVATH ‘84 and LARRY HUEBNER ‘83 had the good fortune of being at two different work-related venues this summer (they both work for NASA). The first was in late June, when we were in Madison, WI, for a technical symposium. One night, fellow alumnus, BRET JAEGER ’84, drove to town from Waupun for an evening of reminiscing at The Great Dane Pub and Brewing Co.

Submitted by: Yvonne Nicklaus

1971–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1971–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Jim Beisner

770-570-7725 / [email protected]


Greetings, Class of 1971!


Here’s to another great year!


It is hard to believe we were starting our freshman year fifty long years ago, just as the Class of

2022 is doing now. Where did the time go? I remember very well my first few weeks of getting

acclimated to classes and the campus as if it was just yesterday. Although there is a large time

gap between our start and theirs, the quality of education has not changed in all those years.

Through the support of our time, talents, and treasures, Ripon College has maintained a superb

educational experience. The update on current college activities along with honors of graduates

and faculty as noted below, continue to show the excellent contribution Ripon makes to the

nation and State of Wisconsin.


JOHN “BEAUX” LEONARD ’70 writes, “After graduation I spent a year in Denver, Colorado.

I returned to Boston in the spring of 1971. I rented an apartment in Cambridge, Massachusetts

with JOHN “SHADOW” THOMPSON ’71, MICHAEL PETERSON ’72 (would be class of ’72 who left

school following his junior year), and M. Greely (Mike) Summers, who attended Ripon for only

the ’70-’71 year before transferring to Boston University. We took in Trustee JOHN

“RALPH” WOLFE ’69 when he returned from the Army, Germany, and we have remained close

friends since. 69 Magazine Street in Cambridge was a fun time for a couple of years; many

stories. It was interesting answering the phone with 3 Johns and 2 Mikes in the house.”


As we look back at our experiences at Ripon, we can all see the benefits we derived from that

special time. In some way, the Annual Fund assisted all of us. It under writes all aspects of

yearly operations, including but not limited to laboratory supplies, technological innovations,

library resources, faculty support, financial aid and scholarships, athletics, opportunities to study

abroad, the arts, and facilities. I urge your consideration to increase this year’s gift in recognition

of all we have accomplished as a result of Ripon College. If you gave below the Heritage

Society level ($150-$499), consider giving at that level. If you give at one of the society levels, think about

increasing your gift annually to eventually elevating to the next highest society.




Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1973–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1973–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Jean Kirkpatrick Lederer ’73

239-390-1349 / 630-987-9388 / [email protected]


Dear 1973 Classmates,

Alumni Weekend is now a memory, and a wonderful memory at that! For those of you not able to attend, those of us who were there missed you. As STEVE ILLICH ’73 just wrote to me in an email: “It was a blast!”  We reminisced, caught up, and enjoyed each other’s company. We laughed a lot, and even shed a few tears.”

GARY LEDERER’s ’72 and my weekend started Thursday evening with PAT WILKE EPTING ’73 and LEX EPTING ’72 joining our family for dinner in Green Lake. Friday Gary and I took part in the Annual Doc Weiske ‘50 Memorial Golf Scramble. Our partners were good friends JOHN CLARK ’71 and his wife Patti. Actually we were a fivesome as my son Stephen joined us. He and his wife Lindsey and our daughter Beth had come to Ripon as a surprise to see me receive the Distinguished Alumni Award! More about that later. The golf outing is always great fun and raises funds for the Athletic Department. The weather was decent and some people had really terrific scores. Sadly that was not us.

Friday evening was the Awards Banquet in Harwood Union. A tremendous event with great food, and even greater desserts! I was very touched to receive my Distinguished Alumni Award. I shared the stage with a man who ran for President of Panama and someone doing world renowned research on AIDS, a very illustrious group. My award is for service to community, and to Ripon and I am very proud of the things I have done for children in Swaziland, for the home my handicapped son Andrew resides in, for Girl Scouts of America, Baker Methodist Church, and Guardian ad litem, among others. I especially enjoy being your Class Agent; trying to keep you connected to the College, and our classmates and encouraging your giving. Special thanks to KAREN TESCHNER DORN ’72, SUE MIJANOVICH KEY ’72, and LINDA BRASSINGTON DANIELS ’72 who drove up to see me receive the Citation, and to the Class of ’73 friends who were there to cheer for me!

I may have failed a bit as Class Agent this time around by not getting more of you back for our 45th, but you did not fail the college in your giving. We again received the Award for the largest amount given over a five year period, an amount well over $2 million dollars. And this year’s Class Gift topped $496,000.00 beaten only by the Class of ’83 who presented a check over $1 million dollars. One thing all of us noted at the presentation of the checks was that no class gave an even dollar amount, all the donations included a number of cents which we all thought quite odd, especially the one that ended in $.01. I want to thank DOREEN CONFORTI CHEMEROW ’73 and BILL MACLEOD ’73 for leading the gift campaign and a special thanks to Bill for helping present the check and receiving the trophy! And thanks to each of you who gave to the Annual Fund! Your generosity is truly appreciated!

Speaking of gifts, I have decided that from now on when I ask for your donation, I will ask you to make  your gift for whatever amount you plan on giving and then have you add 73 cents. Just something silly, but it would add up and give even a bit more notoriety to our class which is already known for its generosity! I hope you’ll join in!

Over the Alumni Weekend there were many activities going on across campus. I know many of our classmates participated in the 5K, the Prairie Walk, the talks on various issues and the parade, the picnic, and our event Saturday evening at the Willmore Center. Everyone who attended our cocktail party took a quick tour and was blown away by this impressive facility. If you have not seen it, truly you should get up to Ripon to see it for yourself.

STEVE ILLICH ’73 again put together a slideshow of past reunions, our time at Ripon and acknowledgement of the classmates who are no longer with us. Jeanne Stiernberg had sent along a Memorial CD that a friend had put together about her husband JOHN STIERNBERG ’73 who died late last year. It brought tears to many of our eyes. Our discussions many times centered on the fact that 45 years is a long time, but the 5 years between now and our 50th will speed by, and how do we encourage more of you to return? I am not saying we needed more people because those of us who were there had a tremendous time and were quite content with everything. We all just felt bad that the rest of you were missing out on such a good time!

During the course of our cocktail party I thoroughly enjoyed listening to GERRY TROCHINSKI ’73 talking about the history of Ripon, the town and the college. Most of us recall Ripon as the birthplace of the Republican Party but the Socialists also got a start in the town. He told me that the College was funded by money that was really supposed to build a railway, something I did not know. I hope he will take my suggestion and write an article for the Ripon Magazine, as it would make very interesting reading.

It was so good to see JANE SCHORE ’73, JOANN SELLECK ’73, and KATHY GRAUNKE ’73 all who flew in from the West Coast. BRUCE CLAUTER ’73 was in from Ohio, and KATE PARISH MILLER ’73 from Michigan. DARCI JAEGER JAYNE ’73 and husband BRIAN JAYNE ’76 were there, as well as PAT WILKE EPTING ’73 with husband LEX EPTING ’72. JOHN FREDERICK ’73 with his wife, JANE RUNKEL FREDERICK ’74, JACK MEYER ’73,GERRY TROCHINSKI ’73, STEVE ILLICH ’73, and BILL MACLEOD ’73 also enjoyed the evening. When our reception ended people went on to the after party in the tent, as well as to the fire pit where they made s’mores.

All in all it was a wonderful weekend. You can see pictures on the Ripon College website, and on our Facebook page. Mark your calendars now for June 22-25, 2023 which will be our 50th! Let’s make it a record turn out!

Here is  the news from classmates as sent to me in emails:

BRUCE CLAUTER ’73 and his spouse of 45 years, LaRue, retired early in 2017. He writes “FINALLY I’d say, and we should have done this sooner as we are both enjoying traveling. I don’t know how we ever got ANYTHING done before we retired, as there seems to be lots of things to keep us busy now! Not to mention that LaRue surprised me with an Australian Shepherd puppy last November: hardly miss a day at the dog park or walks in the woods with her. Our eldest daughter Jody took a new position in her field of Archeology in Montrose, Colorado early in 2017, and was married in July. LaRue helped her move from Laramie, Wyoming and we both spent a couple of weeks in Montrose for the wedding, and are already planning a fall “color” trip. Our younger daughter, Andrea, took a new position with Columbus Humane, which allows her to concentrate on her passion of rescuing neglected or mistreated pets and helping to find them families that will give them a “forever home”. We still call Columbus our official home, but spend time also at our lake house in Hamilton, Indiana. We’re making some long overdue upgrades to both properties – some of which we are doing ourselves. When we aren’t at one of these, you might find us at Ripon reunions (it was an enjoyable 45th one just completed in June, and I missed seeing others), with LaRue’s family in the Chicago area, or somewhere roaming the western slopes of Colorado.”

KRISTINA DAVIS ’73 writes, “I retired from my family therapy career last year. My husband Jim, also a retired family therapist, and I are spending time with our grandchildren, Ivy – 8, Isaac – 6 and Quin – 4. I recently became a certified Group Fitness Instructor with the American Council on Exercise and am planning to teach fitness walking classes to various groups. I am also a WALK15 instructor through Leslie Sansone’s “Walkathome” program. Fitness walking has been called the closest thing to a wonder drug because its benefits affect the mind, emotions, body and health of whose who do it . We have found a wonderful APP called “Walking” which lets you pick your music from many genres and then adjusts the beats per minute to the walking program you pick. Also Leslie Sansone’s dvds are fun. Jim and I are working on a grant for funding for a video on Praise and Worship dance I want to do for our WELS (Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod) churches and missions.”

MIKE MIZEN ’73 writes, “Our grandson, Kael, continues to be a joy in our lives. She is “mobile” now and Alison and Trip will have him in a toddler swim class in June. Daily trips to the park where she construction is underway is another pleasant diversion. He loves the big trucks.  I cannot imagine how he will react when we have the RV in the driveway. In May we did a car trip through the Shenandoah Parkway and West Virginia ending up in Maryville, Tennessee to visit one of Peggi’s RC roommates, LINDA MOCHALSKI CARPENTER ’75. We are beginning to ponder an RV trip centered around the Mississippi River down to the Gulf Shores. Wheels up on or around Labor Day. Looking forward to seeing CAROL PARKHURST TULLIO ’73 and PETE TULLIO ’73 post 4th of July as they are in these parts visiting family and friends.”

BILL BRUCATO ’73 writes, “Ripon was the start of my National Security career (ROTC Scholarship – United States Army Signal Corps). I am now Vice President of Research and Development for Horizon Global Partners HGP working security around the world and in the US.”

MARTY MORRIS ’73 writes, “I have officially and finally moved to Portland, Oregon. I sold my house in Michigan and headed West over Memorial Day weekend. The most significant thing is that in 2 years I downsized from a 2900 square foot, 2 story colonial with a pool and 1/2 an acre to a mere 1500 square foot townhouse in Northwestern Portland. I’m working on becoming a dazzling urbanite too.”

DOREEN CONFORTI CHEMEROW ’73 writes, “We are spending our second season in our new summer home in Martha’s Vineyard and enjoying all that this special place offers including being near to lots of old friends from our early years in New England and New York City. David has recently retired and we are now able to take longer trips to more distant places. Last year we hiked in the mountains and glaciers of Patagonia in Argentina and this April we biked from Amsterdam to Bruges after a theatre week in London. We are heading to Antarctica in December. Anyone travelling this way or to the Boca Raton area, please get in touch.”

DAVE BUNTEN ’73 writes,I came out of retirement to substitute teach 3-4 days a week. I save a day or two a week for volunteer work at my parish food bank and for my weekly skate at the hockey rink. I still play the guitar quite a bit.”

KATE PARISH MILLER ’73 writes, “My son is getting married this July 22 to a wonderful match who has two little boys, 4 & 6. He will be an instant dad! They planned the wedding to be while my daughter and husband and family are visiting Michigan. In my activist life my 350.org is blending with other organizations to help Kalamazoo become fossil free and 100% Renewable. Good to have groups working together.”

JANE SCHORE ’73 writes, “We are having a west coast Ripon Reunion July 7 at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. JOANN SELLLECK ’73, RICH DIEMER ’72 and CINDY HAYES DIEMER ’73, Jean Stiernberg,  and myself are meeting for lunch and a little culture.”

On a personal note: Thanks for all the emails and messages congratulating me on the Distinguished Alumni Award. It means a lot to me, and I am very proud to have received it.



Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1974–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1974–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Jan Petrovski MacLeod

630-920-2450 / [email protected]


Greetings, classmates!


How was your summer? Did you make it to Alumni Weekend? I hope that no matter how you spent your time, it was filled with friends, family, and good times.


Lots of big news in our family this summer: our second grandchild was born to our daughter, Kate, and her husband, JP. Baby Grace arrived in June and joined her 20-month-old sister, Lilly, and both have kept me plenty busy. I started Tai Chi classes this summer, and found it was a good balance for keeping up with Lilly. The other big news: our younger daughter, Mary, became engaged, and plans have begun for a summer 2019 wedding. At this point, they have the date chosen, the venue secured, and the bridal party in place, and it just keeps rolling along. So as you can see, there is a lot going on here and it’s all good!


The only classmate heard from recently was CHRIS DOHERTY ’74 of Andover, Massachusetts. Chris sent me a note via Facebook saying he wouldn’t be able to attend Alumni Weekend this year because he was on vacation, and at that moment, was in Scotland. He had just visited the Isle of Skye, which happens to be the ancestral home of clan MacLeod, and a fair amount of good whiskey, which I hope he sampled. Well, Chris, we envy you the trip, and we hope you will do your best to be with us in Ripon next summer for our 45th reunion.


Please be thinking about making the trek to Ripon next year, too! You will be hearing more about this as our reunion committee begins working on the plans, and if you would like putting your two cents in to the planning process, feel free to join us. Let me know (630-460-0320) or contact AMY GERRETSEN ’04 at [email protected] to be added to the committee. We would love to have your input.


Meanwhile, be happy and stay well,



Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1975–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1975–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Jondi Gumz

831-461-1120 / [email protected]


Dear classmates,


Let’s hear it for LAURIE LANDIS WOLFORD ’75 of Lone Tree, Colorado, who organized a reunion for the Alpha Delta Pi sisters at Estes Park, Colorado, and everyone got their photo taken in front of the historic Stanley Hotel. SUE CHAPMAN CARLTON ’75 and KAREN KUCKHAHN KEHL ’75 were there along with MARY JAMIESON SAMELSON ’76, CHRIS OVERLY WALLACE ’74, NANCY GROOSE TERMAAT ’76, DEB STODDARD JESSOP ’77, MADGE BUSHNELL ’77, SELMA BAYDOUN CEMAN ’74, JUDY REISINGER DAVIS ’76, JOAN MUCCI ESPOSITO ’78, PEGGY ZAREK ODDO ’76, and LAURA MCGOWAN STAHL ’77. Great job, Laurie!


MARY JENKEL DELK ’74 and her husband JACK DELK ’74 has a new home in Texas. She writes: “So far, we really like Austin and really love being near the grandkids – and retirement is pretty nice also!  Our new address is 7317 Coit Rd, Austin, TX 78744. ”  Connect with Mary at [email protected]


LINDA MOGICATO SASSER ’75 reports she and her husband Carey “escaped the cold winters of Chicago for good last December” and moved to Peoria, Arizona, outside of Phoenix. They are enjoying living in a resort-style active adult community, swimming, biking, and hanging out with similar-aged people who also moved here from other parts of the U.S. and Canada.  Linda does public speaking (her website is www.brainandmemoryhealth.com) and markets her curriculum, BE! Brain Enrichment, to help people learn about brain health and develop their cognitive skills (like memory!) with the goal of postponing or preventing cognitive decline. Reach her at [email protected].


GEORGE LONG ’75 writes from East Greenbush, New York, “I finally retired from New York State Department of Transportation. Two weeks and I still have a big grin on my face. Now I just have to get this house in shape to sell, and the house in Vermont ready to move into, and we’re set. Anyone who wants to visit New England for the fall foliage, give me a call! We have 115 acres of woods, surrounded by more of the same, on a pond in the Vermont mountains. We’ll even throw in a tour of local microbreweries.” Connect with George at 518-477-7366 or [email protected]


SUZANNE MONROE POULOS ’75 of Evanston, Ill., attended the Ripon Alumni Weekend the last weekend in June with husband MICHAEL POULOS ’77 participating in several Beta Sigma Pi events including the oral history session. Thanks Suzanne for representing the class of ‘75. Suzanne writes, “I well remember LOUISE RENIER BOOTHBY’S ’75 comments in the Fall R Connections mentioning last year’s alumni dinner night where several of us from the ’70s joined together and had an amazing conversation just like we were back in college.


Michael and I have downsized into one condo and totally renovated our other condo next door, from a new roof down to the refinished wood and new tiled floors. Glad that’s behind us. Of course we had to lose some book storage in the process and now have 17 boxes of books to donate. Our Chicago Bar Association chorus and orchestra recently performed Rossini’s Stabat Mater. The Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are performing it this weekend. All classmates and alumni are welcome to get in touch with us for a sail on Lake Michigan from Wilmette Harbor. Give us a call if you’re interested at 847-492-9800.”


SUSAN SCHREYER STANDER ’75 reports from Paradise Valley, Arizona: “Airbnb just named my casita an Airbnb Plus property.  To view our home and maybe schedule a visit go to Resort Style Casita in Paradise Valley. While my husband continues to work taking care of veterans, my retirement is spent tending to the cat and the casa, and working as a precinct committee person in our legislative district. I visited MARY ELLEN WEIS DOLL ’75 and MARTHA ROBBINS ANDERSON ’75 in Milwaukee last fall, and we had an amazing visit.  Some friends (especially Ripon friends) are forever.” Connect with Susan at [email protected].


STEVE SWANSON ’75 of Manassas, Virginia, writes: “Finally rejoined the family after nearly three years in Miami as a geo-bachelor. Don’t ask, long story. Barbara, Margaret, and I are taking a road trip next week to Austin, Texas.  Margie is attending the Keller Williams “Young Entrepreneur” seminar. And BA and I are checking out our two properties in the Fort Hood (Killeen/Harker Heights) area. The grandkids, Athena, Colin, and Deanna, successfully graduated the school year!”


STEVE RUGO ’75 and his wife Laura de Frise report from Chicago: Their son Peter lives in Los Angeles and started his own music management business in February; for a list of upcoming shows, see keel.la. Their daughter Aubrey recently moved from Chicago to Washington D.C. to work for Booz Allen Hamilton.  Steve’s architecture practice is thriving. He designs residences and more recently noted restaurants, you can see his portfolio at rugoraff.com. Laura left Christie’s after 30-plus years and is managing director for Ronald Varney Fine Art Advisers.


LITA WEISLOW KATZ ’75 writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, “My daughter Sarah is now living about 10 miles away instead of several hundred miles away — so my husband Bert and I are now the designated cat sitters when she goes on vacation.  She moved here for a job at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Lab working on space probe radiation shielding.” Since Lita retired from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, aka NOAA, she accepted the job of treasurer for her synagogue. Recently, she spent an afternoon in the synagogue kitchen cooking an entry for the sisterhood’s kugel cookoff. Connect with her at [email protected].


DIANA AUSTRING ’75 posts on Facebook from New Zealand: “Luxuriating in the warmth of my wood burning stove in Waiheke Island’s winter, but heading to Perth, Western Australia, for five weeks in July to be main caregiver for my 3-year-old and 1-year-old granddaughters (Natasha and Sienna Rose; daughters of son Kris and his wife Tory); then will head up to Tombstone, Arizona, in October for three weeks to hang around with my siblings, with a likely road trip to Fort Collins, Colorado.


BECKY HADLEY ’75 of San Antonio Texas writes, “I hope to be traveling like Dee before long! I’m mostly retired, working one day a week ‘prn’ as a registered nurse in a surgical setting. Loving being a grandma to almost 2 year old grandson Micah who lives in Houston. Big event of the year is the wedding of our daughter Laura who lives in Washington, D.C. Her husband-to-be is a financial analyst for the CIA who has briefed the president several times. Another summer trip is to Martha’s Vineyard. In the process of planning lots more travel to bucket lists destinations.”  Connect with Becky at [email protected].


ANN DEVENISH CASSELL ’75 posted photos on Facebook from her travels with her husband DOUG CASSELL ’74 to the Scotland, visiting places like the ruins of the Culross Abbey, used in the Outlander series.


PHIL BOLDA ’75 of Tempe, Arizona, posted photos on Facebook about his trip to Pittsburgh for the Society for American Baseball Research conference.


RUTH GALES FRECHMAN ’75 of North Hollywood, California, completed her year as president of the California Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She writes, “It was a great two years as president-elect and then president. Awesome experience. I have been spending the last week organizing, so I can catch up on my real work that got put on the back burner.” See her website at ruthfrechman.com and find out more about her book, The Food is My Friend Diet.


TIM VERNIER ’74 has written a new detective novel, Lightning’s Landing, second in the Dick Stranger series.

ROSIE GAY FATHEREE ’75 in Alpharetta, Georgia, posted photos on Facebook from her daughter, Katherine’s wedding in May.


KATHY KURKE ’75 in Ormond Beach, Florida, finished a new painting, “Moonstruck,” for the Daytona Art Show. You can see it on Facebook. Connect with Kathy at [email protected]


SHARON SCHECK SINA ’75 of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, is spending time with her grandchildren this summer. See her photos on Facebook.


JULIE OLSON KEILMAN ’75 is spending time with her grandchildren and she visited Mackinac Island, Michigan, in June.


GEORGIANNE BRAVICK ’75 of Appleton, Wisconsin, had to dig out of a snowstorm on April 16. Follow her on Facebook.


LEN KACHINSKY ’75 reports from Neenah, Wisconsin, that he’s feeling better, running six miles in 88 minutes or less.


WARREN BLUHM ’75 in Luxemburg, Wisconsin asks: “When are you done? When is your life’s work complete?” Read more at https://www.facebook.com/warrenbluhmwordsmith/


NANCY LAWS KERN ’75 of Littleton, Colorado, enjoyed watching spring training with friends in Scottsdale, Arizona, and hiking on Pinnacle Peak.


SCOTT TREMBERTH ’75, who lives in Henderson, Nevada, writes: “It would have been great to visit.  We are back in Green Lake, Wisconsin, for the summer. We go back to Vegas in the fall.”


I was hoping to catch up with SCOTT TREMBERTH ’75 when I attended the National Association of Real Estate Editors conference in Las Vegas. I did not realize it would be 107 degrees! Good thing the air conditioning was working. About that trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, my husband and I departed shortly before the Kilauea volcano blew up, covering roads with lava, and  and forcing entire neighborhoods to evacuate. Sad to hear. In April, I had a weekend visit in Mission Viejo, California, with my sister JOY GUMZ ’78, also an economics major at Ripon. Then my sister SHERYL GUMZ ALBERS-ANDERS ’76 drove in on a cross country road trip in her VW Bug. Now I’m staying at home and baking blackberry pie, fresh picked from the back yard. GREGG PETERSEN ’78 and brother MICHAEL PETERSEN ’75 shared a neat slideshow posted on Facebook and made for his 40th class reunion made by HELEN HOLTER ’78 using photos from the Green List and yearbooks. Anyone with these technical skills, give me a holler. I’d like to see if we can do this  for our next reunion, June 26-28, 2020. Until then, keep your news a-coming to [email protected]!


Your class agent,




Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1977–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1977–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Alan Lawrence

920-730-9515 / [email protected]


Although I failed to make it to Alumni Weekend this summer, at least six from our class were there:  LARRY MALCHOW ’77, TOM KLOOSTERBOER ’77, NINA WULFF ’77, CONNIE JESS ZOLKOSKE ’77, MARYJO MACSWAIN ’77, and JEAN BLACK ’77. These are always fun events and I look forward to my next opportunity to be on campus again. It will be nearly four more years until our class celebrates its 45th anniversary during Alumni Weekend, but we are invited every year to participate in the weekend. There is plenty to do and enjoy even without “our” class reunion.


Notes about some class members:


ED MORRELL ’77 of Northfield, Illinois, writes, “Married to PATRICIA KRUG MORRELL ’78 for 41 years! She continues as interior designer but dedicates a lot of time to working with La Casa Norte supporting homeless youth. We are expecting our first and second grandchildren in April and July.”


ELENA ZIBUTE KEZELIS ’77 of Springfield, Illinois, writes, “After practicing law in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois and serving for the last 14 years as executive director of a hospital foundation, I have retired. Our oldest son got married in 2017, and our youngest graduated from college and has been traveling all over the world. We are traveling much more as well (Australia, New Zealand, Galapagos) and finally making good use of our house in Southwest Florida. I might even learn how to golf!”


PAULA STELLMACHER KUBINCHAK ’77 of Queen Creek, Arizona, writes, “Life has recently changed dramatically for me! I remarried in 2015 to an amazing Canadian, and we decided to get back into horses after 50+ years of not riding or owning. We now live at the Lazy K Ranch in Queen Creek, Arizona, with our 2 riding horses and 2 mini-horses that pull a cart. Life is perfect! We have 12 grandchildren between the 2 of us. Every one of them is a special gift.”


I happen to still be working as an IT worker in Greenville, Wisconsin. Retirement looks inviting, but I think I’ll be working a while yet.  And, for now, I’m working hard helping my wife in her campaign for State Assembly. She has a primary, so we are worried about the August election.


Please send news about yourself either to the college or to me to be shared in our next class letter.


Always remember that your financial help is very important to help keep Ripon a competitive and quality institution. Your donations are important every year. Please consider making a gift to Ripon College this year. Your participation is very important.


Please write back to me or to the Office of Constituent Engagement. We’d love to hear from you.


Always for Ripon,



Submitted by: Olivia Heck

1978–Fall ’18 Class Letter
Submitted by: Olivia Heck
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1978–Fall ’18 Class Letter

Olivia Heck
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


Gregg Petersen

410-884-0407 / [email protected]


Dear Classmates:


The reunion has come and gone in a flash! Two hours for the reunion was way, way too short. 39 classmates, 80+ attendees overall counting plus ones and the return of our wonderful faculty members and spouses! We thought we could meet in the Martin Luther King Lounge but in the days before the reunion, we exploded out of the downstairs of Harwood Union up to owning the Great Hall for our event!  


The night prior to the reunion, in the very same location, Ripon College recognized JOSE ALEMAN ’78 and ERIKA DOSS ’78 as Distinguished Alumni with four of the tables filled with fellow ’78 classmates and faculty there in support! Erika talked fondly of her Ripon professors. Jose remarked over the irony that as we graduated in 1978 our nation was focused on tearing walls down, whereas today our nation was building a wall. Jose opined for a return to our past.


It was an interesting journey leading up to our reunion. Our very own Emmy winner and distinguished alumni, HELEN HOLTER ’78 spent over 100 hours putting together a video that is essentially a 1974 Green List/1978 Yearbook graduation gallery. The video is 30 minutes long with only 4 seconds per classmate picture. In the process of researching all of our classmates that started with us freshman year, there have been some sad discoveries that I noted below in addition to the recent passing of JIM MARTIN ’78. Helen “finished” the video on June 10th, so the link is now posted on Facebook and we played it on a loop at the reunion. Thanks to Helen for all of her painstaking care and time on the video. If you want access to the link or a copy of the video, please contact me.


Thanks also to reunion planners LIZ PECHA POELKER ’78 and LAURIE WAGNER ’78 who pulled together our great number of classmates, friends and faculty for the reunion. Thanks to ROB “TEX” MEYER ’78 who was calling everybody that has a phone number (and will answer their phone). Thanks to LIZ PECHA POELKER ’78, JOHN ZINDAR ’78, LOUISA GEBELEIN JONES ’78, and LISA WOLLAN ’78 as well for their fruitful efforts conducting our annual fund class gift outreach.


On the final morning of Alumni Weekend, I attended the Alumni Weekend Service of Remembrance where Professor Emeritus Doug Northrop spoke very eloquently. I noticed that the remembrance program listed some other year-group classmates that passed in the last year. I was shocked to find that JEANNIE UETZMANN PORDON ’77 and TOM CONNOLLY ’76 had passed away. Others of us may know two other classmates that passed from years ‘76 & ’80:  ADAIN BUMBY ’76 and MARK GREENE ’80.




  • ’78 Classmate Updates
  • Class of ’78 Dominates Participation for Ripon #OneDayRally April 25th
  • Class of ’78 Wins Class Gift Participation Trophy
  • Reunion Comments
  • Reunion Attendees


’78 Classmate Updates:


TAMARA “TAMI” BODEN-ELLIS ’78 of Somerset, United Kingdom wrote the following concerning our reunion year Class Gift Annual Fund drive: “Thank you for your letter (and gentle reminder). I shall be participating in “gifting” but sadly will not attend the reunion this year. I am sure it will be a delightful occasion and send on my very best wishes to everyone (& you). If you are able to take my book along and share it with others, I would be most grateful. As you will see from reading it to the end, it is part of a bigger dream. And that bigger dream needs the help of others. Lastly, a “Ripon Alumni” Invite (fundraiser). I have now lived most of my life here in England. And Peter and I would be happy to share our love of it. Our home has a double bedroom w/ensuite. If ‘Ripon Alumni’ would like to visit and give a donation to Ripon for staying, we would enjoy the visit. We live in the Southwest of England, (about) 150 miles (English miles) from London. If you would like to share that with the class at the reunion, please do. In the meantime, enjoy yourselves-hope you ALL have a lovely time in Ripon.Best wishes, Tami (& Peter, of course).”


I mentioned Tami’s book in our last class letter: No Way?!: How Pickles Became the Christmas Gherkin. Tami is using the book and proceeds to raise awareness of the needs for children with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).


I talked to DAN DALLMAN ’78 of Waukesha, Wisconsin where he works for a marketing company after formerly working with AIG and Liberty Mutual Company. He’s married with five children: four girls and a boy. His son is attending University of Wisconsin Whitewater. He and Merriman brother, DAN CHIONCHIO ’78 of Princeton, Wisconsin go on an annual fishing outing every year, usually coming home with walleye and bass.


Freshman classmate BOB GREYTAK ’79 is a podiatrist in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.


HELEN HOLTER ’78 of Seattle, Washington sends, “As a board director of the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association in Central Asia’s Uzbekistan, (she) is excited about the country’s new reform-minded president in power. She’s been meeting with top-level officials – including the new ambassador and ministry officials – to help in opening up Uzbekistan to business, travel, and educational student exchanges.” Helen’s production of our class video was appropriate given that Helen has made many videos before.  Helen announced, “I am doing another volunteer project with a Seattle cancer organization. I’m producing a video on genetic cancers, specifically those caused by the MSH2 gene.” According to a search I made, the MSH2 gene is associated with autosomal dominant Lynch syndrome (also called hereditary nonpolyposis colorectal cancer syndrome). Lynch syndrome is a genetic condition that has a high risk of colon cancer as well as other cancers including endometrial cancer (second most common), ovary, stomach, small intestine, hepatobiliary tract, upper urinary tract, brain, and skin. The increased risk for these cancers is due to inherited mutations that impair DNA mismatch repair. It is a type of cancer syndrome.


NORMAN HURD ’78 of Portage, Wisconsin was my first semester roommate in old Scott Hall and then he left.  Norm and fellow Old Scott Hall (also known as “the slums” for their lack of carpeting and other amenities) freshmen GREG HOPKINS ’78, BILL SCHUMACHER ’78, and LUD WURTZ ‘78 were aspiring basketball players for the Ripon freshman team in fall of ’74. I checked in on Norm recently to see why he returned to his hometown after one semester at Ripon. Norm had to help out his mom who had health issues, so he left Ripon to be close to home.  Thereafter, he attended University of Wisconsin-Baraboo, and then finished out his education at University of Wisconsin La Crosse. Norm went on to teach high school health classes for 32 years in his hometown of Portage, Wisconsin while coaching the basketball team for 27 years before retiring in 2011. Norm now works at the Wisconsin Dells at JustaGame Fieldhouse in retirement and continues to work as a substitute teacher at Portage High School. Our nickname for Norm was “Normal” because he was so even-tempered among a bunch of us rambunctious young freshmen in the fall of 1974. There was a funny anecdote in his local paper about a basketball game where he was coaching, and he received a technical foul for using the (not very) extreme epithet of shouting, “Jeepers-creepers ref!” Norm clearly had basketball running through his blood; Norm proudly told me that both of his sons were selected to the All State Wisconsin basketball team. They are coaches now at University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and Gale Ettrick Trempealeau High School (nicknamed “GET High!”-how interesting!) respectively. Whenever Norm hears the song Band on the Run (#23 of the Top 100 songs of 1974) by Paul McCartney and Wings he flashes back to his days at Ripon, because that was the first song that played when he hooked up his stereo in our room in Scott Hall. He occasionally tracks on his friend ADAM KRIVELOFF ’78. He also had fond memories of Resident Assistants BILLY SMITH ’76 and MAURICE RUSSELL ’76.


JOE KEEGAN ’78 of St. Petersburg, Florida writes, “Heading to St Germain for the summer after the reunion! Summers in Wisconsin for the last 30 years! Getting together with fellow Merrimen for a golf weekend in Green Lake, the week before Labor Day.  JIM KOHL ’77, KERRY GILLE ’77, TIM SULLIVAN ’77, MARK RECHNER ’77, MARK BOHMAN ’76, AL SCHEELS ’76, PAUL WISNEFSKI ’77, DANNY CHIONCHIO ’78, CRAIG WINTER ’76 …. and BOBBY WEYHMILLER ’76! And the Duke of Earle… PAT EARLE ’76! Also see GEORGE MORT ’80 up North…. and an occasional ART PETERS ’80 and RUTH HOLLINGER PETERS ’79!”


KEVIN LEAVITT ’78 of New London, New Hampshire has worked for a tree service in nearby Sunapee for the last seven years.  Prior to that Kevin was in Connecticut for 15 years. Kevin left Ripon in 1976 and hasn’t besen back.  Before he left, he warmly recalls going fishing with Merriman brothers DAN DALLMAN ’78 and DANNY CHIONCHIO ’78 (see Dan’s note above). Kevin still enjoys fishing these days and mostly catches bass, pickerel, and trout on his outings. In the off-season, Kevin usually heads to Florida for a month’s vacation in the warmer climate.  


PATRICIA KRUG MORRELL ’78 of Northfield, Illinois, writes, “Married to ED MORRELL ’77 for 41 years! I continue as an interior designer but dedicate a lot of time to working with La Casa Norte supporting homeless youth. We are expecting our first and second grandchildren in April and July.”


I talked to BARBARA MENGEL ROMANELLO ’78 of North Prairie, Wisconsin. She just retired in the last year but she and husband GREG ROMANELLO ’77 are keeping quite busy with family. Most recently their daughter had triplets! That brings their grandchildren total to 7 – and all of them are boys!


DONNA HANSEN SCYMANSKI ’78 of Hamden, Connecticut wrote the following on our Facebook page just before the reunion: “…I would be interested, and others may also in our classmate’s junior year abroad studies (such a huge part of my life, though it meant missing experiences at Ripon, even graduating the following year). So, pics of me would be in the 1979 yearbook. I was thinking ‘little known facts’ sheet could be fun. Such as STEVE RASHID’s ’79 band played at my wedding. Kathy Bakshy’s daughter and my son are a couple. In 1982 heard my name called out in a nasal tone in Paris. Was MARY PALMQUIST ’78, that sort of thing.” MICHAEL POULOS ’77 responded, “STEVE RASHID ’79 conducted the orchestra at our wedding and played piano at the reception. And then he moved to Evanston and opened a studio a block from our office and studied music at Northwestern with my high school band director, Doc Owens. Such a small world.”


EDDIE SMITH ’78 of Atlanta, Georgia writes: “Hello, Greg (and classmates)! This is Eddie Smith. Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend the reunion. I am working with a number of other attorneys to provide legal assistance on a pro bono basis to families caught in the morass at the Southern border. I hope that you and your families are well. I hope that you have a great reunion. I wish for health and happiness for you; that such health and happiness enable us in gather together for our 45th. (snip) Peace! Go YANKEES!”


JERRY WAUKAU ’78 of Keshena, Wisconsin wrote: “I am sorry I can’t make it to the Reunion this year. We are burying a friend this weekend and I need to help with the arrangements with our local church. My family has increased by two this past year with the addition of two more foster children along with my two grandsons I am raising. I am still serving as the Health Administrator for our Tribal Clinic, which I have done for the past 33 years. We have grown over the years with a total of 140 employees and a budget of $25 million dollars. Not sure if this is important to anyone but I feel blessed by the foundation Ripon gave me and I will always treasure my time there. Our Elder Teachings tell us to give back to our communities and to give back to those less fortunate, which is why I have taken in the 2 foster children. I continue to do Hoops Basketball coaching and now I am doing Little League baseball. My younger brother tells me this is good therapy, but I wonder some days. My circle of mentors at Ripon has gotten smaller with the loss of Jerry Thompson, but we do stay in touch with Doc Young, and Doug Northrop. Give my best to our classmates and I will be thinking of you all this weekend. Keep the faith, Jerry “Gatie” Waukau.”


LISA WOLLAN ’78 of Valley Forge, Pennsylvania continues to keep Wisconsin in her life through visits to her cabin in Three Lakes and ongoing connections to the Ripon campus. She is planning a fall trip to the Canadian Rockies, hiking through Lake Louise, Banff, and Jasper as a great excuse to eat delicious food and drink fine wine. She serves as President of the Valley Forge Mountain Racquet Club and is a member of the Deltaville Yacht Club on the Chesapeake Bay.


In Memoriam:  


Freshman year classmate, JOHN BERTOLDI ’78, 58, of Niagara, Wisconsin passed away on Monday, July 13, 2015, at Bellin Hospital in Green Bay after sudden heart failure in the parking lot at Lambeau Field after judging a BBQ event. John went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and his master’s degree from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois. John lived and worked in Chicago for 12 years, working for Marshall Field’s Co. He returned to the Niagara area to work as the office manager of Bertoldi Oil along with his brother Jim Bertoldi. He loved his BBQ, especially the smoke of the BBQ. He was a certified KCBS judge and Table Captain. He was working on becoming a Master Judge.


JOSEPH BRUCKER ’78, 51, of Indiana Township, Wisconsin died unexpectedly Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2007, at his home. He lived in Indiana Township for the past three years, previously residing in West Deer Township. He was a fine dining waiter for the Duquesne Club and Common Plea Restaurant in Pittsburgh. He was an avid sportsman. (Class Agent note: I was on the Ripon wrestling team with Joe our Junior year. Joe was a great teammate and talented wrestler.)


ADAIN BUMBY ’76.  Details in Fall 2017 R Connections.


TOM CONNOLLY ’76: I remember watching Tom play guard on our Ripon Redmen basketball team with LUD WURTZ ’78, TIM “SULLY” SULLIVAN ’77, GEORGE GOODNATURE ’77, and others. Tom was this clever, resourceful guard that always seemed to have this impish smile and flair to his game.


MARK GREENE ’80:  Mark was a member of Reader’s Theater and a Mapes resident with HORACE GARFIELD ’78, JOSE ALEMAN ’78, TOM HARRISON ’78, and others.


JIM MARTIN ’78, 62, of Racine, Wisconsin passed away Sunday, June 3, 2018 at Froedtert Memorial Hospital, Wauwatosa.  On August 11, 1979 he was united in marriage to KATHLEEN “KATHIE” GIBSON ’78. He was employed by the Garvey Group for thirty-seven years, retiring January of 2018. Jim was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church where he was head of the acolytes and served on the vestry. He also served on the Board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters and was a member of Harbor Lite Yacht Club. An avid golfer and fisherman, Jim especially loved time spent with his grandchildren.


TIMOTHY PARKER ’78, 59, of Janesville, Wisconsin passed away, at his home, on Saturday, November 14, 2015. Tim grew up in Janesville. He graduated from Craig High School. On August 1, 1981 he married the love of his life, Moe. He enjoyed curling, fishing, riding his motorcycle and the occasional trips to Las Vegas. Tim was a member and Past President of the Blackhawk Curling Club. He worked for Beloit Corporation in Beloit for 20 years. Tim had a quiet sense of humor and was known to be there to help out any friend who called on him.


JEANNE UETZMAN PORDON ’77, 62, of Brookfield, Wisconsin passed away on December 27th, 2017. Many of us will remember Jeannie as the ‘76 Homecoming Queen with JOAN MUCCI ESPOSITO ’78 on her court, with CHRIS ANDERSEN ’78 and JIM MARTIN ’78 acting as escorts for members of the court. I remember Jeannie as being friendly, humble, and incredibly graceful and skilled in sports. I also recall her treating me like a cat toy in our badminton gym class…you couldn’t win by strength, but by coordination, and she had that. Our own Ripon Athletic Hall-of-Famer, LOUISA GEBELEIN JONES ’78 had this to say about Jeanne: “Jeannie was an amazing athlete. A track star that I was in awe of everyday at practice. Such grace as she sprinted around the track or high jumped with ease – while I literally fell into the pole.”


GRETCHEN VAN NEST78, 56, of Rockford, Illinois died on Sunday, August 4, 2013, in her home. 


Class of ’78 Dominates Participation for Ripon #OneDayRally April 25th:  


In a sign of things to come on reunion weekend, we topped all other class year groups in participation by nearly 10% during the April 25th #OneDayRally with 48 donations!  Ripon’s director of annual giving, Kelly Nielsen, had this to say about the Class of ‘78: “What can I say but WELL DONE! It (was) so impressive to see the Class of 1978 take the lead over all those millennials on the #OneDayRally class leaderboard!”  The Class of ’78 was the only pre-2000 class to place in the top 10 for participation!  This effort by you wonderful classmates gave a turbo boost to our ongoing class gift collection and set the stage for a successful final drive in the final three months culminating with our reunion.


Class of ’78 Wins Class Gift Participation Trophy:  


70% participation!!!  The class of ’78 defended its possession of the Alumni Weekend gift participation trophy going away with the next closest alumni class more than 15% behind.  I want to thank all of you who opened your hearts and wallets to our class gift to the Annual Fund! We doubled our participation rate of 35% from last year to 70% this year!  As you recall, five years ago, with record support, our Class of 1978 accomplished something that no other 35th reunion class for Ripon College has ever done: we won the annual gift Participation Trophy with 63% of us supporting the Annual Fund.  We have set the standard for the school for charitably engaged class alumni. I want to especially thank classmates LIZ PECHA POELKER ’78 co-chair of the campaign, LOUISA GEBELEIN JONES ’78, and LISA WOLLAN ’78 for their leadership in outreach encouraging us to donate consistent with our circumstances for Ripon and its students!


Reunion Comments:


From Professor Bill Woolley: “Your class obviously dominated the whole week end from Awards Night to final breakfast. The class gift was also stunning.  Jean and I also want to thank (the class of ’78) for including us in the ’78 dinner on Saturday night. I thought afterwards that so many of my best memories of Ripon are tied to your class. There was that miracle class that Doug and I team taught that has created its own mini-reunion. And, a significant number of my favorite students are 78ers.”


From BILL NEILL ’67: “70%!!!!! FANTASTIC!!  Now to get the rest of our alumni to “understand” and join ya’ll! Well done ’78.”


Reunion Attendees:  




Faculty: Bill & Jean Woolley, CHRIS OGLE ’80, Larry & Betsy Miller, Marty Farrell, Elaine & Gary Coll, Bob Wallace, Skip & MICHELLE WITTLER ’76, Paul Schoofs, Bob & Carol Young, Diane Mockridge, and Norm & SUE BOOTHROYD LOOMER ’67.  Honorable mention: Spud Hannaford planned to attend as well but cracked 4 ribs in the days prior to Alumni Weekend.




Class Letter Updates:  I continue to need your updates to make this a worthwhile letter for your fellow classmates.  Please keep sending them in!


Hey!  What are you guys doing 5 years from now?  I hope most of you reading this said, “Attending the 45th year class reunion!”  Don’t forget-make plans to be there!  You will not regret it, unless you hate having fun and visiting with good friends and faculty!


Best wishes and warmest regards,


Submitted by: Olivia Heck