1970 – Spring ’21 Class Letter

1970 – Spring 2021 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1970!

I hope this letter finds you and your family healthy and surviving this strange year. I also hope you are among those who have received the COVID-19 vaccine. BILL GEBHARDT ’69 recently got his shots at the V.A. I have yet to get mine, but I will do so when we return to our Wisconsin home. We sold our house in Frankfort, Illinois, in June and thought that construction on our new lake house would begin then. Due to COVID-19 and construction delays on our builder’s other projects, they did not break ground on our house until September. Fortunately, we were able to spend July through October at my family cottage in Portage, Wisconsin, near the construction. November through mid-January we lived at BILL’s brother DAVE GEBHARDT ’66 house, and we will be at our condo in Florida through March. We are really looking forward to having everything finished and beginning this new adventure. Fortunately, with all this time, I know exactly where everything will go in the new house! 

Our older son, Matt, is still living in the Chicago area and is a golf professional at Stonebridge Country Club in Aurora, Illinois. He visited us and played with Bill in the member-guest golf tournament. They didn’t repeat winning their flight but they did come in second in that group. It was nice to have his company and help with projects around the condo.

Will, our younger son, continues with Canadian National Railroad and he and Tera are eagerly awaiting the arrival of their fourth child, finally a boy! Tera is homeschooling the girls again this year and they really enjoy it. They are able to socialize with kids in the neighborhood and participate in limited activities.

Bill continues to improve and his chemo treatments have decreased from once a week to once a month. He is enjoying the warm weather and golfs four to five times a week. I am slowly getting back to golf after my surgery in July, which was necessary to complete the surgery from the previous year. The remainder of my time has been spent planning all the selections for the new house and continuing to work on the Florida condo.

I’m sure you are wondering about our Reunion. The College administration has been evaluating all options and 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.

JUNE 2021

  • 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 video 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

AUGUST 2021

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 including for our very own JIM DANKY ’70, a 2020 Distinguished Alumni Citation Winner; 2020 and 2021 reunion celebration including our Golden R Club induction, and will feature other outdoor events like Rally Run and prairie walk.
  • Additionally, the Class of 2020 will officially be welcomed to our alumni community with a special commencement ceremony.

Please stay safe and try to join us at our Reunion on Saturday, August 7, 2021. And remember to send in your “mini history of your life these past 51 years” if you have not done so. You can use the 50th Reunion Memory Book paper form or complete the form online at www.ripon.edu/50threunion.

If you have questions about how Ripon is dealing with classes you can go to www.ripon.edu/coronavirus-information/.

Also, I really hope someone will volunteer to be our Class Agent. I have enjoyed this, but it is time for me to move on. If you are interested in being a Class Agent, or if you would like additional information, please email Jolene in the Office of Constituent Engagement. 

And now our Class Notes!

JIM DANKY ’70 of Stoughton, Wisconsin, co-curated an exhibit called Wisconsin Funnies that will be on display at the Museum of Wisconsin Art’s “mother ship” in West Bend and MOWA|DTN, located in downtown Milwaukee at Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel. Wisconsin Funnies is the first exhibition to present the rich history of comics in Wisconsin. The nearly two hundred works by twenty-five artists will illustrate the major themes, innovations, and publications that characterize the state’s past half-century of comic art. The exhibition pairs hand-drawn original art with printed material such as comic books, alternative weekly newspapers, and other collectibles and ephemera. 

DOUGLAS DEWEY ’70 of Fort Wayne, Indiana, writes, “I retired December 7, 2016, after 40 plus years as a TV Broadcast Engineer at WPTA-TV, the ABC affiliate here in Fort Wayne.”

Please keep in touch! 

Sincerely,

SUSAN HECHT GEBHARDT ’70

(815) 260-1656 / [email protected]

Your 1970 Class Agent