1976 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

1976 – Fall 2020 Class Letter

Co-Class Agents:

MICHELE BARAN WITTLER ’76

[email protected]

PETER TUZ ’76

[email protected] 

Hello Classmates:

After four years without a Class Agent, MICHELE BARAN WITTLER ’76 and I (PETER TUZ ’76) decided enough was enough and stepped up to jointly do the job. JULIE CARLSON ’76’s shoes will be difficult to fill! We have a lot of catching up to do so we hope to hear from many of you often. As all of you know, 2020 is turning out to be one of the craziest years in history. We want to thank all of you who have continued to support Ripon with your time, money, and thoughts. Our class contributed $39,983 to the College’s #OneDayRally for Ripon Giving Day in May with 12 of you participating. Additionally, seven individuals from our class contributed to the Emergency Assistance Fund. The funds from #OneDayRally and the Emergency Assistance Fund were used for general budgetary purposes and to cover extraordinary expenses related to changes at Ripon due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you to all who supported, and continue to support our Alma Mater Ripon College.

As part of the federal legislation passed to support the economy after the COVID-19 pandemic arrived, many tax laws have been changed that make giving to charities, including Ripon, more advantageous in 2020 than it has been in several years. With year-end approaching, we would urge you to see if these would help you help Ripon. Also, be on the lookout for Ripon’s Day of Giving known as #OneDayRally in spring.

What is campus like this fall? Wisconsin autumn is beautiful and this fall is no different. We recall our first days on campus in 1972! What do you remember? After abruptly moving to remote instruction for the last portion of the spring semester, it was clear that our students missed being on the Ripon College campus. Many adjustments were made to create a safe campus for our students. And, they are so happy to be back! Thus far, students have completed six weeks of classes. Check out the following link for information about COVID-19 on campus: https://www.ripon.edu/coronavirus-information/.

At least as of September 30, 2020, our 45th Class Reunion is scheduled to be held in Ripon during Alumni Weekend, which will be June 24-27, 2021 in conjunction with the Class of 1975’s 45th Reunion that was not able to be celebrated in person due to COVID-19. With both of our classes celebrating milestone reunions, and with the closeness of our classes, this should surely be a reunion to look forward to. Please mark your calendars, and we hope to see many of you there. 

Please email us at [email protected] or [email protected] if you would like to help with our Class Reunion planning, the more the merrier! We are especially interested in finding individuals who could help us contact fellow classmates to encourage them to attend our Reunion and/or to contribute to our Class Gift. Perhaps you were in Greek life, athletics, or a club, and you would like to reach out to your classmates that you shared a special connection with? 

Please also email us if you have an interest in starting a Facebook group for our Class of ’76 that we could use for reunion planning purposes, as well as a way to stay connected with each other after our Reunion. 

With our 45th Class Reunion coming up this summer, we would like to rally you, our fellow classmates, to have a strong show of support for our Alma Mater this fiscal year. All contributions made to Ripon College this fiscal year (July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021), will go towards our 45th Class Reunion gift. Especially with the current pandemic still causing unique challenges to the residential college experience, our gifts will undoubtedly have an especially important impact.

As your new Class Agents, we look forward to hearing your latest updates and news. You can send us your news at any time. 

Class Notes:

I, PETER TUZ ’76, put my English major to good use as a newspaper reporter for a number of years, but ultimately ended up as an investment manager with Chase Investment Counsel in Charlottesville, Virginia. After three months of working from home, I am back in my office although we continue to practice social distancing in the extreme. For years, I have been a frequent traveler for both work and pleasure and perhaps the biggest COVID-related change to my life has been staying at home and not making any business trips, nor visiting daughters’ in Germany and Los Angeles.

Co-Class Agent, MICHELE BARAN WITTLER ’76, of Ripon, Wisconsin writes “I majored in mathematics and minored in biology at Ripon College; also, I obtained teacher certification at the secondary level. After three years as a high school math and biology teacher, my husband, Professor of Biology Emeritus Skip Witter, and I moved to Austin, Texas to pursue graduate school. I completed an MBA from UT-Austin. Eventually, we returned to Ripon and I am the Associate Dean of Faculty and Registrar at the College. Until relatively recently, I regularly taught in our Department of Mathematics and Computer Science.”

GEORGE ANASTOS ’76, of Cottage Grove, Minnesota writes, “I retired one year ago after varied careers in industry and ministry. I worked at the corporate headquarters of Yankee Candle Company for many years in various management positions. I also served churches in Salem and Deerfield, Massachusetts, and in Denver, Colorado. Upon my retirement, my wife of 35 years, and I moved to Minnesota to be with our daughter, son-in-law, and grandson. We love being grandparents. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, we are caring for our grandson four days a week so his parents can work. I find it a bit amusing that when I received the email asking us to update our classmates and to include how we are coping during the pandemic, I had just come down with a few mild symptoms. I just got tested and I assume all will be well. Hello to all my classmates. I remember our years at Ripon as some of the finest in my life.”

JULIE CARLSON ’76 of Greenfield, Wisconsin writes, “I weathered the early quarantine by re-reading many of my old English major books and going for long drives with my husband because our car was safe and gas was cheap last spring. Since then, I’ve resumed my volunteer work-limiting hours and wearing a facemask, of course – with the Waukesha (Wisconsin) animal shelter and with Historic Milwaukee, Inc., guiding walking tours of downtown Milwaukee.”

RICH RUSSO ’76 of Ada, Michigan was named a member of Ripon College’s Board of Trustees. Rich previously served his Alma Mater for two terms on the Alumni Board of Directors from 2014-2019, and was elected to serve as Vice President of the Board in 2019.

ELIZABETH TOBIN BROWN ’76 of Stonington, Connecticut continues to practice psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. She tells us DAVE SCHWIER ’77 is still in Minneapolis, Minnesota where he has just recently retired from Delta. Beth also informs us that CHAMP CLARK ’76 had a play called Wild Son recently performed at the Santa Monica Playhouse in California. The play was performed online as well. The play centers on the troubled life of Marlon Brando’s son, Christian. Elizabeth is keen to connect to other Riponites, and she can be reached at [email protected].

GARY GIESEL ’76 of Lockport, Illinois writes, “Retired from Sedgwick after 43 years as a property insurance adjuster.” 

Looking forward to, hopefully, seeing you at our 45th Reunion next summer! 

Don’t forget to email us at [email protected] or [email protected] if you are able to help with our Reunion!

Peter & Michele