1983 – Spring ’21 Class Letter

1983 – Spring 2021 Class Letter

Greetings, Class of 1983!

The Clay family has remained healthy, safe, and thankful. Everyone in the immediate family has been vaccinated, but me (as of the time of me writing this letter)! I am in that group that isn’t quite old enough or an essential worker, so I am patiently waiting my turn. It seems so odd to be documenting this for a Class Letter, but history is in the making. 

We are heading to Colorado Springs in April to await the arrival of our first grandchild. John will be there for a week and then will need to head back home to teach school. I am able to stay for a month in an Airbnb just a half block away from our daughter and son-in-law. Exciting times as we await to meet our new grandson.

I’ve had the pleasure of connecting on a fairly regular basis with LEXIE SHEPARD KERMANI ’83, LYN ROSENBERG MCCARTHY ’83, ELI PETERSON GUZNICZAK ’83, and JULIE PYSCHER FELLINGER ’82. Also, I want to shout out to LARRY HUEBNER ’83 for networking with my neighbor who is a junior in high school. Larry was so gracious in meeting with him and having a second Zoom call to include his colleagues. Networking is a powerful way to give back and learn from others. Over the years, I have been trying to network with two new people each month. If I can be of help, please don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Campus COVID-19 Updates:

Classes officially started on January 25 with a mix of in-person, online, and hybrid (part online and part in-person) formats. The weekend before classes started, the entire campus community (all students, faculty, and staff) were required to take a COVID-19 test, which was administered on campus in Great Hall resulting in a less than one percent positivity rate. Beginning on February 1, the College began random weekly surveillance testing where approximately a quarter of the College community will be tested. Those who are interested in following the plans and procedures this semester, as well as tracking our COVID-19 positivity rate, can visit www.ripon.edu/coronavirus-information/ for more information.

#OneDayRally and Ripon Fund Updates:

Ripon’s annual giving day, known as #OneDayRally, will be held on Wednesday, April 28. Please save-the-date for this exciting day of supporting the Ripon Fund and sharing your Ripon spirit. This event has grown to be one of the most active days of virtual engagement for our entire Ripon College family, which means prospective students are taking note of this day, too. All alumni are encouraged to sport their Ripon College attire and post it on their social media platforms. 

  • If you are interested in becoming a Social Media Advocate to promote our #OneDayRally and spread the word to reach our goal, please email [email protected] to receive a toolkit with resources in the days leading up to #OneDayRally.
  • Thanks again for supporting the College this past year, especially those who supported the Ripon Fund, as well as #OneDayRally.

Alumni Weekend 2021:

Classes ending in 0’s and 5’s AND 1’s and 6’s will celebrate their reunions together because of the cancelation of the 2020 festivities. 2020 and 2021 award winners will be honored as well, including:

  • Distinguished Alumni Citation: RUTH ANNE GERO ADAMS ’85, JAMES DANKY ’70, JON FASANELLI-CAWELTI ’75 (posthumously), BRIAN FREY ’91, LORI STICH OBLUDA ’91, WILLIAM QUISTORF ’80, and KENT TIMM ’81
  • Outstanding Young Alumni: SARAH ANDERSON ’10, LUCY BURGCHARDT ’10, JEFFREY GRINDE, JR. ’16, and SAMUEL SONDALLE ’11
  • Athletic Hall of Fame: NICHOLAS BEAMAN ’11, ABIGAIL WILLIAMS BUDZYNSKI ’98, TODD CIESIELCZYK ’87 (posthumously), SCOTT GILLESPIE ’11, AARON JOHNSON ’03, NATHANIEL KOK ’01, TROY YOUNGBAUER ’96

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 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, 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.

Class Note:

MARK FRANZEN ’83 and JANICE HEINZ FRANZEN ’83 of New Berlin, Wisconsin, are supporters of a new endowed scholarship that will link graduates of Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Milwaukee and Ripon College, which will be called the The Franzen/Cristo Rey Endowed Scholarship. The full announcement can be accessed here

Thanks for the privilege of being your Class Agent and please take time to look for the blessings that come your way. Don’t hesitate to send me a class news update at any time. I always look forward to hearing from you!

BARB WILLIAMS CLAY ’83

(612) 749-5010 / [email protected]m

Your 1983 Class Agent