Update from Lois Van Leer ’78
After Ripon I went on to earn a Master’s of Divinity from Yale. I was ordained as a United Church of Christ minister in 1983 I served in campus ministry at Oregon State University and as a Youth Minister and then Associate Minister at a United Church of Christ church in Corvallis, Oregon over a period of 20 years. I then sought dual affiliation with the Unitarian Universalist Association and served a congregation in Bozeman, Montana for 7 years. I headed back to the Pacific Northwest and served a congregation outside of Seattle. In September of this year, I returned to Eugene, Oregon where I had done a ministry internship from 1981-1982, to serve the Unitarian Universalist Church in Eugene. The plan is to retire from this position in the coming years, having ended my ministry where it all began.
I have four artificial joints due to wear and tear on this old body. Consequently, I have traded in my past competitive sports days for hiking, kayaking, and pickle ball. Some of my best memories of Ripon are of being on the volleyball team for four years. Thank you Coach Elaine Coll. I also remember seeing the Northern Lights for the first time late one night as I was wandering around campus. I had no idea why the sky was moving! Thanks to the profound leadership of a faith that does justice demonstrated by the campus chaplains at the time, Jerry Thompson and Jack Freiheit, I found my way from “Phy Ed” major to being an Religion and English major.
My wife, Lori, and I were married the first day it was legal to be married in the state of Washington. Last year, our 32 year old son asked me to formally adopt him. So, we are now family! Lori and I are owned by a 9 pound mini-Aussie/Poodle mix.