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2008 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2008 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Ripon College
Class of 2008
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


(608) 432-2399 / [email protected]


(414) 312-3531 / [email protected] 


[email protected] 

Greetings Class of 2008!

We would like to begin this letter by sharing a heartfelt THANK YOU to everyone who helped make the One Day Rally a huge success. Our wonderful class donated $5,010 to a cause near and dear to our hearts. With 47 donors, the Class of 2008 was in the top five classes for number of donors. In total, #OneDayRally raised over $1.9 million from 2,015 donors. Because of your donations on April 29th, combined with generous giving throughout the year, the Class of 2008 is really helping to ensure future generations of Red Hawks receive the same quality, personalized education we experienced when we were on campus. Once again, thank you!

By the time you are reading this letter, the next class of first-year students will already have started classes at Ripon College. Fall will definitely look a little different around campus this year for students, faculty, and even us alumni. While events we love and look forward to might not be taking place in the same way, or even at all, this year, there are still ways to make sure you stay connected to the Ripon College community. 

  • If you are not receiving regular emails from the college, please make sure to update your email address on the R Connections page or contact one of the class officers. 
  • Frequently check out the Ripon News page on the college website, the Ripon College Class of 2008 Facebook group, or the official Ripon College Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all of the great things happening on campus. 
  • This would also be a great time to reach out to a classmate or other Ripon alum who you may not have talked to in a while. Reminisce about all of the great times had while we were students and make plans to get together virtually or in person in the future! 

           We look forward to being able to meet face to face again sometime soon at alumni events and activities on campus. Until then, please check out the updates submitted by your classmates since the last class letter. If you would like to submit updates to be included in future publications, please reach out to a Class Agent. Updates can include marriages, birth of a baby, adoptions, new jobs, starting a business, continuing education, moving, exciting accomplishment, getting together with fellow Ripon alum, and so on! Your classmates would love to know what you are up to! We look forward to hearing from you!

Class Updates:

ERIN RUTH MAGUIRE ’08 of Hot Springs Village, AR has taken a position as Hospice Clinical Social Worker at the LHC group, a leading nationwide home-based Healthcare provider.

PATTI MAZUR ’08 of Mesa, AZ moved to Arizona in May and is the Global Accounts Receivable Business Process & Technology Manager at ON Semiconductor in Phoenix, Arizona.

DANA MOORE KIBBEL’08 of Waupun, WI reports, “We welcomed Krew James into our family on December 27, 2019 after our most memorable Christmas as a family — spent in the hospital. After spending three weeks in the NICU in Madison, we brought Krew home and now we’re officially a family of five!”

TRISHA SHAFER MOORE ’08 of ­­Eau Claire, WI says, “We welcomed our second daughter, Ivy Louise, in March.”

COLETTE UNGER NAKIELSKI ’08 of Mount Vernon, IA and her family recently returned to the midwest after two years in Washington/Idaho. They now live in Mt. Vernon, IA where her husband, CHRIS NAKIELSKI ’06 is a music professor at Cornell College and Colette is an executive assistant for a software engineer. They have two children- Finnegan (3) and Evelyn (1).

Go Red Hawks!





A Note from the Office of Constituent Engagement:  Stay up-to-date with our latest news and information. Make sure that we have your most updated contact information including email and phone number by visiting ripon.edu/update-contact-info or emailing [email protected].

Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

Spotted: Lunch and Wine Tasting in California; GAR...
Submitted by: Jean Kirkpatrick Lederer
Healdsburg, CA

Spotted: Lunch and Wine Tasting in California; GARY ’72 and JEAN KIRKPATRICK LEDERER ’73, NITA JACKSON ’72

Jean Lederer
Class of 1973
Healdsburg, CA

GARY ’72 and Jean KIRKPATRICK LEDERER ’73 and NITA JACKSON ’72 enjoyed meeting up in Healdsburg, California, for lunch and wine tasting!

Submitted by: Jean Kirkpatrick Lederer

News Update from Carol Shay Hornung ’88
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Madison, 0

News Update from Carol Shay Hornung ’88

Carol Hornung
Class of 1988
Madison, 0

Madison Author Launches New LGBTQ Mystery Series

Slips of Yew: A Dez Duchiene Mystery, Book 1: When a conservative politician is murdered in liberal Madison, Wisconsin, Dez Duchiene investigates and risks losing the man he loves.

Madison, Wisconsin. February 14, 2021

The Story: Originally from Madison, Wisconsin, Dez Duchiene is a hospitality professional who dabbles in politics and moves to New York City where he marries architect Stevie Langford and lives happily until a detective knocks on his door, asking about the death of a prominent conservative politician.

Whitney Travers was a former boss and friend, and despite their differing political views, Dez feels compelled to figure out who killed him, despite his husband’s objections. Wisconsin is trying to pass a religious freedom bill that would curtail gay rights, and Stevie is uncomfortable every minute they stay after attending the funeral.  

Coming of age during the Act 10 protests that rocked the city in 2011, Dez feels like he’s in a familiar fight, one the liberals lost all those years ago. He walks a diplomatic line between the conservatives and liberals to collect information – but can he solve the mystery and save his marriage before it’s too late?

About the Book: Slips of Yew takes place primarily in Madison, touching on landmarks like the state Capitol, the Square, and the Vilas neighborhood. Dez recalls the Act 10 protests, including the palm tree debacle that opened so many people’s eyes to the manipulation used by certain media outlets. The first in a series, each book follows Dez and Stevie as they travel to different cities across the country – Nashville, Chicago, and even Winona, Minnesota.

Although LGBTQ characters are appearing more often in entertainment, they are still frequently relegated to sidekick status, comic relief, or tragic figures. Dez is a life-loving, energetic protagonist comfortable with who he is and who he loves. He defies stereotypes (Broadway musicals are just not his thing) and he’s a well-rounded, ordinary character who stumbles onto extraordinary situations.  

Slips of Yew: A Dez Duchiene Mystery, Book 1 can be ordered from your favorite local bookstore or through Amazon.com.

About the Author: Carol Shay Hornung (they/them) was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, claiming dual citizenship on both sides of the Cheddar Curtain. A Ripon College graduate, they hung a Pride flag on the Little White Schoolhouse (birthplace of the Republican Party) in 2015 when the Defense of Marriage Act was struck down. They are hard at work on the second Dez Duchiene novel, and past titles include Asperger Sunset and The Ghost of Heffron College, available from Amazon.com.

Author Quote: “While writing these books I discovered my own true voice – I grew up gender neutral, with attitudes and interests that aligned more masculine than feminine. Seeing the world through Dez’s eyes releases me from the constraints of gender and allows me to explore topics like equality, gender roles, and homophobia. Cognizant of misappropriation I had an old college friend act as my sensitivity reader and he seemed puzzled by the request – “just write it” was his primary advice. So. I did.”

Please consider printing a mention of Slips of Yew in an upcoming issue. The author would also be available for an interview. Thank you!

The book is available on Amazon at this link: https://www.amazon.com/Slips-Yew-Duchiene-Mystery-Book/dp/B08WJY84KX/

Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

1963 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Wayne Wolfgram
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1963 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Wayne Wolfgram
Class of 1963
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


313-550-5094 / [email protected]

Hi Classmates!

I hope you all are surviving and even thriving in these troubled times. I also hope that hearing from Ripon classmates brings back memories of much happier times. We were surely blessed compared to today’s students. 

No doubt there are graduates of Ripon’s chemistry program that are involved in developing a vaccine. We wish them God Speed!

Class Notes:

EDWARD L. “NED” CLAPP ’63 of Cockeysville, Maryland, died Aug. 24, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in history and was a member and officer of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. He taught in the northern Chicago suburbs for six years, then at his alma mater, Gilman School in Maryland, for almost 40 years, retiring in 2007. He taught ancient history, American history and world geography, and served as director of the summer school, assistant middle school head and dean of students. He enjoyed puns, gardening, reading, history, crossword puzzles, travel and listening to classical music.

VERNON CRONEN ’63 of Wilmington, North Carolina ([email protected]) writes, “Like most people, Myrna and I have been trying to lead virtual lives: Virtual dinners with our daughter’s family, virtual meetings with friends over virtual drinks, etc. Our cooking abilities have improved by necessity. I am trying to learn how to use new technologies for my hybrid classes next semester. My chairman and younger colleagues have been very helpful and tolerant. (Oh, right, all of my colleagues are younger colleagues — by much more than a decade.) I hope all you stay well.”

ARTHUR SCHARFF ’63 of St. Louis, Missouri ([email protected]) writes, 

“With all the experiences we have had in our lives (4,500+ Years – WOW), I encourage each of you to share some of your wisdom; Life lessons learned. You have it. Please share.  

We can set a new class letter standard for the 57 other graduating classes by sharing our truths, and our wisdom with a bit of humor thrown in. That adds learning and sharing to the usual name, rank, and serial number. 

If not now, when? If not you, whom?

Food for thought, gathered from members of my Presidents Councils: www.presidentscouncilstl.com

  1. Wise financial counsel for grandchildren entering the adult world: Live on 80% of your income, save 10% for a rainy day and invest 10% in retirement and never touch it until retirement.
    1. Required reading for children and grandchildren: Common Sense by John Bogle; As a Man Thinketh by James Allen; A Message to Garcia by Elbert Hubbard; The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clason.
  2. Talk less, smile more (find the mask on Amazon).
  3. Listen, observe and do not judge. If all else fails, give away Dunkin donuts. 
  4. COVID dilemma: Even when I didn’t know what I was doing, at least I had a plan. Now I don’t even have a plan.
  5. Everyone’s crystal ball is foggy.
  6. “Facilitating other people’s process is like being a midwife. When the baby is born, the mother will rightly say “we did it ourselves”’~ From The Tao of Leadership by John Heider.”

(Note:  The Winter 2019 issue of the Ripon Magazine included the article “What is the greatest life lesson you took away from your professors at Ripon College?” The article included answers from twenty alumni from various classes. In my request for input for the Spring 2021 letter, I will ask classmates their Life Lessons Learned Since Ripon. I look forward to your wisdom.)”

DAN SCHULTZ ’63 of Silver Spring, Maryland ([email protected]) writes,

“Peg and I just celebrated our 21st wedding anniversary on August 8 by having a happy hour pontoon ride on Lake Ripley, Wisconsin, where we are during the summer months, followed by champaign and steak tartar. We will remain here at our lovely lake until mid-September, then back to our Maryland home for the fall and then onto Florida for January-May. We are very lucky to have each other and have the places we do to hunker down during these crazy times and we and our family and core friends have all remained safe from the COVID virus.  

Golf is part of our life in each place and we enjoy our couple outings as much as we do playing with the gals and guys. I swim and bike, Peg walks and works out, we binge on t.v. programs, and have a picture puzzle going most of the time. We have virtually no social life other than Zoom gatherings. Our kids and grandchildren visits were all canceled here at the lake as well as in the spring in Florida so we have had each other and that’s about it. We are hoping for a regime change in November and a vaccine by the end of the year!

Three more years till our 60th reunion and the mortality tables say we all have a good chance of making it so see you then if not before!” 

LYNN SIEBEL SUNDELIUS ’63 of Kalispell, Montana ([email protected]) writes, “My traveling companion and I returned from a trip to New Zealand and Australia just as the pandemic was leaving S.E. Asia. I had to put down my old dog the month before we left and after two weeks home looking at the walls, I acquired my “COVID pup.” I question the wisdom of someone in our age bracket taking on a labrador puppy, but our forced proximity has made him one of the best-trained dogs on the lake. My weekly volunteer job with CASA has gone on without interruption, as the office is large and the staff is rotating days to accomplish effortless social distancing.” 

ROGER WHEELER ’63 of Southbury, Connecticut ([email protected]) writes, “I have been exercising by swimming at a lovely small lake in Bethlehem, Connecticut. I swim all over the lake. During the pandemic, I have gotten to know Zoom because I go to meetings that use it. It’s all right, but I miss seeing the actual people. Also, the Episcopal church I attend uses Facebook and films in the palace of Sunday services for people at home, and they plan to keep doing this for the entire year. I am so happy that Ripon College is starting its new year with regular in-school classes. So many colleges and universities are starting their school year online. I want to wish you all the very best and stay healthy.”   

WAYNE WOLFGRAM ’63 of Grosse Pointe, Michigan ([email protected]) writes, “Nancy and I Facetime daily with our two granddaughters (10 & 7) who live in Grand Rapids, MI. I’m biking every day (nothing strenuous) and trying to clear out boxes of “stuff” we’ve collected over the years. I’ve even found and discarded the pay stubs from my 1963-1965 army days!”

Stay safe and pray for a vaccine!


Submitted by: Wayne Wolfgram

In Memory of Sam Dougan ’48
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Tucson, AZ

In Memory of Sam Dougan ’48

Samuel Dougan
Class of 0
Tucson, AZ

Obituary for Samuel W. Dougan ’48

Born April 16, 1923 in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin. Son of Erwin and Nina (Andrews) Dougan. Died
January 21, 2021. Samuel has been a resident of Tucson since 1956. He is predeceased by his devoted wife, Christie (Yates) and first wife Jeanne (Daisy), as well as brother, H. D. High school completed in 1940, attended Ripon College 1 year, and then enlisted in the Army. He served his entire 4 years of World War II; participating in the invasion of N. Africa (Western Task Force-1942) and Sicily-1943. Sam accumulated 7 campaign stars: Algeria-French Morocco, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, South France, Rhineland and Central Europe, plus sharing in a unit citation. Sam returned to Ripon College, graduated in 1948 with an ROTC commission and was assigned to the 84th Airborne Infantry Reserve Division.

Sam’s family had a military heritage. His grandfather, also Samuel W. Dougan, was a wounded veteran, 5th Minnesota Infantry of the Civil War and a member of the “100 man” Company C, the reinforcements who rescued Ft. Ridgely during the Sioux Uprising. Great Uncle Charles Andrews, 29th Wisconsin Infantry died of wounds received at the Battle of Ft. Gibson, Mississippi-also Civil War. Brother H.D. did Army service in Burma. Great-great grandfather William Carskaden, 4th New York Infantry, fought during the Revolutionary War under General Mad Anthony Wayne.

Sam embarked on a teaching career earning an M.S. Degree at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1954. He enjoyed 34 years educating youth in grades 8-12, 27 years teaching at Amphitheater School District. He was recognized by the University of Arizona for leadership in their student teaching program, as well as a Cadre member of statewide instructional teachers-demonstration team. His community involvement included amateur (Corral) theatre, past president of Tucson Stamp Club, team bowling, and showing Scottish Terriers (including a Champion). A consummate philatelist, he volunteered at the Postal History Foundation, sponsored a school stamp club, exhibited at stamp shows, and authored magazine articles on Postal History. For many years Sam served on many committees and ushered at St. Philip’s in the Hills Church.

Christie and Sam enjoyed foreign travel, particularly to Europe and Canada. A physical fitness devotee he followed a regular schedule of workouts (25 years at El Conquistador CC) and daily walks with his late Scottie pal, Bailey.

Suggested contributions to Ripon College, 300 Seward St., Ripon, Wisconsin 54979-0248 or the Postal History Foundation at 920 N. 1st Ave., Tucson, AZ 85719

Wishing my former students, Colleagues and friends the very best!

Sam W. Dougan

Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

1964 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1964 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Pat Kohnen
Class of 1964
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1964 – Fall 2020 Class Letter

Pat Ostrom Kohnen ’64

925-201-7377 / [email protected]

Greetings to my ’64 Classmates,

I hope that you are doing well during this challenging time. Here at Stoneridge Creek in Pleasanton, California we are following protocols to wear masks, social distance, and wash our hands often. Our independent living population is 800 and there have been only two COVID-19 cases, and both residents have recovered. Today, our air quality is quite good, but we have been experiencing smoke from the many wildfires here in northern California. Stoneridge Creek has not been endangered by any of the fires. 

I have become a Zoom user. I host our Stoneridge Creek book club and chair the Creekview health and long-term care committee. Creekview is our living unit for assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing. I also attend Zoom exercise classes, and have had Zoom cocktail hours with other residents. If you would like to have a Zoom visit send me an email and I will set up a visit.

Ripon has The Center for Politics and The People (www.ripon.edu/cpp), and I have recently participated in two of their webinars. Our classmate, JAN WREDE ’64, moderated the Racial Justice in the Courts: South and North webinar last month which addressed very current issues for us all today. The other webinar honored the 100 year anniversary of women’s suffrage, The Right to Vote: Past, Present and Future, and discussed challenges that still exist for the voting process. I hope that all of you will exercise your right to vote. You can access both of these webinars by searching for Ripon College on YouTube where other recordings of events are also posted. 

Class Note: 

JAN WREDE ’64 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin shares, “OUTSPOKEN: The Olly Neal Story by Olly Neal as told to Jan Wrede was published June 1, 2020. It is available on Amazon. This is what has been said about the book: ‘Olly Neal’s autobiography provides a vivid and candid narrative of his lifelong commitment to the struggle for black freedom and equality. Neal’s story is not only instructive, valuable, and worthwhile in its own telling, but it is also an important addition to the far too few firsthand accounts of black lives in Arkansas. This book, like Neal, is a true state treasure.’ This book is especially timely in 2020. It is an easy read and those who are interested in diversity and racial equity might use this book to learn firsthand the struggles and successes of an inspiring, but little known black civil rights leader.” 


Students are on campus at Ripon and attending classes in person, but life on campus is not what we remember, especially due to COVID-19. However, the College is doing its best to ensure the health and safety of all, and you can learn more about their current precautions and campus restrictions here: www.ripon.edu/coronavirus-information

Ripon is still in need of our financial support. If you are financially stable, please join me in supporting Ripon. Three members of our class have contributed to the Emergency Assistance Fund this past fiscal year. Thank you!

I have enjoyed connecting with a few Ripon classmates on Facebook. I would also be pleased to hear from you via email, [email protected]. Please also consider sending me an update on how you are doing, or share news with me that can be included in our next Class Letter. 

Stay safe,


Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

1976 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1976 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Ripon College
Class of 1976
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

1976 – Fall 2020 Class Letter

Co-Class Agents:


[email protected]


[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

Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

2012 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2012 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Ripon College
Class of 2012
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2012 – Fall 2020 Class Letter


(608) 558-9073 / [email protected]


(920) 312-3825 / [email protected]


(406) 274-4708 / [email protected]

Greetings, Class of 2012!

It would be inappropriate to send out this letter without mentioning that we are living in a drastically different world than the last time we asked for your life updates. While this list reflects a small portion of our class this month, we sincerely hope that you all are safe and healthy. These are challenging times in a myriad of ways, and whether you’re a new parent, in between jobs, dealing with physical, mental and/or emotional difficulties, we miss you and wish you the best wherever you find yourself today. 

Here’s what we’re up to: 

KATHARINE SHADLE GAILS ’12 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin started fostering dogs with her husband, RYAN GAILS ’13, and she has started two new part-time jobs, including one with the Milwaukee County Zoo as an educator and one as a patient service representative at a dental office. 

BRY TUDOR GAWLIK ’12 and JUSTIN GAWLIK ’12 of Green Bay, Wisconsin just relocated and will both be working at UWGB (UW-Green Bay) athletics and UWGB (UW-Green Bay) police. They had a little girl, Emeri, in early July.

STACEY HAMILTON ’12 of Ithaca, New York has been an assistant director in the financial aid office at Cornell University for over two years. She lives with her husband, Clay, two dogs, Zena and Zeus, and way too many chickens to count.

KURT HARDY ’12 of South Bend, Indiana just began his MBA journey at the University of Notre Dame.

JESSICA BRUNGARDT LARSON ’12 of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and her husband, Drake,  are enjoying their almost 11-month-old, puppy dog, and three cats in their new house. They enjoy hikes in the mountains. She is still working as an Assistant County Attorney on child protection cases.

MEGAN MCGEE NORRIS ’12 of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and her husband, Adam, had a baby girl, Ashlyn, in April. Colton loves his little sister and they keep them busy. Megan is back working solo and enjoying the flexibility and the freedom to do what she loves.

ERIN SCHAICK ’12 of Concord, New Hampshire is chair of the Concord Young Professionals Network Steering Committee and ex-officio member of the Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

HEATHER GAIE SCHULTZ ’12 of Appleton, Wisconsin, and husband, Kory, will be welcoming their little girl, Kelsey, at the end of August.

KATLYN LEE SCHUMACHER ’12 of Monroe, Wisconsin, and her husband, Sam, welcomed their first child, Isaac, at the end of May. She will be starting her new position as a web merchandiser for Monroe & Main and Ashro, two apparel companies, in August.

MATTHEW SWITZLER ’12 of Madison, Wisconsin works at Epic and leads the Behavioral Health team and works on a suicide prevention initiative and lots of other stuff. He has started woodworking and his favorite species of wood is White Oak. 

BRYANT J. VANDE KOLK ’12 of Baltimore, Maryland is a Principal Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman.

VICKY “AUBREY” WEBER ’12 of Madison, Wisconsin is working in business operations/Salesforce administration for a health IT startup. They just got acquired by a larger company and she is excited to do a lot of the transitional work. This fall she will also be starting her third year as an adjunct instructor at Edgewood College teaching two sections of the basic Communication course. She recently returned from a camping/paddling trip to the Apostle Islands and now goes by her new middle name, Aubrey.

GAVIN ZIMMERMAN ’12 of Rock Springs, Wisconsin is the assistant chef for the Wisconsin Union at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Gavin and his wife, Briana, are staying busy with their 4-year-old.

Be sure to check out R Connections (http://www.ripon.edu/rconnections) – this is a great place to submit your story (news notes, alumni sightings, and career updates), check out your class page, find previous Class Letters, view classmate news notes, photos, and more. 

Stay Well!

Katlyn, Erin, and Brandon

A Note from the Office of Constituent Engagement:  Stay up-to-date with our latest news and information. Make sure that we have your most updated contact information including email and phone number by visiting ripon.edu/update-contact-info or emailing [email protected].

Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

In Memory of Barbara Kouba Hoffman ’60
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Vernon Hills, IL

In Memory of Barbara Kouba Hoffman ’60

Barbara Hoffman
Class of 1960
Vernon Hills, IL

A memoriam of Barbara Kouba Hoffman ’60 submitted by her daughter, Rebecca Hoffman.

There’s another star shining bright in the night sky tonight. I’m sad to say my mom, Barbara, passed away peacefully in her sleep on October 23rd in her assisted living apartment in Vernon Hills, Illinois. She did not suffer and she passed as she lived, peacefully. Some of you knew my mom well. She was very funny, very well-read, knowledgeable about the most specific things and she lived a full and interesting life as a violist, orchestral musician, a microbiologist and ultimately as a gemstone specialist who loved working in the Fine Jewelry Department at Marshall Field’s back when the store was a shopping wonderland.

A true ensemble player, Barbara was a longtime member of the University of Chicago Orchestra and the North Shore Chamber Orchestra and other classical music groups during her life. Though classical music was a defining involvement for her, she had many other involvements and friends from all walks of life. She even ran two Chicago marathons in the 1980’s! Barbara also was devoted to many Czech-American Cultural organizations as these kept her close to her heritage.  She loved The New Yorker, The New York Times Review of Books, reading dictionaries of different languages and she was even fluent in Pig Latin which was always interesting to hear her speak it fluently with other people who could join her in those conversations.

Barbara was a wonderful mom, a doting, irreverent grandmother to our kids, a sweet mother in-law and a loyal-beyond-loyal friend to her many friends from all walks of life.

She didn’t want a funeral so we’ll skip that. And we can’t have a Shiva thanks to Covid-19. So we’ll skip that, too and let this post become a virtual Shiva. If you feel like memorializing her listen to some classical music (Mahler’s symphonies, The Moldau, Bach’s Unaccompanied Suites for Cello, The Goldberg Variations, or anything soul-stirring and good), drink a vodka and tonic as it was her favorite cocktail, eat a bowl of ice cream or watch a very funny movie as she would have liked to do.

Memorial contributions can be made in her memory to the Illinois Holocaust Museum as she always maintained that we should never forget the millions who perished in the holocaust and she was a quiet, unwavering supporter of the museum.  You can make them here:  https://18161.blackbaudhosting.com/18161/Cards–Tributes

Thanks for reading about Barbara, we lost a good woman last week.  Anyone wishing to reach Barbara’s family can email her daughter Rebecca Hoffman, [email protected]  or phone her at 312-282-4254.

Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

2010 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2010 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Ripon College
Class of 2010
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2010 – Fall 2020 Class Letter


(931) 444 4466 / [email protected]


(715) 853 6104 / [email protected] 

Greetings Class of 2010,

What a change we have endured in the last six months. When we last wrote our spring Class Letter we were excited to know in only a few short months we would be united on campus, enjoying a drink on the Union lawn and in many of our favorite downtown Ripon spots. Almost a month after writing it we all saw the world change drastically. For some of us we are still in the same position as before except maybe working from home or acting as a teacher to your children. Unfortunately, we know there are those who have endured hardship with job loss or even health issues related to COVID-19. What should have been an exciting summer and an even more exciting reunion was cast into doubt and eventually pushed back to next year. We were given the option to join the Class of 2011 to celebrate both of our ten-year reunions together, and we think this is a great opportunity given the closeness of our two classes when we were students. Please save-the-date to celebrate our Tenth Reunion during the upcoming Alumni Weekend from June 22-27, 2021. We are hoping to see as many of you as possible!

Even with the hardships facing all of us today we have to remember to use what we learned through our classes and activities at Ripon College to propel us forward into the future. We saw this first hand through the generous giving of the Class of 2010. As a class we raised $5,801 for the Ripon Fund with 22% participation. This was a huge improvement from our previous reunion year in 2015. 

Something that is striking is the improvement from 2015 even with everything going on in the world. We supported the Ripon Fund to help Ripon with educating the students of tomorrow and also adapt to the current environment. We are very proud of what we have accomplished and hope to continue to make improvements year after year. Without support from alumni like us Ripon could face closure like many private liberal arts colleges in the last few years. 

With the fall weather quickly approaching we only have a few more weeks to soak up the summer sun. Get outside and enjoy the time you have with friends and family before another brutal midwest winter is upon us. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy through these challenging times. Cannot wait to see you next year at the Union!

Class notes:

JEFF DAVIS ’10 and GWENDOLYN CASEY DAVIS ’12 of Stoughton, Wisconsin welcomed their daughter, Beatrice Elspeth Davis, on April 23, 2020. Everyone is doing well and both Clyde and his sister Fionnoula are excited to be a big brother and sister.

TOMISSA PORATH FREISLEBEN ’10 and DAVE FREISLEBEN ’07 of Monona, Wisconsin welcomed their son, Henry, in July 2020. Their family is excited to one day tell their son that despite being born in July, he was born on the second season-opener of the Milwaukee Bucks season.

KATHERINE HARTSTERN ’10 of Quincy, Illinois is a resident physician at Blessing Hospital.

THERESA MAE KEDINGER ’10 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin writes, “Extended a third year with Peace Corps Costa Rica and will finish in June 2020.”

1LT BRUCE KUKOWSKI ’10 and JULIE KUKOWSKI ’08 live in Raeford, North Carolina. Bruce is currently training in the U.S. Army Special Operations Captain’s Career Course in the Civil Affairs Team Leader pipeline.

PHILIP MACK ’10 of Appleton, Wisconsin is a lecturer and PhD student at Marquette University (ABD).

JACOB MARSHALL ’10 of Ripon, Wisconsin welcomed baby Keller Marshall into the world on February 11th weighing 6lbs. 8oz. and 20-inches long. Keller joins big brother Woodson in the Marshall brood.

AXEL OWEN ’10 of Mount Laurel, New Jersey was the political director of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee from 2018 to 2019, and more recently became the organizing director in New Jersey for presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg. Axel and Amber Margentina celebrated their wedding on January 31, 2019. They have also welcomed a son, Oliver, to this world.

ANDREW PECK ’10 and JESSICA MANN PECK ’10 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin had a baby boy, Reed Xavier Peck, on December 28, 2019.

Our best regards,



Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

2019 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2019 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Ripon College
Class of 2019
Ripon, WI
Class Letter


(262) 365-9726 / [email protected]


(224) 688-3049 / [email protected]


(262) 408-3785 / [email protected] 


(715) 889-672 / [email protected] 

Class of 2019:

Over the past few months, we have learned to cope and adjust to the “new normal” due to challenges surrounding COVID-19. I think a lot of us didn’t anticipate that the pandemic would carry into fall of 2020. Adapting to a pandemic isn’t quite the same as realizing you forgot to submit a paper while making the “Walk of Shame” back to Johnson Hall from the Quads and scrambling to finish it before your Monday 8 a.m.; however, if there’s anything we’ve learned from our peers, professors, and experiences at Ripon College, it’s that we can handle whatever life throws at us.

We will continue to face adversity head on and strive to make the most of our current situations. Heck, it seemed like it rained every Springfest of our four years at Ripon, and we still made the most of that. Whether it be completing graduate work or beginning a new job, the Class of 2019 has the tools to accommodate and excel during these challenging times. As we continue to explore industry or dive deeper into academia, we will apply what we have learned at Ripon to succeed in this next chapter of our lives.

In addition to COVID-19, we continue to live in an ever-present social justice movement. The deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McClain, and countless more have reminded us that the fight for equality and equity among people of color continues to be an uphill battle. As founding father Benjamin Franklin stated, “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” 

Climate change continues to rapidly lead our planet to a point of no return, and disproportionately affects minorities far more than other groups. As young leaders, we have the power and the responsibility to shape the world into a more equitable and stable place for current and future generations. Contact your elected officials, join a movement group or protest, and most importantly, vote. 

The College came out with Reunite Ripon: Our Plan To Return To In-Person Learning late summer. Classes begin for students on August 17th and will end on November 24th. A thorough description of Ripon’s plan for a safe return to campus can be found at ripon.edu/news. Additionally, the Midwest Conference made the upsetting, but smart decision to suspend athletic competition for the rest of 2020. As many of us were student-athletes and super-fans, it is difficult to picture a fall semester at Ripon without football games at Ingalls Field, soccer games at Prairie Field, basketball and volleyball games at the Willmore Center, and so much more. 

We are wishing you all well and hope you are engaging in some form of self-care! Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally and socially is critical to your overall well-being. We want to see you all at Alumni Weekend on June 24-27, 2021. In order to make that happen, keep wearing your masks, social distancing, and refraining from the Tall Paul’s of your town. Listen to the doctors and the scientists. Remember, Red Hawks fly together. We will grow from these trying times and come out stronger and more united than ever before.


BECKY BAJT ’19 writes, “just got engaged to my adventure buddy, Drew! Frannie Cat, Drew, future Kitty, and I have also found a house together and will be moving in soon! Frannie misses the dorm life, especially when she could spy on people walking below her window!”

JAMES BALISTRERI ’19 writes, “There have been a lot of ups and downs since COVID-19 escalated. I was working as a stage manager in Door County, WI and had our show cancelled in the middle of our rehearsal process. After I prepped the show to be restaged, whenever it’s safe to gather again, I was laid off from the company. I took this opportunity to move out to Minneapolis and move in with my wonderful fiancé, SOPHIE WIDMAN ’18. While we, unfortunately, had to cancel a trip to see our wedding venue and see Sophie’s family in California, we’ve really loved getting to spend time together and make the best of the situation Since I’ve moved to Minneapolis I’ve been delivering groceries to those in need, planning our wedding, and waiting for the theatre industry to start making its way back. Here’s hoping things turn around soon!”

CARLY WESNER BOWMAN ’19 – “Just got married back in June! I started a new job as a website editor for a little shop up here in Fish Creek, WI!”

JACK CLOUGH ’19 is helping out with COVID-19 testing through the National Guard.

HAYLEE CONRADT ’19 will be a 5th grade teacher in the Kimberly Area School District.

CORAL EAKINS ’19 of Margate, Florida is a Flight Attendant for a major U.S. airline.

ERIC FELS ’19 of Reedsburg, Wisconsin is the Director of Operations at JustAGame Fieldhouse.

JUSTIN FILTER ’19 writes, “I moved to Lacey, WA in April 2020 where I am a platoon leader in the Army. My fiancé, SHELBI BUETTNER ’19, and I moved here with our dog and shortly after got another puppy! We are loving the state of Washington and all the scenery of the Pacific Northwest. My favorite part is seeing Mount Rainier every day on my way to work!”

LAUREN GOOD ’19 writes, “I have been working in the family roofing business and property management along with creating my own piano company called Everlasting Melodies.”

MELISSA MICALE HACKBARTH ’19 writes, “I got married to the love of my life on June 26th, 2020! We had to change our original big wedding plans due to COVID-19, but we were still able to have a magical, small ceremony with our family and bridal party!”

OLIVIA HECK ’19 writes, “I am headed into my second year of graduate school at Indiana University, pursuing my PhD in school psychology. COVID-19 has thrown a small wrench in my graduate experience, but I am constantly learning how to adapt and do the best I can despite the circumstances!” 

RACHEL HAWLEY ’19 writes, “I spent my summer working as an inpatient pharmacy technician at St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison, WI after my summer camp job was cancelled due to the pandemic. It ended up working out well because I was able to settle into my new condo and adopt a kitten, Pippa! I start my second year of pharmacy school this fall, which will be almost entirely online. Coming from someone who works and is pursuing her doctorate in healthcare, this virus is not going away anytime soon, even if a vaccine comes out by the end of the year. Please continue to wear a mask, we know it works to slow the spread. I hope you are all doing well. If you find yourself in Madison, I would love to do a socially-distanced meetup! Stay healthy!”

ELLEN HUGHES ’19 writes, “I worked an eight-month stint as an HR coordinator in Madison at InterVarsity. When that came to an end I made the decision that I would go back to school to pursue the licensure to become a high school social studies teacher. I’m currently planning a move to Oshkosh and will begin classes in the fall at UW Oshkosh!”

KATIE KING ’19 will be attending the University of Arizona to start pursuing her PhD in Biological Anthropology in the fall.

EMMA LEMKE ’19 is finishing up a Master’s degree in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies.

ROBERT ROSNER ’19 writes, “My first year in the UW-Madison Water Resources Management Master’s program went well and I really enjoyed all my classes and experiences. I also continued to work at the USGS Water Science Center in Middleton, WI during the school year and over the summer as a student hydrology intern. I continue to get great hydrology fieldwork that helps connect to my coursework and prepare me for a career in hydrology. This summer my graduate school cohort is working on our program’s practicum working on promoting flood resilience in the Coon Creek Watershed in southwestern Wisconsin. While some of the fieldwork had been limited by COVID-19, we were able to begin some fieldwork in the watershed in recent weeks and have been conducting interviews virtually. This fall we will detail our work in an interdisciplinary report and provide recommendations to better prevent and respond to flooding in the watershed. In my free time, I have enjoyed visiting my family in northern Wisconsin and spending time fishing with them.”

Our best to you,

Your Class of 2019 Class Agents,





Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement

2018 – Fall ’20 Class Letter
Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

2018 – Fall ’20 Class Letter

Ripon College
Class of 2018
Ripon, WI
Class Letter

Class Agents:


(763) 706-7473 / [email protected] 


(262) 497-7796 / [email protected]


(920) 539-2935 / [email protected]

Hello Class of 2018! 

We hope that this letter finds you well and that you are all remaining safe and healthy during this dynamic time. Needless to say, the world looks a whole lot different from our last update. For some of us, this may mean working remotely for the first time or coping with the prospect of finding a new career path. For others, working as an essential employee helping to battle the pandemic on the front lines. Regardless of how this pandemic has affected us each individually, we all have had to adapt to our “new normal.” While this letter may be shorter than others we know that everyone is doing their best to stay connected both publicly and privately.

If you’re looking for inspiration or to connect with fellow Ripon Alumni try attending alumni events! You can also visit R Connections online at www.ripon.edu/rconnections/ to stay up to date with all things Ripon College. Have a great start to your Fall/Winter, Class of 2018!

Class notes:

JAKE BAUS ’18 of Mount Calvary, WI is finishing his final year of clinical rotations in the doctor of physical therapy program at University of Wisconsin Madison.

LEAH BLAZKOVEC ’18 of Algoma, WI started occupational therapy school at University of Wisconsin Lacrosse and will graduate in December 2022.

CEANNA CAELWAERTS ’18 of Suamico, WI graduated in May with her master’s in social work from University of Wisconsin Madison. She has spent most of the summer enjoying time in Madison by working remotely, going for endlessly long walks, and safely spending time with loved ones. She will be moving to Green Bay, Wisconsin later this month to start work as an elementary school social worker.

HOLLY ERICKSON ’18 of Racine, WI recently completed U.S. Navy A School and started C School for her rate. She is hoping to be stationed on a ship in early fall.

LAUREN HINCE ’18 of Chicago, IL was furloughed from her job at Groupon and has been using this time to catch up on search for new job opportunities, discover new hobbies, and re-connect with people.

ELEANORE MUELLER ’18 of Port Washington, WI has been spending quarantine wedding planning and golfing with soon-to-be husband, ANDREW WOOD ’16.

SAMANTHA RAYGO ’18 of Milwaukee, WI is entering her third and final year of law school this fall and also got engaged this spring.

PATRICK “PATCH” HOFFMAN ’18 of Oconomowoc, WI is engaged to VERONICA DELISLE ’17.

REBECCA STENZ LINKE ’18 of Eland, WI is currently working as a senior underwriter for home improvement loans. She has also started building a financial advising business with her spouse and fellow alumnus, BRANT LINKE ’18.

Sending everyone our best,




Submitted by: Associate Director of Engagement