Ripon College Magazine Summer 2023

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New programs in exercise science, engineering $75 million Forever Ripon campaign launches President Folse Inaugurated SUMMER 2023 MAGAZINE Curriculum Innovation: Threshold to the

Summer 2023


Ripon Magazine (ISSN 1058-1855) is published twice annually by Ripon College.

Postage paid at Ripon, Wisconsin. Copyright © 2023 Ripon College

postmaster : Send address changes to Ripon Magazine, 300 W. Seward St., Ripon, WI 54971

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Editorial Assistants: Loren Boone, Ric Damm, Ian Stepleton ’98

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Photography: Ric Damm, Jim Koepnik

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Ripon College prepares students of diverse interests for lives of productive, socially responsible citizenship. Our liberal arts and sciences curriculum and residential campus create an intimate learning community in which students experience a richly personalized education.

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During campuswide celebrations in April, Victoria N. Folse was inaugurated as Ripon’s 14 th president and ground was broken on two major infrastructure projects: the Franzen Science Center and Hopp Stadium.



Ripon College launches the $75 million Forever Ripon capital campaign, the largest in school history. The campaign to expand access and improve impact is aimed to solidify Ripon’s place as a relevant and accessible institution for generations to come.


The growing nationwide interest in the field of exercise science, coupled with the success of Willmore Center, Ripon’s health and wellness facility, has led to the development of Ripon’s first graduate-level program. The master’s degree in exercise science program will launch in 2024.


Representing stellar accomplishments in the fields of science, medicine, business and education, Ripon’s Commencement honorees urge new graduates to impact the world through strategic thinking.



Professor of Psychology Joe Hatcher retired at the end of the spring semester. As a self-described “natural psychologist,” he plans to stay active in several retirement interests.


32 Sports

34 Around the Clocktower

36 In Memoriam

45 Remarkable Ripon

ON THE COVER: In the Department of Exercise Science, Bailey Mollen ’24 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, left, and Brittany Followay, assistant professor of exercise science and graduate program director, measure body composition with Vanessa Solano ’25 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, inside the BodPod.

LEFT: Jake Gahart ’13 spoke about careers in sports/facilities management March 27 in Great Hall. Gahart was the facilities manager at Arizona State University. The talk was co-sponsored by Phi Epsilon Kappa, the exercise science honor society, and the Ripon College Center for Career and Professional Development. Gahart was inducted into Ripon’s Athletic Hall of Fame at Alumni Weekend in June; and on July 31, he returned home to Ripon College as the new director of development in the Office of Advancement. Photo by Ethan Hansen ’23


Bold steps toward the future

This is an exciting time for Ripon College. The campus is buzzing with excitement as students, faculty and staff return and prepare for the start of a new academic year. We continue to celebrate the early success of the Forever Ripon comprehensive campaign and our evolving strategic plans for the future.

As I highlighted in my inauguration address in April, Ripon’s future is bright. In this issue, you will read about

While we celebrate all that we have accomplished, now is an ideal time to rethink our priorities and implement strategies to achieve all that is possible.

The College is taking bold steps to solidify our future and facilitate growth while also maintaining Ripon’s traditions and continuing to deliver the valuable liberal arts education that is the hallmark of our institution. I look forward to sharing more about our strategic framework in the next issue, outlining a path for continued success.

Finally, I’d like to thank the Ripon College community, including faculty, staff, students and alumni, for your unparalleled support during this exciting time.


our plans to launch Ripon’s undergraduate engineering program and our innovative new Master of Exercise Science program with profiles of alumni already working in advanced fields in exercise science. We also will update you on our Forever Ripon campaign with news about our exciting infrastructure projects.

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The College is taking bold steps to solidify our future and facilitate growth while also maintaining Ripon’s traditions.

Ripon College launching engineering program



OPENING of the Franzen Science Center in 2024, Ripon College is launching its first Bachelor of Science in engineering program. This curricular addition comes after the recent announcement of two new campus infrastructure projects: the Science Center and Hopp Stadium.

“Ripon College isn’t just growing campus spaces,” said John Sisko, Ripon College vice president and dean of faculty. “We are making curricular expansions to meet the educational needs of current and future STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) students. The physical needs of the engineering program as well as state-of-the-art facilities for all of our science programs were integral considerations throughout the entire design process for the new building.”

The new major will provide a strong technical engineering foundation while continuing to deliver valuable liberal arts skills through the Catalyst curriculum. Students can major or minor in another field for diversification; engage in varsity sports, theatre and music ensembles, student activities and Ripon’s Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR); and still graduate in four years.

The College also is establishing an Engineering Advisory Board, comprising regional industry partners. This advisory board will help optimize Ripon’s engineering program to best suit the technical needs of the region, offer internships and co-op programs to students and ultimately help create a path to employment for graduates.

“There is a need in the region for greater career development pathways that involve science and technology,” says Associate Professor of Physics Christina Othon. “There are many manufacturing organizations in Wisconsin that need a talented and creative pool of workers to draw from.”

She says STEM education has become increasingly important. “Technology has transformed everybody’s lives and will continue to have tremendous impact well into the future,” she says. “There is an appreciation that is being driven by the pace of technology. On the national level, we need a workforce that is able to keep up with those new innovations.”

STEM education and understanding STEM’s potential, along with skills learned in Ripon’s core liberal arts curriculum, will position Ripon students to be team leaders and developers of new technologies and innovations in their careers, she says.

“We don’t want to be left behind by other countries. These days, having a highly skilled workforce means having people who can harness and responsibly develop new technologies,” Othon says.

The engineering degree is designed to meet

“There are many manufacturing organizations in Wisconsin that need a talented and creative pool of workers to draw from.”

the requirements of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). The program will become eligible for ABET accreditation after the first students have graduated from the program. Ripon College will begin accepting students to the engineering program with a fall 2024 start date.

“Ensuring the success of our students as well as the institution is paramount,” says President Victoria N. Folse. “We will continue to evaluate and adapt our curriculum to meet the needs of the region and the changing landscape of higher education, and embrace innovation in all fields. Engineers with a strong liberal arts and sciences foundation will be prepared to serve in leadership roles in the region. Launching our undergraduate engineering program is one way to achieve this goal.”

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top Brett Barwick, associate professor of physics, works with Lydia Wiley Deal ’22, left, and Garrett Radtke ’22 to align an ultrafast laser beam to produce a very intense laser focus for use in experiments.

College archives yields envisioned master plan from the 1930s

Imagine, for a moment, a different Ripon College. Tri-Dorms has not three but five wings, including two dormitory buildings just north of its outer wings.

Harwood Memorial Union was never built. In its place? A Shakespeare garden, bordered by a Commons on its north edge and a women’s dormitory on the east. An educational building rests at the southeast corner of the campus space, but it’s not Farr Hall. Little about this alternate universe Ripon College is recognizable, except for the stalwart East, Smith and West halls, as well as Bartlett Hall and a smaller Lane Library. And Abe Lincoln, of course.

It’s not a Twilight Zone version of the College, but the Tallmadge Plan. And no human eyes had seen it in decades until Livi Robinson ’24 of Apple Valley, Minnesota, rediscovered it during the summer of 2022 as part of the Summer Opportunities for Advanced Research (SOAR) program.

“I was researching the change in vocational and liberal arts studies during the Great Depression in the College archives,” Robinson says. “Professor of History Brian Bockelman, my mentor, really wanted me to find this plan. He’d heard about it in Board of Trustees minutes from the 1930s and 1940s and really wanted to find it somewhere. The document had been missing for a really, really long time and

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above Livi Robinson ’24 and the original Tallmadge Plan.

no one knew where it was. He was like, ‘If you can find it, it would be really cool.’”

The Tallmadge Plan was addressed in “Ripon College: A History,” by the late Robert Ashley, professor emeritus of English, and the late George H. Miller, professor emeritus of history, published in 1990. In the 1930s, Ripon College commissioned famed Prairie School architect from Chicago Thomas Tallmadge to help usher in a new era of Ripon College by creating a vision for how the College should grow its physical footprint.

He “was brought in (to) basically create a plan of what Ripon College should look like,” Robinson says.

The College was at a crossroads, she explains. In the wake of The Great War, Ripon College hosted a strong ROTC program, though it had begun to dwindle by the time the Depression arrived. Meanwhile, students had been pushed into off-campus living, dampening the Ripon College experience.

The Tallmadge Plan was meant to address these concerns. It’s a vital piece of Ripon College history, but no one knew where it had gone.

For nearly two months, Robinson painstakingly searched through the College archives, one document at a time. It was interesting but mind-numbing work.

“I didn’t know what I was looking for,” she said, explaining that no one even knew what this plan looked like. “(Trustees in the minutes) just always referenced it as ‘Tallmadge’ or ‘The Tallmadge Plan.’”

Seven weeks went by with no progress. Robinson began to wonder if she’d ever find it. “I didn’t even know if the plan was there, or someone took it, or if it was destroyed,” she says.

Then Robinson decided to check the Lincoln Statue folder, knowing that it was installed during the presidency of Silas Evans, just as the Tallmadge Plan had been created.

“And there it was!” she said. “... I was ecstatic. I was looking at it and saw that it was the actual plan, and then I got the archivist, Andy (Prellwitz), to make sure it was the actual thing. I was so happy. That made my whole week!”

Though the Tallmadge Plan was never truly realized, it was enacted in spirit. Ripon College became a residential college with a vibrant student life within its borders. In a sense, it was the moment the modern Ripon College experience was born. That’s not to say that the Tallmadge Plan was forgotten entirely. While the Shakespeare Garden never came to be, the Harwood Memorial Union that replaced it was created in harmony with the Tallmadge Plan.

According to a document filed with the United State Department of the Interior and the National Park Service, when Ripon College property was nominated for the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, Harwood is described as a space “built to harmonize with the college’s master plan prepared by noted architect Thomas Tallmadge in 1938. …”

A vision for Ripon College

FAMED PRAIRIE SCHOOL ARCHITECT Thomas Eddy Tallmadge was born in 1876 in Washington, D.C., and raised in Evanston, Illinois.

He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, then the preeminent school of architecture in the country, in 1898, then returned for a career in the Chicago area. He won a Falkenau Traveling Scholarship in 1904 from the Chicago Architectural Club which enabled him to travel through Europe sketching architectural scenes.

After returning to Chicago, he opened his own practice, Tallmadge and Watson, with a partner. They built houses in the Prairie Style and designed more than 30 churches, some commercial buildings and the Colonial Village at the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago in 1930.

Tallmadge taught architecture from 1906-1926 at the Armour Institute of Technology (later the Illinois Institute of Technology); lectured at the School of the Art Institute; wrote three books; and is credited with coining the term “Chicago School” (of architecture) to describe the work of early 20th century progressive architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and his contemporaries.

He also was involved in early community planning as the director of the Regional Planning Association. This planning experience is manifested in the master plan he created for the Ripon College campus in 1938. The plan envisioned new classically inspired dormitories, classroom buildings and other facilities in a harmonious, landscaped campus.

The most immediate campus need was dormitory space, so the Georgian Revival Tri-Dorms were constructed in 1938. It would be the only building completed before Tallmadge’s death in 1940, and the only one on campus constructed from specific plans drawn by Tallmadge.

The Tri-Dorms originally housed male students and fraternities. After World War II, the building was converted into first-year women’s housing, and the building was renovated in 1988. Although Tallmadge’s plan was never fully implemented, his vision influenced much of the subsequent expansion on campus, including Harwood Memorial Union.

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Dedication of Ingram Hall

an earlier science building

December 18, 1900

2:27 p.m.

Based on historical documents, College Archivist Andrew Prellwitz presents a narrative nonfiction account of the dedication in 1900 of Ingram Hall, an earlier science building on the Ripon College campus.

Professor Charles Dwight Marsh rushed out of Middle College. The dedication ceremony for the new Ingram Science Hall was scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. Snow had recently fallen on campus and the red vitrified brick building to the south of East College stood gloriously in contrast to the original cream-colored exteriors of East, Middle and West. An even greater contrast was that between Ingram and the white clapboard building to the west, which served as the College’s chemistry laboratory. The building, called the Observatory, had been erected in 1877, just six years before Marsh had arrived on campus in 1883. In addition to serving as space for chemistry, the College had purchased a transit telescope and a chronograph from the Mitchell Observatory in Cincinnati and needed a location for these scientific instruments. There was no biological laboratory or even a biology professor on campus until Marsh.

Marsh walked quickly between East and the new science building on his way to the Congregational Church. He pulled open the

door and hurried in to find a seat in a pew near the back next to his colleague, Professor Charles Chandler. Just as he was seated, the Rev. Pinch rose to give the invocation. In the front row of the church, nine men in dark suits and with white hair lowered their heads – the Trustees. Marsh, as the current dean of the College, was well-acquainted with all of them: Samuel M. Pedrick, Albert G. Farr, William H. Hatten, the Rev. Samuel T. Kidder, Orville J. Clark, George Field, Dr. Storrs Hall, D.D. Sutherland and at the far right, Orrin Henry Ingram.

Ingram, with his full beard and broad shoulders, looked like he had spent his youth wrestling the pines of Wisconsin’s north woods. By the age of 27, Ingram had started his own saw mill in the Chippewa Valley and soon became president of several lumber companies. At the conclusion of the prayer, Ingram smiled at the Reverend and walked up the four steps to the lectern. “Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. A few years ago while President Rufus Flagg was spending a few weeks of summer vacation with me at my home in Rice Lake, he expressed his aspirations for creating something great for science at Ripon College. He along with the


esteemed science faculty — Marsh, Chandler and Clarissa Tucker Tracy – were very convincing in the necessity of a modern science building at Ripon College. And while I have provided funds for about half of the costs of construction, it has been a joy to see the community come together to support this collective dream.

“However … it has come to my attention that there is still a debt of $2,695.52 left on the accounts for the building. I will pay half of this debt if the other half is raised by my fellow Trustees.” A loud murmur fell over the assembled crowd. Hands from the first row were raised. Pledges from the other Trustees were announced and within two minutes the money to settle the debt was raised. The crowd applauded loudly. Then in a surprise, Ingram announced, “Thank you gentlemen! However, I will pay the remaining debt in full if the pledges you just made are dedicated to the equipment fund!” And again, the crowd applauded, this time thunderously. As the clapping subsided, Ingram continued. “Thank you! Thank you! It is now my honor to present these keys to the new science hall to President Flagg.” The audience clapped loudly and President Flagg walked up the steps to take the keys and to shake hands with Ingram. They took their seats next to the other Trustees and Flagg.

Marsh had been hired to teach both chemistry and biology and worked alongside Chandler, who relinquished his duties in chemistry to focus on physics. Although the College had been reorganized only since 1863, he was the 12th professor in 20 years to teach either chemistry, physics or astronomy. Most of his predecessors left after a year or two. Only Tracy, who specialized in local botany, had

outlasted them all and was still teaching. Upon arriving at Ripon, Marsh worked to quickly define the various sciences as they would be taught and added these descriptions to the catalog. The focus of biology in the early years was zoology.

Laboratory work in those early days was somewhat rudimentary. It took some convincing of President Edward H. Merrell to allow Marsh some room in Middle College for the College’s first biology laboratory. The space eventually was outfitted with compound microscopes including a large Thoma microtome used for slicing specimens for examination. The laboratories in the new science hall would be a huge advancement from those early days. The biology department would be on the first floor, with chemistry and physics sharing the second. The third floor would house laboratories for all three disciplines. Marsh’s office also would be on the first floor along with the library and museum. Both the library and scientific collections had grown in recent years. Marsh had used his connections with the Wisconsin Geological and Natural History Survey to acquire a set of Wisconsin minerals and fossils. Tracy constantly added many species of local plants to the herbarium. Her work, along with the 1,300 specimens donated from the collection of Jeremiah Wolcott, made for an enviable collection.

Chandler, seated to Marsh’s left, shifted his weight and accidentally nudged Marsh. Marsh awoke from his thoughts.

The afternoon’s festivities concluded with a speech by the guest of honor, Prof. John M. Coulter. Coulter was currently a professor of botany at the University of Chicago but he also had served as president of Lake Forest College and Indiana University and taught previously at Hanover College and Wabash College.

“Colleges, until recently, were steeped in medieval precedent, and have clung with wonderful tenacity to primitive conceptions of culture. Their regeneration began with the introduction of the laboratory method and the recognition of individualism, and as a consequence they have become the centers of intellectual freedom. The mission of a college seems to be more a crusade against superstition than against ignorance. …”

“‘Medieval and primitive is right!” Marsh thought to himself. When Marsh arrived in 1883, President Merrell was on the warpath with the Rev. Stephen Newman. Newman was the pastor of the Congregational Church but was also a man of science. He was also on the Ripon faculty as a professor of mathematics and astronomy. As the story goes,

Newman had planned to teach a class on natural history, which would have included a discussion of Darwin, but Merrell didn’t allow it. This and other antagonistic views with Merrell led Newman to resign from the College. He kept his position at the Congregational Church for a short time but eventually left Ripon in 1885 to become president of Howard University in Washington, D.C. Marsh must have kept his views on Darwin to himself until Merrell resigned in 1891.

After nearly 45 minutes of speaking, Coulter was finally wrapping up.

“The value of the university is not in proportion to the bigness but to its inspiration. The Good Spirit cares not for the size of the buildings or the length of its list of professors and students. It asks only, in the words of the reformer Hutten, if ‘Die Luft der Freiheit weht? —whether the winds of freedom are blowing.”

Coulter nodded his head gracefully as polite applause erupted from the audience. He walked over to the empty seat next to President Flagg and sat down. Flagg returned to the stage to announce that the audience was welcome to tour Ingram Hall at a reception that evening.

Ingram Hall served as Ripon College’s science building and later as a classroom building until 1969 when it was demolished. C. Dwight Marsh left Ripon College in 1903 to finish his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago. He went on to a successful career with the United States Department of Agriculture and became an expert in poisonous plants of the American West.

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Charles Dwight Marsh Orrin Henry Ingram

A HISTORIC WEEK: Victoria N. Folse installed as 14th president, ground broken on major infrastructure projects

Victoria N. Folse has been inaugurated as Ripon College’s 14th president and the first woman to be formally installed as president in the College’s 172-year history.

The day before the April 22 ceremony, the College broke ground on two major infrastructure projects: the Franzen Science Center and Hopp Stadium.

In her inauguration address, Folse outlined institutional fundraising goals as well as introduced a comprehensive and inclusive strategic planning process. “While we celebrate all that we have accomplished, it is an ideal time to rethink our priorities and implement strategies to achieve all that is possible,” Folse said. “It is through an appreciation of the College’s history that the importance of this moment in time is best understood.

“This ceremony is about much more than welcoming me as the new president. It is an opportunity for our community to reaffirm the foundational values that shaped this institution and continue to guide us into the future.”

More than 400 guests attended the ceremony, including representatives of colleges and universities from around the nation, state and local dignitaries, members of the Ripon College Board of Trustees, faculty, staff, alumni and students.

Speakers included David Joyce, Ripon College’s 12th president, who also

presented the invocation; Sara Rodriguez, lieutenant governor of the State of Wisconsin; Theodore Grant, mayor of the City of Ripon; and Eric Fulcomer, president of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Folse also reaffirmed her commitment to the liberal arts education that Ripon offers. “The liberal arts guided all phases of my career and supported me as a lifelong learner, a committed community member and servant leader and a strategic thinker and calculated risk-taker,” Folse said. “I believe Ripon College will continue to be successful in preparing graduates for their first career and the many careers and personal and professional interests that follow.”

The groundbreaking ceremonies on April 21 officially launched the projects for an expanded and renovated science center and the school’s first on-campus stadium.

The new science center facility will be named the Franzen Science Center in honor of benefactors Mark J. Franzen ’83, secretary of the Ripon College Board of Trustees, and Janice Heinz Franzen ’83. The Franzens’ comprehensive campaign commitment to the science center, campus stadium, residence halls and endowment, is the largest cash commitment in Ripon College’s history. A fall 2024 opening is projected for the Franzen Science Center.

“We are delighted to support the College as it builds and expands for the future,” the Franzens said. “Ripon has a long tradition of academic excellence in the sciences. Our hope is that this comprehensive renovation enhances this tradition and enables


current and future STEM students to learn, innovate and create.”

The new on-campus athletics stadium will be named Hopp Stadium in honor of a leadership commitment from benefactor Steven J. Hopp ’83, a member of the Ripon College Board of Trustees. The 157,000-square-foot facility will be Ripon’s first on-campus stadium and is designed to support Ripon’s continued athletic excellence and enhance the overall student experience. Hopp Stadium will open in the fall of 2023.

Hopp said, “The skill sets and relationships that I developed as a Ripon College student-athlete have greatly impacted my adult and professional life. My wife, Meg, and I are grateful to be in a position to show our gratitude in support of a project that will continue the legacy of excellence associated with Ripon College athletics while enhancing the overall student experience. I have no doubt that witnessing the first game at Hopp Stadium will be a humbling and profound experience.”

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The inauguration ceremony of Victoria N. Folse
“This ceremony is about much more than welcoming me as the new president. It is an opportunity for our community to reaffirm the foundational values that shaped this institution and continue to guide us into the future.”
Sara Rodriguez, lieutenant governor of the State of Wisconsin, formally welcomed Victoria N. Folse.

Faculty and staff were well-represented with the original composition, “Enduring,” performed by the Dietrich family and Assistant Professor of Music Tobin Shucha. Pictured at left, from left to right, are Professor Emeritus of Music Kurt Dietrich, trombone; his daughter-in-law, Adjunct Professor of Music Jessica Jensen, trumpet; his son, Adjunct Instructor of Music Paul Dietrich, trumpet, the composer of the piece; and Shucha on euphonium, shown from behind. Also performing with the ensemble, but not pictured, were Erik Dietrich, bass, Ripon’s manager of media and end user services; and former Adjunct Instructor of Music Maria Dietrich, piano.

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Oleg Lozytskyi, son-in-law of President Victoria N. Folse, is a staff sergeant in the United States Air Force and participated in the Color Guard for the inauguration ceremony. David Joyce, Ripon College’s 12th president, returned to present the invocation and welcoming remarks. Thomas Abendroth ’81, left, chairman of the Board of Trustees, and Mark J. Franzen ’83, a Trustee, congratulated President Victoria N. Folse on her inauguration.




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1 Sarah Franzen, left, and her parents, benefactors Janice Heinz Franzen ’83, center, and Mark J. Franzen ’83, make a ceremonial dig at the Franzen Science Center ceremony. 2 Lifetime Trustee Dena Willmore ’67, benefactress of Willmore Center, celebrates the groundbreaking for the newest athletics facility. 3 Rally the Red Hawk grooves with Rally Band. 4 Benefactors Janice Heinz Franzen ’83, left, and Mark J. Franzen ’83 speak at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Franzen Science Center. 5 Tom Boldt, CEO of Boldt Co., the general contractor for the Franzen Science Center project, chats with President Victoria N. Folse. Dante Houston ’01 watches the groundbreaking ceremony for the Franzen Science Center. Supporters at the Hopp Stadium groundbreaking included Elaine Coll, associate professor emerita of physical education and former coach.
Hopp Stadium benefactors Margaret Hopp, left, and Steve Hopp ’83 join President Victoria N. Folse for a ceremonial groundbreaking for the stadium.

Forever Ripon: 75 for 175


The Forever Ripon campaign, a $75 million effort to expand access through student affordability and innovative programs, enhance our facilities and strengthen the Ripon Fund, was publically launched in April at the inauguration of Victoria N. Folse as the 14th president of Ripon College. Forever Ripon is the largest philanthropic and engagement initiative in Ripon’s history.

During the quiet phase of the campaign, which began July 1, 2020, the College secured more than $52 million in commitments toward its overall goal. Every Ripon College

Trustee has made a gift to the campaign, and 40% of alumni have either made a financial commitment since the campaign began or volunteered in some capacity.

“The early success and energy of the silent leadership phase brings credibility to the campaign priorities and signals that Ripon’s philanthropic culture is strong,” says Tom Abendroth ’81, chair of the Board of Trustees.

“The Forever Ripon campaign is and will be a foundational element in solidifying Ripon’s place as a relevant and accessible institution for generations to come.”

The April announcement generated significant interest and energy. More than $9 million of support was pledged between the public launch and the end of Ripon’s fiscal year June 30.

Overall, Ripon College celebrated its second largest fundraising year ever in fiscal year 2023 with almost $19 million in new gifts and commitments. This contributed to Forever Ripon reaching more than $61 million — 82% of its $75 million goal — by the end of the fiscal year with two years still remaining in the campaign.


The campaign has three priorities:

ENDOWMENT GROWTH to expand access to an affordable education through endowed scholarships, retention scholarships and research opportunities. Through donor-funded scholarships and financial aid, Ripon is able to meet students’ financial needs and reduce or remove financial barriers to accessing a Ripon education

Ripon offers financial assistance to every student at levels that have met the merit based and financial needs for many families - solidifying our commitment to providing an accessible education to students who have the potential to enhance our legacy of academic excellence. Like many other private colleges, Ripon has many more applicants today who need financial help than there were just a generation ago. An bolstered endowment will fund increased student access to financial assistance.

An enhanced endowment also will continue to position Ripon as a leader and driver of liberal arts innovation through endowed faculty support and development, curriculum development, experiential and hands-on programming for students and endowed support for diversity and inclusion.

This priority has reached 74% of its goal.

FACILITY ENHANCEMENT. While Ripon takes great pride in its students, alumni, faculty and overall community, its spaces do not always reflect the academic pursuits taking

place. Willmore Center is a shining example of how a facility can bolster the quality of life and attractiveness Ripon presents to potential students and others.

Strategic investments in Ripon’s facilities in Forever Ripon include the renovated and expanded Franzen Science Center, scheduled to open in the fall of 2024; the new Hopp Stadium, scheduled to open in the fall of 2023; and fresh amenities and upgrades to the residence halls, including new furniture and collaboration spaces.

Through these investments, students, faculty and staff will have a better environment for learning, teaching, interacting and living — strengthening the Ripon quality of life and academics and creating an even more welcoming atmosphere for all who visit the campus.

This priority has reached 86% of its goal.

RIPON FUND. This is a consistent foundation in the rich philanthropic culture at Ripon College. The Ripon Fund provides crucial flexibility to the College’s budget, enabling leadership to sustain operations and respond to the highest and most immediate financial needs on campus.

The ongoing support of our day-to-day work is essential to ensuring the quality and level of scholarship while maintaining investment in the most important facet of Ripon, its people. This priority has reached 71% of its goal.

In many ways, the success of the Forever Ripon campaign will secure the institution’s future and growth amid a challenging time in higher education. With two years remaining in the Forever Ripon campaign, we are positioned well to meet and hopefully exceed the campaign goal, thanks to the thousands of donors who have stepped up for the campus community. We are continually humbled and inspired by the consistent generosity of our alumni and friends.”

Karsten says Forever Ripon also is an investment in engaging all alumni and friends with the College in meaningful and tangible ways regardless of their financial capacity. “Enhancing our overall engagement and interaction through events, volunteerism and communications will strengthen our connections, immediately benefit the campus community and ensure that future generations of Ripon students have access to a global base of passionate College constituents.”

President Victoria N. Folse adds, “Since the early days of my candidacy, I’ve been in awe of the profound generosity that Ripon College receives from alumni and friends. It’s been an honor to play a role in the leadership phase of this campaign, and I look forward to pursuing the $75 million goal prior to the 175th anniversary of Ripon College in 2026.”

Forever Ripon is projected to reach its goal by June 30, 2025. For more information on the full campaign, visit For giving opportunities, contact Karsten at or 920-748-8126.

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left Hopp Stadium under construction.

First graduate-level program will open at Ripon in 2024

With the intensifying degree of interest in exercise science across the country, Ripon is taking its offerings to the next level. A master’s degree program in exercise science has been approved for Ripon College by the Higher Learning Commission.

The program will be open to Ripon College students, high school seniors, and anyone outside of Ripon College who wish to enroll in the master’s program.

“We will begin offering courses for the 15-month graduate program in the summer of 2024,” says John Sisko, vice president and dean of faculty. “The interest in a master’s degree in exercise science has been growing at Ripon. Majors in our Department of Exercise Science are among the most popular on campus.”

Sisko adds that employment projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest potential careers connected with a master’s degree in exercise science growing by 10.8% by 2029 compared to the national average for all other fields of 3.7% for the same period.

“Students have been really excited about it. They like the idea of staying where they know the faculty, they like the community and can complete the degree in a short timeframe.”

“The interest also has been growing at Ripon,” he says. “Majors in our Department of Exercise Science are among the most popular on campus.”

“With Ripon’s strengths — Willmore Center, strong undergraduate interest in exercise majors and growing interest among exercise students in pursuing graduate work after the undergraduate degree — graduate programming in exercise science stands out as a clear area for growth,” Sisko says.

In a recent survey sent to Ripon College students with declared majors in exercise science, business management and psychology, about half of the respondents indicated they were likely or very likely to pursue a graduate program at Ripon.

Ripon’s program will offer three specializations: exercise physiology, for those interested in working with athletes and clinical populations; sport psychology, focusing on the psychological needs of athletes; and sport management, for those interested in sports marketing and sales or becoming athletic directors.

Sisko says regional academic competitors overlap only portions of Ripon’s proposed programs but most lack the facilities, real-world experiential opportunities, or faculty expertise to sustainably support graduate students in the field of exercise science.

A 4+1 program will allow Ripon College students to begin taking the graduate-level courses in their senior year as an undergraduate and complete the master’s degree in just one additional year after receiving their bachelor’s degree.

High school seniors also can enroll in the master’s program when they apply for their undergraduate degree. Through Ripon’s direct-entry program, they also will be accepted directly into the master’s program. Students outside of Ripon and those who did not participate in the 4+1 program will be able to enroll in a traditional master’s program spanning 15 months.

Students in the program will be able to live on campus, but this will not be a requirement.

“With Ripon’s strengths — Willmore Center, strong undergraduate interest in exercise majors and growing interest among exercise students in pursuing graduate work after the undergraduate degree — graduate programming in exercise science stands out as a clear area for growth,” Sisko says.

Sisko, Brittany Followay, chair of the Department of Exercise Science, and Michele Wittler, associate dean of faculty, spearheaded the development of the project.

“Students have been really excited about it,” says Followay, who holds a Master of Science and a doctorate in exercise physiology. “They like the idea of staying where they know the faculty, they like the community and can complete the degree in a short timeframe. We will begin offering classes to current students next fall and spring in the 2023-24 academic year. Twenty-six students already are enrolled in those courses as an undergraduate. We hope to retain as many of those students as possible in the graduate program.”

To be responsive to the growing need in the department, Ripon will be adding new faculty members who have an expertise in each of the three specialty areas. Students will be able to learn directly from instructors with real-world experience in each area. There also will be new offices and new lab spaces in Willmore Center to promote student research, hands-on lab spaces and new equipment to support the program.

“Ripon’s new program addresses the changing needs in the field of exercise science as many employers now require a master’s degree,” she says. “Ripon’s various community partnerships will offer opportunities for students to gain experience with internships, opportunities to serve as graduate assistants, research and presentations at regional and national conferences.”

Wittler adds, “Ripon College is pleased to enter the graduate education arena with an MS program in exercise science. The students will benefit from our robust teaching/learning and research environment. They will be prepared to meet the needs in the larger community, while reaching goals beyond an undergraduate degree.”

“Students will benefit from our robust teaching/learning and research environment. They will be prepared to meet the needs in the larger community, while reaching goals beyond an undergraduate degree.”

“With Ripon’s strengths, graduate programming in exercise science stands out as a clear area for growth.”
JOHN SISKO vice president and dean of faculty

top Measuring neuromuscular activity, peak power and peak velocity during countermovement jumps are Lili Alderson ’24, left, Jazmin Antonio Reyes ’25 and Macy Goldthorpe ’26.

above Macy Goldthorpe ’26, left, Jazmin Antonio Reyes ’25 and Kassidy Walters ’23 measure the neuromuscular activity of the hamstring and quadriceps muscles.

right Bailey Mollen ’24 and Vanessa Solano ’25 test the maximum rate of oxygen consumption attainable during physical exertion.

SUMMER 2023 | 15

Sports business brings extraordinary moments to Aaron Kastner ’11

When you work for an organization known worldwide such as the Dallas Cowboys, the extraordinary becomes commonplace. But even Aaron Kastner ’11 had to admit: this moment was special.

“I don’t really have too many ‘pinch-me’ moments anymore after working in the business for 10 years, but flying into a partner event with Cowboys owner, president and GM Jerry Jones on his Airbus helicopter was a fun one recently,” he says. “Sometimes I do laugh internally and still feel a bit out of place in those situations, but it’s a part of the job.”

Just a decade removed from graduating from Ripon College, Kastner is the senior manager of corporate partnership marketing for the Cowboys. It’s a career path he could not have found himself on without a nudge from connections made while at Ripon.

“I took a course … where we visited the Packers and Lambeau Field and met (Ripon College alumni) Craig Benzel ’86 and Amanda Breitenfeldt Wery ’06. This was a class trip that changed my life and the course of my career,” Kastner says. “They gave us an in-depth look at the Packers corporate partnership

department. … It was incredibly eye-opening, and I was immediately intrigued. I spent the next year and a half at Ripon learning as much as I could about the sports business and corporate partnerships specifically.”

He majored in exercise science with a minor in business management. Equally important in Kastner’s development as a student, he explains, was the impact several Ripon coaches made on him.

“I think I learned more life lessons from (baseball coaches) Bob Gillespie and Eric Cruise during practice and games than I probably could learn in a classroom,” he said. “Playing for them taught me how to work hard and do it the right way, how to commit to goals and set up a plan to achieve them, how to mentally approach life and baseball in a way that strengthened my confidence and also taught me how to get comfortable being uncomfortable. Quite simply, playing for those two helped me grow up and learn how to be an adult.”

He added that the support and challenge he received from former coach and Athletic Director Julie Johnson, who died in 2019, also resonated with him: “She was so authentic and genuinely cared about her students and players. … I loved having her as a professor, and I loved watching her change the lives of her players on the court. She is missed dearly.”

After graduating in May 2011, Kastner completed a master’s degree in sport management, followed by a year-and-a-half internship with Benzel and Wery at the Packers. When the internship was complete, Kastner moved on to positions with the Colorado Avalanche of the NHL (Kroenke Sports & Entertainment) and later in an expanded role within that organization where he also worked with the Denver Nuggets of the NBA. Then, in April 2018, he joined the Cowboys’ corporate partnership marketing team.

“Our job is to ensure our business partners are maximizing their association with the Cowboys to help them move the needle – drive new business, build brand awareness, hit key marketing and sales KPIs (key performance indicators), etc.,” Kastner says, explaining that this means working with corporate partners throughout Texas and Oklahoma. “For Ripon alumni who are still local in Wisconsin, think about the Packers partners throughout the state — think Miller Lite, Johnsonville, Bellin Health, Associated Bank, American Family Insurance, etc. This is what we do down in Dallas.”

This enables Kastner to find himself working with some well-known individuals from time to time. “Not everyone truly loves their job, but my job allows for just that and it really doesn’t feel like work,” he says “And along with all of the work that we put in, I have been fortunate enough to meet and work with a lot of influential people and athletes throughout the years – and those are fun moments that are the cherry on top of it all.”

Admittedly, his work with the Cowboys keeps him busy, describing it as “a lifestyle” more than a job, “but I’m lucky to have such a supportive wife who lets me chase my dreams. Our son, Cal, also was able to go to his first Cowboys game this past season, too

16 | RIPON College
Aaron Kastner ’11, left, got his start in sports during an internship with the Green Bay Packers. Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones, right, spent time with Aaron Kaster ’11 and Kastner’s American Airlines client during Cowboys Training Camp in 2022.

— a very special moment for my family.”

Maybe that work ethic will take his career higher in the years to come. “My long-term vision has me leading the Partnership Marketing/Activation team for the Cowboys or another professional sports team, but I also have a lot of intrigue in leading the sports marketing and sponsorship strategy for the large brands that partner with the Cowboys, Packers, etc.,” he says.

Regardless of where his career takes him, Kastner knows it’s built on a foundation created at Ripon College. “My time at Ripon was a great one and the professors, baseball program and experiences really helped me grow into the person I am today,” he says. “If you can build authentic, genuine relationships – with classmates, friends, family, business colleagues, clients, etc. – that skill will help you in so many ways throughout your life and your career. Focusing on your relationships will take you places.”

SUMMER 2023 | 17
“My time at Ripon was a great one, and the professors, baseball program and experiences really helped me grow into the person I am today.”
Aaron Kastner ’11 was about to take off on an Airbus helicopter belonging to Cowboys owner, president and general manager Jerry Jones.

Teri Hepler ’00: Using research to enhance the joy of sport

Collecting data for a research study on decision-making under stress

Teri Hepler ’00 came to Ripon College to study athletic training, but she discovered a new pathway during her first year.

In a psychology class, she became fascinated by the connection between mind and body and how they have a reciprocal relationship. “With my passion and interest in sports, this was a natural extension of that,” she says. “It affected my own personal performance and that of my teammates. The coach can influence their athletes not just in their performance, but in their overall health and well-being.”

She switched her major to psychobiology. As a student-athlete, she was a standout player on both the women’s basketball and softball teams, and many of her school records still stand. She was a three-time All-Conference selection as a shortstop and was the first player in program history to hit .400 in more than one season.

A major influence was her softball coach Kelly Witte. “Coach Witte taught me that coaching was more than just Xs and Os, but rather it was about human connection,” Hepler says. “She truly cared about her student-athletes, was always there if anyone needed to talk and she’d go out of her way to help her players both on and off the field. Coach Witte always had a smile on her face and believed that working hard and having fun weren’t mutually exclusive. She taught me how to learn from my mistakes instead of dwelling on them and letting them affect my confidence and performance.”

Hepler received a master’s degree in sport psychology from Miami University in Ohio and a Ph.D. in sport psychology from Michigan State University. She also served as an assis-

tant softball coach at Upper Iowa University in Fayette, Iowa, before joining the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She now serves as professor and associate chair in the Exercise and Sport Science Department, focusing on sport psychology and human motor behavior.

She also is the director of the coaching concentration, which she says is “very, very fun. I can mold young coaches. Coaches have the potential to have the greatest impact on young people of any person in their life. My goal is to make sure the coaches who come through our program teach their athletes to have fun, learn, grow and become lifelong movers. We want them to enjoy movement and enjoy sports.”

Hepler also is an active researcher with numerous published journal articles. Her niche is on decision-making. “I started out wondering how we make those split-second decisions, sometimes terrible, heuristic decisions. I found that in sport, we go with our gut 70% to 80% of the time. We would train people to automatically go with their gut.

“Now I’m looking at stress, the mental stress of pressure to perform well and the physical stress of fatigue, and how those (impact) split-second decisions. We use the same rules and make the same decisions, but we make them slower under stress. Both types of stress slow down our decision-making.

“The implications outside of sport are tre-

mendous. Police, firefighters make split-second decisions under stress all the time. We have to work with people to train them not to second-guess themselves but to trust their gut and not hesitate.”

Hepler says her experience at Ripon College shaped her life in many different ways. “I learned valuable skills, such as resiliency, hard work, discipline, teamwork and leadership, that have helped me throughout my life,” she says. “I formed many wonderful friendships that have endured for more than 20 years and my playing days at Ripon even helped to determine my career path. It wasn’t until college that I truly began to understand and appreciate the crucial role that psychological factors play in athletic performance, and as a result, I pursued a career in the field of sport psychology.”

She says staying active continues to be a priority. “I love the challenge of trying to improve myself every day, not necessarily in competition but in self-competition,” she says. “Teaching my body something new and pushing my body to the limits, and now, as I have found out, pushing my mind to the limits, too.”

SUMMER 2023 | 19
left Teri Hepler ’00 leads a lab activity on simple and choice reaction time as part of her Human Motor Behavior course. above right Teri Hepler ’00 coaches a baseball team this summer.
“My goal is to make sure the coaches who come through our program teach their athletes to have fun, learn, grow and become lifelong movers.”

Kent Timm ’81: Three-time Olympian

Although not an athlete, Kent Edward Timm ’81 is a three-time Olympian. As a doctor of physical therapy, he served on the medical staff for the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Sydney, Australia, and Salt Lake City. He also has been a sports physical therapist for the Pittsburgh Penguins, athletic trainer for the Pittsburgh Steelers and athletic trainer at Carnegie Mellon University.

He was born Oct. 21, 1958, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. During high school, Timm was a dedicated athlete in basketball, football, and track and field. But a career-ending injury in his senior year changed his focus.

At Ripon, Timm had a self-designed major in pre-sports medicine and a second major in biology. He served as the athletic trainer for the sports teams. After graduation, he went on to earn three master’s degrees and a Ph.D.

“The liberal arts and sciences experience at Ripon College is the foundation of my success,” he says. “Without the diversity of thoughts and being well-rounded in a variety of different areas, I would not have been able to do the things I have.”

As a doctor of physical therapy and sports medicine at Renue Physical Therapy in Saginaw,

Michigan, he was named one of the best physical therapists in the United States by The Best of the U.S. LLC. His work facility, Renue Physical Therapy, was added to the United States Olympic Committee National Medical Network and is authorized to treat Olympic athletes.

“It is great helping people overcome their problems and disabilities, get to a higher level of function and health, and let them achieve in their life what they want to do,” Timm says.

“I still cannot adequately describe my feeling of pride and accomplishment in representing the United States. Ripon College is responsible for giving me the foundation that led to the Olympic Games. I’m in a position now to help

and be a resource as needed.”

Timm has served on the Ripon College Alumni Board of Directors and as representative to the College Board of Trustees.

In response to the announcement of Ripon’s new master’s program in exercise science, Timm says, “given that my self-designed major in pre-sports medicine has evolved into the new exercise science master’s degree, I can only say, ‘wow!’ The tremendous liberal arts undergraduate experience that Ripon College provides will ensure that the future exercise scientists are well-rounded ‘Renaissance’ professionals instead of narrowly focused people.”

“The tremendous liberal arts undergraduate experience that Ripon College provides will ensure that the future exercise scientists are well-rounded.”
Kent Timm ’81 received Ripon’s Distinguished Alumni Citation in 2021. As a student at Ripon, Kent Timm ’81 served as the athletic trainer for the sports teams. Kent Timm ’81 shows off Olympic uniform memorabilia.

Dan Trampf ’90: Bringing athletic training to new heights

As a student athletic trainer at Ripon High School, Dan Trampf ’90 became intrigued with the interplay between medicine, science and biology. Over a career in the rapidly evolving profession, Trampf has impacted both the respect and compensation levels of the industry.

He has been president and owner of Trampf Consulting LLC Industrial Sports Medicine and Ergonomics in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, since 2012.

“I find it fascinating how (this interplay) applies to the human body and nature in general,” he says. “It’s fascinating how the body operates. I like to help people. When I work with people who are in pain and then help bring them back to normal, that’s my reward.

“Medicine is listening to people, explaining to them why they’re not feeling well and having pain, and what steps we can take to make them better,” he says.

At Ripon High School, Trampf assisted coaches with practice and game-day basic first aid, taping and daily operation of an athletic training room. “I just loved it,” he says. “I began to have a real passion for athletic training.”

As a first-generation college student, he found the small-school setting at Ripon College instrumental. “They basically took me under their wings and gave me a real sense of direction, motivation, reassurance,” he says. He had a self-designed major in pre-sports medicine/athletic training, a path pioneered at Ripon by Kent Timm ’81.

After graduating from Ripon, Trampf worked at Yeomans Chiropractic in Ripon and Physical Therapy Associates in Oshkosh, was the first-ever certified athletic trainer at Oshkosh North High School for eight years and provided outreach athletic training services for Ripon Medical Center from 1998 to 2012, including industrial sports medicine. He served as the industrial rehab coordinator at Ripon Medical Center and a physician extender within the occupational health department.

Provision of these services to other sectors began emerging. “Why can’t we do this in other settings — industrial, military and performing arts?” he says. “Our profession now has athletic trainers who work with NASA, Boeing and in the performing arts. We played a very important part in that.”

Trampf’s business provides industrial sports medicine services, ergonomics and the promotion of licensed athletic trainers at corporations across the United States and Canada.

As the athletic training profession has evolved, Trampf also has been instrumental in helping to elevate the respect and compensation levels for athletic trainers. “It was a time in our profession where athletic trainers were really taking off,” he says.

The standards to become a certified athletic trainer have been elevated. Students must go through a curriculum-based program and hold a master’s degree before taking the exams through an independent national Board of Certification — “like passing the bar,” Trampf says.

To reflect this higher status for the profession, Trampf also worked to secure health insurance reimbursements for athletic trainers.

Trampf is certified as an athletic trainer, in strength and conditioning, and in ergonomic assessments.

In April 2022, Trampf was inducted into the WATA Hall of Fame, the first of the 31 inductees at that time to be a graduate of a small liberal arts college. He also has been named a trainer of the year by WATA and received the National Service Award of the national organization.

He is proud of the work he has done to help promote recognition and respect for the profession. “Athletic trainers now are being reimbursed,” he says. “We now have justification for higher wages and it offers another component to the rehabilitation process. We are not physical therapists or occupational therapists. We’re licensed athletic trainers. That’s what we provide.”

SUMMER 2023 | 21
“It’s fascinating how the body operates. I like to help people. When I work with people who are in pain and then help bring them back to normal, that’s my reward.”
Trampf assesses an “industrial athlete” experiencing wrist discomfort.

The wisdom of C OAC H E S

The influence on graduates from their experiences as studentathletes is increasingly relevant. Half of current students now participate as student-athletes in competitive sports, more participate in intramurals, and the numbers of students enrolled in exercise science majors are higher than any other major on campus. With the introduction of Ripon’s first graduate degree, the Master of Exercise Science, and the ongoing construction of the first oncampus stadium, Hopp Stadium, Ripon reflects on the special relationships and life lessons forged as members of a team. Here, alumni share the best advice they ever received from a Ripon coach.

“Do the best that you can with what you have and celebrate the good things. She never got down on her teams if the numbers or the talent wavered between seasons. Her main message was to strive to give your best effort at all times. When things get tough, always try to figure out what can be done to make things better or more positive. Continue to move forward and not back. And a final piece of advice that has rung true since I met Coach Coll (with only five years of women’s sports existing at Ripon): Give women a chance!”

JOHN STORZER & (KERMIT) ‘ DOC ’ WEISKE, football, basketball and baseball:

“I played for John Storzer and ‘Doc’ Weiske in football, basketball and baseball all four years. The memory I will always regard as precious is the consistency of both of those men. You always knew what they expected, and I found it to be so comfortable going to practice and preparing for a game. One assisted the other: John assisted ‘Doc’ in basketball, and ‘Doc’ assisted John in football; and each had a sport in the spring. You could establish a comfort level with them. They were not afraid to criticize but it always came with a level of tolerance and patience.”

Dick Bennett ’65

Nekoosa, Wisconsin

(Bennett later revitalized the University of Wisconsin Badgers basketball program, guiding Wisconsin to the Final Four in 2000 – a first for the school in more than 50 years.)

CHUCK LARSON ’65, head coach of men’s tennis:

“Coach Larson … was always on your case about missing shots that you should have not missed even if it was in practice. He taught me that you need to take every shot in practice just as seriously as you would in a match.

“Coach had so many little ways of getting the most out of his players and this little thing was so small at the time, but now looking back it is something that I have tried instilling not only in the kids I coach and teach, but in life lessons off the court.

Paul VandenBoogaard ’06

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

(VandenBoogaard coached tennis at Ripon from 2007-2009, then at Oshkosh (Wisconsin) North High School. He now is head of physical education and health at North.)

ELAINE COLL, coach of women’s volleyball, basketball and track and field: Barb Williams Clay ’83 Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Do everything the best that you can at all times and don’t take any shortcuts along the way.”

RIC DAMM, head coach of cycling:

“I was at a race in Mizzou (University of Missouri) with a particularly nasty jump built into the short-track race course. There was an optional route to bypass the jump, but it meant you would lose some time and possibly your position in the race. Ric, optimistically believing in my abilities, encouraged me to hit the jump on the first lap of the race. Well it wasn’t pretty and I cased the landing, almost sending me over the handlebars and out of the race. The next lap around, Ric made sure to find me well in advance of the jump and kindly advised (shouted) ‘do not take the jump, do not take the jump.’ Best advice I ever received.”

RICK COLES, throws coach in track and field (currently associate head football coach):

“Rick Coles had so many memorable sayings that I actually made a T-shirt senior year with his top 10 sayings on it. Needless to say, he was a little surprised when the entire throws team wore them to a meet at UW-Oshkosh. A couple of favorites I remember were:

DOUG BRADLEY, football position coach:

“While it is almost impossible to quantify the ‘best advice,’ I do think that the advice that has stuck with me the longest came from Coach Doug Bradley, who was my position coach my senior year of football. Many of us were groaning and complaining (I am sure this was a 6 a.m. practice), and Coach Bradley said, ‘Do you know how many people in this world would give anything to have their bodies hurt because they get to play football?’ That question immediately resonated with me and is something I continue to remind myself about whenever life gets hard: ‘Don’t you know how lucky you are to be able to do something you love?’

“This advice was very consistent with everything Coach Bradley taught us: play with passion, love for your teammates and joy. I have continued to coach high school football for the last 25-plus years, and hopefully instill these principles in my players, and quite often, in the heat of August, I invoke Coach Bradley by reminding my players how lucky they are to be able to have the opportunity to be a football player.”

Christopher Paquet ’94

De Pere, Wisconsin

(Paquet coached at Denmark (Wisconsin) High School and for the past 12 seasons has coached varsity football at De Pere High School.)



(Marshall served as associate head coach and offensive coordinator under Ernst and is now head coach of football).

SUMMER 2023 | 23
‘The only angle to solve a problem is the Try-angle’ and ‘You just earned another petal on your progress flower.’”
Vicky Nytes ’01 Kalispell, Montana
Paul Meuer ’13 Fitchburg, Wisconsin JULIE HEINZ JOHNSON, athletic director and women’s basketball coach:
“I trusted Julie wholeheartedly; which is why she meant so much to me. She didn’t really give me advice. Instead, she lived her life in a way that was an example of integrity, love and encouragement. And I was blessed to receive and experience it, which taught me many things; perhaps, and obviously, that ‘actions speak louder than words.’”
Jeri Belongia Loewe ’96 Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
head coach of football:
“Coach Ernst once told us that the key to success is how you treat people. I’ve always thought that was really simple, but very powerful.”
Marshall ’10 Ripon, Wisconsin

Celebrating the Class of 2023

NEW RIPON COLLEGE GRADUATES of the Class of 2023 were urged to seek joy in life and in careers during the 157th Commencement ceremony May 14. The day’s theme was “Strategic Thinkers who Ignite Change.”

Nearly 150 participating members of the 2022-2023 graduating class heard perspectives from three honorees:

• Dr. Zachary S. Morris ’02, received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters and was the Commencement speaker. He is one of three Rhodes Scholars in the 172-year history of Ripon College and earned two master’s degrees at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.

He is an associate professor and vice chair of the Department of Human Oncology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and runs clinical trials testing new treatments.

• Peter E. Stone of Fond du Lac, chairman of the board of National Exchange Bank and Trust (NEBAT) and chairman of the private Stone Family Foundation. He received the 2023 Founders’ Day Award for exemplifying the ideals of Ripon College’s founders. He serves the banking needs of the College through NEBAT and gives community philanthropic support through his family’s foundation.

• Marta Ruiz Yedinak, a Spanish teacher at Ripon High School. She was nominated to receive the Distinguished Educator Award by graduating senior Peter Stanfield of Ripon for setting the standard “for what an educator should be and (caring) deeply for her work, her students and her community.”

Representing stellar accomplishments in the fields of science, medicine, business and education, all the honorees stressed to the graduates the importance of pursuing passions and in impacting the world through the strategic thinking that they have learned as students at Ripon College.

“Find your passion as you find your way to make a living,” Morris said. “Seek something in your life that makes the time you put into it worth giving. Life is better when you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Look to

give back to this world and make it a better place than you found it.”

He added, “Follow your heart in big decisions and don’t underestimate the impact of happiness on your ability to effectively pursue your dreams.”

He also advocated finding balance in life between work and play, time for family and friends, hobbies and vacations. “The journey you are embarking on is a marathon, not a sprint. Time with family and friends gives color to life. … Achievement can come at any point – but relationships will sustain you. They can be lost at any point but gained only with nurturing. Don’t find your success only to regret the pursuit.”

Yedinak said that to have a fulfilling life, work at what you love and never settle for less. “Life is way too short to spend it at a job you don’t enjoy,” she said. She advocated being kind to yourself, being a lifelong learner and open to expanding your knowledge and experiences, embracing differences and spreading positive vibes.

The student class speaker was Abigail Urbina of Round Lake Beach, Illinois.

And as the graduates set forth on their journey, Morris said they should have confidence and humility. “The world needs you and your innovation. As Ripon graduates you have all the tools you need to go forth and to pursue your passions. Strategic changes come from folks like you who are just embarking. Look beyond what is currently known and come to conclusions no one has come to before.

Stone also emphasized that the graduates should seek happiness in their lives, address challenges directly and use the counsel of people they trust, value and respect. He said Ripon has dedicated alumni support that is impressive.

“There is a destiny for all of you that as you age and work in your careers. … Think back about what you can contribute to the school, not necessarily in money … but in time as well. This is a very, very unique college.”

President Victoria N. Folse asked the graduates to reflect on the growth they experienced at Ripon, but also on the growth that Ripon has achieved because of them and their accomplishments.

“While missing you as students, we are grateful to know that you will now carry on the responsibility of the tradition of excellence that more than 12,000 living alumni bring into their immediate and extended communities every day,” she said.

She said a Ripon education prepares the graduates for lives of relevance and purpose. “Trust in that simple fact as you now represent Ripon College in the pursuit of your personal and professional passions and ambitions.

“An education rooted in lifelong learning and scholarly achievement will create strategic minds that impact the communities in which they live and ignite the change we all need to move the world forward.”

24 | RIPON College
Keon McNair ’24 and Jahaira Gonzalez ’23
“ Life is better when you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Look to give back to this world and make it a better place than you found it.”
SUMMER 2023 | 25 166 Number of Graduates 44 Double Majors Exercise Science Business / Economics Psychology Biology Education Top Majors 7 Phi Beta Kappa $1,516 Senior Class Gift 61% PARTICIPATION 21 Summa Cum Laude (HIGHEST DISTINCTION) 21 Magna Cum Laude (GREAT DISTINCTION) 35 Cum Laude (DISTINCTION)
Zachary S. Morris ’02 Marta Ruiz Yedinak Abigail Urbina ’23 Peter E. Stone
Bridget Finn ’23

DR. ZACHARY MORRIS ’02: Embracing the world in all its facets

AN EARLY AMBITION TO HELP combat cancer has led to Zachary Morris ’02 to his position as a tenured associate professor and vice chairman in the Department of Human Oncology at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

Morris, who was Ripon’s honorary degree recipient at the 2023 Commencement May 14, says, “I decided to go into medicine at an early age after losing family members to cancer, and I came to Ripon with the goal of getting into medical school. It was at Ripon where I first gained exposure to laboratory research and found a passion for exploring the unknown through science. Ultimately, this led me to pursue a career as a physician-scientist, both treating cancer patients and conducting translational research with the goal of identifying new treatments and cures for cancer.”

Born in Rockford, Illinois, Morris majored in chemistry and biology with a minor in Latin at Ripon. He was a member of the Red Hawks football, baseball and swimming teams. In 2001, he was named a prestigious Goldwater Scholar and in 2002 was one of the select 32 Americans named a Rhodes Scholar, a celebrated international fellowship which includes study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom. He is just the third Ripon College student in history to be selected as a Rhodes Scholar.

“It was terrific academically but also was a life-growing experience living abroad,” Morris says. “I used the opportunity there to diversify my academic focus. I knew I wanted to go on and do cancer research. At Oxford, I studied medical anthropology and history of medicine. That gave me a broader perspective on patient care and patient interactions, plus the historical aspect of medical research. That has had ripple effects throughout my career. It has given me a different perspective than I would have otherwise had. It gave me a broader appreciation of global disparities in cancer care.”

26 | RIPON College

Besides his two master’s degrees, his Rhodes experience included playing lacrosse and participating in a varsity game against Cambridge; playing Thanksgiving football with fellow Rhodes Scholar Bill Clinton; attending a dinner reception at Buckingham Palace; and touring Robben Island Prison in South Africa, led by Nelson Mandela.

His wife, Camie, joined him at Oxford and earned a master’s degree in criminology. They bought a car for $600 and traveled with friends throughout the United Kingdom and Europe during their two years there.

Morris completed his medical doctor degree at Harvard Medical School and his Ph.D. at Harvard University in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences Program. Camie Morris earned her Ph.D. from Northeastern University in Boston and currently teaches criminology at UW-Platteville.

Morris has been a member of the faculty at UW-Madison since 2016 and serves dual roles as a radiation oncologist, treating patients directly and running clinical trials as a researcher. He says the two parts of his career complement each other and are “a nice confluence of providing care and developing improved approaches. …

“If I were only doing research, I would feel disconnected from real-world applications; with patients, it brings the research to life for me and I see the need for research.”

Morris and Camie Morris have two children, Lincoln, 13, and Adelle, 10. Morris coaches Little League baseball and softball with his children. The family also spends time together at a lake house in northern Wisconsin doing “Northwoods Wisconsin” things — fishing,

waterskiing, tubing and hiking, Morris says.

Since 2021, he also has served as a physician at the rank of major in the 115th Fighter Wing of the Wisconsin Air National Guard. Several members of his family have been in the service, and he has long held a desire to do the same.

He says he would have been willing to do even basic maintenance chores to help out around the base, but “it was remarkably fortuitous that there was a medical position related to potential disasters.”

He is part of the CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) detachment that trains and would respond if there were a chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological disaster within the homeland.

His service is meaningful for him. “It is out of a sense of patriotism, a mix of wanting to give back to the country, a desire to contribute and a recognition of how I’ve been blessed in many ways to have the things that we do as Americans,” Morris says. “When I look back on my life and what I wish I would have done, this was something I wanted (to have done).”

He also shares his expertise to improve the care of cancer patients globally through the International Education Committee of American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology.

He emphasized his commitment in his Commencement address to the Class of 2023. “Seek something in your life that makes the time you put into it worthwhile,” he said. “Life is better when you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Make the thing you’re passionate about greater than yourself. Look to give back to this world and leave it in a better place than you found it.”

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“ It was at Ripon where I first gained exposure to laboratory research and found a passion for exploring the unknown through science.”

Where are they heading?

Here is a sampling of plans for some of our 2023 graduates


of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, majored in finance and economics. He will be a financial analyst with SoftwareONE in Milwaukee, where he held an internship as a student.

KELLY LARSON of Superior, Wisconsin, majored in elementary education and English. She will student teach at Cumberland Elementary School in Cumberland, Wisconsin.


of Appleton, Wisconsin, majored in biology with a minor in psychology. He will pursue a degree as a doctor of chiropractic at Palmer College of Chiropractic.


of Larsen, Wisconsin, majored in psychobiology and environmental studies. She will attend UW-Whitewater to pursue a master’s degree in social work with a certificate in substance abuse.


of Vail, Arizona, majored in physics with minors in political science and military leadership. He will be a logistics second lieutenant with the U.S. Army at Fort Lee, Virginia. He plans to pursue a graduate degree in engineering.


of Ripon, Wisconsin, majored in chemistrybiology with a minor in English. He will be an emergency technician with UW Health University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin, and plans to attend medical school.


of Waupun, Wisconsin, majored in chemistrybiology. He is participating in the 3+3 PharmD program and will earn a degree from Ripon and a doctor of pharmacy degree from The Medical College of Wisconsin.


of Sherwood, Wisconsin, majored in environmental studies and anthropology. He will pursue a master’s degree in environmental science and policy at UW-Green Bay.


of Freedom, Wisconsin, majored in English with minors in psychology and educational studies. She will pursue a master’s degree in English at Marquette University.

28 | RIPON College

OLIVIA MANDEL of Freedom, Wisconsin, majored in psychology and political science. She will be an Alzheimer’s neuroimaging clinical research coordinator with the Department of Medicine at UW-Madison. She plans to pursue a Ph.D. in psychology.


of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, majored in biology. She will be a natural resources technician with the Anoka County Parks Department in Minnesota. She plans to pursue graduate studies in botany, conservation and restoration of native habitats.


OFOME OMOSOTOME of Benin City, Nigeria, majored in biology with a minor in sociology. She will be working as a laboratory technician.

BRAEDEN THIES of Kimberly, Wisconsin, majored in mathematics with a minor in educational studies. He will be student-teaching math at Hortonville High School.

of Marquette, Wisconsin, majored in exercise science-sports management with minors in business management, coaching, and strength and conditioning. She will attend Ohio University-Athens to obtain a dual master’s degree in business administration and sport administration. She also will serve as an assistant in the graduate school.

HALEY KRAMER of Bancroft, Wisconsin, majored in psychology with a minor in communication. She will pursue a master’s degree in the clinical mental health program at Marquette University.


of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, majored in economics and finance with a minor in philosophy. He will be a commercial lines underwriter at SECURA Insurance in Neenah, Wisconsin.


of Wonder Lake, Illinois, majored in English with minors in psychology and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. She will pursue a master’s degree in library and Information studies at UW-Madison.


of Waupun, Wisconsin, majored in psychology and a self-designed major in women’s and gender studies. She will be a behavioral health technician at SSM Health-Ripon and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in women’s and gender studies with a psychology emphasis.

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Joe Hatcher’s life as a psychologist:

‘It’s almost like music’


Professor of Psychology Joe Hatcher retired at the end of the spring semester. “I still enjoy what I’m doing, but there is a time to walk away,” he says.

Hatcher grew up in rural Georgia and was a first-generation high school and college graduate. “Nobody ever told me I couldn’t do it,” he says. “I’ve always been curious. I like to learn things about humans and myself. I was a natural psychologist.”

He came to Ripon with a “fresh Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University,” he says. He had never heard of the town or the college, and he had never been to a college this small, he said. Although he had been offered a position at the University of North Florida, he was tired of hot weather. So he accepted the position at Ripon.

“It turns out I don’t like the cold that much, either, but I’ve loved it here!” he says. Among his first observations of the College during the hiring process, “the professors and students actually know each other. It was clear they had a relationship. That’s what I’ve liked the most this entire time,” he says.

Dr. Beth Barton ’88 is one of countless students who count Hatcher as a major influence. “Dr. Hatcher has had a profoundly positive impact on thousands of Ripon students over the course of his tenure with the College, changing lives single-handedly,” she says.

“Joe was unlike any other professor at Ripon. He held his social psychology ‘in the field’ (e.g., at Bender’s downtown) so we could observe and record behavior. His assignments included forcing students to recall and record ‘40 happy moments,’ which eventually led him to his work in peace psychology, I’m sure.”

She said comments from numerous former students “encompass all that is uniquely amazing about Joe: he makes personal connections with students, invests himself in their success and leaves a positive imprint forever. … He changes people’s lives.”

Hatcher also founded the annual Ripon College/Ripon Community (RC2) Run/Walk in 2005 as the final exam for his “Theories of Motivation” class, and has taken Ripon College students to the Hagley Gap region of Jamaica about 14 times for immersion in rural Jamaican culture, living with families and working in the local school.

As varied as his career has been, his retirement will be just as much so. His wife, Dr. Karin Suesser ’91, is still a practicing psychologist in Ripon, and Hatcher’s retirement plans will, predictably, take him in several directions.

He enjoys flying a small plane and plans to offer some flight instruction.

Also, he says, “I am a licensed psychologist. There is a shortage of mental health care professionals, so I plan to continue doing mental health work in local nursing homes and to begin working with Ketamine-Assisted-Psychotherapy (KAP) in the Ripon area.”

He also will spend a lot of time outdoors and on the water and is writing a book about better ways of critical thinking that he has gleaned from his life experiences.

He remains endlessly interested in human behavior, in talking with others about things that interest him, and in observing the interplay between all the things that go on in the world.

“It’s almost like music,” he says.

In the Department of Psychology, Hatcher has been a professor and sometimes the chair. He has served as the Pieper Chair of Servant Leadership and the Ripon representative to the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies, and he has served on several faculty committees, most frequently the Promotion and Tenure Committee, which he also has chaired.

About 15 years ago, he re-specialized in counseling psychology and taught therapy and mental disorders courses since then.

He also has been involved in peace studies through the Wisconsin Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies. “It changed everything I was doing,” Hatcher says. “Counseling work is peace work. It clearly impacts the world on so many levels. There are so many ways to look at the world.”

As for his Ripon legacy, “I’d like to be remembered with a smile on my face,” he says. “I hope I’ve helped other people see the fun and the meaning in what we do. Of all the possible lives I could have had, this has to be one of the best ones. I’ve really enjoyed this.”

“I hope I’ve helped other people see the fun and the meaning in what we do. Of all the possible lives I could have had, this has to be one of the best ones.”
above left As Faculty Marshal. right April Marlewski Hudzinski ’03 catches up with Joe Hatcher at Alumni Weekend 2023.

Cross country, track and field teams show tremendous growth since opening of Willmore Center

PERHAPS THE BURGEONING success of Ripon College’s cross country and track and field teams coinciding with the creation of the College’s newest sports facility is just coincidence. But the coaches of these teams don’t think so.

Graduates of the class of 2023 were among the first to be recruited after the $22 million investment in Willmore Center. The gleaming building on the College’s west end includes a new field house that features an NCAA-regulation track.

Match talented, hard-working student-athletes with a great facility and the results are impressive.

team performance has followed that,” he said.

How good have they been? Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams earned Midwest Conference championships for the past two years for either the indoor or outdoor seasons. The women’s cross country team also earned a conference championship in 2022.

That pennant for the women’s cross country team marked an important turning point for the squad, which finished between third and 10th place in the previous four championship meets.

“They also achieved their first-ever top-10 NCAA regional ranking in 2022,” Bins says, adding that the men’s team earned its best-ever finish, 14th, at the regional meet.

loma, Wisconsin, took second last fall at the cross country conference meet, finished first twice in track in the 10k, once in the indoor track season in the 5k, and more, in addition to earning four all-conference honors and holding school records in the 10k and 5k.

Sam Forstner ’23 of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, also took second in last fall’s cross country conference meet as well as earning four all-conference honors for track. He holds school records in the indoor 3k as well as the 10k.

“(They) are two of the hardest workers I have ever had the pleasure to coach and show great passion for the sport,” Bins says. “They are great individuals for their teammates to follow.”

Bob Wood ’09, head coach of the College’s track and field program, echoed Bins’ thoughts. “They dedicate themselves to improving and being the best teammates they can and the

Individual success for the squads has been equally impressive. “Since the start of the 2022 spring semester, the (track and field) program has won eight Midwest Conference championships, most of those being for the first time in school history,” Wood says. “There were five All-Americans in 2023, having earned nine in school history prior to that. The men’s team was also ranked as high as eighth in the nation indoors and 11th in NCAA DIII outdoors.”

Helping drive that success is a strong corps of student-athletes. Mikayla Flyte ’23 of Co-

Wood adds that Ben Fisher ’24 of Waupun, Wisconsin, Cade Gray ’25 of Spring Hill, Tennessee, and Dameco Walker ’24 of Brown Deer, Wisconsin, also earned All-American honors this spring after winning nine events at the Midwest Conference meet.

Would the Red Hawks have earned such success without the new facility? That’s hard to say, but Bins explains that Willmore Center “gives us a leg up in recruiting but more importantly gives our athletes a great place to train throughout the year.”

32 | RIPON College SPORTS
“We have been lucky to attract a great group of student-athletes who work extremely hard year-round.”
cross country head coach
Ben Fisher ’24

The teams are poised to continue this level of success, too. “We return a high percentage of the team from 2022-23 and are bringing in a great group of (first-years) for the upcoming year,” Wood says of the track and field teams. “I am excited to see how they come together and make their own history for the program.”

Bins agrees, adding, “I am very excited for the future. As much improvement as we have seen in the last six seasons, I think there is plenty of room for us to grow.”


MEN’S TEAMS The Red Hawks won the Ralph Shively Cup, the Midwest Conference (MWC) Men’s All-Sports Award, for the second consecutive year. Men claimed championships in indoor track and field, outdoor track and field and football (co-champions); second in baseball; third in soccer and cross country; fourth in basketball and tennis; and fifth in swimming.

BASEBALL finished with a 3-2 mark at the MWC Tournament and 25-18 overall. At home, they won 10 of their 12 games at Francis Field. Cormac Madigan ’23 of Rosendale, Wisconsin, was named to the Academic All-America third team by College Sports Communicators (CSC). Madigan, who also was a standout on Ripon’s football team, was named the 2023 Midwest Conference Male Athlete of the Year for mixed sports, the first such honor for a Red Hawk.

MEN’S BASKETBALL finished with a 14-12 overall record and qualified for the MWC tournament for the ninth time in the last 10 seasons. Jaylen Mahone ’23 of Rosendale, Wisconsin (first team), and Ryan Steffes ’23 of St. Cloud, Wisconsin (second team), received all-MWC honors. Both players eclipsed the 1,000-point milestone of their careers.

SOFTBALL achieved its highest win total since 2018 with 14 victories. The Red Hawks posted a 5-11 record in conference play. Abby Gilbertson ’23 of Marquette, Wisconsin, earned First Team All-Conference honors, and Maddie Hablewitz ’25 of Valders, Wisconsin, and Mikaela Lawrence ’24 of Anchorage, Alaska, earned Second Team recognition.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL recorded an overall record of 20-7 and a conference record of 14-1. They tied for the MWC Regular Season Championship, the fifth-straight season Ripon earned at least a share of the regular season championship. Skyylar Brescia ’23 of Mauston, Wisconsin, and Alison Leslie ’23 of Clayton, Wisconsin, were named to the MWC First Team, and Bonnie Jensen ’23 of Muskego, Wisconsin, earned Second Team All-Conference honors. The coaching staff, led by head coach Lauren Busalacchi, was named the MWC Coaching Staff of the Year.

TENNIS The men’s team had an overall record of 6-13 and a conference record of 3-3. The women’s team had an overall record of 3-10, with all three wins coming on the road. Drew Jorgensen ’23 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and Ty Rondestvedt ’25 of Altoona, Wisconsin, were named Academic All-District by College Sports Communicators. Three women’s players earned Academic All-District recognition: Tia Endrizzi ’25 of La Crosse, Wisconsin, Tamera Holland ’23 of Ripon, Wisconsin, and Chase Polyak ’25 of Lombard, Illinois.

TRACK AND FIELD The men’s team won both the MWC Indoor and Outdoor track and field championships. Cade Gray ’25 of Spring Hill, Tennessee (pole vault), Ben Fisher ’23 of Waupun, Wisconsin (high jump), and Dameco Walker ’23 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (long jump), each earned All-American status with their performances at the NCAA D3 Indoor Championships. Fisher and Walker repeated that feat at the Outdoor Championships while Gray was hampered by injury. Gray was named North Region Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The women’s team won its second MWC Indoor Championship and its first MWC Outdoor Championship. Olivia Miller ’23 of Tripoli, Iowa, placed ninth in long jump at the NCAA D3 Indoor Championships.

Ten men and women were named to the CSC Academic All-District Team: Adrian Baquera, Jonah DeCleene, Alison DeNamur, Caroline Flesch, Sam Forstner, Jacob Jumbeck, Kalyn Otzelberger, Matt Seeber and Isabelle Willett. Otzelberger and Miller were named to the All-Academic Team by USTFCCCA.

SWIMMING AND DIVING The men had an overall record of 4-4, and the women finished 2-6. Both teams had a fifth-place finish at the MWC Championship. At the Wisconsin Private Championships, the men’s team placed fourth and the women placed fifth. For the seventh consecutive year, both teams were selected by the College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) as a Scholar All-America Team. Ethan Brannen ’23 of Waterford, Wisconsin, Ben Rahlf ’25 of Janesville, Wisconsin, and Lauren Bahr ’24 of Wittenberg, Wisconsin were named to the CSC 202223 Academic All-District Team.

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“The amount of quality and event-specific training we can get in has allowed our athletes to improve tremendously.”
head coach track and field
Mikayla Flyte ’23 Sam Forstner ’23 Photo by Heather Engebretson


1 More than 750 attend Alumni Weekend

At Alumni Weekend, held June 22-25, more than 750 alumni and guests from the classes of 1959 through 2025 represented 37 states. More than half celebrated a reunion.

• Celebrating its 50th Reunion, the Class of 1973 achieved a major milestone by exceeding a combined $10 million in lifetime giving to the College.

• The Class of 1978, celebrating its 45th Reunion, achieved 70% participation and 108 total donors — the most donors from one class in a single year ever.

• Celebrating its 40th Reunion, the Class of 1983 recorded this year’s largest reunion class gift of more than $2.7 million.

A record number of 262 golfers raised more than $35,000 for Red Hawks Athletics during the Doc Weiske ’50 Memorial Golf Scramble.

Ten alumni were honored at the annual 1851 Awards Dinner. Details are available at

2 Chris Schumacher named director

of athletics

Chris Schumacher became Ripon’s director of athletics June 1. He has 30 years of experience in administrative work and coaching at private and liberal arts Division III institutions. He previously was the assistant athletic director for diversity, equity and inclusion, director of track and field operations and a professor in the kinesiology department at Illinois Wesleyan University. Before that, he was the head men’s cross country and assistant track and field coach at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota.

3 Study abroad program in Spain slated for spring of 2024

As part of Ripon College’s strategic plan, a faculty-led semester-long study abroad program in Barcelona, Spain, is being offered for the spring of 2024. Professor of Biology Memuna Khan has been named the first faculty director and will be offering an Environmental Studies course in Spain.

Students will study Spanish while also working to complete general education requirements in one of Europe’s most vibrant cities. Students will study with local faculty and live with host families.

4 Support comes in 14 ways during Ripon Rally Days

Ripon Rally Days, the spring online giving experience, was held April 20-23 during Inauguration Week. This year donors could choose from 14 ways to give in honor of President Victoria N. Folse, Ripon’s 14th and newly inaugurated president.

A total of $327,710 was raised, and the reunion classes of 1978, 1983 and 2003 all met their gift challenges. The Class of 1978 had the most donors, 93, in this, their 45th reunion year. Since Ripon’s spring giving event began in 2018, the Class of 1978 has claimed the top spot for alumni donors every year.

The Class of 1973 raised the most money — $83,276.

photo : Jacob Nelson ’25 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, left, and Madison Riebe ’26 of Peshtigo, Wisconsin, sign thank-you cards to donors during Ripon Rally Days.

5 Grant supports diversity, equity and inclusion efforts

Ripon College has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Council of Independent Colleges, funded by the Mellon Foundation, to support diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts on campus. The award includes funds for curriculum development, student research opportunities and a speaker’s series.

The principal investigator for the grant is Mary I. Unger, associate professor of English and chair of the department, and the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program coordinator.

6 Rick Kammen ’68 releases book, interviewed on NPR

Richard Kammen ’68, of Hilton Head, South Carolina, and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, was interviewed March 30 on National Public Radio. The interview addresses the CIA’s torture program that continues to have huge implications at the U.S. military court and prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where 40 accused terrorists are still being held.

During his career, Kammen was one of the premier death penalty lawyers in the United States. For 10 years, he was the lead defense attorney for Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, charged with orchestrating the October 2000 USS Cole naval warship bombing and held at Guantánamo for 13 years.

Kammen also has written the book, “Tortured Justice, Guantánamo Bay,” published in January and available on

34 | RIPON College
4 1 3 2 5 6

7 Ripon forms new chapter of national honor society

Ripon College has formed a new chapter of Iota Iota Iota (Triota), the national women’s and gender studies honor society. Initiation of the inaugural 17 members of the Zeta Gamma chapter was held April 25.

Mary Unger, associate professor of English and chair of the department, is the coordinator of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program.

photo : Some of the newly initiated members celebrate with Associate Professor of English Mary Unger, front row left, and President Victoria N. Folse, second row right.

8 Mica Rivera ’21 recipient of National Science Foundation fellowship

Mica Rivera ’21 of River Falls, Wisconsin, has received a prestigious award from the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. The highly competitive award is for graduate studies in science, technology, engineering or mathematics and recognizes academic excellence and their potential for significant research achievements in STEM or STEM education.

Rivera is studying integrated bioscience at the University of Minnesota Duluth with a master’s thesis on the physiology of hearing in animals. His goal for his Ph.D. will be focused on understanding vocal and social behaviors in animals.

At Ripon, Rivera majored in psychobiology and worked primarily with Professor of Biology Memuna Khan and Associate Professor of Psychology Julia Manor.

9 Ripon College touchpoints through the years

John M. Ackley Jr., son of the late John Ackley ’62, has donated to Ripon photos and a T-shirt signed by Al Jarreau ’62. “My father was friends with Al Jarreau

at Ripon College in the early ’60s,” Ackley reports. “In August 2012, Mr. Jarreau performed at a vineyard venue in Northern California; I attended the show and had the good fortune to visit with him after the show. He ‘signed me’ while I was wearing a Ripon T-shirt while he sang your alma mater song.

“My Dad tried to sing this tune often, so I’m very familiar with it, but hearing it sung well, by a pro, brought tears to my eyes.”

On July 31, The Milwaukee Common Council approved renaming a northside park the Alwin Lopez (Al) Jarreau Park in honor of the Milwaukee native.

10 Ripon College personnel in South Woods documentary

A new documentary celebrating the community of Ripon’s South Woods Park features several Ripon College personnel. “Woodland of Wonder, Wisconsin’s First Preserve: The Story of South Woods Park Association, Ripon” is featured on the South Woods Park Association website:

Among the quoted individuals in the documentary are Ric Damm, director of creative and social media; Ben Grady, assistant professor of biology; George “Skip” Wittler, professor emeritus of biology; and student Lily Lustig ’23 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

11 Ripon student, her dog win Award of Merit Halle Hadel ’25 of Ripon, Wisconsin, and her Siberian husky, Eve, received an Award of Merit at the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City in May. About 3,000 dogs from 210 breeds from around the world compete.

Many of the dogs are trained and shown by professionals and not necessarily the owners. Because Hadel has raised, trained and shown her own dog, winning the Award of Merit was especially sweet.

12 Cormac Madigan ’23 caps stellar season with more prestigious honors

Cormac Madigan ’23 of Rosendale, Wisconsin, has added more accolades to his lengthy collegiate resume. He was named the 2023 Midwest Conference Student-Athlete of the Year for Men’s Sports, representing the top student-athlete in all men’s sports in terms of athleticism, academics and community involvement. He is the first Red Hawks student-athlete to do so.

He also received a prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, awarded three times a year in each sport season to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically. Madigan had a perfect 4.0 grade-point average. He was the cornerstone of the Red Hawks football program this year and became Ripon’s all-time leader in rushing yards with a career total of 4,139 yards on 651 carries. He also played baseball his junior and senior years. Madigan majored in chemistry-biology and has been accepted into the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

13 Two students awarded TriBeta Research Grants

For the second year in a row, Ripon College students have been awarded TriBeta Research Grants. Each year, the TriBeta Biological Honor Society awards grants to students to support their undergraduate research.

Lydia Fredrick ’23 of New Berlin, Wisconsin, and Cydney Pitteger ’22 of Broomfield, Colorado, are Ripon’s recent winners. Fredrick, a senior majoring in chemistry-biology with minors in psychology and business management, received this year’s grant. She researched how ovarian hormones can affect anxiety in female rats.

Pittenger, who majored in biology, researched how progesterone withdrawal in female rats affects serotonin receptors in specific areas of their brain.

SUMMER 2023 | 35 10 11 12 13 8 9 7
photo : Cydney Pittenger ’22, left, and Lydia Fredrick ’23

In memoriam

JANE BARBER EMERSON ’46 of Jefferson City, Missouri, died April 16, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in chemistry and mathematics and participated in Alpha Phi/Kappa Sigma Chi. Her father was WILLIAM HARLEY BARBER , a longtime professor of physics at Ripon. She taught chemistry to ROTC students at Ripon, and while in graduate school at the University of Wisconsin, she had a teaching assistantship in mathematics. She lived in Emporia, Kansas, for almost 60 years where her husband was a mathematics professor and department chair at Emporia State University. She taught Sunday school classes in her church and enjoyed reading, humor, genealogy, nature, being outdoors, gardening, playing the piano and cooking. Survivors include one son and one daughter; and a brother-in-law, RICHARD G. HALLOCK ’53

ROBERT L. BRANDT ’49 of Peoria, Arizona, died March 25, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics, physics and chemistry. He studied at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of California, Berkeley, and later earned a master’s degree in chemistry. He served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. He worked at Hanford Nuclear Reservation in Richland, Washington; and as a software and systems engineer for General Electric and Honeywell in Arizona. He was active in the Phoenix Toastmasters and was an area Governor. He volunteered as Clerk of Session for 24 years at Northminster Presbyterian Church and sang in the choir. He enjoyed wordplay, puns and music. Survivors include three sons and one daughter. His wife, SHIRLEY BARNARD BRANDT ’47 , died in 2019.

FRANCES LANDERS FERGUSON ’50 of Ormond Beach, Florida, died April 8, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in history and participated in Alpha Chi Omega/ Alpha Gamma Theta. She received a master’s degree in education from Stetson University. She moved to Florida in 1960 where her husband served as a rector in the Episcopal Church. She taught kindergarten in Titusville and Daytona Beach for more than 30 years. She and her husband then split time between Ormond Beach and Wolf Laurel, North Carolina. She enjoyed mining for gems, watching game shows, word puzzles and traveling, including visits to every state in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean. Survivors include one son and one daughter. Her husband, WALTER SUMNER FERGUSON ’50 , died in 2008.

LEROY A. “ROY” YEOMANS ’50 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Feb. 26, 2023. At Ripon College, he participated in Phi Kappa Pi (Merriman) and then graduated from the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago, Illinois. He served in the U.S. Army from 1943-1946 in the European Theater. He joined his father, George Yeomans, doctor of chiropractic, in practice in Ripon and retired in 1992 after 42 years. In 2022, he was honored as the Ripon Rotary Club’s longest-serving Rotarian, the City of Ripon declared Feb. 2 as Roy Yeomans Day, and he was the only World War II veteran participating in an Old Glory Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. He was a member of the Ripon Gun Club and enjoyed hunting, golf and attending music performances. Survivors include two sons.

CALVIN J. DEUSTER ’51 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, died Feb. 24, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics

and participated in Phi Delta Theta/Alpha Phi Omega. He served in the U.S. Army from 1952 to 1954 during the Korean War. He retired from American Can Co. after 30 years in sales and as an account executive, having worked in Menasha, Seattle, Los Angeles, Richmond, Kansas City, Chicago, Madison and St. Paul. Upon retirement in 1985, he returned home to live on Linden Beach for the past 37 years. He was a member of Holy Family Church-St. Peter. He enjoyed golfing, fishing, boating and sailing. Survivors include three sons; and a sister, FAY DEUSTER NEMICK ’56

ANN IRWIN HINES ’51 of Georgetown, Texas, died April 16, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in English with a minor in philosophy and participated in Ver Adest, Kappa Delta/Delta Phi Sigma and Partners in the Legacy. She was the Homecoming Queen in 1950. She completed a post-graduate medical record librarian program in 1952 and in 1990 received a master of science in health professions from Southwest Texas State University. She enjoyed literature and reading, crossword puzzles, humor and pranks, and traveling, especially to Scotland, England and Ireland. Survivors include her children.

JEANNE DE HART HUMPAL ’51 of Mentor, Ohio, died Jan. 14, 2023. At Ripon, she studied English and Spanish and participated in Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. She retired from University Mednet in Euclid where she assisted patients in the insurance department. She enjoyed reading, following the news, tennis, golf, cooking and chocolate. Survivors include three daughters.

JOYCE WENTZER BOVARD ’52 of Benicia, California, died Feb. 18, 2022.

PAUL B. CORS ’53 of Laramie, Wyoming, died March 28, 2023. He grew up in Ripon and as a high school student wrote the “Fauna of the South Woods” chapter in The South Woods Park Anniversary Booklet, 1902-1947. At Ripon College, he majored in classics. He received a master’s degree in library science from Rutgers University. He worked with the New Mexico State University libraries in Las Cruces, as the first director of the newly formed Centralized Processing Center at the Wyoming State Library in Cheyenne, and with the University of Wyoming in Laramie as chief acquisitions librarian, professor and head of Collection Development. He was an active member of the American Library Association, National Audubon Society and St. Paul’s United Church of Christ. He held lifelong interests in railroads and the natural world.

DANIEL D. HARMON III ’54 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, died June 6, 2023. At Ripon, he studied economics, participated in Ver Adest, athletics and Sigma Nu/Theta Sigma Tau, and was commissioned through ROTC. He served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Korea. He worked for the family insurance firm The Harmon Agency. In his younger years, he raced boats, was a multi-year golf champion at the Oshkosh Country Club and was an avid fly fisherman. The Dan Harmon III Fly Fishing School is conducted yearly by the Central Wisconsin Chapter of Trout Unlimited. He also was a dedicated Packers fan and served on several community boards. Survivors include his wife, Judy; two sons and one daughter. His brother, JOHN HARMON , was Ripon’s honorary degree recipient in 2020.

GENEVIEVE “HONEY” HIPKE LEIBHAM ’54 of New Holstein, Wisconsin, died July 1, 2023. She attended Ripon and graduated from Sheboygan Business College. She and her husband opened their home to foreign exchange students from Germany, Native American children from a Wisconsin reservation and several minor league baseball players from Australia. She traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe and New Zealand. She played French horn in the New Holstein High School Band, Ripon College Band and Kiel Municipal Band. In the community, she worked with The Community Chest, American Cancer Society, New Holstein Historical Society and for more than 25 years as a volunteer for Salvatorian Mission. She enjoyed reading, playing bridge and cooking. Survivors include her husband, John; two sons and one daughter.

LYLE L. HEIDE ’55 of Manitowoc, Wisconsin, died June 18, 2023, At Ripon, he majored in biology and participated in Theta Chi/Alpha Omega Alpha and Partners in the Legacy. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during World War II. His studies at Ripon were interrupted by a recall to active duty during the Korean Conflict. He worked as field director with the American National Red Cross in its services to the Armed Forces Branch, traveling extensively throughout the world. He then served domestically in Detroit, Michigan, and as executive director of the Manitowoc County Red Cross, retiring in 1983. He was a life member of Disabled American Veterans and a member of the other veterans’ organizations, Elks Club and Fraternal Order of Eagles. He enjoyed hiking and the outdoors.

MARIANN THULL RUSH ’55 of Madison, Wisconsin, died March 29, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and participated in Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. She lived in Alexandria, Virginia, and Madison, Wisconsin. She was the owner of Monroe Restorations, renovating homes built primarily from the year 1890 to 1910. She managed those properties and rented them out. She had a deep appreciation for nature and adventure and learned to fly. She started a popular singles club.

WILLIAM G. SCHRAGE ’55 of McFarland, Wisconsin, who attended Ripon in the 1950s, died May 10, 2023. He also attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and UW-Madison. He held senior-level sales management positions, primarily in the decorative laminate industry. He was an avid turkey and deer hunter, fisherman and trap shooter, including hunting pheasants with his beloved English setters. He enjoyed many caribou and elk hunting trips in the United States, Canada and Newfoundland, and fishing trips to Alaska, Canada and Mexico. A skilled woodworker, he made many furniture pieces for friends and family. He enjoyed watching Badger men’s basketball and the Green Bay Packers. Survivors include his wife, Joann; one son and three daughters.

JAMES A. SHANNON ’55 of Neenah, Wisconsin, died March 25, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics, participated in Phi Delta Theta/Alpha Phi Omega, and was commissioned through ROTC. He then enlisted the U.S. Army Reserves and was honorably discharged. He worked for Associated Bank in Neenah for almost 50 years. He served as treasurer of the Neenah Rotary and was on the boards for the Neenah Park and Rec and

36 | RIPON College

the Red Cross. He enjoyed camping, boating, golfing, cross-country skiing, watching sports and traveling, leading travel groups around the world. Survivors include his wife, Beverly; one son and one daughter.

JOHN O. RIEMER ’56 of Waukesha, Wisconsin, died Feb. 21, 2023. At Ripon, he participated in Sigma Chi/ Omega Sigma Chi.

JOAN ANDERSON BACHUS ’57 of Chico, California, died May 18, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in biology, participated in Alpha Xi Delta/Kappa Theta, serving as president her senior year, and was a 50th reunion committee volunteer. She was the first in her family to earn a college degree. She worked as a library researcher for Encyclopedia Britannica before obtaining her teaching credential. She taught in Chicago and California. She was an avid golfer, playing into her 80s, and enjoyed gardening, stitchery, sewing, quilting and dogs. She also wrote a golf column for a local newspaper and volunteered at Empire Mine State Historic Park and Hospice Gift and Thrift. Survivors include one son; one daughter; and a sister-in-law, MARY BACHUS MILLER ’61 . Her husband, JOHN A. BACHUS ’58 , died in 2003.

RICHARD R. GRONERT ’57 of Delavan, Wisconsin, died April 13, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in music and educational studies and was a member of Theta Chi/ Alpha Omega Alpha and Phi Beta Kappa. He earned a Master of Music Education at Indiana University with a trombone emphasis, and taught high school band, orchestra and choir. After doctoral work in guidance and counseling at UW-Madison, he did elementary school counseling in the Janesville schools and was a Christian counselor at Janesville Psychiatric Clinic. He directed a church choir in Janesville, sang in the Southern Lakes Masterpiece Chorale in Elkhorn, volunteered for 30 years for the National Ski Patrol at Alpine Valley in East Troy, and led Bible studies at his church. He enjoyed sailing and boating. Survivors include his wife, Elaine; one son and one daughter.

DUANE L. KOPLIEN ’57 of Weyauwega, Wisconsin, died May 14, 2023. At Ripon, he studied economics and participated in Phi Delta Theta/Alpha Phi Omega. He also studied at the University of Hawaii and served in the U.S. Army. He and his wife, Patricia, lived in Milwaukee for 12 years, owning and operating Brasch’s Sunrise Eggs. They then operated Brasch’s House of Cheese, a specialty store, bakery, restaurant and farm market in Fremont, Wisconsin, for 31 years. Farming was his occupation and his hobby, and he focused on the farm market arm of the business, growing, harvesting and procuring much of the produce himself. Survivors include three children.

ROBERT E. REINERT ’57 of Athens, Georgia, died Feb. 16, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in biology and participated in athletics and Sigma Chi/Omega Sigma Chi. During summers, he studied fish biology and limnology at the University of Michigan Biology Station. He served in the U.S. Army at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, then received a master’s degree in toxicology and a Ph.D. in fisheries from the University of Michigan. He was a federal scientist at the Great Lakes Fisheries Lab in Ann Arbor, Michigan, then spent 27 years at the University of Georgia, as leader of the Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and a faculty member in the School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He was an avid fisherman. Survivors include one son and one daughter.

J. PETER JENSEN ’58 of Santa Rosa, California, died May 5, 2023. At Ripon, he studied economics and participated in theatre, ROTC, Sigma Chi/Omega Sigma Chi, Partners in the Legacy and as a founder of WRPN. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve and worked for Aetna Insurance Co. in several locations. He lived in Belmont, California, for 52 years. He was a longtime member of the Transfiguration Episcopal Church and Masterworks Chorale Society. He loved gardening. He was a member of San Mateo Master Gardeners, a docent at Filoli Historic House and Garden, a Boy Scout leader, a member of the Rotary and San Mateo Radio Club and an instructor and state coordinator for the AARP Safe Driving program. Survivors include his wife, Jan; one son and one daughter.

ROBERT C. PROCTER JR. ’59 of Monona, Wisconsin, died April 27, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics, as well as politics and government, participated in Theta Chi/Alpha Omega Alpha and was commissioned through ROTC. He served in the U.S. Army and worked at Procter Insurance Agency. Survivors include his wife, Stefania Moroni; three sons and one daughter.

ROGER D. VENDEN ’59 of Andover, Massachusetts, died June 7, 2023. At Ripon, he studied history and physical education, participated in football and student government, and was commissioned through ROTC. He also served as a class agent and 50th reunion volunteer, and was a member of Partners in the Legacy. He established the Roger D. Venden ’59 and Manon R. Venden Family Liberal Arts Scholarship. He received a master’s in business administration from the University of Utah. He retired as director of administration with Kean, Miller, Hawthorne, D’Armond, a business law firm in Plaquemine, Louisiana. He also had been president of Cypermort Point Inc., representing recreational homes and fishing camps, which was owned by his wife’s extended family. He enjoyed traveling with his wife, Manon. They had a son and a daughter.

MARVIN “BUDD” HUMPHREY ’60 of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, died June 23, 2023. At Ripon, he participated in football, baseball and track. He served in the U.S. Army on active duty and for five years in the Reserves. He was a platoon leader and his drill team won the base competition. He worked at Inland Marine Boat Co.; and then for Stuart Tank Sales in Elkhorn as a salesman, business partner and president. He retired in 2015 after 50 years of service. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating and sailing on Lake Geneva, and traveling with Irene. He was an avid Green Bay Packers fan. Survivors include his wife, Irene; and one son.

WILLIAM CONRAD PUERNER ’60 of Calvert City, Kentucky, died Jan. 30, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in chemistry and participated in Sigma Nu/Theta Sigma Tau. He did his graduate work at the University of Oregon before serving in the U.S. Army. While in the Army Chemical Corp at Dugway Proving Grounds, he worked on chemical warfare agents and worked with the CIA to solve a minor case. He also worked for Honeywell and a few other firms. He was vice president at UPI before becoming a territory manager for a manufacturer’s representative firm, from which he retired. Survivors include two sons.

HARRY G. “SPIKE” SNYDER ’60 of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, died Feb. 23, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in history and participated in student government, football and Sigma Alpha Epsilon/Delta Sigma Psi. He received degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette

University Law School. He worked in various roles including, American Motors auto worker, NATO trial observer to the U.S. ambassador to Turkey, staff judge advocate, Waukesha County assistant district attorney, private practice attorney, Wisconsin state representative, circuit court judge for Waukesha County and judge for Wisconsin’s District Court of Appeals. He also was a retired lieutenant colonel with the United States Air Force. He enjoyed traveling the world, including the Middle East and Europe. Survivors include his wife, Rose Mary; and three sons.

ORSON LUER ST. JOHN JR. ’60 of North Pomfret, Vermont, died Jan. 28, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in Theta Chi/Alpha Omega Alpha. He earned a master’s of business administration from the University of Chicago. After traveling the world for several months, he served with the U.S. Army in Fort Benning, Georgia. He worked with IBM before settling on a farm in North Pomfret. In addition to farming, he had his own business brokerage career focusing on small market mergers and acquisitions. He enjoyed skiing, golf, football games, attending Northern Stage performances, his men’s group The Round Table and serving on the Pomfret Planning Commission. Survivors include his companion, Connie Anderson; and three children.

FREDRIC C. JAYE ’61 of Denver, Colorado, died March 13, 2023. At Ripon, he studied chemistry. He served in the Air Force during the Vietnam War and received a purple heart. While stationed at Cape Canaveral, he worked at NASA and helped design the rocket fuel that sent astronauts to the moon in the 1960s. He also helped design the first emission controls for power plants for the EPA and designed control systems that ran large manufacturing plants. After retiring in 2003, he volunteered with the Western North Carolina Nature Center and the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. He enjoyed traveling around the United States and abroad. He was passionate about Scouting, nature, planes, trains and automobiles. Survivors include two daughters.

THOMAS F. KUEHL ’61 of Gulf Breeze, Florida, died March 19, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics, participated in athletics and was commissioned through ROTC. He was voted president of the chapter when his fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, received its charter as Phi Delta Theta, Wisconsin Gamma Chapter. He worked as a commodities broker, managing grain elevators and working for grain companies; was a member of the Kansas City Board of Trade and president of Far-MarCo.; and then an independent commodities broker in Pensacola Beach, Florida. He enjoyed tennis, hunting and fishing, and was a member of Pensacola Beach Elks Lodge #497 and Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church. Survivors include his wife, Kathleen; two daughters; two stepsons; and brothers, including WILLIAM KUEHL ’64 and RICHARD KUEHL ’67

RICHARD O. LOESER ’61 of Elmhurst, Illinois, died July 11, 2023. He served in the Air National Guard of Illinois for several years while also starting in the steel industry initially with Fullerton Metals, followed by Castle Metals, and then launching his own businesses Center Metals and Perimeter Metals. He was a member of Epiphany Lutheran Church. He enjoyed coin collecting and was an avid Chicago sports fan. Survivors include his wife Molly; and two daughters.

JON W. WEISE ’61 of Murrieta, California, died Jan. 18, 2022. At Ripon, he majored in economics and speech communication and participated in debate,

Faculty & Staff

VANCE COPE-KASTEN , professor emeritus of philosophy who taught at Ripon from 1970 to 2013, died March 15, 2023. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Lawrence University and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow. He also was a Fulbright Scholar in Freiburg, Germany; and studied Eastern thought at the University of Michigan. At Ripon, he served as chair of the philosophy department, the Victor and Carrie Palmer Endowed Chair for Leadership Values, originator and co-director of the Women’s Studies Program, and faculty development coordinator. He designed the first Eastern philosophical tradition course at Ripon; devised the Palmer Leadership Exploration event; and received the James Underkofler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and the May Bumby Severy, Class of 1908, Award three times. He enjoyed music and played cello in the Ripon College Orchestra. He also loved flowers, reading, poetry, gardening and learning new languages. Survivors include his wife, Janilyn Cope-Kasten, niece of Professor Emeritus of Philosophy Robert “Spud” Hannaford; one son and one daughter.

JOHN M. GEHRKE , a former chef with Ripon College food service, died May 24, 2023. He served in the U.S. Army and was stationed at Fort Lewis in Washington and Schofield Barracks in Hawaii. He also had worked as a chef at the Heidel House in Green Lake. After retirement, he and his wife opened their home to many foster children. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, bowling, working in the yard, cooking large meals for his family, singing and country/western music. Survivors include his wife, Cheryl; and four sons.

CARLTON WAYNE LARSON of Ripon, Wisconsin, professor of mathematics and computer science from 1955 to 1989, died June 27, 2023. He was a graduate of Cornell College and earned his master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was an instructor at the Milwaukee School of Engineering from 19501955. At Ripon, he was chairman of the mathematics department and received the May Bumby Severy, Class of 1908, Award in 1966 and 1986. He was a pioneer in using computers in the classroom. Along with Edwin Comfort, professor emeritus of mathematics, he established the Edwin Comfort-Wayne Larson Department of Mathematics and Computer Science Fund. He loved all card games, especially duplicate bridge, and had attained Life Master status. He also enjoyed reading, playing flute, piano and organ, and watching the Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a member of First Congregational Church of Ripon.

BETH LAU , assistant professor of English from 1985 to 1990, died Nov. 2, 2022. She majored in English at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and earned a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. She taught at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and at Ripon College before becoming a professor at California State University, Long Beach, where she taught for 22 years. She wrote seven books, the most recent published in 2022, and more than 44 journal articles, mostly on John Keats and Jane Austen. She also wrote book reviews and presented papers at professional conferences, many in England. In 2011, she moved back to her home state of Indiana, where she continued research and writing. She also volunteered at the Monroe County History Center. Survivors include her husband, Roger Young.

DOLORES “LAURIE” PAULSON of Ripon, Wisconsin, a former secretary in the Office of Admission, died April 6, 2023. She was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, had taught business education in Columbus, Wisconsin, and evening business classes for Moraine Park Technical College, and was a substitute teacher at Ripon Middle and High School for many years. She was a member of Grace Lutheran Church. Survivors include her husband, Donald; two sons and one daughter.

ROBERT L. TAYLOR of Markesan, Wisconsin, former director of computer services and assistant professor of computer science, died April 7, 2023. He worked at Ripon from 1967 until retiring in 1992 and created the Ripon College Computer Center, now called the Office of Information Technology. He studied at Rutgers University and received his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He served in the U.S. Army and worked in the insurance industry and at Control Data in Bloomington, Minnesota, before coming to Ripon. He was active in the Ripon community and with the Ripon Jaycees. After retirement, he went into business with partners at Ripon Data Services and Video Age Productions. He also started the vacation rental company Green Lake Vacations LLC. He was active in his church. Survivors include his wife, Kathro; and one son.

MARGARET SCHULTZ TETZLAFF , a former cook at Ripon College, died May 3, 2023. She enjoyed gardening, canning, fishing, camping, crocheting, Swedish Weave, flowers and plants of all kinds, cardinals, watching the birds in her yard and traveling across the country with her family. She was a member of the Homemakers KM Do-ettes for 56 years and was serving her second term as president. Survivors include three daughters.


track, football and Phi Kappa Pi/Merriman, and as a 50th reunion committee volunteer. He earned a master’s degree in economics from Northwestern University. He had been managing director at J&R Consulting, doing market studies, retail location analysis and acquisitions, and retired in 2002. He enjoyed visiting Door County, Wisconsin, Inverness, Illinois, and Tucson, Arizona.

CHARLES “CHUCK” DOLEZAL ’62 of Roselle, Illinois, died Dec. 11, 2018. At Ripon, he participated in Phi Kappa Pi (Merriman). Survivors include his wife, Joyce; Chuck will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 56 years, Joyce; and six children.

ROBERT L. NELSON ’63 of Suring, Wisconsin, died June 13, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics and was commissioned through ROTC. He earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Northern Michigan University. He served in the U.S. Army until 1966, then in the Army Reserves until 1972. He taught math in the Suring Public Schools for 33 years, retiring in 1999. He enjoyed golfing.

ALICE “MIKE” HAWLEY NEUSCHWANGER ’63 of Mount Carroll, Illinois, who attended Ripon in the 1960s, died April 22, 2023. She attended Ripon for one year and graduated from Shimer College in Mount Carroll in 1963. She was active in the community and enjoyed attending and volunteering at the theatre; Mayfest and holiday parades; creating crafts; and substitute teaching. She was an active member of Saints John and Catherine Catholic Church.Survivors include three sons and two daughters.

RONALD SCOTT “SCOTT” HEIDERICH ’64 of St. Paul, Minnesota, died May 7, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics, participated in the undefeated 1963 football team and his 50th reunion committee, and was commissioned through ROTC. He served for a year in Vietnam. He was a retired library assistant of the Saint Paul Public Library, was involved with the Minnesota Streetcar Museum for more than 40 years and had served on its board of directors.

RICHARD M. KOVARIK ’64 of Aurora, Illinois, died April 16, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics, participated in Sigma Nu/Theta Sigma Tau and was commissioned through ROTC. After serving for two years in the U.S. Army, he worked for the Comptroller of the Currency for 24 years, five years at Shawmut National Bank and on his own as a banking consultant. Survivors include his wife, JUDITH ELLICSON KOVARIK ’63 ; and two sons.

CHERYL KOLB ROHT ’65 of Leawood, Kansas, died March 7, 2023. At Ripon, she participated in Alpha Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Theta. She spent her early years in Green Lake, Wisconsin, and moved many times with her military family. She was the administrative assistant to the chairman of the Department of International Health at Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, a real estate agent in Houston, Texas, and a docent in the Kansas City Zoo and the Nelson Atkins Art Museum. She enjoyed attending the performing arts, animals and birds, training therapy dogs, flowers and gardening, nature, reading, drawing, cooking, golf and traveling extensively, especially to Scotland and Japan. Survivors include her husband, Lewis; and three daughters. Her parents were the late ROLAND L. KOLB ’39 , who later headed the ROTC program at Ripon, and EMILY GENGE KOLB ’40

TERRY J. TOBIAS ’65 of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, died Dec. 30, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in history and

was a member of Lambda Delta Alpha/Delta Upsilon. He worked in the fastener industry, first in sales for TRW in Chicago and Cleveland, as a sales manager and president of Spirol, then as owner and president of Spring Steel Fastener Co. He enjoyed tennis and model trains. Survivors include one son.

PHILIP AYRES METCALF ’67 of Bethel, Connecticut, died March 9, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in philosophy and participated in student theatre, music, government and Sigma Chi/Omega Sigma Chi. He also received a degree in philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He started his career in publishing at Random House, later moving into telecommunications and voice recognition software. He was an avid golfer, tennis player, hiker and church choir member. He also enjoyed gardening, travel, cooking and fine dining, architecture and garden design, reading, listening to music and reciting trivia. Survivors include two sons and one daughter.

PATRICIA SLOAN CLOGSTON ’68 of Asheville, North Carolina, died March 12, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in history and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. She worked in the information technology department and as a systems analyst at Cargill, a pioneering woman in a traditional man’s field. She and her husband lived in Brazil for four years where she was an independent consultant to automotive companies. After returning to the United States, she developed a product that generated code for a small firm, then worked for IDS (later American Express). She volunteered as a systems consultant with Habitat for Humanity in Minneapolis-St. Paul and Asheville. After retiring, she was an artist in pottery and torching glass. Survivors include her husband, Charlie.

JANE FABER RUBIN ’68 of Maple Grove, Minnesota, died Feb. 19, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in biology and participated in Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. She moved to New York City and did breast cancer research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and then taught science at Grace Church School. After marrying, she returned to Minnesota. She was an instructor at the Osseo Area Schools Adult Basic Education Center for more than 15 years. She also served for more than a decade as a parent member of the Osseo School’s District Planning Advisory Committee. She was an active member of the Church of the Epiphany in Plymouth, Minnesota, and also enjoyed playing piano, music, gardening, playing cards and watching Minnesota sports. Survivors include her husband, Barry; and two sons.

DANIEL J. DYKSTRA JR. ’69 of El Macero, California, died Jan. 4, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in history, participated in student government, music and Lambda Delta Alpha/Delta Upsilon, and was commissioned through ROTC. He earned his law degree from the University of Arizona College of Law and a master’s of law in labor law from George Washington University Law School. He served with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Norfolk District and South Pacific Division, then was deputy district counsel for the San Francisco District. He served three tours of duty to Afghanistan where he was bestowed the Chief Counsel’s Bert P. Pettinato (Pride in Public Service) Award. He enjoyed traveling and golf. Survivors include his wife Moira “Mitty”; and two sons.

CRISTA STALEY ELLIS ’69 of Saratoga Springs, New York, died March 14, 2023. At Ripon, she studied philosophy and participated in College Days and Alpha Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Theta. She also studied graphic

design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. She worked as a journalist at Lerner Newspaper and The Pioneer Press in Chicago, and retired as a graphic artist from Avco Co. in Clifton Park, New York, in 1988. She was an accomplished painter and potter, showing in art exhibits. She also enjoyed knitting, dying and spinning her own fibers, nature, water, Crosby Stills and Nash, cooking, sewing, babies, barns and driving to Vermont to see the fall colors. Survivors include one son and one daughter.

MARILEE HOFFMEYER SHORE ’69 of Maryville, Tennessee, and formerly of Hendersonville, North Carolina, died May 10, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in German and participated in athletics, student government, music, theatre and Kappa Delta/Delta Phi Sigma. She earned a master’s degree in library science from the University of Michigan and worked in both public and private libraries primarily in Illinois and North Carolina. She and her husband, Bob, were active in the Little Theater in Hendersonville. She loved cats, who were named after opera characters. She was also active on the boards and committees in churches and other groups everywhere she lived. Survivors include three stepdaughters.

DAVID P. SINISH ’69 of Collinsville, Connecticut, died June 14, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in psychology, participated in music, athletics and Phi Delta Theta/ Alpha Phi Omega, and was captain of the ski team. He was an avid paddler, instructor, conservationist, advocate, speaker, writer and water quality monitor. He served on the board of the Farmington River Watershed Association, as founder of the Connecticut Canoe Racing Association, as an organizer of the Eastern Region U.S. Olympic Whitewater Kayak Trials and as a member of the Farmington River Coordinating Committee, Canton Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency, Board of Selectmen and Board of Assessment Appeals. He enjoyed gardening, playing his flute, and building kayaks and wood-strip canoes. Survivors include his wife, Carrie; one son and one daughter.

JAMES M. HUFFMAN ’70 of Elk Grove Village, Illinois, died Nov. 13, 2022. At Ripon, he majored in chemistry, participated in intramural sports and was commissioned through ROTC. He served as a combat engineer in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He went to graduate school in chemistry at Northern Illinois University. He worked as a manufacturing chemist. While he worked for Lever Brothers, he spent a year in Liverpool, England. He was an avid Green Bay Packers and St. Louis Cardinals fan. He enjoyed golf, card games and alpine skiing in the western states and Europe. Survivors include a brother, LEE HUFFMAN ’73

MARK A. LARSON ’70 of Bluffton, South Carolina, died May 21, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics, played football and participated in Phi Delta Theta/Alpha Phi Omega. He received Ripon’s Distinguished Alumni Citation in 1995. He lived in numerous locations, including Switzerland and several in the United States. He worked in the wine industry until retiring in 2022. He played golf on six of the continents, with his wife sailed America’s Great Loop, circumnavigating the eastern half of the United States and part of Canada, and was involved with the United States Power Squadron (America’s Boating Club), serving leadership roles in the Hilton Head Squadron and South Carolina/Coastal Georgia Power Squadron District. He loved the Green Bay Packers. Survivors include his wife, LINDA WOHLSCHLAEGER LARSON ’70 ; one son and one daughter.

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JAMES M. WALSH ’70 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died Feb. 16, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics, participated in football and Merriman/Phi Kappa Pi, and was commissioned through ROTC. He was a firefighter for the city of Milwaukee for 28 years, the last 17 years as a lieutenant. He simultaneously served in the U.S. Army for 25 years. He was an avid golfer and at age 53 he shot a 71-breaking par. He was also an enthusiastic outdoor walker. Survivors include his wife, Mary Jo; one son, two daughters and three step-daughters.

JOSEPH E. BARES ’71 of Bartlesville, Oklahoma, died April 9, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in chemistry and was commissioned through ROTC. He received a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Northwestern University. He was a research scientist for LORD Corp. in Erie, Pennsylvania, as a Mellon Institute Fellow at Carnegie Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, and in Cary, North Carolina. He then was a research chemist for Phillips Petroleum and Conoco Phillips until retiring in 2017. He loved sports, participated in baseball, wrestling, bicycling, whitewater rafting, volleyball, running, racquetball and soccer, and coached various teams for more than 50 years. He enjoyed gardening, hiking, traveling and ushering at his church. Survivors include his wife, Floran; and two sons.

JOAN C. BENNETT ’71 of Laurel, Maryland, died March 8, 2023. At Ripon, she majored in French and English. She taught English for a year in France. She then studied at the University of La Verne College of Law and enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves. She worked for the Port of Oakland in California, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office and the State of California as an attorney. She transferred to the U.S. Navy Reserves and specialized in loading non-nuclear weapons, traveling to Panama, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and onboard the USS Anzio before reaching the rank of Commander and retiring in 1996. She operated her own immigration law practice in Conroe, Texas, retiring in 2017. She enjoyed church activities, cooking, audiobooks and gardening. Survivors include one daughter.

SARA FOUDRIAT EGGERT ’72 of Greenville, South Carolina, died April 27, 2022. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and educational studies and was a member of Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. Her passion was raising her children and spoiling her grandchildren. She spent many hours riding her horse and also quilted extensively. She volunteered as an aide in public schools and taught Sunday school at her church. She enjoyed traveling throughout the United States and Europe with her favorite trip being horseback riding in Sicily. Survivors include her husband, ALAN R. EGGERT ’71 ; two sons and one daughter; and a brother-in-law DAVID A. EGGERT ’77

(HOWARD) LEE JONES ’73 of Austin, Texas, died Jan. 15, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in student government and Sigma Nu/ Theta Sigma Tau. He received a master’s of business administration degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1978 and a master’s degree in history from the University of North Texas in 2012. He had worked as an outreach coordinator with the Government Emergency Telephone Service and Wireless Priority Service since 1995, first at Verizon and then for the Department of Homeland Security. He also gave presentations regarding priority call setup services available for emergency responders in times of telephone network congestion. Survivors include one

son and one daughter; three sisters, including LINDA JONES KAMMEN ’69 ; and a brother-in-law, RICHARD KAMMEN ’68

LINDA LANDIN KAROW ’74 of Silver Spring, Maryland, died Dec. 1, 2022. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and participated in Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. Survivors include her husband, Jay; one son and one daughter.

DENNIS S. PORDON ’74 of Delafield, Wisconsin, died July 10, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in football, baseball and Phi Delta Theta/ Alpha Phi Omega. He worked for more than 40 years as an investment banking and business professional. He was devoted to his faith. He was a member of Divine Redeemer Lutheran Church for more than 30 years and was actively involved in the men’s ministry and Christian Athletic Scholarship Foundation. He enjoyed the outdoors and all things sports, particularly playing golf and pickleball. Survivors include one son and one daughter; and a sister-in-law JOAN UETZMANN LEROY ’74 . His wife, JEAN UETZMANN PORDON ’77 , died in 2017.

MARK J. WRIGHT ’75 of Mankato, Minnesota, died March 26, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in history and participated in student government, Beta Sigma Pi and swimming. He was a conference champion in the 200 breaststroke. Additionally, he received a master’s degree in finance from Columbia University. He was a longtime member of the Ripon College Board of Trustees, serving on committees such as finance, infrastructure and investment. He also financially supported many initiatives and volunteered for reunion committees and recruitment efforts. Professionally, he was president and CEO of Acadia Windows & Doors; CFO for a radio partnership at Sandab Communications; principal of The Wright Consulting Group; and consultant/practitioner with the Regional Center for Entrepreneurial Facilitation. Survivors include his wife, MARCIA WILSON WAHOSKE ’75; and two sons. Marcia’s father was ROBERT WILSON ’42 , a professor of physics at Ripon.

RALPH W. MAROL JR. ’76 of Evanston, Illinois, died Dec. 5, 2022. At Ripon, he studied business management. He received a degree from Emory University and a master of business administration from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He had successful careers in finance, real estate and retail, owned a bakery and, with his sister Mary, owned and managed properties in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood. He was a practicing Buddhist and a longtime student of meditation. He enjoyed woodworking, playing Yahtzee, listening to books on tape and Chicago sports. Survivors include one son.

MICHAEL TRUE ’76 of Neillsville, Wisconsin, died June 29, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in Phi Kappa Pi (Merriman). He had been self-employed. Survivors include two children; a brother, RODNEY TRUE ’74 ; and a sister, BARBARA TRUE BALKE ’79

STEVEN L. BEACOM ’77 of Marshall, Wisconsin, died Feb. 13, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in physical education and participated in football, wrestling and Phi Delta Theta/ Alpha Phi Omega. He taught and coached in Marshall for more than 30 years. He led teams to the state track title for multiple years, taking the boys’ football team to state for the first time in Marshall’s history. He was elected to the track coaching Hall of Fame. He was a member of the Marshall Lions Club for many years. He enjoyed

playing golf, gambling and watching John Wayne movies.

KAREN STOCKDALE HOEHNE ’78 of Libertyville, Illinois, died July 5, 2020. At Ripon, she majored in economics and participated in Alpha Delta Pi/Pi Tau Pi. She had worked as a treasury manager for several pharmaceutical companies. She enjoyed gardening, sewing and her favorite television shows, “Gilmer Girls,” “Ally McBeal” and “Pride and Prejudice.” Survivors include her husband, THEODORE “TED” HOEHNE ’77 ; two daughters; brothers, including DAVID STOCKDALE ’75 ; and a sister-in-law, SUZANNE HOEHNE KILLIAN ’75

NANCY J. SAFEBLADE ’80 of Rice Lake, Wisconsin, died June 23, 2023. At Ripon, she studied politics and government. She worked as a nanny in France, in a kibbutz in Israel and as a nurse’s aide for many years. She enjoyed reading, swimming, sailing, hiking and camping. Survivors include her mother, Evelyn Safeblade; and siblings, including DAVID E. SAFEBLADE ’81

NANCY A. RAMER ’81 of Clifton Park, New York, died Dec. 28, 2018. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and participated in the Crimson yearbook and Beta Sigma Pi. She worked for many years in the finance department of DeCrescente Distributing Co. in Mechanicville and retired in September 2017. She previously had been treasurer of her father’s company, Pillow-Tech International LTD, headquartered in Stoughton, Massachusetts. While living in California, she also owned and operated the jewelry company Mystic Mirage. She volunteered at the Animal Protective Foundation in Scotia and loved travel, cooking, Stephen King novels, movies, craft fairs, shopping at HomeGoods, and cookouts at camp. Survivors include her fiancé, Scott A. Westcott.

LINDA BOGSTAD TOMAINO ’81 of Arlington Heights, Illinois, died Dec. 30, 2012. At Ripon, she studied economics and politics and government and participated in basketball. Survivors at that time included her husband, GREGORY A. TOMAINO ’82 . He died Dec. 18, 2022.

GREGORY A. TOMAINO ’82 of Arlington Heights, Illinois, died Dec. 18, 2022. At Ripon, he majored in history. He was the devoted owner of several dogs and cats, including Gracie and Georgie. His wife, LINDA BOGSTAD TOMAINO ’81 , died in 2012.

JENNIFER JOHNSON WILD ’93 of White Lake, Wisconsin, died June 24, 2023. At Ripon, she participated in volleyball and basketball. She earned a degree in accounting from St. Norbert College and received her CPA designation. She was the business administrator for the White Lake School District for many years and also worked for a local accounting firm and her own business in White Lake preparing taxes. Her faith was important to her. She was an avid Packers fan and skilled paddler, enjoyed traveling and learning to ski in Utah, and loved being on the Wolf River. Survivors include one son and one daughter.

MICHAEL J. BENDER ’95 of North Freedom, Wisconsin, died March 30, 2023. At Ripon, he majored in history and participated in student government. He was a dog lover and will be especially missed by his four-legged companions, Hejamie and Buddy. Survivors include his mother, Sandra.

CHAD BUTTERFIELD ’98 of Buckeye, Arizona, died Jan. 30, 2023. At Ripon, he participated in baseball and football.


Jessie Lillis ’13 brings professional summer residency to Ripon theatre

Jessie Lillis ’13 has come full circle in her theatrical career. After getting her start in theatre as a student at Ripon College, this summer she brought her professional theatre company back home to the College for a residency on campus.

Starling Shakespeare Company also presented a series of free performances of plays by William Shakespeare in the Ripon/Green Lake area.

At Ripon, Lillis majored in communication with a minor in theatre production. “Honestly, a lot of how and why I ended up where I am right now is because of Ripon,” Lillis says. “I always liked Shakespeare, but it wasn’t until I took Ann Pleiss Morris’ ‘Shakespeare in Pop Culture’ class that I really fell in love. Beyond that, Ann is the reason I found the MLitt/MFA program at Mary Baldwin (University), which played a huge part in preparing me to start a company.”

After receiving her MFA from Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare and Performance program with a concentration in directing, she wanted to start a theatre company. But the COVID pandemic hit right at the end of her MFA in the spring of 2020, and she took a hard look at problematic industry-wide practices and seeing

theatres she knew and loved closing their doors because of pandemic-induced financial issues. Therefore, when she founded and became the co-artistic director of the touring Starling Shakespeare Company, there was a different setup than many companies have. While Lillis herself is based in Philadelphia, the company has no home base. They establish long-term residencies and partnerships in a place for a rehearsal period before going on tour.

“I started doing Shakespeare here at Ripon and started growing into myself theatrically,” she says. “It made sense to me to reach out to Ripon to rehearse our new season. There are a lot of ways I would have benefited from having exposure to something like this as a student.”

There have been benefits all around. “The residency went really well,” Lillis says. “From our perspective, it was good to be in such a great space. Everybody on campus was so remarkably welcoming. Every audience was so excited and grateful that we came.”

Andrea Williams ’04, a theatre and history graduate of Ripon, helped create sets for the shows. “For both of us, coming back was very

left A scene from “As You Like It” right Jessie Lillis ’13, right, in “As You Like It”

fun,” Lillis says. “It’s been so long since I was there. Some parts are still the same and still familiar. It was fun to see the old and the new. It was coming home, but with a few updates.” Professor of Theatre John Dalziel says current students will benefit when Lillis returns to campus in the fall to hold workshops in theatre and lectures in theatre and English classes.

“Theatre helps you escape from reality for a little bit and helps you see other perspectives,” Lillis says. “Especially (these days), it’s such a good way to open people’s minds about things and to reconsider different lived experiences that the characters are going through.”

Although she is pleased with how the residency and tour went this year, she is always looking ahead.

“I think I’m one of those people who is never really satisfied — there’s always something else,” she says. “There are ways to improve, push ourselves to be better, create new, different and challenging projects. I’m looking toward the horizon to whatever the next thing might be.”

SUMMER 2023 | 41

Scholarly Publications & Presentations

hibit “Art Against the Odds” at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. Salas also was featured in “Cruces/Crossroads,” a two-person exhibition with Chicago artist Herman Aguirre Martinez, on view March 25 to May 13 at Portrait Society Gallery of Contemporary Art in Milwaukee. The two Latinx artists presented an expansive meditation on the rural and urban experience, the conflicts of establishing an American life from immigrant roots, and the spiritual and poetic power that painting has to describe the “cruces” or crossroads they have experienced. A review of the exhibit was published May 9 in Shepard Express, a Milwaukee publication.

academic leadership fellow : Mary Unger, associate professor of English, chair of the Department of English and coordinator of the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies program, has been designated as an Associated Colleges of the Midwest Mellon Academic Leadership Fellow, funded by a $1.5 million grant from the Mellon Foundation.

As a contributor to senior leadership discussions over a two-year term, Unger will lead a discrete project or portfolio of responsibilities as identified by Ripon’s senior leadership team.

political science

presentation : Henrik M. Schatzinger, professor of political science and interim director of the Center for Politics and the People, and Aaron O’Halloran ’24 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, presented new research at the annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association in January in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Their presentation was titled “The Effects of Outside Money on City Council Elections in New York.” Schatzinger also was interviewed for “WisconsinEye,” a 30-minute cable TV show, for its segment “Newsmakers: A Preview of the Spring General Election Ballot” ahead of the spring election. “WisconsinEye” is a nonprofit, private-public affairs network delivering state government news.

science teaching publication : A paper co-written by Assistant Professor of Biology Robin Forbes-Lorman was published in the November/

December 2022 issue of the Journal of College Science Teaching. The journal is published by the National Science Teaching Association. The paper is titled “Interactive, Physical Course Materials as Formative Assessment Opportunities to Improve Student Learning of Molecular Structure-Function Relationships.”

prolific activities : Robert L. “Bob” Wallace, Ph.D., professor emeritus of biology, has numerous professional activities: presentations at gatherings in Croatia and Texas; and published papers in the Journal of Plankton Research, Hydrobiologia and Zoologischer Anzeiger: A Journal of Comparative Zoology.

He also completed the second year of a four-year National Science Foundation Grant of $112,000: “Collaborative Research: Life cycle evolution in Rotifera: The influence of sexual reproduction on contemporary systematics of Monogononta.”

poems published : Poems by Associate Professor of English Megan Gannon were included in the Winter & Spring 2023 issue of Alaska Quarterly Review and the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of Salamander magazine.

art exhibit , publication : An article by Rafael Francisco Salas, professor of art and chair of the Department of Art and Art History, was published Jan. 31 by Urban Milwaukee magazine. “Powerful Art by Prison Inmates” is about the ground-breaking ex-

vocal soloist : Assistant Professor of Music Erin Bryan was the soprano soloist when the Oshkosh Chamber Singers presented Josef Haydn’s masterpiece oratorio “The Creation” on Palm Sunday, April 2. Members of the choir include Professor of History Rebecca Matzke, Professor of Biology Memuna Khan and College Editor Jaye Alderson. Bryan also was the soprano soloist for the South Shore Chorale’s performance of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (4th Movement) April 29 and 30 in Fond du Lac.

on the road in washington , d . c .: Assistant Professor of Theatre Lillian Brown took her solo performance of “The OREO Complex” to Caos on F in Washington, D.C., in May and June for 10 performances. Written and performed by Brown, the show tells the story of OREO Girl, a black woman navigating predominantly white institutions. For her, it is a voyage to be seen as authentically human, despite obstructions from a community who want to put her in a box.

42 | RIPON College

soccer hall of fame : David Scott, associate professor of mathematical sciences and assistant coach of men’s soccer, was inducted into the Wisconsin Soccer Hall of Fame. He has coached numerous teams, including for Ripon College, Marian College (now Marian University), Ripon High School, Berlin High School, Ripon Recreational Soccer Association and Wisconsin Select Women’s Team, and as director of coaching/staff coach for the Wisconsin Youth Soccer Association.

women in tech : Jan Plane, associate professor of computer science, was the keynote speaker at the workshop

“A Deep Dive by EDU Change Makers,” hosted April 27 by Google NYC Women Techmakers at the Google Headquarters in New York City.

Plane attended the workshop virtually. The theme of the workshop was “Dare to Be,” and Plane’s opening talk was titled “Dare to Be — Someone Who Fixes the World with Innovation, Impact and Inspiration.”

Kennan biography spotlights his father’s alma mater, Ripon

A NEW BIOGRAPHY of the legendary American diplomat and historian George F. Kennan contains several fascinating references to Ripon College, his father’s alma mater.

The 648-page book — “Kennan: A Life Between Worlds,” by Frank Costigliola — notes that Kennan delivered a lecture at the College in February 1965 and stayed in the apartment where his father lived as a student. “Flooded with literally hundreds of lecture invitations each year, he chose to talk at Ripon College in Wisconsin. …”

income tax commissioner from 1911 to 1913, when he retired.

In his biography of George F. Kennan — perhaps best known as an advocate of containment concerning Soviet expansion during the Cold War — Costigliola writes that Kennan’s father worked his way through Ripon College by rising early to do farm chores. He taught himself enough engineering to supervise railroad and irrigation construction projects in Montana, and he recruited German immigrants to settle rural lands owned by the Wisconsin Central Railroad, according to Costigliola.

cultural competence : Associate Professor of Art History Travis Nygard will have essays in two new books: “George Washington Carver” in The Unforgettables: Expanding the History of American Art; and “Racist and Ethnic Stereotypes in the Arts” in the forthcoming The Handbook of Music and Art, edited by Professor of Music Emerita Sarah Mahler Kraaz.

He presented a paper about the ancient Mayan Palenque’s Oval Palace Tablet March 30 at the Annual Conference of the Midwest Art History Society in Milwaukee.

After the lecture and a reception, Kennan retreated to the apartment (listed as 18 West College) and sat in the dark gazing out the window at the blowing “blessed snow, covering everything mercifully and impartially,” Costigliola wrote in the book, quoting from Kennan’s diaries. “I was suddenly struck with a surge of feeling for my long-dead, honored father.”

Kennan’s father — Kossuth Kent Kennan — was born in Oshkosh in 1851 and was a member of Ripon’s Class of 1875; admitted to the bar in 1878; and received an honorary degree from Ripon in 1911. A lawyer, he served as Wisconsin state

In 1965, while staying in the apartment his father once occupied, Kennan wondered about the closeness between he and his father “at that moment,” Costigliola quotes Kennan from his diaries.

“Given the fantastical logic of that snowy night, it seemed reasonable,” Costigliola writes. “(Kossuth Kent Kennan) must also have looked out this window on snowy nights and must also have seen what George was seeing.”

SUMMER 2023 | 43

Chemistry, art departments partner to recreate newly discovered blue pigment


of YInMn, the first new inorganic blue pigment commercially available in paint in more than 200 years, resulted from an interdisciplinary effort between Ripon College’s chemistry, art and art history departments.

Because it is difficult to extract the color blue from natural sources, artists have long created synthetic blue pigments. The last commercially manufactured, inorganic blue pigment was cobalt, discovered in 1802. YInMn was discovered in 2009, and its unique, bright blue color is considered far more vivid than cobalt or Prussian blue.

Ripon’s connection with YInMn began as an “oh wow” email exchange in 2020 when Professor of Art Rafael Salas shared an article about the new pigment with Professor of Chemistry Colleen Byron and Professor Emerita and Coach Elaine Coll.

Salas believes YInMn creates exciting opportunities for artists and painters. “It offers possibilities for experimentation and the potential for color relationships that are entirely novel and new,” he says. Byron suggested that the chemistry department could work on recreating YInMn so Salas could use it in his art classes. In the 2022 spring semester, she proposed the project to her Advanced Laboratory chemistry students.

Sierra Thein ’22 of Oostburg, Wisconsin, then a senior chemistry major, took on the challenge. “I chose the YInMn project since previous students have tried and failed in past years to make it,” she says. In order to complete the synthesis of the pigment, Thein borrowed a kiln from Associate Professor of Art Travis Nygard to heat three different compounds: yttrium, indium oxide and manganese oxide.

The recreation of the pigment included “a

lot of tedious work such as trying various ratios, temperatures, and time durations to see what combination worked best to achieve the best color,” Thein says. Additionally, Nygard’s kiln, primarily designed for glasswork, could not handle the high temperatures that were recommended for the project.

Despite these challenges, Thein succeeded and gave her recreation of the blue pigment to Salas, who turned it into a workable paint.

The project came full circle when Bri Young ’26, a studio art major from Omro, Wisconsin, created a small oil painting using the blue pigment during a painting class with Salas in the fall of 2022.

At the suggestion of Salas, Young decided to paint an egg, a Euclidean shape used as a drawing and painting exercise because of its complex curvature. Young expanded the minimal shape and gave the project a personal touch of floral designs echoing decorative elements in blue porcelain ceramics.

“The design I used in my painting was inspired by a cup I have at home,” Young says.

The overall project was funded by Coll and her husband, Gary Coll.

Young’s painting now is part of Ripon’s permanent collection of art. “It was pretty daunting to work with the new pigment since I only had a really small amount of it,” Young says. “Once I got the idea for the design, I ended up having a lot of fun with it.”

below Professor Emerita and Coach Elaine Coll, top left, and her husband, Gary, financially supported the interdisciplinary work done by artist Bri Young ’26, bottom left, and chemistry student Sierra Thein ’22.


Do you remember the voice of Mr. Slate, Fred Flintstone’s hot-tempered boss at the rock quarry, on the classic 1960s television program “The Flintstones?”

Or the resonant tones of the voiceovers at the end of each episode of the 1960s version of TV’s “Dragnet” — stating that a trial was held and “in a moment, the results of that trial,” before the show cut to a final commercial.

Or the voice of Rhino Guard in “Kung Fu Panda” in 2008?

All were provided by John Winfield Stephenson, Class of 1945, who lent his distinctive voice to dozens of animated and on-screen characters over a 60-year acting career.

He grew up in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and came to Ripon on the advice of his high school speech and drama coach, John D. Davies, Class of 1925. Stephenson majored in speech communication and participated in drama, but he left after the second quarter of his sophomore year to enlist in the Army Air Corps.

In response to a letter from Ripon College publicity director Clem Lueck, who kept in touch with Ripon servicemen throughout the war, Stephenson wrote back about Ripon: “If a fellow can be homesick – he certainly can be

‘school-sick.’ I don’t believe it’s necessary to tell you here what ‘the hill’ and old friends mean to me,” he said.

Stephenson flew more than 400 combat hours in World War II as a radio operator and gunner. After the war, he received a degree in theater from Northwestern University and worked in Chicago radio.

While visiting friends in Hollywood in 1948, he started landing gigs on radio shows and went on to work regularly as an on-screen actor, voice actor, announcer, host and narrator on radio, television, films and commercials. For 13 weeks, he introduced TV audiences to episodes of “I Love Lucy,” and he made recurring appearances on “The People’s Choice,” starring Jackie Cooper, and “The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show.”

He voiced the ladies’ man Fancy-Fancy on the animated series “Top Cat.” Guest appearances on dozens of television shows included “Perry Mason,” “F Troop” (as Gen. George Armstrong Custer), “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Mission: Impossible,” “The Doris Day Show,” “The Six Million Dollar Man,” “The Streets of San Francisco” and “Lou Grant.”

His numerous film appearances, both as a live actor and as a voice actor, include “Spartacus” and his last film role as Rhino Guard in “Kung Fu Panda” in 2008.

As a voice actor, he was a mainstay of Hanna-Barbera cartoons, playing hundreds of characters. He also voiced characters on shows such as “Jonny Quest” (as the father Dr. Benton C. Quest), “The Peter Potamus Show” (as Colonel Fusby), “The Magilla Gorilla Show,” “The Banana Splits Adventure Hour” and “Scooby-Doo.”

A compilation of many of his characters can be heard at

Stephenson died May 15, 2015, at the age of 91.

SUMMER 2023 | 45 R E MAR K A B L E RIP O N
Does the voice of John Stephenson ’45 sound familiar? It should!
top right Mr. Slate from “The Flintstones” below John Stephenson ’45 on “Hogan’s Heroes,” left, with John Banner as Sergeant Schultz; and a publicity photo, right

300 West Seward Street

Ripon, WI 54971

Flash Back 1924 and 2022

Ripon Athletics Hall of Famer and Olympic trials qualifier Ralph “Chris” Christoffersen, Class of 1925, left, set the school record in the outdoor long jump with a distance of 23 feet, 6 inches during the 1924 season, a record that stood for 98 years; and the school record in the high jump, which stood for 43 years.

Christoffersen’s long jump mark was shattered in April 2022 when Dameco Walker ’23 recorded a distance of 24 feet, 10 inches. The 2021-2022 men’s team also won the Midwest Conference Outdoor Team Championship for the first time in 98 years and its first-ever MWC Indoor Championship.

Christoffersen qualified for the Olympic tryouts in Boston in 1924. His school record was less than a foot shy of the Olympic Gold Medal distance that year at the 1924 Paris Games.

In the 2022-2023 season, Walker earned AllAmerican honors in both the indoor and outdoor long jump. He placed sixth at the NCAA indoor national championships and fourth at the outdoor national championships. This season, he again broke the long jump school record, going 25 feet, 1.5 inches.

46 | RIPON College
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