Ripon Magazine Winter 2020

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Empowering the First Generation through Education First-generation professors inspire students

Kassidy Walters ’22 back on courts after defeating cancer

More campus spaces refreshed, updated

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Winter 2020 VOLUME 53, ISSUE No. 1



Ripon Magazine (ISSN 1058-1855) is published twice annually by Ripon College. Postage paid at Ripon, Wisconsin. Copyright © 2020 Ripon College POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Ripon Magazine, 300 W. Seward St., Ripon, WI 54971

Ripon College prepares students

Editor: Jaye Alderson, 920-748-8364 Editorial Assistants: Loren Boone, Ric Damm, Michael Westemeier Student Assistants: Zoe Hazel ’22, Jillian Heidenreich ’22 Design: Ali Klunick Photography: Ric Damm Office of Constituent Engagement: 920-748-8126

citizenship. Our liberal arts



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

Inside 4 LAUDING THE FIRST GENERATION About 340 current students — more than 46% of the student body — are eligible to receive the financial, academic and mentoring assistance they need to become the first in their families to earn a four-year degree.


hese scholars exhibit their excitement and pride at T being first-generation students at Ripon College.

14 FIRST-HAND KNOWLEDGE OF FIRST-GENERATION No one can relate better to first-generation concerns than someone who has walked in those shoes. Several Ripon College faculty, who were the first in their families to receive a four-year degree, reach out to today’s students in a meaningful way.

18 LAUNCHING NEW LIVES Once first-generation students at Ripon College, these alumni have leveraged their liberal arts education into successful and meaningful careers.


rom fresh looks to cutting-edge technology, Ripon F College enhances the educational experience with ongoing revitalization projects across campus.

DEPARTMENTS: 24 Sports 28 Around the Clocktower 33 In Memoriam 37 Remarkable Ripon ON THE COVER: Celebrating their educational opportunities at Ripon College are current first-generation students Alexis Riggs ’21, left, Maythe Salcedo ’23, Luke Dretske ’21 and Sol Gonzalez ’22.

LEFT: The Harwood Memorial Union lights were green the night of Nov. 11 — Veterans’ Day — as part of the national “Greenlight a Vet” campaign to honor United States military veterans. The Center for Diversity and Inclusion supported the cause on campus stating that the green lights are “a simple reminder about the sacrifices veterans have made for our country and to show our appreciation to them.”


Education is the Premise of Progress


n the 1990s, I worked at the United Nations in New York, writing speeches that sometimes wound up on the desk of Secretary General Kofi Annan. The Secretary General was born in Ghana, won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize and attended Macalester College in Minnesota where he studied economics. He liked to say, “Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.” Ripon College is proud to empower students who are the first in their families to go to college. Almost half of our student body are first-generation college students, more than all but a small number of schools in Wisconsin and in the Associated Colleges of the Midwest. Our faculty and staff take the responsibility to these unique students very seriously. We can see the results of generations of Ripon alumni who also were first in their families to go to college. Many have gone on to achieve success in careers all over the world. But it took a lot of hard work to get there, and it still does today. Our outstanding Student Support Services staff, the Bridge program, the investment in the new Franzen Center for Academic Success in Lane Library, our emphasis on one-on-one tutoring programs and, of course, the care and dedication of Ripon’s faculty to individual teaching and advising make a critical difference. Being a school that truly cares about first-generation college students is doubly important to the Ripon community because many of our faculty and staff shared the experience of being the first in their families to graduate from college. They know just how critical an extra word of encouragement, thoughtful advice or a helping hand that goes above and beyond to find a solution can mean to a student




who doesn’t have a parent at home who went through a college experience themselves. In this issue of Ripon Magazine, you will hear the stories of current first-gen students, faculty, staff and alumni and how Ripon College has made a difference in their lives and continues to do so today. A quick side note: Please pay special attention to the feature story starting on page 24 about Kassidy Walters, an exercise science major in the Class of 2022 from Greenfield, Illinois. Kassidy is back at Ripon after dealing with Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year. We exchanged handwritten letters during her treatments, sharing our mutual experience with chemotherapy and how much we love basketball. Watching Kassidy score a couple of baskets against Illinois College in January for the 2019 Midwest Conference Champion women’s basketball team warmed my heart — and others, I am quite sure! — on a very cold winter day.



The evolution of Lane Library From periodical rooms to databases, from card catalogs to online discovery layers, Lane Library has continued to evolve over the past 90 years. The library’s namesake and Hollywood land developer, Rollin B. Lane, an 1872 alumnus of the College, donated $100,000 in 1930 saying, “I am repaying to a slight extent my debt to this college and especially to that noble band of teachers whose instructions and characters have influenced and benefitted my entire life.” In 1962, an additional $100,000 was provided by the United Church of Christ for renovations and improvements to the library. In 1974, the Wehr Learning and Resources Center was added onto the back of the library to provide more space for collections and for students to work. In 2019, the Franzen Center for Academic Success opened on the first level through the generosity of Mark Franzen ’83 and Janice Heinz Franzen ’83. This dynamic new learning environment centralizes all academic support services and ensures that students have easy access to resources. See FlashBack on the back cover for a profile of Rollin B. Lane. W I N T E R 2020



Participants, peer contacts and staff of Student Support Services gather before the start of classes in August 2019 to help first-year, first-generation students get off to a good start in their college careers.

Ripon College ranks highly in percentage of first-generation students NUMBERS HAVE GROWN TO MORE THAN 46% OF STUDENT BODY


ore than 46% of Ripon College’s student body self-identifies as firstgeneration college students. Some come to Ripon on a journey having big dreams like law school or medical school. Many come to Ripon needing a high level of information to help them make important decisions about their college educations. Some first-generation students come to Ripon having questioned whether higher education was in their future and many come having thought a private college was




not possible based on their background and family finances. In all, more than 340 Ripon students are first generation, meaning neither parent earned a four-year degree. The percentage of firstgeneration students at Ripon continues to inch upward — the percentage of first-year students in the first-year class has increased from 40% in 2014 to 48% in 2019. Ripon’s 46% first-generation students is higher than 19 of the 22 institutions in the Wisconsin Association of Independent

Rachel Hicks ’21, a first-generation student from Endeavor, Wisconsin, leads a group tutoring session at the Franzen Center for Academic Success. She is majoring in educational studies and history.

First-generation students at Ripon include Maythe Salcedo ’23 who is the first in her family to graduate from high school and now the first to attend college. She is among a growing number of students of color who are destined to be firstgeneration graduates. So, why has Ripon become, or always been, such a welcoming institution to firstgeneration students? As a faculty member and a former firstgeneration student herself, Jean Rigden, director of teacher education, will tell you it’s the relationships that faculty and staff develop with students that sets Ripon apart. Many faculty, alumni and undergraduates share that thought. Rigden has spent 11 years helping students become teachers. “We make connections with students so they have a person with whom to relate,” she says. “Sometimes, a student will come to me and ask if they can just talk about something. And, I tell them, ‘Yes, I’ll be your college ‘mom’ right now’.” Rigden is also a faculty mentor in the new Franzen Center for Academic Success working with students who want to improve their academic performance. She also helps train and supervise tutors and has been part

of a faculty panel that talks with participants in a Bridge Program for first-generation students that aims to ease the transition to college. The bridge effort is sponsored by Ripon’s U.S. Department of Educationfunded Student Support Services (SSS). “I encourage students to meet with their professors and advisor and not be afraid to ask questions,” Rigden says, adding that she can’t emphasize that enough with students. “Every student meets with their advisor once a semester at Ripon. That’s not the case everywhere.” While other reasons are tied to those relationships, some faculty, staff and alumni indicate it’s the nurturing nature at Ripon


Colleges and Universities (WAICU).

and the intimate experience that makes the College welcoming. Another reason Ripon has been successful recruiting and graduating first-generation students, according to Michele Wittler ’76, associate dean of faculty and registrar, is that “we appeal to families who are pursuing the American Dream in that they want their kids to be better off than they are, that they have better lives, interesting work and are financially better off.” Undergraduates say it’s the admission process, financial aid and fellow firstgeneration students who share their experiences that make Ripon their choice.

First-Year, First-Generation Students Neither parent completed a four-year degree U.S. Department of Education definition most commonly used

Ripon College: 48% Fall 2018 WAICU Schools: 27% Fall 2018 University of Wisconsin System: 33% Fall 2017, All 4-year institutions

Overall Enrollment, First-Generation Students Neither parent completed a four-year degree U.S. Department of Education definition most commonly used.

At Ripon College: 46% Fall 2018 WAICU Schools: 28% Fall 2018 UW System: Not tracked beyond first year

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DIVERSE, FIRST-GENERATION POPULATION GROWING AT RIPON With more and more students of color and those from rural areas going to college, it is likely that many of them will continue to be first generation as neither of their parents would have earned a four-year degree. Ripon, despite being in a non-urban area, has built a diversity population of 18% and of those who entered this fall in the class of 2023, 25% (55 students) are from diverse backgrounds. Building a diverse student body is “a strong initiative everywhere,” says Jennifer Machacek, vice president for enrollment. Machacek and Leigh Mlodzik ’02, dean of admission, say that current first-generation students are their best recruiting tools for prospective students who are first generation. “First-generation students find value in relating to both students and faculty who are just like them,” Mlodzik says. Several Ripon faculty members were first generation. “They know what these students are experiencing. Faculty are documented proof of the experience and success,” Machacek says. Mlodzik adds, “Ripon offers a very intimate, inviting, personalized educational experience. It’s a comfortable environment” without a lot of competition to succeed. “Fellow students are the best support.”

Others point to services available to the many first-generation students who participate in the SSS programs and extensive one-on-one and group tutoring programs in the Franzen Center. Students point to SSS where staff work with students to ease the transition, become academically successful, learn financial literacy and are exposed to the potential of graduate school. Dan Krhin, executive director of SSS, says the program focuses on first-generation and low-income students and those with physical or learning disabilities. About 160 Ripon students, the vast majority of them first generation, use the services offered in an intimate setting in Bartlett Hall. While SSS, which Ripon has had for 40 years, is focused on a specific population of students, the Franzen Center is open to




A cross-country race includes first-generation student Madie King ’21 of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. She was the women’s individual champion at the Midwest Conference Championships, the first time in 30 years and the second time in school history a Ripon College studentathlete has done so. She is majoring in economics.

everyone and brings all tutoring and academic resources into one coordinated, high-tech space in Lane Library. The center has tutoring contracts with more than 300 students, the highest in 12 years. Seventy-seven students serve as tutors, including 35 who are first generation. It also offers extensive walk-in and group tutoring for specific academic areas and courses and has six collaboration meeting rooms. Along with the facilities and programs to help first-generation students is a high level of commitment to student success demonstrated by faculty and staff who assist students well beyond traditional expectations. About 40% of incoming SSS first-generation students annually participate in the intensive three-day Bridge Program before school starts to assist in setting them on the road to success in college. Participants meet with their peer contacts who work directly with the first-generation students. They are introduced to their first Catalyst curriculum class and learn about the importance of time management and good study habits. They attend their first college class, learn about academic resources and about connecting majors to careers and graduate school. The Bridge Program, Krhin says, takes an integrated approach to assist students with a smooth transition. “Students may have the support of parents, but they don’t have the experience of belonging to an institution, nor how to use the SSS program.” He adds, “Firstgeneration students are as talented as other students but often lack information that could help them be more successful.”

Dakota Marlega ’21, a first-generation student from Waupaca, Wisconsin, presents at the fall 2019 Catalyst Day. She is majoring in communication and theatre.

In addition, the Bridge Program encourages students to see college as an interdependent experience, not an independent one. And, academic success is the key. “We tell students that your journey to a successful career is a path that you need to follow and adhere to,” Krhin says. “That starts with academic success.” He adds first-generation students use the program in a variety of ways from talking with staff about increasing academic skills to learning about connecting majors to careers and how the graduate school process works. He says the biggest element firstgeneration students and their parents need “is more information upon which to base their decisions. You don’t know what you don’t know.” Some students hit the ground running, Krhin says, “others don’t have the tools and information about being successful. We try to help both types of students.” Study skills, Krhin says, are key to any student’s success and especially firstgeneration. They need to use the college’s tutoring services, seek assistance from faculty and keep a planner. “We have always encouraged students to see tutoring as guided practice,” he adds. Tutoring, Krhin notes, is not just for students who may not be doing well in a class or classes. “Our philosophy is that tutoring is actually practice in academics.

You wouldn’t want to go to class without practice just like an athlete wouldn’t want to go to a game without practice.” Students are encouraged to start tutoring as soon as a semester starts. “The message is clear,” Krhin says, “start tutoring in the first week of school so you can practice being a good student,” regardless of whether you’re first-generation or generational.

Perhaps the reason Ripon attracts and retains so many first-generation students is all the combined efforts of so many members of the faculty and staff. “It takes a village to recruit and retain a student,” including first-generation students, says Leigh Mlodzik ’02, dean of admission. LOREN BOONE FORMER DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE RELATIONS

A familiar face in Ripon College theatre productions, Deshawn Thomas ’20 is a first-generation student from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Here, he performs in the play “Paragon Springs.” He is majoring in theatre.

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Empowering the First Generation through Education





t Ripon College, we believe in the transformative power of education. Nowhere is this more evident than with first-generation students, those whose parents did not graduate from a four-year college. First-generation students often come from families with little first-hand understanding of higher education or those who may have a lower economic status. First-generation students, who often are the first even in their extended family to seek higher education, are especially empowered to use their education and experience gained at Ripon College to achieve their dreams and rise to new economic and career heights. In the incoming first-year class of 2023, 105 students — 48% of the class — are first-generation students.

Maythe Salcedo ’23 of Round Lake Beach, Illinois, Sol Gonzalez ’22 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, and Luke Dretske ’21 of Berlin, Wisconsin, are among the firstgeneration students currently at Ripon who are seeking to advance their lives through education. All three say they had had a college education as a goal since they were young, but none of them had previously been aware of Ripon or were immediately sold on the idea. Salcedo learned about Ripon during a college presentation at her high school. She wasn’t sure about Ripon because of its sticker price, but “I had to start the college application process, I didn’t know where to start and I knew it was free to apply, so I applied,” she says. “Little did I know that

The family of Maythe Salcedo ’23 celebrated with pride her first day at Ripon College. “The lady on the left is my grandmother, Rosa Ramirez; following is my Uncle Antonio C. Beltran; across the front are my sisters, 13-year-old twins Claudia Salcedo and Miryam Salcedo; behind my beautiful sisters is my amazing father, Marco Antonio Salcedo; the little boy there is my dear baby brother, Marco Antonio II; then there’s me and then my outstanding mother, Claudia Mariana Salcedo. My grandma and uncle took the day off of work just to be here. My uncle wanted to come with us, but there was no room in our van for my things and all the people so he decided to take all my things in his truck so that I may be able to enjoy time with my family. I am a first-generation MexicanAmerican college student, and this not only brings me joy and pride but also to my family in Mexico. Most of my family resides in Puente Grande Jalisco, and they were kept updated throughout the day.”

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Empowering the First Generation through Education

BRIDGING THE TRANSITION Each summer, four days before the start of the fall semester, the Bridge Program at Ripon College welcomes incoming first-generation first-years. Sponsored by Student Support Services (SSS), Bridge helps these students make a smooth personal and social transition to college life. The Bridge experience provides information on available campus resources; facilitates workshops on success techniques with an emphasis on early tutoring services; offers actual classes with Ripon professors; demonstrates the connection between a college degree and a successful life and career after graduation; provides information about graduate school; and creates opportunities for students to create a support network with other first-year students. “Students are exposed to a wide range of information about best practices related to academic achievement, the value of a four-year college degree, what to expect in an actual college classroom and how to successfully function in a college environment,” says Dan Krhin, executive director of SSS. The program is funded by a U.S. Department of Education Student Support Services grant.

Ripon was going to accept me and give me a hefty financial aid award.”

“... I never saw myself going to a private liberal arts school, but after learning a little more about Ripon and its curriculum after sending in my application, it became an option. It took me a while to commit to Ripon but after a long thought and more researching, Ripon felt like the right choice.” SOL GONZALEZ ’22 10



Gonzalez had a similar experience. “Ripon sent me their free application and I said, ‘Why not?’,” she says. “It was a free application. I never saw myself going to a private liberal arts school but learning a little more about Ripon and their curriculum after sending in my application, it became an option. It took me a while to commit to Ripon but after a long thought and more researching, Ripon felt like the right choice.” Dretske says his parents always discussed the importance of a college education, but he didn’t look into Ripon at first because he lived close to Ripon and initially wanted to go to school a bit further away. “However, after further thought, I decided it was the most suitable choice for me,” Dretske says. “It allowed me to pursue my desired majors, continue to sing in a choir and become involved in the student government.” Although none of these students initially expected to come to Ripon, they have found great value in their decision to become a


Dretske ’21 attended The Institute of Counter-Terrorism World Summit in Tel Aviv, Israel, in September 2019. In the bottom photo, he tutors Abigail Urbina ’23, a first-generation student from Round Lake Beach, Illinois, at the Franzen Center for Academic Success. Sol Gonzalez ’22 serves as a student representative on the Alumni Association Board of Directors. In the photo below, Sol Gonzalez ’22 discusses the positive effects of wind energy as part of a Catalyst 220 group poster presentation in Todd Wehr Hall in December 2019.


“My father drove me to my college visits, and my mom listened to me rant about my college options. … A part of the journey also included my grandmother who works the night shift at Walmart, my uncle who works at Thornton’s and my siblings who encouraged me throughout!”

Red Hawk. Support services and financial aid have been quite helpful for all of them. “Starting with the SSS office, they try to help all of their students as much as they can,” Gonzalez says. “The office really helped me find my place here and not ever feel like I didn’t belong. Ripon also was very generous with my financial aid; without this, I would have never been able to afford an education here on my own.” Dretske adds, “Student Support Services helped with building résumés for internships, graduate school applications, summer research opportunities and scholarships.” All three of these students have a lot of support from family members. Gonzalez’s

parents always pushed her to do her best in school, to take things one day at a time and to make sure to enjoy every moment. “They are my biggest supporters in everything I do,” she says. Dretske adds, “Growing up, my parents placed a priority on education and set … a hard work ethic each and every day, which has pushed my brothers and me to strive toward success.” Salcedo is the first in her family to graduate from high school much less go to college. Her family has aided her in much of her college search process and decisions. “My parents were very proud of me when I graduated from high school and they helped me through the college application process,” Salcedo says.

Salcedo is a self-designed major with a focus on subjects such as philosophy and religion. She hopes to gain a better understanding of subjects such as religious persecution and religious asylum, with an ultimate goal of attending law school in Washington, D.C. Dretske is a double major in finance and politics and government and hopes to work in the private sector while going through a part-time graduate program. After that, Dretske hopes to pursue a career in public office “to implement real change in the world.” Gonzalez is a double major in business management and communication. She hopes to open a Tex-Mex restaurant after graduating. ZOE HAZEL ’22 FRIENDSHIP, WISCONSIN

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Alexis Riggs ’21 of Ripon, Wisconsin, had challenges as she prepared to achieve her dream of higher education. She is a firstgeneration college student from a family with limited means and she was born missing the lower part of both arms. But with a lot of determination and a lot of help, her dreams are coming true. Riggs is majoring in anthropology and minoring in sociology. She plans to go on to graduate school to study vocational rehabilitation counseling and become a Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) counselor. She wants to help people with disabilities get the resources they need to get jobs. She says that being a person with a disability and having her own DVR counselor gives her a unique perspective that will enhance her ability to advocate for others with disabilities. Since May 2018, Riggs has been a job coach for Diverse Options in Ripon. She accompanies people with disabilities to their community workplaces and helps them develop the skills they need to succeed. On campus, she works for the Office of Financial Aid and tutors in anthropology and sociology at the Franzen Center for Academic Success. She also participates in Love Your Melon, an organization that supports the fight against pediatric cancer; is a member of Alpha Delta Pi sorority; and is on the executive board of Panhellenic Council. She says her family is really proud of her, “especially being first generation and having a disability. They don’t always know how to help me because they haven’t experienced this kind of thing. I always knew college was something I would have to do because it’s hard having any kind of physical disability and trying to get employment. I had to get some type of higher education. It gives me more options. “I’m setting an example for my younger brother and trying to do my best for both him and my parents,” Riggs says.

Photo by Hanan Majid ’21 12





Higher education was always the goal for Jacob Cedar ’23 of Oakfield, Wisconsin. “I have always strived to be the best person I can be, and I felt college would be the perfect next step for me to better myself,” he says. But it was a big step as no one else in his family had attended college. After enjoying a baseball camp at Ripon, Cedar did further research about the College and its academic programs. “I found all of the things I wanted to see, including the major I was pursuing, and felt it was a good fit for me,” he says. Student Support Services has been especially helpful in his transition, providing services such as the opportunity to move in early, participate in a program to help him succeed and provide guidance such as note-taking methods. “To have this opportunity is truly a blessing,” he says. “Being the first person in my family to attend college, I have been able to achieve goals that haven’t been achieved before. In addition, I want to represent the family the best I can and make everyone happy.” His parents tell him this opportunity is a blessing for them, as well. “It is tough to put into words,” they said. “It means so much to us on different levels. Hopefully achieving high education success gives you the ability to do and be better than us. Be better prepared for life. “But it also represents another time in your life where we, your father and mother, can share in firsts. Especially because you are our firstborn. Like your first steps, the first time you talked and walked. The first time with throwing a ball and playing baseball. We all shared that together. You represent the Cedar family as the first in the family ... so the pride runs deeper than us.”

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Professors who were first generation themselves inspire students


ipon College has a number of programs and initiatives to foster the success of first-generation students. A large part of this support comes from the faculty and staff. Especially meaningful is support that comes from those who were firstgeneration students themselves. “It is one of the things that makes Ripon College so special,” says Jean Rigden, director of teacher education and faculty mentor in the Franzen Center for Academic Success. She was a first-generation student and says, “There are several other faculty and staff who were also first-generation college students. We understand the difficulties that our students may be encountering. Helping students see the value of their education and the opportunities that will open up to them with a college degree is so rewarding.” Joe Hatcher, professor of psychology and the Pieper Family Chair in Servant Leadership,




Director of Teacher Education Jean Rigden reviews studentteacher placements with first-generation student Hannah Roehl ’20 of Princeton, Wisconsin.

agrees. “I think that being mentored by someone who sees you as a person and who understands something about the difficulties of being first generation can be priceless,” he says. “I enjoy being part of that experience for first-generation students, and I enjoy telling them that they couldn’t possibly know less about college than I did.” Associate Professor of Sociology Marc Eaton remembers what it feels like being a first-generation student. “I do remember feeling a bit out of place when other students would mention what their parents did,” he says. “My father worked in a sawmill and my mother was the bookkeeper for an orthodontic office. So, while we were able to remain in the lower middle class, we certainly were not living lavishly. In my hometown, the ‘people on the hill’ (figuratively and literally, as the most expensive homes were on the hills surrounding the valley in which the city was built) had professional jobs, such as doctors, lawyers, investors and successful small business owners of all stripes. These were the people who the ‘people in the valley’ (like me) generally thought of as rich, spoiled and full of themselves. “At Western Washington University (in Bellingham, Washington), I found out that nearly all of my friends’ parents were these people in their respective communities. This caused me to question whether I belonged at college, since I had never been affiliated with or been

“There are several other faculty and staff who were also first-generation college students. We understand the difficulties that our students may be encountering. Helping students see the value of their education and the opportunities that will open up to them with a college degree is so rewarding.” JEAN RIGDEN Director of Teacher Education and Faculty Mentor in the Franzen Center for Academic Success

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“Feeling connected to a faculty member, having someone to talk with when self-doubts are strong, and knowing that others have succeeded from the same start can be critical to helping students stay on track.” JOE HATCHER Professor of Psychology and the Pieper Family Chair in Servant Leadership

accepted by the ‘rich kids’ in high school. Academically, I felt confident that I could make it through college, but seeing that I was one of a few blue-collar kids on campus made me feel inadequate and out of place. “It wasn’t that I was ashamed of my parents; in fact, I was very proud that they had worked hard to provide for my brother and me. I felt a great deal of responsibility to take college seriously so as to make good use of the money that they were spending on my education. What I feared was the judgment of my peers: that sense that once they knew that I was not ‘one of them,’ perhaps they would reject me.” Over time, Eaton says, he began to see his blue-collar background as a badge of honor. “I took pride in the fact that I had made it to college despite not having the same kinds of opportunities as some of these other kids. I dedicated myself even more to succeeding to prove to myself and others that students coming from my type of background could thrive at college,” he says. Hatcher sees this in today’s first-generation students, as well. “College is hard and




especially at first,” he says. “I think a lot of students think, ‘Do I belong here? Can I do this?’ When you consider that being first generation often goes along with coming from less financially secure backgrounds, these students face obstacles that others don’t. It is more likely, all things being equal, that they may decide or be forced to decide to leave college. “Feeling connected to a faculty member, having someone to talk with when selfdoubts are strong, and knowing that others have succeeded from the same start can be critical to helping students stay on track,” he says. All these faculty members felt the same uncertainty about how to navigate the college experience as do today’s firstgeneration students. “My family and I had no idea about how to visit a college,” Rigden says. “We didn’t call or make an appointment, we just showed up to the college one day that my mom didn’t have to work. We found out that it just so happened to be a preview day and we were quickly added to a tour and group to

“I make a point of mentioning that I, too, was a first-generation college student as a way of relating to them and showing them that the fact that they are the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree should be something they reflect on with pride, not a fact that they try to


hide or ignore.” MARC EATON Associate Professor of Sociology

participate with. We also weren’t sure how to complete the forms for financial aid.” Hatcher says, “I had a great attitude toward learning but knew essentially nothing about college, about residence halls, how to study or anything else. I really had to figure everything out by myself and didn’t become a ‘good’ student until my senior year. Knowing what I now know about how good advising can be, I look back and see that I didn’t get much help from my advisor beyond picking classes that didn’t conflict. I didn’t really have any aspirations beyond ‘doing OK,’ and no one encouraged me to think beyond that; my parents never really asked me how I was doing or asked about my daily experience.” Eaton says one of the things he likes most about Ripon College is that it serves so many first-generation college students and students coming from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. With his background, he says, he can identify with these students and approaches mentoring them differently. “Are they questioning whether ‘people like them’ belong at college?” Eaton says. “Are

they carrying the emotional burden of their family’s hopes and dreams, which are often foisted upon the shoulders of the first child to head off to college? Are they worried about whether their family can afford the financial burden of their education? Are they working part time (or more) to pay for school, and that’s why they’re always so tired and having a hard time studying? Are they afraid to ask for academic help, and are they even aware that offices such as Student Support Services are available to assist them in their college careers?” “These types of questions run through my head. I make a point of mentioning that I, too, was a first-generation college student as a way of relating to them and showing them that the fact that they are the first in their family to pursue a four-year degree should be something they reflect on with pride, not a fact that they try to hide or ignore.” Rigden finds it an honor to help first-generation students find their way in their educational journey. “I want to be a person that they can reach out to when they have concerns or aren’t sure how to navigate something on campus,” she

says. “I have developed some wonderful relationships with students and it is so powerful to see them become successful in their academic pathway as well as their goals for their careers.” The standout moment of a first-generation journey, for Eaton, is seeing the pride on the faces of first-generation students and their families at graduation. “Sure, every family is proud of their children when they walk across the stage and receive their bachelor’s degrees,” he says. “But the pride and elation that first-generation students and their families feel is almost palpable. “It is a sense that we did this; that the family has succeeded because the student has earned that four-year degree. Nothing in the college experience matches the sense of accomplishment that first-generation students feel when they hold that degree in their hands and smile ear-to-ear for family photos at graduation.”

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launching new lives

Through Ripon education, Tom Kolpien ’01 ‘learned how to learn’ “Ripon College provided me with close student-professor relationships, which looking back, allowed me to learn how to learn. It provided a level of accountability to professors that assisted me developing critical-thinking skills, preparedness and organization. After all, there was no hiding in the back of a large lecture hall if I was not prepared for class!” Kolpien majored in history with an emphasis on historical culture and race relations in the United States. He had a minor in law and society. He received a juris doctor from Marquette University Law School and worked in private practice from 2003 to 2013. He became the assistant corporation counsel for Rock County, Wisconsin, in July 2013 and was appointed as Rock County Family Court Commissioner in August 2014. He presides over a variety of family law actions from initial divorce and post-divorce hearings, paternity actions, child support hearings, domestic abuse restraining orders and other custody/placement proceedings.

Sports brought Tom Kolpien ’01 to Ripon College, but the foundation he gained through the liberal arts impacted the rest of his life.

“(Football) Coach Ron Ernst was

He didn’t have a distinct plan for his life but wanted to play college sports. He chose Ripon because it was close to his parents’ home in Appleton, Wisconsin, and he wanted them to be able to watch him compete.

says. “The small-school atmosphere was




instrumental in my decision by introducing me to the wonderful educational experience that Ripon College has to offer,” Kolpien instrumental in my college education. As a first-generation student, I had no real understanding of what college would entail and how the level of independent learning would impact me.

“My parents were extremely supportive of me attending college,” Kolpien says. “Neither of them attended college. My father worked tirelessly for many years as a lead mechanic for Air Wisconsin Airlines, also known as United Express, and is now retired. My mother, who passed away a couple years ago, worked various part-time jobs outside of the home when she was able, however she spent the vast majority of her work life managing a household for our family. “My parents sacrificed in immeasurable ways to allow their children to pursue their various dreams. I know they felt a sense of comfort sending their youngest to Ripon College because of the wonderful atmosphere it offered.”

Network connections from Ripon College propelled career of Christopher Graham ’93 community almost always gave me the confidence that I had the support to persist and obtain my degree,” Graham says. Graham majored in business management and minored in leadership studies. The connections he made at the College helped him to be successful as a student, and they continued to help him past graduation and into his current career. He has been in collegiate athletics administration for almost 25 years. In his current position, he presides over more than 6,000 student-athletes at the NCAA Division II level and oversees the competition, recognition, health and safety, and athletic experience of all of those student-athletes. Prior to moving to Colorado and the Rocky Mountain Conference in 2013, Graham was executive director of the Midwest Conference for nine years and was headquartered in Ripon. He says, however, that the largest impact his status as a first-generation student has brought him is the different kinds of assistance he has been able to give his children as they reach college age that his own parents were unable to provide. He knows what kinds of information they are getting and what kinds of questions they are and should be asking.

The network he created at Ripon College has positively impacted the career of firstgeneration student Christopher Graham ’93 of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He is now the commissioner of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The knowledge of the potential of these connections affected Graham’s decision to

attend Ripon in the first place. He knew he could build better connections here with his professors because of the small class sizes, because of the opportunities the classes he could take at Ripon would provide, and because of how well Ripon’s men’s basketball team was doing. On top of that, “The welcoming campus

He wants his children to complete most of their college exploration on their own and so he is remaining fairly hands-off. But he says he does take “seriously the opportunity to provide guidance and experience when possible” to ensure he can help them when necessary in their own educational goals. JILLIAN HEIDENREICH ’22 MONROE, WISCONSIN W I N T E R 2020



launching new lives

Ripon College helped Jake Baus ’17 feel right at home First-generation student Jake Baus ’17 grew up in a small town and hopes to one day work as a licensed physical therapist in a rural area, so Ripon College’s small campus “felt right” to him for his education.

town were very kind and accepting,” he says.

Ripon also was his most cost-effective choice after reviewing scholarship offers.

Ripon gave Baus the opportunity to explore a variety of career options before finally settling on physical therapy. All of Ripon’s resources, including accessibility of professors, advisors and Student Support Services staff, helped him experience different areas of the medical field by volunteering at the local hospital, working as a summer research intern at a national class children’s hospital, and observing local clinicians in their private practice settings. These led him to physical therapy and helped him build a strong résumé for graduate school applications.

The final deciding factor was the fact that Ripon is a small town. “The area reminded me of my home, and the people around

Being a first-generation student gives Baus “a unique world perspective that many people don’t get to experience,” he says. His parents

Baus grew up in Mount Calvary, just 35 miles east of Ripon. He and his parents were comforted by the small size of the school that would make it easier for him to reach out for help from professors or classmates since there would not be a larger crowd for him to get lost in, he says.




run a family business, which instilled in him responsibility, respect, communication skills and a strong work ethic. At Ripon, Baus majored in chemistry and minored in biology. Now he is a doctor of physical therapy student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He wants to someday work in a rural area because “this population is under-served and benefits most from the addition of strong healthcare providers,” he says. “At other universities, I felt like just another application or a name on a list, but Ripon made me feel like more than that,” Baus says. “It felt like I belonged there.” JILLIAN HEIDENREICH ’22 MONROE, WISCONSIN

Ripon professors kept Carey Molinski ’96 on path toward her dream As a first-generation college student, Carey Molinski ’96 had an idea of what she wanted to do with her life career-wise, but she had no idea how to meet that goal and “I was paralyzed by fear,” she says. “I didn’t know what questions to even ask or who to ask,” she says. “I didn’t even know how to search for a college or what to look for in a college that would best suit me. My dad had long loved Ripon College, despite having absolutely no connection to a college or education, so my parents and I toured Ripon over the summer before my senior year.” Their tour guide, Steve Woolley ’92, shared his love for the College in such an authentic and personal way, she says, and that impressed her. Strong support and personal interest by numerous faculty members led her on the path to becoming a licensed counselor.

“Ripon College transformed my life in more ways than I could possibly list,” she says. “Professors were incredibly selfless and generous. They invested in me and poured themselves selflessly into me, meeting me right where I was at, never judging, and challenged me to push myself harder and develop strong skills. They never chastised me for wayward choices but instead helped me pick myself up every single time. In other words, they formed authentic, personal relationships with me that truly changed my life.” She says her family was always proud of her, “however, the way my dad hugged me on Commencement Day when we were all lining up to proceed to the ceremony was something I’ll never forget.”

a licensed professional counselor with Catalpa Health in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “Ripon College … was the foundation that weathered the storm,” Molinski says. “I couldn’t be prouder of my Ripon College education so I have passed on the legacy. Alexandra Molinski, proud Ripon College Class of 2020 member, is continuing to fan the flame. I now know what my dad felt when he hugged me when I graduated in 1996. It’s that same larger-than-life pride I feel towards Ally’s upcoming graduation in May. Relationships made at Ripon College are lifelong relationships, and nothing and no one can take those relationships away.”

She earned a master of arts in professional counseling in 2009, completed her postgraduate supervised hours and now is W I N T E R 2020




Ripon education transforms lives of first-generation students Providing educational opportunities to students whose parents did not graduate from a four-year college is a strong focus at Ripon College. Indeed, 48% of the Class of 2023 and 46% of the student body as a whole are first-generation students. U.S. News & World Report ranks Ripon College as the top liberal arts school in Wisconsin and 22nd nationally for colleges that promote social mobility. The ranking measures schools’ success at supporting their students from low-income families and rates them based on the graduation rates of those students. Many of the first-generation students also are from low-income families. Here are stories from among the thousands of Ripon’s first-generation graduates.

As a freshman in 1957 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I was thrown into the higher education grinder. I, along with probably at least 20% of the freshman class, exited after a grinding year.

I do believe Ripon provided me with a great degree of social mobility. It also provided me with a solid foundation that I built upon by earning my MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. I am the only person in my immediate family to earn a graduate degree. My education was beyond the classroom — my classmates exposed me to a variety of viewpoints and social classes that were different than my own — in a safe environment. I was also fortunate to study abroad in France during my sophomore year — just as I was seriously considering dropping out.

Renee Pfeifer-Luckett ’87 Janesville, Wisconsin 22



From my Chicago church, a fellow teen was attending Ripon. I visited immediately that summer. What a difference from the grinder. Here was a relaxed loving home for students to be immersed in true education in the direction of their choosing! Everything about Ripon made me enjoy learning, from the formal process but equally for the association with my classmates due to the homelike intimate surroundings. My parents were German emigrants who greatly valued education, but through circumstances never had the opportunity for higher education themselves. But through hard work in America they were able to pay full tuition for the education of their two children.

Living on campus at Ripon College and being in a learning environment even outside of the classroom helped me learn how to be a successful college student. The guidance I received from my on-campus employers helped me determine my path forward as a professional. I received mentoring from my peers, the staff and the faculty. I learned how to ask questions, find support and have confidence in myself. I am proud that I am the first in my family to graduate with a AB, MA and Ph.D. Ripon College gave me the foundation to keep pushing ahead in my education and career.

Carolyn Duven ’04 Duluth, Georgia

Ripon does that and turns out good, educated citizens. Me. Always thankful to Ripon.

The personal relationships I developed at Ripon helped me overcome the challenges I faced as a first-generation college student. Various professors, staff and administrators helped me believe that I could go anywhere and do anything. I’m now a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies in China; I wouldn’t be here if not for the mentorship I received at Ripon College.

Henry Holzkamper ’62 Bonita Springs, Florida

Daniel Mikesell ’14 Nanjing, China

Ripon was and always will be a sanctuary for those who want to get truly educated. Dr. (William) Tyree told us that sometimes you have to “put aside the books and tend to the education.”

I didn’t think of myself as a first-generation college student because my mother had graduated from Oshkosh Teachers College in a two-year certificate program in 1931; and since it was at the beginning of the Great Depression was unable to find a teaching position, so she worked at Kline’s Department Store in Oshkosh selling shoes. My father had grown up in rural Missouri, and Paris High School only went through 11th grade. He received a scholarship to the University of Missouri in Columbia, but he couldn’t afford the clothes and shoes to go to college. So he left home to work at OshKosh B’Gosh Overall Co., where he worked his way up from the shipping department to the cutting room and was president of the Garment Workers Union and vice president of the State Federation of Labor. He made overalls until the day he died in 1967 at age 63. I received three scholarships to attend Ripon. I graduated with no debt, got married and began to teach in Columbus, Ohio. Four years later, my husband and I were sent as Lutheran missionaries to Ethiopia and attended Amharic Language School for the first year. My husband later died of injuries from a Jeep accident and was buried in our Mekone Yesus Church Cemetery in Adult, Ethiopia. After a year of traveling with my two young children, speaking to churches around the country, I entered library school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, earning a master’s degree. I worked as a school librarian over a 41-year period. I also earned a “Plus 30” Graduate Certificate in gerontology at the University of Louisiana Monroe.

Neither of my parents was able to finish high school because tough economic times in their families forced them to quit school to get jobs to support their families. So, completing college was very special for me. My mom and dad worked in factories. My dad later shifted to a technician job developing new products. My mom worked in a factory until her first son was born. I have often wondered what career my dad would have had if the Depression had not prevented him from going to college. He would have been quite an engineer. Nevertheless, my folks were smart, and they were very good parents. We were always content with what they provided, and we enjoyed life.

Ripon provided lifelong sisters. I was a member of Pi Tau Pi sorority, a charter member of Delta Pi Chapter of Alpha Delta Pi and was chosen for Phi Beta Kappa. Our Pi Tau group meets every two years; we are lifelong friends. In 2020, we will gather In Omaha, Nebraska.

Going to college enabled me to study physics and then work as an engineer on various aspects of commercial nuclear power for my entire career, putting my family in the upper-middle class. More importantly, what I learned enabled me to use my talents to serve others. And, beyond career, Ripon broadened my knowledge dramatically, making life more interesting and more rewarding.

Nancy Lee Reno Thomas Meinel ’60 Monroe, Louisiana

Xavier Polanski ’74 La Grange, Illinois

I arrived on campus in late summer 1967, so naive I didn’t know you had to pay your tuition bill before you could register for classes. I had earned enough from summer work to bridge the gap between scholarships and tuition owed, but had to phone home and borrow money to pay for books. At Ripon, I had a freshman advisor plus an advisor for political science, my intended major. Dr. Seale Doss, my freshman advisor, signed me up for his intro philosophy class and I became a double major. Ripon faculty consistently understood when to hold out a hand and when to kick me in the butt. I learned that grammar and spelling mattered. I learned how to study. How to write. How to think about different things in different ways. I developed a love for higher education that charted my career path. Because of Ripon, I was able to attend the University of Chicago’s Law School. Because of Ripon, I understood that I had no interest in practicing law but could use my law school learning to build a life in higher education. Every day, something I learned at Ripon helps me solve a problem or move a project forward. I’m not rich and never will be, but I’ve been contributing to the Annual Fund (Ripon Fund) for more than 40 years. I won’t ever repay the investment Ripon made in me, but I’m never going to cease trying.

Richard A. Wueste ’71 Winchester, Virginia W I N T E R 2020



Emily Rigden ’22, left, and Kassidy Walters ’22 examine a cow’s eyeball during a human anatomy and physiology lab in Farr Hall.


Champion on the court and in life “The best thing about being back on the court and in school is that I get a daily reminder of how blessed I am to have the opportunity that I have.” KASSIDY WALTERS ’22

Most college first-year students face a big transition coming from high school, but for women’s basketball player Kassidy Walters ’22 of Greenfield, Illinois, her transition was magnified. Midway through the school year, after averaging 2.7 points in 11 games for the Red Hawks, Walters was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of a part of the immune system. “From the time I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma to my last radiation treatment, I was physically and emotionally drained,” Walters says. “I tried keeping a positive attitude during that time. While (team members) were fighting their battles on the court, they continued to cheer




me on while I was fighting my battle with cancer.” While she was receiving treatment back home, the team kept Walters in their thoughts and prayers, displaying her number 22 jersey on the bench before and during each game. “Even though I was missing being there physically, the team did a great job Face Timing me during practice and games,” Walters says. “They never failed to make me laugh or ask how I was doing every day.” The Red Hawks finished last season with a 19-9 record and a second consecutive Midwest Conference championship,

RIGHT Kassidy Walters’ basketball jersey is on display as she was with her team in spirit during her physical absence. BELOW Skyylar

Brescia ’22 hoists Kassidy Walters’ jersey as the team celebrates its 2019 Midwest Conference tournament win over Monmouth College last February.

Kassidy Walters ’22 is back on the court with her Red Hawks basketball team.

advancing to the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Walters watched every game during their run, attending as many of them as was possible. “The biggest thing I missed being apart from my team was missing out on being at the game when they won the conference tournament,” Walters says. “I was so happy for them and just wish I could have been in the stands to watch them in person.” Now back in school for her second year at Ripon, Walters has a whole new perspective from when she stepped onto campus one year earlier. “The best thing about being back on the

court and in school is that I get a daily reminder of how blessed I am to have the opportunity that I have,” Walters says. “I get frustrated and overwhelmed sometimes with being a student-athlete, but at the end of the day I know I have something to look back on and see how far I’ve come.” Not only has she built new and stronger connections at Ripon, but Walters also now is connected to many people across the world. “I feel like I have a new connection to every person who has had to go through some type of cancer,” she says. “It’s something only people who have had to deal with it before know, and I want to be able to be

there for others going through what I went through. Going through this has helped make me cherish the small things in life and want to help change others’ perspective for the better.” On Nov. 30, Walters scored her first points since she had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma and she continues on a path that will prepare her for the future. “My goal after graduation is to be a collegiate basketball coach or a sports psychologist,” Walters says. “I would love to make an impact in this world in any small way I can.” MIKE WESTEMEIER DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS W I N T E R 2020




Schnese ’79, left, looks on as Bob Fines ’80 gets tackled while trying to move the ball up the field in a game during their college years.

Four decades do not dim grand memory of unlikely lacrosse victory Momentous victories by an underdog team 40 years ago will be celebrated again in 2020 by the championship 1980 Ripon College lacrosse team. This inexperienced team — more than twothirds of the team members had never played lacrosse before college — prevailed in many bouts against Big 10 teams they were not supposed to be able to beat. Bob Fines ’80, now of Mountain Brook, Alabama, and Art Peters ’80, now of Mukwonago, Wisconsin, were the team organizers from 1977 to 1980. They had been recruited by the graduating seniors of 1977. Fines and Peters attribute most of the team’s success to each player’s love of the game. Despite mismatched uniforms, shared equipment and a lack of funding for traveling to matches, they beat some of the




top teams in the state. Fines, one of the players who joined the team not knowing how to play, ran the business side of the team to ensure that they had the necessary equipment and adequate transportation to games. Some of his responsibilities included going before college funding officials to get funding, attending league meetings to set up the schedule, finding referees and scorekeepers for games, ensuring the field was lined properly, trying to get equipment donated from suppliers, and running fundraisers such as selling T-shirts and bumper stickers. Peters, one of the few who had played lacrosse during high school, took over teaching the new students how to play and making sure everyone knew what they were doing on the field. He was proud to see the growth as “some of these players who

could barely catch and throw their first year (became) starters and major contributors by the time they were seniors.” Anyone who wanted to be a part of the team could join, and only a few of the members were involved in other athletics. Everyone on the team grew close. Fines and Peters say that some of their best memories of Ripon come from the lacrosse team. Fines went on to coach elementary, middle and high school teams and he said that “the joy has been exponential” while balancing coaching with traveling for his career in business. The 1980 team had an undefeated season in the Great Lakes Lacrosse Association including matches with Big 10 teams such as the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Northwestern University and the University of Iowa.

SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS CROSS COUNTRY Ripon College’s men’s and women’s cross-country teams finished fourth and sixth, respectively, at the Midwest Conference Championships. For the first time in 30 years and second time in school history, a Ripon student-athlete was the women’s individual champion as Madie King ’21 of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, shown right, won with a new personal record time of 24:03. On the men’s side, David Potter ’22 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, came in third place to become only the second Ripon male runner to finish in the top three at the championships.

CYCLING Two Red Hawks qualified for the USA Cycling Nationals, Elliott Holt ’22 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, and Nick Niemi ’23 of Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.


The most exciting game was against Lake Forest College in a home game which they won 10-7. Lake Forest was considered the best team in the Midwest at the time and they had refused to play Ripon in 1976 and 1977 because of Ripon’s inexperience. However, when Ripon played them in 1979 and lost by only 18-10, Lake Forest became willing to play them again. The victorious Ripon team held alumni games in 1987, 1988 and 1989. A few years ago, Jim Mendyke ’83, now of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, started organizing alumni games again and is organizing the 2020 reunion game which will be held June 27 at Ripon College during Alumni Weekend. Peters says he is not sure how many more reunion games the 1980 team will be able to participate in since they are getting into their 60s now, but the 40th anniversary reunion is bound to be a grand time. JILLIAN HEIDENREICH ’22 MONROE, WISCONSIN

FOOTBALL Ripon finished 4-6, with their win total including a 44-20 victory at Lawrence to retain the DoehlingHeselton trophy, given annually to the winner of that rivalry game. That marks the 20th consecutive year Ripon has defeated Lawrence. Ripon received seven AllConference selections. Earning First Team honors were Austin Bunders ’20 of Almond, Wisconsin, Lane Barnes ’19 of Selma, California (pictured), and Cameron Gruenwald ’20 of Iola, Wisconsin. Earning Second Team honors were Gruenwald, Tim Ladewig ’21 of Palos Heights, Illinois, Cormac Madigan ’22 of Rosendale, Wisconsin, and Brad Guell ’22 of Malone, Wisconsin. Barnes, a defensive back, also earned All-Region honors for the second consecutive season, garnering Second Team honors.

MEN’S SOCCER Won the Midwest Conference Sportsmanship Award.

WOMEN’S SOCCER Won the Midwest Conference Sportsmanship Award. Camrie Schmitz ’21 of Kiel, Wisconsin, was named First Team All-Conference.

WOMEN’S TENNIS Steve Burns was named head coach of men’s and women’s tennis in August.

VOLLEYBALL Finished the season winning its final three matches and four of their last five.

W I N T E R 2020

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1. Ripon makes commitment to neighboring four counties Ripon College is doing something remarkable — delivering a top-quality private school education to students at a cost that is about the same as many public schools in the University of Wisconsin System. One hundred percent of our students receive financial assistance. Our mission to provide an accessible and premier liberal arts education remains unchanged, even during an ever-changing and challenging higher education landscape. Our dedication to affordability is no stronger than right here in our own backyard. Introduced this year is the Local Commitment Award. All new students from high schools in the surrounding Dodge, Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Winnebago counties who are admitted for the 2020-2021 academic year will qualify for our Local Commitment Award, bringing total awards up to $36,000 annually. A student from a high school in one of those counties will pay no more than $19,776 to attend Ripon, including room and board, and even less if they qualify for need-based financial aid.

2. Leadership changes made in several College departments

College and earned the status of the third winningest coach in program history. Kane replaces the late Julie Johnson, who died in June 2019.

• Professor of History Rebecca Matzke is serving as interim vice president and dean of faculty. She has served on the faculty since 2003 in a variety of faculty leadership roles, including chair of the Faculty Advisory Committee and Faculty Development Committee, co-director of the Center for Politics and the People, and as associate dean for faculty development.

3. Ripon College places on prestigious rankings lists Ripon College is one of the nation’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to several recent rankings. Ripon is recognized in The Princeton Review’s Best 385 Colleges: 2020 and The Princeton Review’s Best Regional Colleges: 2020 in the Best Midwestern category. About 140,000 students around the country were surveyed about their campuses’ food, career services, happiness of students, classroom experiences and more. Ripon also is recognized as one of the most affordable colleges in the country on Kiplinger’s Best College Values list and Money’s Best Colleges for Your Money 2019.

U.S. News & World Report again has honored Ripon College on its annual rankings lists of Best Colleges. Ripon College ranked the top liberal arts school in Wisconsin and 27th nationally among liberal arts colleges that offer students the best value.

On the listing for colleges that promote social mobility, Ripon was ranked first in Wisconsin and 22nd nationally. The ranking measures schools’ success at supporting their students from low-income families and rates them based on the graduation rates of those students.

Andrea Young is the new vice president for finance and director of strategic initiatives. For the previous six months, she had served as acting dean of faculty. Prior to that she had been an associate professor of mathematics starting in 2011. Shawn Karsten ’09 is the new vice president for advancement. He had served as the College’s interim associate vice president for advancement for the previous 1½ years.

Ryan Kane is the new director of athletics and will continue to serve as the head men’s basketball coach. In December 2018, he earned his 100th career victory in a win over Illinois




Ripon College placed third in Wisconsin on the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges listing.


4. Grant from National Science Foundation advancing chemistry research A grant of $400,400 has been awarded to a program of the Midwestern Undergraduate Computational Chemistry Consortium (MU3C), of which Ripon College is a part. The National Science Foundation Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure and Chemistry divisions awarded the grant through its Major Research Instrumentation Program. Joe Scanlon, associate professor of chemistry at Ripon and a member of the MU3C, said the last similar grant was received nine years ago, but computing has changed so much in the past decade that an update will make a large difference in the speed of their calculations as well as in their ability to pursue larger and more ambitious projects. Scanlon says the increased supercomputing capabilities will enhance his research as well as that of his students. (Photo: Associate Professor of Chemistry Joe Scanlon, center, assists students Sam Foss ’20 and Julia Lilly ’20 on a project in Farr Hall of Science)

5. ‘Touchable art’ collection will teach museum studies students new perspectives A collection of touchable art to promote and teach about the creation of art for the visually impaired is being assembled by Travis Nygard, associate professor of art and director of the Caestecker Gallery in C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. Funds from a Kohler Foundation grant recently were reallocated to the art department to assemble the collection. The collection is being used for the first time during the spring semester of 2020 when Nygard is debuting the class “Museums, Artifacts and Cultural Heritage.” The class is being offered as part of the new Museum Studies minor. As a part of the class, Nygard also is developing exercises to help students understand how a visually impaired person might interact with art pieces. (Photo: Travis Nygard shows the collection in progress.)








6. Colucci speaking across the country on ‘new space’

campaign contributions to, members of Congress on patterns of contract awards broken out by congressional districts.

After retiring, he returned to his native upstate New York with his wife, the artist Lee Shippey.

The expanding interests of space strategy, national security and great-power conflict in space have been addressed across the country by Lamont Colucci, associate professor of politics and government.

The book Game Changers: How Dark Money and Super PACs Are Transforming U.S. Campaigns, by Schatzinger and Martin, is available on

10. It’s a small world with Ripon College connections

He addressed both the Space Futures Workshop at USAFSpace Command, now United States Space Command, and later Space Command Headquarters in spring 2019. This fall, he presented at two private-sector space entrepreneur conferences in California and Texas, once again at Space Command, and once at the National Security Space Institute.

9. Chamber Singers selected for special appearances off-campus

7. Professor, alumni publish collaborative paper Patrick Willoughby, assistant professor of chemistry, and recent alumni published a paper in the Journal of Chemical Education. The paper, by Rylie Morris ’19, Abby Hilker ’18 (Abby Hilker Penterman), Shane Donovan ’14 and Willoughby, was in collaboration with Augsburg University and describes a teaching lab where students make and analyze self-healing materials.

(Photo: Steven E. Martin, left, and Henrik Schatzinger)

The Ripon College Chamber Singers, directed by John C. Hughes, assistant professor of music and director of choral activities, were invited to perform at the 2019 Wisconsin State Music Conference Oct. 24 in Madison. K-12 music teachers from around the state convened to develop new techniques and learn new strategies for effective teaching.

(Photo: Patrick Willoughby)

The choir also performed Oct. 27 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, for Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church Michael Curry. Curry was elected to his position in 2015 and is the first African American to serve as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. He is noted for speaking at the wedding of Prince Harry of Great Britain and Meghan Markle.

8. Schatzinger, Martin publish research findings on campaign financing

Professor of English Emeritus David Graham publishes book of poetry

Henrik Schatzinger, associate professor of politics and government and co-director of the Center for Politics and the People, and Steven E. Martin, professor of communication, have recent publications.

Professor of English Emeritus David Graham has released a new book of poems, The Honey of Earth, published by Terrapin Books. It is available on

“The Influence of Corporate Lobbying on Federal Contracting,” by Schatzinger and coauthors, was published by Social Science Quarterly in both online and print versions. The peer-reviewed study was published in the online version in May 2019, and in the print version in July. It can be read here: The authors analyzed the influence of direct lobbying of five federal departments, along with data on the lobbying of, and

In 2016, he retired from teaching writing and literature at Ripon College, where he also hosted the Visiting Writers Series for 28 years. He has served on The Poets’ Prize Committee and the Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission and was a Resident Poet and a faculty member at The Frost Place. Currently he is a contributing editor for Verse-Virtual, where he contributes a monthly column, “Poetic License,” on poetry and poets.

David Minor ’68 ran into the Hon. Jon Wilcox ’58 while both were vacationing separately in the Fort Myers, Florida, area. They recognized each other in, of all places, a grocery store! They have been friends for years as their Ripon College classes were an even 10 years apart and held observances in the same reunion years. Both are members of Partners in the Legacy. Minor is a former director of corporation and foundation relations at the College. Wilcox served on the Wisconsin Supreme Court from 1992 to 2007 and has received the College’s Distinguished Alumni Citation. (Photo: David Minor ’68, left, and Jon Wilcox ’58)

11. Sarah Frohardt-Lane has chapter in new book Sarah Frohardt-Lane, assistant professor of history and director of environmental studies, has a chapter in an edited volume of environmental histories of World War II. “Imagined Resilience: U.S. Conservation Campaigns and Fat Salvage” appears in Resilient City: Urban Environmental Histories of World War II, published by Palgrave MacMillan.

12. Book by Matthew Knoester receives national recognition A recent book by Matthew Knoester, associate professor of educational studies, has been recognized by the American Educational Studies Association. Beyond Testing: Seven Assessments of Students and Schools More Effective than Standardized Tests received a Critics’ Choice Book Award. The co-author is Deborah Meier, an educator and a strong advocate of the school reform movement.

W I N T E R 2020



The Franzen Center for Academic Success: Students visit the center to take advantage of tutoring services and a variety of group collaboration and study spaces.

Fresh looks, updated technology enhance Ripon experience O

ngoing revitalization projects at Ripon College are continuing the momentum to invest in infrastructure that will improve educational opportunities and campus life.

“Thanks to gifts from generous donors, we have been able to invest in areas central to the student experience,” says Andrea Young, vice president for finance and director of strategic initiatives. “These spaces promote active and hands-on learning, collaboration, experimentation and student-centered approaches to teaching in ways that are forward-thinking and based on the needs of our students and faculty. We have continued to invest in our physical spaces that are so important to the experience we provide at Ripon College.” 30



“SMART” CLASSROOMS Farr Hall 122 and Todd Wehr B22 classrooms have been renovated into active learning classrooms. These are providing studentcentered experiences and collaborative technology and allow seamless integration between lectures and labs.

THE FRANZEN CENTER The Franzen Center for Academic Success debuted in fall 2019 on the first floor of Lane Library. This dynamic learning environment was made possible through the generosity of Mark Franzen ’83 and Janice Heinz Franzen ’83. It centralizes all academic support services, improves resource allocation and provides space for student tutoring services, group collaboration and studying.

Farr Hall 122, Physics Active Learning Lab: This space seamlessly combines lecture and lab environments to provide instruction that can alternate between experimental observation and immersive activities and traditional classroom activities. The room is lined all around with whiteboards and has large three-sided tables, both designed to facilitate collaboration. The tables have integrated power and room for assembly of apparatus or other data acquisition analysis equipment.

Katelyn Peroutka ’20 of Waunakee, Wisconsin, goes over a lesson with Jacob Cedar ’23 of Oakfield, Wisconsin. Todd Wehr B22, Active Learning Classroom: Hanan Majid ’21 of Kashmir, left, and Adrian Granados ’20 of Ripon, Wisconsin, work together in Todd Wehr B22.

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PIANO LAB A high-tech, professional-grade piano lab was installed in Rodman 146 to facilitate Class Piano instruction. With eight student pianos and one instructor instrument, the College can be more efficient with piano instruction, teaching more students in the same amount of time. The technology also allows students to develop skills at their own pace, says John Hughes, assistant professor of music and chair of the department. “The instruments are networked together and come with headsets. Students can talk to each other, ask questions, record themselves and even play duets from across the room,” he says. The instructor controls all of the instruments from an iPad.”

BENSTEAD THEATRE A gift from Doreen Chemerow ’73 and David Chemerow provided a significant facelift to Benstead Theatre in C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts. The theatre was repainted and new carpeting added. “A new light board was installed and several new LED theatre lighting instruments were purchased,” says Ken Hill, professor of theatre. “These new lights and the new board give our students the ability to work with the next wave in theatre lighting design and technology.” Safer and lighter risers also have been ordered for audience seating.

Practicing in the new Piano Lab in Rodman 146 are, from left: Spencer Hornung ’23 of Appleton, Wisconsin; Grace Sullivan ’20 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin; Caleb Klinzing ’22 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Bailey Jerrick ’20 of Stoughton, Wisconsin; and Abbegayle Lane ’22 of Neenah, Wisconsin.

POLLINATOR PATH Through the class ENV 210: Sustainability Lab and Sustainability Fellowships, students helped create a new pollinator path in spring 2019. It celebrates our connections with the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy, student-run campus garden and a sustainable arboretum. Ecologically friendly flowering plants were placed across the landscaped areas of the school to attract bees and butterflies and promote the natural ecosystem around campus.

Benstead Theatre, C.J. Rodman Center for the Arts: John Dalziel, left, associate professor of theatre, explains light board procedures to Bailey Jerrick, ’20 of Stoughton, Wisconsin, center, and Lindsey Wigand ’22 of West Allis, Wisconsin.

Shreeya Gautam ’21 of Kathmandu, Nepal, left, and Director of Sustainability Alice Reznickova plant flowers along the Pollinator Path.




In memoriam DOROTHY BOERS SCHATTSCHNEIDER ’42 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Sept. 21, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in English, Spanish and educational studies. She received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of WisconsinOshkosh and a master’s degree in educational studies from UW-Madison. She taught for 45 years in Green Lake and Fond du Lac counties, Fox Lake, Wisconsin, and Wadsworth, Illinois. She participated in numerous educational activities and professional organizations; was a member of the Fox Lake Girl Scout Council, Green Lake Preservation Society, Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ in Ripon and Ripon Lions Club; and enjoyed outdoor activities and traveling. DON O. SCHUELER ’43 of Rhinelander, Wisconsin, died May 30, 2019. At Ripon, he was a member of Delta Sigma Psi. He joined the Armed Forces in 1943. He owned a lumber company in Rhinelander. GERALDINE A. BIRKHOLZ ’47 of West Bend, Wisconsin, died June 29, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in English and participated in Ver Adest and Alpha Gamma Theta. She did graduate work at the University of Wisconsin and the University of Colorado. She taught English for 40 years in Westfield, North Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac, retiring from the West Bend School District in 1987. She also coached dramatics, forensics and golf. She was the only surviving charter member of Grace Lutheran Church in Omro and a current member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. She also was a member of several civic organizations. She enjoyed traveling, visiting more than 40 countries; and the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers. MARY PAPPAS KRUEGER ’47 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Jan. 10, 2020. She attended Ripon and participated in Ver Adest. She also attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She enjoyed skiing, fishing and water skiing, cats and observing wildlife. She was a member of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Fond du Lac and Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ in Ripon. Survivors include three sons and one daughter. ROBERT J. BEDNAREK ’49 of Truro, Massachusetts, died Dec. 7, 2019. At Ripon, he was a member of Omega Sigma Chi. He participated in an exchange program with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) and studied drafting, design and architecture. He worked on numerous residential and commercial design projects from his office in Cambridge and later Truro. He enjoyed biking, hiking on the shore and bird watching. He was a longtime member of the Truro Conservation Trust and had held positions as secretary and trustee emeritus. He was a member of the Truro Council on Aging Senior Center and First Congregational Parish, and he attended the Christian Union Church. DONALD P. LARSEN ’49 of Chicago, Illinois, died June 5, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in business management and was a member of Omega Sigma Chi and Partners in the Legacy. He was a World War II veteran. Survivors include one sister, BARBARA LARSEN ARATA ’47. GEORGE M. THOMAN JR. ’49 of Tempe, Arizona, died Oct. 31, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in chemistry and mathematics and was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha. While attending Ripon, he entered the Army and served during World War II. After returning and graduating from Ripon, he studied analytical chemistry at Purdue University and later became a vice president at Vulcan Materials Co. He had lived in Illinois,

New Jersey, Ohio and Arizona. He began a family-owned business in Tempe, Action Garage Doors Inc., and retired at the age of 78. He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel church. Survivors include one daughter. MARIETTA MORGAN PAYNTER ’50 of Lake Forest, Illinois, died April 23, 2018. At Ripon, she majored in English and participated in Ver Adest, music, College Days and Pi Delta Omega. She was a member of Glenview Community Church and its Women’s Association. She belonged to the Northwestern University Social Service, Leadership Circle and Music Advisory Board as well as the Northshore Concert Band Auxiliary. She was a lifelong Cubs and Blackhawks fan. Survivors include one son and one daughter. ERNEST F. TALARICO SR. ’50 of Glenwood, Illinois, died June 15, 2018. At Ripon, he majored in biology and was a member of Lambda Delta Alpha. He was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. Survivors include his wife, Alice Jean Indovina; two sons and two daughters; and a sister-inlaw, MARLENE BOCKSTRUCK TALARICO ’53. JOANNE KLAWITER COCHRANE ’51 of Plymouth, Minnesota, died Sept. 30, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in music and participated in Ver Adest and Delta Phi Sigma. She remained active with Ripon College, including membership in Partners in the Legacy, Friends of the Arts and the Alumni Board of Directors, as a reunion committee volunteer and as a founding member of the Leadership Alliance. She performed as a pianist, directed children’s church choirs and worked with high school choir programs. Survivors include her husband, JAMES F. COCHRANE ’52; three sons and one daughter. VINSON W. BRONSON ‘52 of Hingham, Massachusetts, died Oct. 30, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics and participated in varsity wrestling and Delta Sigma Psi. He was a 1953 graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as a combat engineer in Korea. He attended Harvard Law School for two years then received a master’s degree in education administration from Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1965. He taught at several schools, including teaching chemistry, physics and mathematics at Newton South High School for 37 years. After retiring in 1999, he earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at Stonehill College, served as a senior warden at Trinity Episcopal Church and attended Second Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Hingham. He enjoyed tutoring, reading, practicing yoga and qigong, bowling, cribbage and cooking. Survivors include two daughters. PATRICIA JENKINS STEAFFENS ’53 of Stoughton, Wisconsin, died Dec. 29, 2019. At Ripon, she studied English and Spanish and participated in Ver Adest. She was an administrative assistant at Nelson Industries for many years. She was an active member of Stoughton United Methodist Church and served in various capacities; was a member of Oregon Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, in which she served in several roles, and the Madison Area Chapter of the Embroiderers Guild of America. She was a founding member of the Southeast American Cancer Society in Dane County and was Volunteer of the Year in 1987. Survivors include one son and two daughters, including DEBRA STEAFFENS ’76. Her husband, WILLIAM C. STEAFFENS ’50, died in 2009. GRAHAM FOSTER JR. ’54 of Tomahawk, Wisconsin, died May 28, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in English. He started with the Tomahawk Leader newspaper in 1954 as an editor

and retired 38 years later. He won awards from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association as an editor, reporter and columnist. He was a former member of the county board and library board. He was a Korean War veteran, serving in the U.S. Army. He enjoyed golfing, camping and reading, and he was a member of the Newwood Club hunting shack. Survivors include one son and one daughter. JOSEPHINE “JO” HARTOUGH FRANZ ’54 of Arvada, Colorado, died Sept. 1, 2016. At Ripon, she majored in French and participated in Ver Adest, music, student government, Crimson yearbook and Alpha Gamma Theta. She received a degree in accounting from Indiana State University. She worked for Coopers and Lybrand in Philadelphia as a certified public accountant, was active in church choirs and enjoyed reading and the Green Bay Packers. Survivors include one son and one daughter. JAY NORMAN FUES ’54 of Ashburn, Virginia, died May 6, 2019. He majored in mathematics at Ripon and participated in Ver Adest, ROTC and Omega Sigma Chi. He earned degrees in industrial engineering and math from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; a master’s in industrial engineering from Southern Methodist University; and a master’s in accountancy from the University of Texas at Dallas. He served two years in the U.S. Air Force and had a 34-year career with Texas Instruments, ultimately becoming a general manager of strategic planning. He lived in Dallas and Houston, Texas, England, Germany and Brazil. He enjoyed traveling, photography, woodworking and creating stained glass. Survivors include his wife, Louise; two sons and one daughter. DWIGHT C. HARRIS ’54 of Henderson, Nevada, died July 11, 2019. At Ripon, he studied economics and French and participated in athletics and Lambda Delta Alpha. He earned MBAs from Indiana University Bloomington and the University of Pittsburgh. His career in banking spanned nearly 40 years in Pennsylvania, including leadership positions at Mellon Bank, Pittsburgh; Farmers Bank and Trust Company, Hanover; and Peoples National Bank, Lebanon. In 1993, he joined the Pennsylvania State Treasury as an investment officer and account manager until retiring in 2008. He served on various boards and community associations and enjoyed tennis, jazz, bridge and gourmet food. Survivors include his wife, Marlys Trimpey Harris; three sons and three daughters. CONSTANCE “CONNIE” SMITH LINDE ’54 of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, died Dec. 24, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in mathematics. Survivors include her husband, RICHARD LINDE ’54; and four children. CAROLYN C. OHNSTAD ’54 of Menomonie, Wisconsin, died July 31, 2019. At Ripon, she participated in Ver Adest and Alpha Gamma Theta. She received a degree in vocational rehabilitation from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She was a fourth-generation resident of Menomonie and the fifth generation to own a private business in the second block of downtown. She was involved in many civic endeavors, most recently serving as sexton and preservationist of Evergreen Cemetery. Survivors include her children. LOWELL D. LAPER ’55 of Fairwater, Wisconsin, died Dec. 5, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics, was a member of Sigma Nu/Theta Sigma Tau and was commissioned into the U.S. Army through ROTC. He served as a finance and accounting officer at the New Orleans Army Terminal. He owned and

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IN MEMORIAM operated Fairwater Garage Inc. since 1957, was a Chevrolet dealer and provided school bus transportation for the Green Lake, Markesan and Rosendale-Brandon school districts. He was a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church in Fairwater, and was involved with the Fairwater Village Board, fire department, Lions Club, Fond du Lac County Airport Zoning Board of Appeals and board of directors of the Markesan Resident Home. He was an avid Green Bay Packer fan. Survivors include his wife, Kathy; two sons and one daughter. JUDITH PALLETT KAESTNER ’57 of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, died Aug. 26, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in psychology and French and participated in College Days, music and theatre. She was a member of Partners in the Legacy and Pi Delta Omega. She received her master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1978. She worked at Dixon State School in Dixon, Illinois; Wisconsin Power and Electric in Milwaukee; and Racine Unified School District as a middle school guidance counselor from 19781998. She founded a children’s theater group; and enjoyed singing, traveling, sewing and painting. Survivors include her husband, the Rev. James Kaestner, of Oconomowoc; two sons and one daughter, MARY KAESTNER MARCUS ’84. JOHN “JACK” L. MCMAHON ’57 of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, died Dec. 6, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics, was a member of Theta Chi and played on the football team. He helped run the family business, E.P. McMahon and Sons Concrete, in Sun Prairie for more than 70 years. He loved his dogs, the north woods and his family. He had a quirky sense of humor and loved to play pranks. Survivors include his wife, NANCY CHASE MCMAHON ’57; two sons, including PATRICK S. MCMAHON ’80; two daughters; and a brotherin-law, THEODORE W. CHASE JR. ’74. ALFRED ADAMSKI ’58 of Fort Worth, Texas, died Sept. 17, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics and was a member of Theta Chi. He then joined the Army and was stationed in Germany. He worked for Zenith’s Rauland Corp. as an engineer, designing television picture tubes. He enjoyed astronomy, camping, fishing, sports, music and art. Survivors include one son and one daughter; and a brother, ROBERT J. ADAMSKI ’58. KENNETH A. STUESSI ’58 of the Villages, Florida, and Jefferson, Wisconsin, died Sept. 9, 2019. At Ripon, he participated in football, basketball and Alpha Phi Omega. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He was an executive at Schlitz Brewing Co. for 23 years, then owned Ken’s Towne Inn in Jefferson from 1983 to 2004. He enjoyed golf, tennis, the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Jefferson. Survivors include his wife, Patricia; and three sons. JOHN B. FAWCETT ’59 of Duluth, Minnesota, died May 23, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in biology and chemistry, participated in football and was a member of Phi Kappa Pi. He owned an insurance agency, was a member of Waters of Life Lutheran Church and the Vermilion Club. Survivors include his wife, Judy; one son and two daughters; and three stepdaughters. DONNA WYATT PLACZANKIS ’59 of Churchville, Maryland, died April 1, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in speech communications and educational studies. She served for many years at the Greater Cleveland Chapter of the American Red Cross where she rose to director of disaster relief services. She also volunteered at Hospice of the Western Reserve and the ladies’ auxiliary of Fairview General Hospital where she




worked in the flower shop. She also was involved in Alanon. Survivors include one son and one daughter. MICHAEL OWEN WILLSON ’60 of Chicago, Illinois, died March 7, 2019. At Ripon, he studied English and history and participated in student government, athletics and Sigma Chi. He was a charter member of Partners in the Legacy. He also was a graduate of the University of Illinois. In 1961, he was selected as one of the first volunteers in the newly formed Peace Corps. Following training at Rutgers University and meeting with President John F. Kennedy at the White House, he and 61 other volunteers were assigned to Colombia, South America, for two years. He later lived in Panama and Venezuela where he worked for Grant Advertising and Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Chicago; and Louisville, where he was advertising/marketing director for Kentucky Fried Chicken until his retirement in 2000. JUDITH ZINDA TRUDEAU ’61 of Janesville, Wisconsin, died Nov. 19, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in French and was a member of Delta Phi Sigma. She also studied education at Gogebic Community College in Ironwood, Michigan. She was formerly employed by the Janesville Chamber of Commerce, Parker Pen Co. and MCI Mechanical Contractors as an administrative assistant. She was a member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Tuesday Morning Optimist Club, Janesville Athletic Club and Mercy Health System Volunteers. Survivors include her husband, Walter “Wally” Trudeau; two sons and one daughter. RUSSELL C. ACKLEY ’62 of Pewaukee, Wisconsin, died May 23, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in history, participated in ROTC and was a member of Delta Upsilon. He studied premed at Northeast Missouri State/Truman State University. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War and retired as a captain in 1967. He served on the Pewaukee Village Board of Trustees and as a supervisor for the Town of Delafield. He enjoyed cooking Chinese food, gardening, painting and sailing, and was a member of the Pewaukee Yacht Club. Survivors include his wife, NANCY HUTT ACKLEY ’63; and three sons. MICHAEL T. MILNAMOW ’64 of Valrico, Florida, died Aug. 18, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in athletics, ROTC and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He received his commission to the U.S. Army through ROTC, starting as a second lieutenant and becoming a military intelligence officer. He served two tours in Vietnam and his military awards included two Bronze Stars. He retired as a colonel in July 1990. He worked with the Florida Department of Transportation until his retirement in 2011. He enjoyed classic cars, foreign travel and local sports teams. Survivors include his wife, Philippa Milnamow; and two daughters. LYMAN S. NEWTON ’64 of Greensboro, North Carolina, died Sept. 18, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in music, student government, ROTC and Phi Kappa Pi. He received an MBA in marketing from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He entered the U.S. Army as a second lieutenant at Fort Riley, Kansas, in Vietnam and later as an Army Reservist. After a successful career in sales and marketing, he obtained his teaching credentials from North Carolina A&T State University, taught at a middle school and then at Davidson County Community College until his death. He was elected the community college’s Teacher of the Year in 2017. He enjoyed music, boating and sports, and was active in his church. Survivors include his wife, Karen “Kacy” Carnelly Newton; and two daughters. JOHN MICHAEL “MIKE” PEPIO ’64 of Carlsbad, California, died Sept. 18, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in physics

and mathematics, and he received an MBA in production management from the University of Colorado Boulder. He worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce & Bureau of Standards, 3M, Litton Industries and Ampex Corp. on aerospace and electronic engineering advancements. He obtained an MBA from the University of Colorado in 1983 and then served in manufacturing programs at TRW, ITT Corp., Hamilton Standard, United Technologies Corp., and ultimately Bose Corp., from which he retired in 2006. He enjoyed baseball, reading, woodworking, classic and modern cars and model railroads. Survivors include his wife, Catherine; two sons and one daughter. LEE K. GORDON ’66 of Newport Beach, California, died June 20, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in philosophy and was a member of Sigma Chi. He also studied philosophy at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. He enjoyed planes and boats. Survivors include his wife, Dr. Elaine Clough. RICHARD W. “RICK” SCHROEDER ’67 of Greendale, Wisconsin, died Dec. 25, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics and history and participated in ROTC and Delta Upsilon. He earned an MBA from Marquette University. He served as a tank unit commander in the U.S. Army with the 32nd Armor Regiment, Fort Knox, Kentucky. He worked in financial planning most of his career. He was actively involved with the Shorewood High School Alumni Association and enjoyed history, German language and cultural activities, the outdoors, fishing, archery, hunting and his dogs. Survivors include his wife, Teri Clapper; one son, one daughter, one stepson and one stepdaughter. FRANK M. WHEELER ’67 of Traverse City, Michigan, died Aug. 14, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in history and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He received an MBA in finance from Western Michigan University. He worked in business finance in Chicago, Illinois, Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, Juneau, Alaska, and Traverse City. He enjoyed traveling, cross country skiing, biking, and boating, water skiing and relaxing at a cottage in northern Wisconsin. He was a deacon in the Presbyterian church and a volunteer patient escort at Munson Medical Center. He was active in the Parkinson’s Support Group, served on the Parkinson’s Network North Board of Directors and the Munson Volunteer Board. Survivors include his wife, Cheryl; and two sons. HARVEY B. FULLER IV ’68 of Trumbull, Connecticut, died Aug. 23, 2018. At Ripon, he majored in English and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Sigma Iota, the highest academic honor in the field of foreign languages. DIANN WATERBURY GRAEBER ’68 of Bonita Springs, Florida, died Oct. 17, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in English and was a member of Alpha Phi. She was an educator, manager, advocate, supporter and volunteer. She lived for many years in Connecticut. Survivors include her husband, CHARLES W. GRAEBER ’68; and two sons. JAMES J. MURFEY ’70 of Aiken, South Carolina, died July 25, 2019. At Ripon, he studied history and was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. He received his MBA from Cleveland State University. He worked at Pickands Mather and ClevelandCliffs, was a longtime member of Kirtland Country Club and Tavern Club, and served as president of the board of trustees of Red Oak Camp for many years. In 2005, he moved to a horse farm in New Hampshire, then to Aiken five years ago. He enjoyed golf, shooting and helping with computer problems. Survivors include his wife, Janet; one son and one daughter. SPENCER C. PETERSON ’70 of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, died Oct. 25, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in speech communications

and drama and was a member of Phi Kappa Pi. He was a renowned local performer and guitarist, both individually and with the JR Spencer Band. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing and the Minnesota Golden Gophers football team. Surviving are his partner, Lucy Stringer; and four children. JAMES S. KLOOSTERBOER ’72 of Fennimore, Wisconsin, died Nov. 7, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics, played on the tennis team and was a member of Sigma Chi. He received master’s degrees in economics and finance from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He worked for several banks, including as chief credit officer of Prosperan Bank. Survivors include his wife, Laura Kloosterboer; one brother, THOMAS B. KLOOSTERBOER ’77. KENNETH H. MAGRATH ’73 of Richmond, Virginia, died Dec. 15, 2018. At Ripon, he majored in psychology and participated in student government, athletics and Delta Upsilon. He earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Syracuse University. He lived in Ridgefield and Norwalk, Connecticut, before moving to Virginia to be close to family. Survivors include his wife, JULIE FENWICK MAGRATH ’73; one son and one daughter. JAMES B. THOMPSON ’73 of Salem, Oregon, died Oct. 27, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in art and was a member of Parallax. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He taught at Washington University, as an instructor of art at Ripon College and at the University of Alaska. He worked in the art department of Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, from 1986 until his death, as a professor of art and curator. As an artist, he was known primarily as a painter and printmaker, and later a kiln-formed glass artist. His work is shown in exhibits throughout the world and is included in many private and university collections. Survivors include his wife, MARTHA CLAPP THOMPSON ’83; and one son. STEVAN D. ZIMMER ’73 of Minnetonka, Minnesota, died Feb. 1, 2017. At Ripon, he majored in psychology and participated in swimming and Phi Beta Kappa. He graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis in 1981. Survivors include his mother, Marjorie Zimmer; two sons and one daughter. JEFFREY ROBERT MARTIN ’74 of Delafield, Wisconsin, died July 13, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in economics and history and was a member of Phi Kappa Pi. He had a long career in sales. When his children were young, he coached youth soccer and basketball and timed at high school track meets. He enjoyed cooking, tending his rose garden and putting on Fourth of July fireworks displays. Survivors include his wife, MARY BINZEL MARTIN ’75; two sons and one daughter; a sister, JANE MARTIN FOX ’81; and a sister-in-law, KATHLEEN GIBSON MARTIN ’78. MARY MUNRO ’74 of Evanston, Illinois, died Dec. 10, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in English and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She attended Indiana University Bloomington for her master’s degree in English before embarking on a career in publishing in Chicago. She enjoyed literature, reading, listening to National Public Radio, gardening and being outside. Survivors include her husband WILLIAM LEINER JR. ’74; two sons and one daughter. AMY ECKER REISDORF ’92 of Waunakee, Wisconsin, died Aug. 22, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in economics and French, participated in student government and athletics and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She had a successful career in financial services and enjoyed midget auto racing, UW athletics and travel. Survivors include one son; and her father, Bill Ecker.

LISA M. KRAUS ’98 of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, died Dec. 3, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in global studies and Spanish and played volleyball. She was a billing specialist with Spectrum. She loved water, the ocean and being on the lake. She enjoyed music and going to concerts, dancing, Salvador Dali, watching movies and watching sports, especially the Packers, Brewers, Lakers and Bucks. Survivors include her father, Robert Kraus.

FACULTY AND STAFF For mer Ripon College President FREDERICK O. “FRED” PINKHAM of Holland, Michigan, died Nov. 26, 2019. He was Ripon College’s eighth president from 1955 to 1965, and one of the youngest college presidents in the nation at age 34. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942-1945. He graduated from Kalamazoo College and earned a master’s degree and doctorate in education from Stanford University. He also received honorary doctorates from Lawrence University, Kalamazoo College and Ripon College. At Ripon, he oversaw the building of several facilities, including Farr Hall, S.N. Pickard Commons and Kemper Computer Center, which was first built as a medical facility. He grew the enrollment and endowment, substantially raised faculty salaries, and helped found Associated Colleges of the Midwest (ACM). He went on to work in the areas of higher education accreditation and on population and humanitarian issues. He was president and CEO of the Population Crisis Committee and was hired by President Gerald Ford as assistant administrator for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Pinkham and his wife, Helen, traveled all over the world assisting developing countries promote programs in primary health care, population and family planning. Later, he was involved with the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, recommending grants for funding projects in numerous fields. Survivors include two sons and one daughter. MARY BEAUMONT of Kansasville, Wisconsin, died June 11, 2019. She was an instructor of mathematics at Ripon College from 1959-63. She graduated from Beloit College and completed her graduate degree and post-graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also taught at Carroll College, Port Huron High School in Michigan and Burlington High School in Wisconsin. She enjoyed genealogy, reading and gardening. EVELYN A. GIESE of Van Dyne, Wisconsin, died Dec. 22, 2019. She most recently worked as a server in the Ripon College Commons. Previously, she was a bookkeeper for the family-owned Van Dyne Bowling Alley for 30 years; a prison guard for Taycheedah Correctional Institute; in sales for Fuller Brush Cleaning Products and Tupperware; and a housekeeper at the Green Lake Conference Center. She was a member of St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church in Ripon. She enjoyed fishing, polka dancing, the Brewers, crocheting and working with the Junior Bowling League in Van Dyne. Survivors include two daughters.

IONE “ONIE” RADKE HOEHNE-HARRIS of Niagara, Wisconsin, died Dec. 18, 2019. She was a secretary in the Office of the Dean of Students for 29 years until retiring in 1987. She graduated from business college in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, and worked as secretary to the president of Oshkosh Teacher’s College, now the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She enjoyed nature, animals, classical music and reading. Survivors include two sons and two daughters, SUZANNE HOEHNE KILLIAN ’75, THEODORE HOEHNE ’77, VICKI HOEHNE MATHIAS ’77 and THOMAS HOEHNE ’83; and a daughter-in-law, KAREN STOCKDALE HOEHNE ’78. MABEL “MAE” LEHMAN of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Sept. 12, 2019. She formerly worked as a secretary, PBX switchboard operator and in the mimeograph department at Ripon College. She was a member of Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ in Ripon, a lifetime member of the Ripon VFW Auxiliary, Post 5278, and a member of the Auxiliary at Ripon Medical Center. She enjoyed walking, roller skating, bowling and dancing. Survivors include her husband, Arland; one son and one daughter. ANNA SHERWOOD, a housekeeper at Ripon College since 2018, died Sept. 19, 2019. She was a lifetime member of Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ of Ripon, where she had served as an usher and Sunday school superintendent. She also was a Boy Scout leader, mentor for Green Lake County Social Services and a member of the Nepeuskun Anti-Horse Thieves Association. JOHN H. “JACK” STEINBRING, adjunct scholar to the department of Sociology and Anthropology from 1998 until his death, died Nov. 19, 2019. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1975. He served in the U.S. Army and was an archaeologist for the University of Winnipeg from 1963-1990. He was a member of the Ripon Historical Society, Princeton Historical Society, Wisconsin Archaeological Society, Mid-American Geographic Foundation and Manitoba Historical Society. He wrote several books on Manitoba rock art archaeology of the Winnipeg River and petroforms of central Canada. He was a member of Grace Lutheran Church in Ripon. He enjoyed photography, rock art field recording, artifact restorations and historic architecture. Survivors include four sons and one daughter. RALPH L. WICKSTROM of Ripon, Wisconsin, professor of physical education emeritus, died Dec. 13, 2019. He served in the Navy Air Corp during World War II, received a bachelor’s degree from Morningside College and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in physical education from the University of Iowa. He taught at three Midwestern universities before coming to Ripon. In 1961, he was appointed as a professor of physical education and athletic director at Ripon and remained at the College until his retirement in 1990. After retirement, he began converting scrap metal into sculptures and objects of beauty. He made about 350 works, and many have been featured in six Wisconsin galleries and numerous private collections. Survivors include his wife, Jo Wickstrom; and two daughters.

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Ripon College in the news Chad Hendee ’97 of Oxford, Wisconsin, was elected Tara LaChapell ’92, former executive director • • • of informational technology, was part of the panel “Women in Leadership: Driving a Culture of Inclusivity” June 25, 2019, at the ACUHO-I 2019 Conference & Expo in Toronto, Canada. It was announced on

• Ripon College was cited in stories about testoptional schools. “Marquette joins more than 1,000 schools in making ACT, SAT scores optional for admission” was published June 18, 2019, in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “More Wisconsin colleges dropping ACT/SAT requirement” ran June 24, 2019, in the Wisconsin State Journal.

• A state task force hearing on suicide prevention, held at Ripon College in June, was referenced in an article June 26, 2019, on “Milwaukee PBS teams up with newspaper chain to help communities address teen suicide.”

• Numerous newspapers throughout Wisconsin reported the attendance of their local students at the 78th year of Badger Boys State, held in June at Ripon College. Brett Barwick, associate professor of physics and • the Harrison E. Farnsworth 1918 Chair in Physics, is co-author of an article about ultrafast election vortex beams published in Nature Materials in July 2019. Barwick, along with other physicists have been able to create these beams which have significant implications for fundamental physics, quantum computing, future data storage, and even certain medical treatments, according to EPFL, a science and technology institution in Lausanne, Switzerland.

• An opinion piece by Brian Smith, professor of religion and the Van Zoeren Family Chair in Religion, Ethics and Values, was published July 28, 2019, in the Cap Times on It addressed people of different faiths protesting current immigration practices.




a Marquette County judge in April 2019 and took his seat Aug. 1. He was featured Aug. 1, 2019, in the Portage Daily Register newspaper. The article also mentioned Columbia County Circuit Court Judge W. Andrew Voigt ’97 and their mutual attendance at Ripon College.

• “Virtually Irreplaceable: Cash as Public Infrastructure,” by Visiting Professor of Anthropology Ursula Dalinghaus, was published by Cash Matters, a movement by the International Currency Association (ICA). Dalinghaus also is an affiliated scholar at the Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion at the University of California. She makes the case that cash is a public good, examining its role in society and the characteristics that make it a public good, citing relevant studies, scholars and field experiments.

• Ripon College’s Catalyst curriculum was featured in Insight magazine’s August issue focusing on educational innovation.

elen Gerrels Stoddard, an early student at H Ripon College during the late 1860s or early 1870s, was featured in the Gainesville Daily Register newspaper in Texas Sept. 11, 2019. Stoddard became a leader in Texas, was an early professor and pursued causes including child welfare, women’s education, food safety, prohibition of alcohol and women’s suffrage.

Ronald Bolding ’71 of Claremont, California, was • featured Oct. 22, 2019, on mcknightseniorliving. com for being named CEO of Pilgrim Place, a continuing care retirement community. At Ripon College, he studied economics and history.

• Ripon’s new Local Commitment Award was featured on several print and broadcast media around the state, including FOX 11 News on Oct. 1. The pilot program offers a $36,000 incentive to come to Ripon College for graduating seniors from high schools in the four counties surrounding Ripon College: Fond du Lac, Winnebago, Green Lake and Dodge.

The book Republican Populist: Spiro Agnew and • Former Ripon College football coach Bob Nielson • and his current program at the University of South Dakota were featured in an article Aug. 5, 2019, in the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan newspaper. Nielson spent two years, from 1989-1991, at Ripon College as associate professor of physical education and head football coach. His 38-year career in college football includes time at six schools, two NCAA Division II national titles and three national coach of the year honors. Alex Royzen ’08 of Lindenhurst, Illinois, was featured • in the cover story about OpticsPlanet, “Focusing on the Details,” in the August issue of Boss Magazine. Royzen is director of supply chain management for OpticsPlanet’s parent company, Ecentria.

the Origins of Donald Trump’s America, co-written by President Zach Messitte, was released Oct. 18, 2019, by the University of Virginia Press. Articles related to the publication and its topic ran in news outlets across the country. Messitte made several media appearances, including the Yahoo News Podcast Skullduggery on Nov. 18 and C-SPAN3’s “American History TV” program on Nov. 23 and subsequent airings, as well as on the C-SPAN website. The book also was reviewed Nov. 18 in The Washington Times.










Liberal arts opened up the world for coaching legend Dick Bennett ’65 Having the opportunity to be a firstgeneration student has meant more to him as he gets older. “I really wanted to go to college,” Bennett says. “I went there as an athlete because I knew I wanted to coach basketball. But I was recruited to play football and baseball by John Storzer and (Kermit) ‘Doc’ Weiske ’50 — who are still two of my heroes. My athletic dreams overshadowed my educational dreams, but it didn’t take long for me to really appreciate the liberal arts approach. It enabled me to study literature and associated kinds of courses, and it opened up a whole new area in life for me.”

Dick Bennett ’65 of Nekoosa, Wisconsin, was a first-generation student and a star student-athlete at Ripon College, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He played four years each in basketball (guard), football (halfback, returner) and baseball (third baseman). As a coach, he built the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball program into a powerful program and 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. He amassed an overall coaching record of 489-307.

He says he fell in love with his courses in literature and drama at Ripon. “I got to sample the real liberal arts strength of the College,” he says. “It opened my eyes to a whole other kind of education, and that has stayed with me. I still love to read all the time.”

Bennett’s coaching legacy continues through two of his children. His son, Tony Bennett, is head coach of the University of Virginia’s Cavaliers men’s basketball team, which won the NCAA Div. 1 National Championship in 2019. His daughter, Kathi Bennett; served as head women’s basketball coach at Marycrest College; UW-Oshkosh, where her team won the 1996 National Championship and she was named Coach of the Year; University of Evansville; Indiana University; and Northern Illinois University. She served as an assistant coach at UW-Madison and is currently in an assistant position at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin.

After Ripon, he earned a master’s degree in education from UW-Stevens Point and a teaching certificate in English. Before turning to full-time coaching, he taught physical education for two years and literature for nine years. Bennett says two of his brothers attended public universities. He and his brother, John “Jack” Bennett ’71, both attended Ripon. They have discussed the differences in their education and Bennett says, “I still think my brother, Jack, and I did the right thing in coming to Ripon!”

Director Bing Liu with Diane Moy Quon ’79 at the Academy Awards ceremony.


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300 West Seward Street Ripon, WI 54971 Change Service Requested

Flash Back 1930 Rollin B. Lane, an 1872 graduate of Ripon College, lays the cornerstone for Lane Library in June 1930. Lane donated all the funds for the construction. He also left the College a generous estate gift after his death in 1940, an early example of a Partner in the Legacy. Lane was “an admitted capitalist and philanthropist who donated large sums of money for parks, libraries and orphanages,” according to an online biography at Lane was born in 1854 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. “When his parents divorced (or his father deserted them), Rollin and his mother moved to nearby Pickett [eight miles from Ripon] when he was two years old. His maternal grandparents, Armine and Anna Pickett, were pioneer residents of Pickett and Winnebago County,” the biography states. After moving to California in 1886, Lane became successful in banking and real estate investing and helped establish the young communities of Redlands and Hollywood. 38



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