MAGAZINE WINTER 2021
Diversity and Inclusion Taking stock of diversity
New directions on campus
Remembering Lester O. Schwartz
Winter 2021 VOLUME 54, ISSUE No. 1
Ripon Magazine (ISSN 1058-1855) is published twice annually by Ripon College. Postage paid at Ripon, Wisconsin. Copyright © 2021 Ripon College POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Ripon Magazine, 300 W. Seward St., Ripon, WI 54971
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residential campus create an which students experience a richly personalized education.
Inside 6 DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION Conversations about diversity have been ongoing at Ripon College for some time. But after the Inclusion Audit Committee took stock of where Ripon stands during the summer of 2020, the College is implementing changes as it moves forward.
12 ALUMNI PROFILES Ripon alumni from across the decades continue to make contributions that impact our world.
20 REMEMBERING LESTER O. SCHWARTZ From helping out on his farm to developing a lifelong appreciation of art, alumni have fond memories of the founder of Ripon College’s Department of Art.
28 INNOVATION IN INSTRUCTION From regular class updates to adaptations because of the pandemic, there have been many advances in how students are experiencing instruction on campus.
DEPARTMENTS: 26 Sports 32 Around the Clocktower 34 In Memoriam 36 Remarkable Ripon ON THE COVER: Mohammad “Danyal” Bharamchari ’24
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of Greenfield, Wisconsin, studies while safely masked during the fall semester of 2020. The class was Introduction to Biology, taught by Assistant Professor of Biology Benjamin Grady. Bharamchari’s heritage is Pakistani on his father’s side and Filipino on his mother’s side.
LEFT: A mural in downtown Ripon was painted in the summer of 2020 to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It was designed and painted by Rafael Francisco Salas, professor of art, and Sam Luna, a business owner. The intent is to help BIPOC people (Black, Indigenous and people of color) feel safe and welcomed in Ripon. “We know that we are in the midst of a social and cultural revolution,” Salas says. “I hope that the mural will help advance the cause of civil rights in the United States.”
FROM THE PRESIDENT
‘The fierce urgency of now’ Wayne Coyne, the eccentric lead singer and founder of the experimental rock and roll band The Flaming Lips, used to work as a fish fryer at a Long John Silver’s restaurant in his native Oklahoma City in the early 1980s. One night he and his co-workers were held up at gunpoint and thought they were going to die. Wayne would later tell an interviewer that the near-death experience changed his life: “The things I used to worry about just didn’t matter to me anymore. … I was like, I’m gonna do my thing … and that’s freedom.” The year 2020 has had a similar clarifying effect for many of us. COVID-19 has trapped too many of us in our homes with limitations on travel, personal interactions and the richness that comes from experimentation and seeing and doing new things. Zoom, Netflix and social media are just temporary stand-ins for all that we are missing as we wait out the pandemic. But even in these winter days of fleeting sunlight, you can see what is coming next. And it is going to be really good. After the vaccine becomes widely distributed and things, with any luck, get back to normal, there will be, one hopes, a burst of optimism and creativity that will spring forward with abandon around the world. At Ripon, the seeds of that bright future are germinating even as we begin the spring 2021 semester that will, unfortunately, still be dominated by how we are coping with the virus. You can see the confidence most clearly in our student body, where, COVID or no COVID, the dreams, hopes and aspirations of Ripon’s students have only been temporarily suspended. But the future looks bright. In this issue of the magazine, you’ll be introduced to one of Ripon’s renaissance students, Inesha Wiseman. I got to know
Inesha over the past year through multiple conversations about how to improve the Ripon experience for all students. She’s a biology major, star volleyball player, academic all-Midwest Conference selection, Dean’s List honoree and president of the Black Student Union. Some of her hobbies include dancing and making TikTok videos. Inesha’s career aspirations? She wants to attend medical school and one day become a geneticist. Inesha is a great reminder of what an honor it is for all of us who work and care about Ripon College. We get to spend four years with some of the best and the brightest in the next generation, learning with and from them, and perhaps imparting a little bit of our own wisdom along the way. And for Ripon alumni, every time another granddaughter or nephew applies for admission, a new scholarship fund is created or career advice is given to a soon-to-be Ripon College graduate, you are making a personal investment in a better tomorrow for all of us. Because now it is Inesha and her classmates who will be super-charged with what Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once described as “the fierce urgency of now” to go out and do great things, improve our lives and change the world.
ZACH MESSITTE PRESIDENT
FROM THE RIPON ARCHIVES
Robert Page Sims Jr., center, was senior class president of Bluefield Colored Institute in West Virginia.
THE GENTLEMAN FROM WEST VIRGINIA
Robert Page Sims Jr. the first Black student at Ripon College SCENE I. THE RIPON TRAIN DEPOT. August 1924. Robert Page Sims jumped off the final step of the train with his single suitcase in hand and looked around. The trip had taken several days, starting in the majestic Appalachian mountains of West Virginia and now ending here in a tiny town on a flat prairie.
where he had earned his degree in science and had gone on to teach at several schools in West Virginia before becoming president of Bluefield Colored Institute — a school his father had turned into a normal school to educate more Black teachers for the children of the region’s coal miners.
After the train pulled out of the station, he could hear the stream behind the depot. This place was quiet. Really quiet. How was it that he ended up in this tiny village so far from home? Was his father really that sentimental? His father, Robert Page Sims Sr., also had attended a Midwestern college — Hillsdale College in Michigan. That’s
Things were going really well with enrollment having quadrupled over his nearly 20 years there. But why did his father insist that he try out this Ripon College instead of his alma mater Hillsdale? Was it simply because he had been born in a West Virginia panhandle town of the same name albeit spelled differently — Rippon?
Both Ripon and Rippon had their abolitionist pasts, Ripon, Wisconsin, with its founding of the abolitionist Republican party and Rippon, West Virginia, being just down the road from Harpers Ferry where John Brown launched his doomed last raid. While all of that mattered to his father, the son was most satisfied that Ripon College had a respectable chemistry department and that he, too, could become a scientist. His mother, Stella James Sims, also was a professor of science at Bluefield, so studying anything else seemed out of the question. She had been a trailblazer as the first Black woman to graduate from Bates College.
W I N T E R 2021
FROM THE RIPON ARCHIVES
A Walk-Around from a slightly later era than the one attended by Robert Page Sims Jr., albeit with the same president: Silas Evans, Ripon College Class of 1898.
It was now Robert’s turn to find his own path. It didn’t matter that this new Ripon was small. Bluefield was equally small but his father lived an influential life including steady correspondence with W.E.B. DuBois and attending the Pan African Congress a few years previously in London, Brussels and Paris.
SCENE II. THE WALK-AROUND. After waiting for an hour at the Ripon train depot, a driver pulled up to the station and called out Robert’s name. It took only a few minutes of sitting at the station for Robert to realize that he was very noticeable. Everyone who passed by gawked in his direction. The driver dropped Robert off at a boarding house at 843 Metomen St. on the edge of town almost a mile from campus. Apparently there were no rooms 4
available on campus. While it wasn’t uncommon to live off campus, he soon learned that his boarding house was farther from campus than other classmates.’ The first weeks must have been a whirlwind. Everyone was talking about Carl Doehling’s football team, the concerts as part of the famous artist’s course and the upcoming presidential election. According to a poll run by the College Days, most students intended to vote for the Republican Calvin Coolidge despite the fact that Wisconsin’s own Bob La Follette would carry the state in November. Eventually, Robert met another student named Donald Mitchell ’26 from Oak Park, Illinois — a Merriman. Donald was impressed with Robert and introduced him to one of the most popular girls on campus,
a senior named Pearl Pierce (later Dopp), class of 1925. Pearl decided to ask Robert to the traditional opening of the school year party, the Walk-Around. At this event, firstyear students “walk around” and shake the hands of each faculty member, including the president, as a means for everyone to get to know one another. Pearl described the walk-around to her mother in a letter following the event. “Yes, I went to the walk-around, and you’ll undoubtedly be shocked to learn that I took for my pardner [sic] Robert Page Sims, a negro from West Virginia. He is a freshman here and there isn’t one white man in a hundred who has as much culture and gentlemanliness as he. I saw him on the campus and realizing that he would undoubtedly not get a chance to go to the walk-around, I conceived the idea of asking
him. First, I went to Don to ask his advice. He said he had been talking with Mr. Sims and believed him to be splendid; adding that it would be fine of me to take him. He asked him for me and came with him to call for me last night. (Don took Justine.) Well, we went and everyone treated him very nicely. He is very retiring, but an especially interesting conversationalist. I have heard that his father is president of a southern negro college; but he didn’t tell me. I can see that he has had a refined environment. I’m sure I lost nothing by taking him, and it was an extremely interesting experience. Prexy told Marian that there were only two or three other girls in college who could have gotten way [sic] with it. He and others seemed much pleased. I’m telling you this only to make you feel better about it.” (September 27, 1924)
Detail of the letter by Pearl Pierce Dopp ’25 describing her outing with Robert Page Sims Jr.
SCENE III. POSTSCRIPT. Robert Page Sims Jr. did not return to Ripon College for his sophomore year in the fall of 1925. While it seems that he may have had an enjoyable evening with Pearl Pierce at the 1924 Walk-Around, we don’t know how the rest of his year went. Pearl’s letter indicates an atmosphere of at least passive racism in which no one else would have dared asking him to a dance. Additionally, she notes that she experienced a “retiring” Robert. This is a marked change from the confident senior class president who gave the commencement address back in Bluefield. What did he experience (or not experience) that made him want to leave the school? There are no records of Robert returning to Bluefield Colored Institute, where his father had turned the school from a preparatory academy into a college in 1926. His story remains a mystery. ANDREW PRELLWITZ ASSOCIATE LIBRARIAN-USER SERVICES COLLEGE ARCHIVIST W I N T E R 2021
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Director of Multicultural Affairs Maria Mendoza-Bautista, far right, meets with roommates Solangel Gonzalez ’22, seated, and Loren Whiting ’22, both of Green Bay, Wisconsin, inside the Center for Diversity and Inclusion.
Diversity and inclusion at Ripon: ‘We can do better’ T
he tragic death of George Floyd which led to civil unrest in Minneapolis and throughout the country last summer focused increased attention to a decade-long informal conversation about diversity and inclusion at Ripon College. While President Zach Messitte and other administrators say conversations about diversity had been going on for some time, the Floyd death pushed the topic to the top of the priority list. Shortly after the national unrest started, Ripon activated an Inclusion Audit Committee charged with analyzing the status of Ripon’s student and employee diversity efforts. The 14-member committee composed of students, faculty and staff spent the month of July completing an intensive analysis of Ripon’s practices before
developing a series of recommendations for institutional policies going forward. The recommendations are broad and include everything from recruitment and retention of not only students from underrepresented populations but of faculty and staff as well. Messitte says that strides forward in diversifying the student body have been made at Ripon during the last decade. However, “there seemed to be so much more that we could do” to add to the diversity and inclusion efforts — admissions and hiring practices, programming and “understanding the challenges that our underrepresented students face.”
Messitte adds, “I think we all need to come at this from the perspective that we can do better.” The president says the decision to embark on an inclusion audit and take a thorough look at Ripon’s diversity efforts was driven by “the fact that the percentage of students identifying as non-white at Ripon has almost doubled in the past 10 years. And, when you look at demographics of college-bound students in the coming decade, it is clear that this number is likely to continue to increase.” CHANGES IN ADMISSION NUMBERS Jennifer Machacek, vice president of enrollment, agrees. As the number of prospective students declines across the
A group of students, faculty, staff and community members held a vigil in downtown Ripon in February 2020 in support of refugees and asylum seekers.
United States overall, “there are more students of color in the pool and that demographic is among the few that is growing,” she adds. Machacek adds that in 2025, the United States hits a cliff and the number of available students to recruit “takes a dive.” She adds, “Students of color will offer pockets of growth with both Black and Hispanic populations (growing). If schools are fortunate to see growth in enrollment, some of the growth will be among students of color.” That “we can do better” mantra is the direction Messitte, the committee and the administrative leadership team is taking as it conducts an in-depth review of institutional practices and determines how Ripon College can emerge as a more inclusive institution. “We know there is much more we could and should be doing,” Messitte says.
In November 2020, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion introduced Men of Color, a new affinity group designed to “build community and break bread.”
COMING UP WITH A DEFINITION So, what is the definition of diversity and inclusion at Ripon? Kara Jankowski, who chairs the committee, says that group hasn’t developed a definition for Ripon. “That’s one of the things we’ve struggled with because of Ripon’s environment, our location and our culture.” Jankowski, who serves as chief of staff for the president and vice president and dean of faculty, says the committee initially met to discuss the retention of students and staff of color, but a broader, much more farreaching, initiative resulted. A desire to be diverse and inclusive is admirable but also often difficult to attain in a small town in rural Wisconsin where opportunities may be few and diverse populations small. That, Jankowski says, was among the committee’s most challenging conversations. “Why would a professional of color want to settle in Ripon?” the group asked. ACTION ITEMS The work of the committee and the recommendations they made in student and employee areas has resulted in a
series of action items for every area of the campus. A complete list is available at ripon.edu/inclusion. Messitte says it’s important to “shine a spotlight on diversity and inclusion so that incremental change leads to significant progress over the coming months and years. We need to be diligent about working to diversify our faculty and administrative leadership. It is also critical that the College community and the town of Ripon, including the Ripon Police Department, continue to build bridges of understanding and familiarity.”
The strides that Ripon has taken surrounding diversity are evident in student life. Chris Ogle, vice president and dean of students, notes that student life made “great progress in hiring during the last decade with new personnel from underrepresented populations accounting for 45% of our professional hires, including LBGTQ persons.” Ogle also points to student resident assistants in the residence halls where last fall more than 30% were from underrepresented populations and 50% when LBGTQ students are included.
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ACCOMPLISHMENTS ALREADY IN PLACE AMONG INITIAL RESULTS OF THE AUDIT:
• Office of the President created Micro-Grant Initiative: $2,000 awards to
enhance quality of life at Ripon with emphasis on inclusion and diversity.
• Board of Trustee/Alumni Board Diversity Taskforce. • Scholarship to assist students from Cristo Rey Jesuit High School
Academically, a semester of the Catalyst curriculum is devoted to intercultural competence where cultural assumptions are challenged. “To understand cultural differences, students must have some awareness of how inequality, power, oppression and/or dominance have formed — and continue to impact — cultures,” the course description notes.
in Milwaukee, established by Mark ’83 and Janice Heinz Franzen ’83.
• Special fund to assist in retention of students of color. • Campus Climate Survey distributed in late October brought 92 responses in the first two hours, 161 after five days, 308 total. A report is planned for spring 2021.
• Hiring practices supporting a diverse workforce implemented by Human Resources. • Athletics appointed a diversity and inclusion coordinator. • Leadership training conducted around diversity and inclusion with Student Athlete Advisory Committee.
• Summer Honors Program planning deadline of Feb. 1, 2021, for shaping new
two- to three-week session for underrepresented students prior to fall semester.
• Ripon’s Rotary International Club offered to work with the College on efforts to enhance diversity and inclusion in the greater Ripon community.
Ripon also has a Safe Zone program creating culturally competent and supportive spaces for LBGTQ students as well as straight, cisgender people who care about diversity, equity and inclusion. GROWTH IN CAMPUS COMMUNITY The growth in the number of students of color at Ripon starts in admission. Each respective first-year class has seen a significant growth in minority students. Machacek says that in 2019, the class hit a high of 25% being from underrepresented populations, including international students. Diversity of the Ripon first-year class, Machacek says, has been a priority and has been tracking upward consistently for the last 10 years. Still, as Messitte says, and Machacek agrees, “we can do better.” Recruiting during a pandemic, Machacek says, has been challenging, to say the least, when “everything went virtual.” Yet the College exceeded its goal and brought in 241 new students in the fall of 2020, 23% of whom are from underrepresented populations, including international students.
Among Latinx Heritage Month events in September 2020, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion teamed up with La Unida to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day. Pictured are, from left: Maria Mendoza-Bautista, director of multicultural affairs; Luis Aragon Miranda ’21 of Monroe, Wisconsin; Maythe Salecedo ’23 of Round Lake Beach, Illinois; and Gabrel Ramirez ’22 of Chicago, Illinois.
While the Inclusion Audit points out that right now there are no professional admission staff who are of color, Machacek says that about 25% of the students involved in admissions — as tour guides, those who are teleconferencing or who work in the admissions office — are from underrepresented populations. Prospective students who are of color need to see themselves at Ripon—in the student body and among the faculty and staff. “Our underrepresented students don’t see many professors or staff who are like them,” Machacek says.
President Zach Messitte chats with Black Student Union executives Bren Davis ’22 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Inesha Wiseman ’21 of Hazel Crest, Illinois, during the Student Activities Fair in September 2020.
Among potential initiatives resulting from the audit is a junior staff fellowship funded via the Office of the President. Fellowships, to be filled by recent Ripon graduates who are of color, could fund a joint position between admissions and student life as well as a number of other administrative areas. Last fall, Machacek and Maria MendozaBautista, the College’s director of multicultural affairs and leader of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion, developed a partnership to enhance admission efforts of students of color. Mendoza-Bautista has worked with a team of students in admissions that “puts some of our work under a microscope,” Machacek says. RETAINING STUDENTS OF COLOR The Inclusion Audit, among other elements, pointed out that for some students of color, their financial resources don’t meet their financial needs to continue in college at Ripon. “We have had lots of conversations about affordability as tuition
and room and board continue to rise for all students,” Machacek says. A second and larger issue among students of color is retention. Those students who were on the Inclusion Audit Committee expressed concern that they aren’t “getting the resources they need to succeed at Ripon whether it be financial or academic support, mental health and social outlets,” Jankowski says. It’s not all financial, however. Some of it is academics, some of it is the fit and, for students of color, “some find that Ripon may not be as welcoming as they had hoped from some of the vibes on campus or in the community,” Machacek says. “It’s one thing for a student to feel accepted, and it’s another thing for a student to feel like they belong.”
“I am proud that an increasing number of students of color, international students, those who identify as LGBTQ+ and people who hold a wide variety of political and religious views have chosen to study at Ripon in recent years. Our student body looks a lot more like the tapestry of the country today than it did a decade ago.” ZAC H M E S S IT T E Ripon College President
LOREN BOONE FORMER DIRECTOR OF COLLEGE RELATIONS
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Students shared information about the Center for Diversity and Inclusion at an informational table set up outside S.N. Pickard Commons during Welcome Week in the fall of 2020.
Center for Diversity and Inclusion aims to unify the campus community The Center for Diversity and Inclusion is committed to building a broadly diverse community, nurturing a culture that is welcoming and supportive, and engaging diverse ideas for the provision of culturally competent education, discovery and community building. Maria Mendoza-Bautista, director of multicultural affairs and the center, says the work includes ensuring greater representation of individuals from all backgrounds in every part of the College and keeping fairness and accessibility at the heart of Ripon’s policies and procedures. “This is the time to make our voices heard according to how others are helping us see the world,” she says. “Everyone’s story matters, and making sure that our BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color) communities are cared for while addressing issues of marginalization openly and with compassion is important. … Finding diversity issues that impact one’s immediate surrounding community is the first step in addressing matters of justice and equity.” Inaugurated in 2015, the center has become a transformative space on campus, Mendoza-Bautista says. It includes a lounge area; the Jerry Thompson Study Room, named for a former professor of religion and chaplain of Ripon College; and a space for conversations and programs. Celebrations throughout the year highlight diversity. 10
The center “will continue to evolve as students engage and define themselves in a space that is dedicated to their identities, intersectionality, traditions and curiosity for learning about cultures from around the world,” Mendoza-Bautista says. “The space will continue to also be a brave space for social justice conversation. “As well, the center is a healing space for untangling cultural trauma as our students try to make sense of their socialization and importance of re-claiming their place in what is — for some students — a new world to define as is college.”
Her goals include an emphasis on academics to close the achievement gap; and continuous assessment to measure outcomes and develop tangible goals of admitting and helping to graduate more students of color. “It is everyone’s job to promote academic success, diversity, equity and inclusion in their respective areas,” she says. “There are many opportunities to create visually inclusive spaces, practice relationshipbuilding with others, and develop new curriculum and programs that address matters of social justice.”
DIVERSITY COALITION All student groups dedicated to fostering inclusion at Ripon College comprise the Diversity Coalition: Black Student Union (BSU); Cultural Diversity Club; Queer Straight Alliance (QSA); La Unida; Asian Student Association; Disability Rights, Activism and Education Movement (DREAM); Amnesty International; Brothers Reaching Out (B.R.O.); Ripon College Feminists; and Men of Color.
THEY ADDRESS MUTUAL INTERESTS:
• Unique issues for students identifying as diverse and intersectional • Recruitment of students and faculty to enhance diversity on campus • Diversity in education and other professions • Campus and community activities to engage students of different races and ethnicities • Uniting cultures and voices of all students • Ending social injustices in our communities • Promoting access to higher education for underrepresented students • Educational events enhancing awareness of diversity issues
Multicultural affairs director brings empathy to her new role Maria Mendoza-Bautista’s favorite quote to work and live by:
“ L ove is what justice looks like when it takes social form.” - DR . CORNEL WEST
As the daughter of Salvadoran refugees and having once been a first-generation college student, Maria Mendoza-Bautista connects with deep understanding to those who find an on-campus home at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion. Mendoza-Bautista became the new director of multicultural affairs at the center in the spring of 2020, just before the campus shut down because of the pandemic. Her dedication to student success, retention, access and equity quickly came into play as she helped support the handful of students who needed to stay on campus — some of them throughout the rest of the semester and the summer — because of travel restrictions. As social justice issues came to prominence across the country throughout the rest of 2020, she has led awareness efforts in those areas. Mendoza-Bautista is a fluent Spanish speaker. She received a bachelor’s degree in art (photography) from San Jose State University and a master’s degree in humanities and leadership from New College of California in San Francisco. She now is pursuing a Ph.D. in leadership and change from Antioch University.
Education and social justice are her passions. She founded the Las Comadritas Project in the Sherman Heights and Barrio Logan communities of downtown San Diego to help young girls develop leadership skills, engage in community service and gain academic success through servant leadership. She also co-founded the Fremont High School Alumni Foundation, a nonprofit scholarship philanthropy serving youths in one of the lowest performing high schools in South Central Los Angeles. She also helped to organize a three-day Peace Conference with Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchu of Guatemala. “Beyond diversity, I believe that we need to move towards equity and justice practices,” Mendoza-Bautista says. “By understanding the fundamental importance and power of diversity, equity and inclusion towards a state of liberation and justice, we can become the agents of change. This requires a daily commitment to educating oneself, sharing narratives/traditions/ culture/language, listening and becoming accomplices to stand up for others when they are not present or ‘at the table.’”
Relationships with police One of the recommendations of the Student Diversity Subgroup of the Inclusion Audit Committee outlines the need to create a safe space “of dialogue and relationship building between the students and the surrounding community — including local law enforcement.” Maria Mendoza-Bautista, director of multicultural affairs, and student Alisha Harvat ’21, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, met with Ripon Police Chief William Wallner in the fall. A panel discussion is planned for spring 2021 with Wallner and two police officers who are Ripon College alumni: Sgt. Lindsey Gorske Michels ’04 and Officer Kaylee Haring ’18. Efforts are underway to increase students’ awareness of police with the goal of developing relationships. Among the goals Mendoza-Bautista, Harvat and Wallner set are to increase positive visibility of police on campus. “We would like students to get to know police officers by their first names” and know that their visits to campus do not necessarily have to be from a dispatch call,” MendozaBautista says. “We’ll carefully coordinate these efforts as the presence of police on campus may also be triggering to some students who may have had a traumatic or negative experience with police in the past.”
ZOE HAZEL ’22 FRIENDSHIP, WISCONSIN
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Equity in Our Communities Nasif Rogers ’07: Fostering awareness in our schools
The American educational system is undergoing a sea change in addressing issues of equity and diversity. In August, Nasif Rogers ’07 started a new position as director of equity for the Wauwatosa School District, and he is in his second year as school equity coach for Integrated Comprehensive Systems for Equity. “Equity is engaging in school systems change that works to eliminate barriers that have been in place for traditionally underrepresented students and families,” Rogers says. This is geared toward allowing them to have full access and participation and a positive schooling experience. This is a relatively new concept for educators, Rogers says. Much of his learning in this area in the last two years is connected with coursework he is finishing for a Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, based on social justice and equity-based leadership and policy analysis. He also attributes professional development learning and “my own personal
journey as a Black man growing up in a predominantly white society.”
“Having those conversations and moments of truth have been quite fruitful.”
After graduation from Ripon, Rogers taught in the Milwaukee area for several years, then became a principal and administrator. He now advocates for change on both the systems level and on “internal systems within people,” such as identity development and understanding the history of marginalization in schools.
Rogers says young people are demanding a society different from the one they have been given. “These issues are not new,” he says. “They’ve been present for a long time, but we’ve not arrived at a better place yet. It’s incumbent upon us to take heed of what they’re asking us to do or run the risk of harming our democracy even further.
He says the response to his work has been overwhelmingly favorable from administrators, teachers, family members and community members. “How do we heal as a community, engage in a process of truth and reconciliation, help kids learn from some of the mistakes that we’ve made?
“I am dedicated to helping our principals and teachers think differently, have tools to have these conversations and make sure this isn’t a one-time thing but something that is built into the fabric of our community.”
Nasif Rogers ’07 works with students at Nicolet High School in Glendale, Wisconsin.
Jenan Kharbush ’09 encourages inclusive participation in the sciences Jenan Kharbush ’09 was honored with a Ripon College Outstanding Young Alumni Award in June 2019.
The main goals of SciAll, according to Kharbush, are to inspire and guide students on what it takes to succeed in STEM careers and to make the scientific process accessible to the broad public as well as groups skeptical of environmental science.
Jenan Kharbush ’09 says she has a personal commitment to improving access to higher education and STEM careers for marginalized groups. And, she actively advocates to increase diversity in the science field.
establish the committee to raise awareness and to work to reduce obstacles that contribute to the marginalization of particular groups in the earth sciences in general and the corresponding department at Harvard.
Kharbush majored in biology and chemistry at Ripon College and went on to get a Ph.D. in oceanography from Scripps College. As a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University, she was a founding member of the Earth and Planetary Science Department’s Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Committee.
Her major contributions included working to get departmental support for the committee and running a workshop focusing on the sexual harassment of women in science. She was a part of the committee for a year before getting a job at the University of Michigan.
She had noticed that members of the department were less than enthusiastic when she arrived and others had had similar experiences. This led her to help
At Michigan, she got involved in SciAll through Dr. Mike Gil. She met Gil during her SEA Semester, an off-campus environmental studies program, in which she participated while a student at Ripon.
To get their message out, SciAll releases videos with personal stories to show what it is really like in the field and to show the human side of science to demonstrate the range of career paths and opportunities. Kharbush currently is the video production lead and is in charge of selecting which videos are put into production. She says her experiences at Ripon College helped her to become a well-rounded person as well as introduced her to some incredible science role models. “I felt they were personally invested in my future success,” she says. “I was encouraged to seek out research opportunities early on, something that I probably would not have known about on my own.” JILLIAN HEIDENREICH ’22 MONROE, WISCONSIN
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Raymond Allen ’15: Wanting to integrate Indigenous knowledge into science Since he was awarded the fellowship in September, Allen and other fellows within several of Duke’s departments have met with Duke speakers to learn about and discuss race in their fields. The students are talking about the issues among themselves and integrating interdisciplinary insights into their work. “It’s peer-to-peer mentoring,” Allen says. “What can I teach individuals? What can I learn from my peers? The students have been thinking a lot of what race means within their work and what they want to get from the fellowship. We are figuring out our own path of what we want to do.” Allen majored in chemistry-biology at Ripon and is investigating cell reprogramming in sea urchin embryos. As an Indigenous American scientist wanting to decolonize the field, he says Indigenous peoples have “a profound understanding and relationships with non-human relatives.”
As a Ph.D. candidate in the biology department at Duke University, Raymond Allen ’15 of Durham, North Carolina, studies developmental and stem cell biology. He has been honored for his mentoring of other students and work in curricula based primarily in Western traditions of science. As a tribal member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, he knows there are Indigenous traditions and ways of knowledge production that typically are overlooked or even “stolen” by Western science, he says.
In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement this past spring, Duke established Race and Professions Fellowships to “explore challenges of racial inequities and the work of anti-racism in the professions.” Allen has received one of these fellowships. “My tribal community has taught me to always bring my Native perspective to everything I do and to be proud of it,” Allen says. “I’ve been talking about race inequities in science and academia for a long time now, and it’s refreshing to have the work I’ve been doing be recognized.”
He says one of the most frustrating things for him is that Western science tends to ignore Native scientific knowledge until Western science “discovers” what Indigenous people already knew. An example of this is “traditional ecological knowledge,” which recently but selectively has been recognized as important in select Western science circles. Allen says this is a prime way that racism or anti-Indigenous sentiment shows up in his field, and that “it will take a lot to get rid of that way of thinking.” It is a problem he wants to tackle in his work in and outside of the fellowship.
Ashley Nuter Russ ’07 shares her story on Humans of New York blog duality within myself — my deaf identity and trying to live in the hearing (non-deaf) world as a deaf person. I often felt I was not deaf enough to be a part of my culture, and I was not ‘hearing’ enough to be able to get by without needing accommodations.” Russ says this made life difficult and lonely for her. She and her mother had to fight for accommodations for her education and to overcome social barriers and isolation. She did feel very accepted at Ripon and was provided accessibility to thrive as a student. She set up a sign language club and was part of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. “Now, I do feel accepted and comfortable with thriving in both worlds,” Russ says. “I believe it is because of the fact that I embraced my identity and culture. If I meet someone who may be less understanding about my ‘disability,’ then I try to educate them, and be kind because more often than not, it does clear up a lot of misunderstanding and clear the air.” When the pandemic forced the creator of the popular photoblog Humans of New York into quarantine, instead of doing his usual on-the-street interviews in New York, he asked people from everywhere to submit personal stories remotely. Ashley Nuter Russ ’07 of Shawano, Wisconsin, decided to share her experiences of growing up deaf, meeting her husband, Stuart Russ ’07, at Ripon, and navigating in a hearing world. Her profile can be read at ripon.edu/russ. “Goodness! The reactions to my post
were positively overwhelming,” Russ says. “People related to a variety of themes in my story, such as loneliness, wanting to belong and to be accepted for who they were. It also sparked a discussion about the deaf community, and this raised an awareness about the tribulations that we deaf people often faced in our lives. It was truly wonderful to see. The reactions most certainly exceeded my expectation, and I was incredibly happy with how my story was received!”
Russ has a blog at beautifullittlepiece. blogspot.com.
Russ says, “I did not feel accepted as I was growing up, because I struggled with a
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Steve Astmann ’63 teaching a class in 2010.
Steve Astmann ’63 helps because ‘I was that guy’ High school was a rough time for Steve Astmann ’63 of Scotia, New York. Although he had potential that would blossom later in life, he didn’t do well academically. “Ripon College took a chance on me,” Astmann says. ”I met so many professors and people at Ripon, and they changed my life around,” he says. “I developed a lot of selfconfidence, got my intellectual feet under me and gained a lot of strength.” Astmann received a master’s degree in theatre arts from Tufts University and a Ph.D. in higher education from State University of New York at Buffalo. He worked at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, and with Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) for two years in the Virgin Islands. He then was a technical writer at General Electric until retiring, while also teaching at community colleges.
He continues to teach English and writing at two state community colleges. “Life is pretty successful, and I owe it all to Ripon,” Astmann says. “I always had in mind to help out somebody like me, someone a little lost and bewildered but who shows qualities that indicate real potential for success. It just takes some people a little longer.”
to you to make this experience work.’ I had a lot of help and direction. The scholarship is for somebody like me. I’m really proud of it and in my legacy.”
In 2015, he established the Juventus Endowed Scholarship at Ripon College to support students who demonstrate skills and strengths despite not having excelled academically. His brother also has contributed to the fund. “It’s for those who have not fulfilled their potential in high school. I was that guy,” Astmann says. “I struggled, grew as an individual and came out the other side. When I came to Ripon, I was told, ‘It’s up
Steve Astmann in his Ripon College senior portrait.
Cetonia Weston-Roy ’15 has had a lifelong love of reading.
Cetonia Weston-Roy ’15 promotes Black representation in literature When the last Black-owned bookstore in Wisconsin closed in 2017, it left a cultural void. That’s where Cetonia Weston-Roy ’15 stepped in. Weston-Roy has launched an online store at findyournichemke.com and plans to open Niche Book Bar in Milwaukee in May. The physical storefront will be in the historically Black neighborhood of Bronzeville and offer Black literature in all genres, wine, tea and coffee service, cozy spots for reading and space for book club meetings, author events and story times. Weston-Roy studied biology and psychology at Ripon for two years, and her husband, Maxwell Roy, graduated in 2014. She completed her degree in psychology at Concordia St. Paul. In 2016, when their son was old enough for extended naps, she got back into her lifelong
love of reading. “I was not finding myself represented in any genres that weren’t based in trauma — slavery, Jim Crow, poverty narratives,” Weston-Roy says. ”It’s harmful to have yourself represented only in that way. People deserve to see themselves reflected across the entire spectrum of the human experience and imagination.” She left her full-time job and cut back to working part time with children with autism. She took business courses, met with other entrepreneurs and researched the types of books she wants to offer. She goes through book distributor databases, reads, searches Facebook groups of independent authors and takes recommendations from readers. A fund-raising Kickstarter campaign has fully funded her start-up costs. “I wanted community buy-in,” she says, “and supporters are saying that I had put into
words something that they felt but hadn’t put into words themselves.” She is connecting to her community in other ways. While the weather was warmer, she delivered books from the back of an adult tricycle. She read stories to children in parks and founded the Black Authors Alliance, currently meeting online. And she self-published the first in a planned series of children’s books, The Misadventures of Toni Macaroni in: The Mad Scientist. It is available in her online store as well as on Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites. She wants to highlight a varied Black representation. “Books help people become empathetic,” Weston-Roy says. “If books are presented in only one way, empathy is skewed only one way. That reflection isn’t there.”
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Susan Frikken ’90, right, and her wife, Deb Hanrahan.
Susan Frikken ’90 finds herself and what she can give back to the world An anthropology major, environmental biology minor and solid foundation in the liberal arts led Susan Frikken ’90 of Madison, Wisconsin, to a rich and varied career. After working in environmental education, for the nonprofit WhitmanWalker Health in Washington, D.C., and then as a ballroom dance instructor, she became certified in massage therapy. After receiving a doctorate in physical therapy (DPT) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she now offers massage and physical therapy at her business, Yahara Therapy LLC. “My goal is to incorporate arts and nature into therapeutic practice, helping to change the way of health and wellness care in our country,” Frikken says. She co-founded the Madison Area Wellness Collective, now called Be Well Madison, is an adjunct instructor in the UW-Madison
DPT program and is featured in UW-Madison’s video “Ballroom Balance.” It can be viewed at ripon.edu/frikken. Her career “feels like a representation of my good fortune to have a loving and valuable community, which includes Ripon College,” Frikken says. “What I get to do every day is not work, but a culmination and continuation of the education and experiences and people.” Her journey also has led her to embrace her identity. She was in a traditional marriage but began to question her sexuality. She left her marriage and for several years endured depression, strained relationships with her parents, conflicts with her religious upbringing, financial struggles and an abusive, controlling samegender relationship. Commitment of longtime friends and
support groups helped her begin “a slow but strong ascent.” Now, with her wife, Deb Hanrahan, “almost 20 years has flown by since we decided to be together, and it has been a deep joy, not a struggle,” Frikken says. “What makes the difference is not her gender or mine, not how we identify, but that we respect ourselves and feel whole and choose to share that with each other. “You never know whom or what you may lose when you risk being yourself. I have lost and grieved, but I’ve gained the most important thing: myself, fully me, participating in the world with you, my community.”
Dawn Stollfus Hart ’97 in her store.
Downtown Ripon entrepreneur rebounds after COVID-19 setbacks Twenty years after graduation, Dawn Stollfus Hart ’97 returned to Ripon with her family to open Hart Mercantile in downtown Ripon in 2019. The business specializes in hand-crafted décor and functional pieces for the home. Hart graduated with a degree in psychology and worked with children with autism in their own homes for almost 10 years. She also had been selling some of her handcrafted wares at local markets, and “I fell in love with entrepreneurship,” she says. Wanting to continue to grow her business and to spend more time with her children, she transitioned to her own business full time. The Ripon store was off to a good start, but the COVID-19 pandemic and statewide shelter-in-place mandate forced the business to shut down from March 23 to May 21, 2020. Lessons learned during Hart’s liberal arts and sciences education allowed her to re-evaluate and rebound.
“I invested much time and energy into my website,” Hart says. “I already had a website but I never really led people there. But once closed, I really started to work harder at promoting it and adding many vintage items daily to it. And guess what — customers showed up and shopped online and supported us like crazy.” Along with shipping online orders, Hart also began offering curbside pickup. “I found that I was working harder and more hours during the shutdown than before because loading product and shipping product takes so much more time,” Hart says. “But I was so grateful for customers’ support through all of it.” Since reopening, Hart’s Mercantile has put plenty of safety measures into place, including Plexiglas, masks and lots of hand sanitizer. Even with everything going on, customers continue to order or come into the store to buy.
She says she is bolstered by the support she gained, both at Ripon College and in the Ripon community. “There are so many things I realize now about my path that I learned as a student at Ripon College, and the main one I keep coming back to is confidence,” Hart says. “I gained so much confidence while at Ripon College, and the staff and coaches were a huge part of that. “I am beyond grateful and thankful for customers caring about our small business (and so many others). This year has been hard, but it’s also been beyond special because of customers and the community rallying together to keep small businesses going. I feel blessed to be a part of Ripon’s downtown and am so happy to have a shop here.” ZOE HAZEL ’22 FRIENDSHIP, WISCONSIN
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Memories of Lester O. Schwartz
he Department of Art at Ripon College was founded by Lester O. Schwartz, artist-in-residence from 1944 until his retirement in 1977. He had been allowed to renovate a fraternity house into a studio and was given free rein to paint, as long as he taught for four hours each day. Over the course of an eight-decade career, he was a prolific painter, print-maker and sculptor. Recipient of numerous awards from the 1930s to the 1960s, his work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum in New York, the Carnegie in Pittsburgh, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Salon d’Automne in Paris. His paintings have been included in many individual and group shows and in public and private collections around the world.
Before I came to work at Ripon College, I interviewed Lester Schwartz for an area newspaper. He mentioned he had taught film actor Harrison Ford ’64. Like many other students, Ford came to Schwartz asking how he could make up credits and improve his grade. Schwartz suggested some activities. Ford declined. “Well,” Schwartz told me. “I figured he was spending a lot of time in the theatre department and that was artistic, so I passed him!”
Jaye Alderson Ripon College Editor
He and his wife, Gloria Greco Schwartz ’56, transformed the landscape of their Green Lake farm into a beautiful environment, which he later opened up as an art gallery and sculpture garden for his large steel sculptures. In 2006, Schwartz expressed his great desire to attend his 61st Ripon College Commencement ceremony. He fulfilled that wish on May 14 and died two days later at the age of 93. Descendants who have attended Ripon include two of his daughters, Tanya Schwartz-Roeper ’88 and Gigi Schwartz ’89; his son-in-law, Randy Roeper ’88, associate vice president for advancement at Ripon; and his grandson, Jonah Roeper ’24. His father-in-law, Tony Greco, graduated from Ripon in 1935. Schwartz-Roeper and Associate Professor of Art Travis Nygard are writing a small book about Schwartz’s career and his lasting influence on Ripon College and generations of its students. Here, Ripon College alumni share some of their special memories.
I studied with Lester as an art major at Ripon in 1971 to 1973 and built the scale architectural model of the house he designed and subsequently built. This unique opportunity inspired me to become an architect, which I did continuously until I retired a couple years ago. We had a very close relationship and I have fond memories of him.
Ken Pray ’75 Cincinnati, Ohio I took a class with Lester Schwartz in 1959 as an elective in my senior year. It opened up a lifetime of art appreciation and creativity that I have enjoyed my entire life. When we returned to Ripon for a class reunion, I purchased several notecards with his work. I kept them unused for many years but finally sent one to my granddaughter. She absolutely loved it and asked about him and his work, thus forwarding his influence into future generations.
Ronell Bradbeer Anderson ’59 Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
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Pi Tau Pi sorority moved from Wright Hall in the Tri-Dorms to Tracy House in the fall of 1958. We were excited and delighted to finally have our own house. Professor Schwartz’s things had all been moved to his new studio up on the hill, except for his mobiles, which were hanging all over. The ceilings were high. They were eventually moved, but we enjoyed them while they were there. Tracy was a beautiful, old threestory house that is no longer there. Six of us lived upstairs and six lived on the lower level. Our house mother’s room was on the main floor, and we had a kitchen and two large living rooms.
Nancy Reno Thomas Meinel ’60 Monroe, Louisiana I really admired his Kaiser Darrin (a 1954 American sports car). I have no idea where he got that car serviced in Ripon.
I was a perpetual student back then and I needed to boost my GPA so I could graduate. I took a Lester course and rewired a rental house Lester bought on the east end of town. The house had been owned by someone who was so poor they burned twigs in the coal furnace. They had to walk across a small stream to use the outhouse. Another student helped me break up the coal furnace and remove it. We sold it for scrap. Lester wanted the outhouse removed. I knew the freshmen needed an outhouse for the top of the bonfire, and outhouses were getting scarce. I went down to The Spot and sat next to a few freshmen. After a few minutes, I whispered I knew where there was an outhouse. “You do??? Where?” Shh, keep it down. I told them where it was, and that there was a creek and they’d have to come in from the other side of the creek to get it. The outhouse disappeared and I didn’t have to lift a finger.
Kenneth von Kluck ’65 Eagle River, Wisconsin
Richard Linde ’54 Sheboygan, Wisconsin I just remember talking with him and seeing him ride a bicycle around Ripon. A very gentle, profoundly intelligent man. A sense of peace around him.
The ’60s was an enormous decade for art and I was lucky to be at Ripon with two of the most influential people in my life, Lester Schwartz and Irwin Breithaupt. Far apart in demeanor, dress and style, yet both brilliant and inspirational. Neither had to vie for attention, they were just naturals at standing up for their beliefs. And if they seemed odd sometimes, well, that’s just the way it was — no apologies and no regrets.
Cathy Cummins ’65 San Antonio, Texas I had Lester as my teacher — art, of course — and he married my roommate, Gloria Greco. I hope that everyone had a chance to see all of his outdoors creations at their farm located near Green Lake. For many years, Jim and I heard from them at Christmas, always a fresh drawing of their family of three daughters and Gloria with maybe a horse to round out the family. Always visited them on Alumni Weekend. Many fond memories of Lester and Gloria!
I also laugh every time I remember the day he was late to class because his pet llama, Loopy, had escaped across the frozen lake. Because Professor Schwarz was beloved by his students, his class was one where every single student was willing to wait indefinitely until he arrived!
Tim Merker ’65 Marion, Iowa
He inspired me to become an architect and a portraitist. His wife was his muse.
I majored in poli sci (which was renamed Politics and Government while I was at Ripon) as a path towards my future as a lawyer. But I was born with art in my heart so I chose art classes as my electives. My favorite art professor was Lester Schwartz. I loved days where he taught “rules” such as how to draw in perspective and color theory and then sent us off to apply them in our own unique way. I particularly loved the days when he invited students to his home where we served as his apprentice as he assembled his imaginative statues. I marveled at his sand-covered studio floor! His unconventionality served as an inspiration to my creativity.
I remember Lester adding a few “touches” to one of my paintings that transformed it from a mass of very unremarkable colors to something I still have and admire. I have always considered it his art. He accomplished this task in about three minutes! And then congratulated me for my basic grasp of humility, change and acceptance. No story about Lester Schwartz could be complete without mention of his Kaiser Darrin and his scarf — please don’t forget them.
I always hoped that I would be able to professionally combine law and art somehow but never did. However, now that I am retired, I have returned to my love of art. While I paint, I often think of the lessons Professor Schwartz taught me: to learn the basic rules but to apply them in my own unique and creative way.
Kathy Kurke ’75 Omond Beach, Florida My favorite teacher of all time! He knew that I was very involved in the creation of my paintings and worked long hours outside of the classroom. He allowed me to work in my dorm room at my easel rather than in the classroom and bring my 4 x 4 painting down to Rodman when I was finished. Lester always had positive constructive comments to make about my work when I was working on pieces in his classroom. He inspired me and I still paint to this day.
Kimberly Lawton Schulte ’78 Carolyn Landwehr ’55, also known as “Callie” Along with Jim Landwehr ’56 Glendale, Wisconsin
Nick Wright ’70 Park City, Utah
I took several art classes from Lester Schwartz between 1969 and 1972. I remember two things about him. First he was not controlling at all in the work that we did. He allowed us to be as creative as we wanted as long as we stayed somewhat within the parameters of the assignment. Secondly, he would often call on students to do work outside the classroom for extra credit. He had a small farm out toward Green Lake and often would need some help there. One time I recall painting a large backdrop for the drama department. It was to look like a brick wall and the drama students were painting the bricks using sponges dipped in red paint. I, however, painted all the mortar between the bricks by rolling the entire wall with a flat grey paint and then the “bricks” were applied over that. It was not the least bit artistic, but he was surprised that I was able to do the entire thing in about three hours and asked me where I had learned to paint like that. I told him my father had put a paint roller in my hand when I was about 8 years old and the outside of our house needed painting.
Jim Hintz ’72 Salem, South Carolina We rented a cottage on Green Lake in the 1960s from Lester and Gloria Schwartz, and my parents were good friends. My dad was one of the college physicians and all three of us kids attended Ripon College in the late ’70s/early ’80s.
Nancy Lofdahl ’82 San Juan Batista, California I worked at his farm to “enhance” my grade point and I endured his “instruction” regarding art. Over the past 60 years since those Ripon days, I have an appreciation for perspective, color, shading and art composition that I can attribute to Lester Schwartz. He gave me this precious gift, and I wish I could thank him for it.
John T. Howe ’62 Flushing, Michigan
My mother was Beverly Bumby from Green Lake and (my) aunt is Mary Jane Bumby ’52. My portrait was painted by Lester Schwartz in 1963. I was 5 years old. I remember going to the Schwartz home on the top of the huge hills in Green Lake. The hills were always fun — a little scary because they were so high and at the top was the Schwartz home. There were numerous sculptures on the property. Throughout the years, I remembered this was where the artist lived that painted my portrait. I always looked when coming to and from Green Lake to see what was outside. I do remember sitting for some sketches at the house in his studio — not easy for a 5-year-old. They are beautiful silhouette line drawings with a touch of green. The portrait sitting was at my grandparent’s house on the pier. I recall sitting on the bench and some photos being taken with promises of a treat if I sat still — probably an orange Byerlys soda. My mother absolutely loved this painting, and I am delighted it is now in my home. The colors are stunning. It is truly lovely!
Lynn Taylor Delray Beach, Florida
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“Cosmos,” by Lester Schwartz, was commissioned by the Ripon College Chapter of Delta Upsilon in November 1959 as part of a memorial. The 7' X 8' painting currently is displayed in the stairwell of Todd Wehr Hall. Delta Upsilon became Lambda Delta Alpha in 1984, and ownership of the painting later was transferred to Ripon College.
It was 1975, I was the newly hired director of the Annual Fund at Ripon, and my office was a small one on the fourth floor of then-Middle Hall (now Smith Hall). My office door was directly adjacent to Lester Schwartz’s studio, which took up the eastern half of that top floor. That was the year Lester undertook to create one painting for every year of America’s 200-year history as part of a Bicentennial grant the College had received. Lester came into the studio every day, working long hours to churn out painting after painting, to fulfill his obligation. How he found inspiration and ideas I don’t know, but he always had time to stop at my door on his way into the studio to chat and inquire how I was doing as the new guy at Ripon College. Lester finished the 200 paintings and they went on display. Lester was a man of talent, and of his word.
Dave Williams ’03
Lester presented Delta Upsilon fraternity a memorial painting after the loss of a fraternity brother. The painting was titled “Cosmos,” at least six feet by six feet, and hung in the lounge of Delta Upsilon until at least 1965. When DU left campus, I think it hung in Farr Hall and I don’t know the story on how it got there. The fraternity actually was the owner. Many of us worked on the farm and served to improve either grade point or credits. Lester saved many of the students from telling our parents a very sad story. We need many more like Lester Schwartz.
Bob Collins ’65 Woodruff, Wisconsin His “Cosmos” painting was in the DU Lounge during the late ’70s and early ’80s when I lived in Brockway Hall. Big painting!
Peter Hintz ’82
Menomonie, Wisconsin Former interim president and vice president of advancement at Ripon Walking down the center aisle to my seat as the Peter Gunn theme boomed through the auditorium introduced me to Lester’s class! Wow ... I was stoked! This was why I chose a small liberal arts college! This was education! In his charismatic style, he welcomed his students and opened the door to their appreciation and understanding of the world of art. He provided us a foundation upon which we could build for the rest of our lives, enriching our knowledge as well as our soul.
As a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity in the late ’70s, we were the beneficiaries of having some of Professor Schwartz’s artwork to have hanging in our lounge down in Brockway. One of the pieces that comes to mind was the “Cosmos” that I believe was commissioned by a late DU’s family. It was an honor to go down to the lounge to watch television or to just hang with my fellow DUs with that huge picture on one of the walls.
Of course, the real force behind the class was his assistant, Gloria Greco, who later became his wife! Gloria was my beloved “big sister” in what was then the Lyle sorority, now Alpha Chi Omega. I adored Gloria for her free spirit and love of horses. I even felt honored when she “allowed” me to muck the stables as one of my pledge duties!
Kevin L. Warmack ’79
Donna Haubrich Reichle ’59
Fripp Island, South Carolina
I remember Lester as a kind man who was generous with his time, thoughtful, both philosophical and practical. I learned by hearing, not visually (or sometimes not at all). I don’t recall Lester’s studio on campus and never took a course from him. That was my loss. I remember going out to his beautiful farm, high above Green Lake (or high for this part of Wisconsin). I went with others both during the day and in the evening. During the day, we would visit his studio/ workshop, and I was particularly struck by the fact that Lester was working with honeycomb (yes, honeycomb) as a medium. And I don’t think it was the beginning of “edible art!” I also remember (or think I remember) Ba, one of Lester’s sheep. From time to time, I, along with other Jewish students, would go to Lester’s farm on Friday evenings for Sabbath dinner. That was always a treat and, as you might expect, a far better meal than was available on campus.
Arthur Scharff ’63 St. Louis, Missouri Besides taking Professor Schwartz’s art appreciation courses, which I enjoyed, Lester graciously allowed me to film whitetail deer “winter yarding” behavior on his farm for my animal behavior/psychology class with Professor Bob Otis. There were 75 to 100 deer exhibiting winter yarding on his farm near Green Lake, and he showed me a perfect observation and filming point in the haymow of his barn. It worked out perfectly, and I obtained a lot of film for my project. Lester was always very gracious and student-oriented, and therefore I felt very comfortable asking him if he would open up his property for the filming. Of course, he said yes, and seemed to be pleased that we could share his appreciation of wild life with others.
Dan Harmsen ’77 Hartford, Wisconsin
Ripon College in the news • President Zach Messitte was quoted in an article that ran in several media outlets during late August. “Wages are soaring in southeastern Wisconsin — a key region of this battleground state” focused on Foxconn’s construction of a manufacturing complex in Wisconsin, additional manufacturing investments, their effects on the regional economy and possible effects on the upcoming presidential election.
• Sara Hathaway, director of Career and Professional Development, was quoted in an article published Aug. 31, 2020, on the personal finance website WalletHub. The site’s report, “2020’s Hardest-Working States in America,” looks at factors such as hours worked per week, average commute time, vacation time left unused and workers having more than one job.
• William Woolley, professor of history emeritus, was profiled Sept. 2, 2020, in the Ripon Commonwealth Press. The Ripon Rotary Club had awarded its highest honor, the Paul Harris Fellowship, to Woolley for having made significant and lasting contributions to the community.
• Director of Creative and Social Media Ric Damm was profiled in the feature article “The Man Behind the Lens: Ric Damm explains passion for photography how he got started and why he does it,” Sept. 9, 2020, in the Ripon Commonwealth Press.
• Brad Alberts ’92 of Southlake, Texas, president and CEO of the Dallas Stars hockey team, was featured in September on the podcast “The Jay Young Show,” episode 66. The article “Delevan native Alberts has Stanley Cup Hopes,” also about Alberts, ran Sept. 14, 2020, in the online GazetteXtra of the Janesville Gazette newspaper. The Stars played in the Stanley Cup finals in September.
• Ken Pinckney ’81 of Glendale, Wisconsin, his wife, Lora L. Hyler, and their son, Will, appeared Sept. 17, 2020, on the national television program Live with Kelly and Ryan. Hyler has written a book for children about dealing with the coronavirus, Our Bodies Stay Home, Our Imaginations Run Free, and the family talked about their personal quarantine experiences.
• In September, Assistant Professor of Biology Benjamin Grady was quoted in an article run by numerous news outlets across the country, including the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Las Vegas Sun, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Journal Gazette and ABC News. “Massive damage of rare plants probed at Nevada mine site” relates how state and federal authorities are investigating mysterious massive damage to thousands of a rare desert wildflower.
• Paul Schoofs, professor emeritus of economics and Patricia Parker Francis Professor of Economics Emeritus, is quoted in an article in the September issue of Insight on Manufacturing, based in Appleton, Wisconsin. “New Deal: Dairy Industry is optimistic USMCA can deliver a boost” addresses the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement, which went into effect July 1. He also continues to give interviews about current economic issues for area radio stations.
• A feature on Ripon’s COVID-19 testing for all students living on campus, as well as the low number of positive cases noted on campus to date was featured Oct. 19 on WBAY-TV.
• Brian Bockelman, associate professor of history, was featured on a panel of experts in an article on zippia.com, published in October. “Experts weigh in on current job market trends” addresses history graduates starting their careers in an uncertain economic climate.
• Jennifer Machacek, vice president for enrollment was featured extensively in a television story about enrollment numbers for colleges across Northeast Wisconsin in the wake of the pandemic. The story was featured Nov. 6, 2020, on Fox 11 News in Green Bay.
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SPORTS Inesha Wiseman ’22 plays volleyball.
Volleyball player finds hope in social justice movements of Alpha Delta Pi and Beta, Beta, Beta, the honor society in biology. “Ripon has furthered my interest in the biological sciences and increased my motivation and determination to apply to medical school in order to become a medical geneticist,” Wiseman says. “I have had so many great professors who have shown me the proper ways to study, and I’ve loved the experience of working with admission as a tour guide, showing all the wonderful aspects of Ripon College to prospective students.” For Inesha Wiseman ’22, the college experience has helped shape her life and make her a well-rounded person. She is a biology major from Hazel Crest, Illinois, a member of the Red Hawks volleyball team, president of the Black Student Union (BSU), a Dean’s List honoree and a member 26
She finds being on the volleyball team to be fulfilling. An Academic All-Conference performer in 2019, Wiseman has recorded 358 kills, 239 digs and 53 total blocks during her two seasons with the team. “Playing volleyball at Ripon has been an
amazing experience, and Coach (Katie) Astrauskas has really helped me improve as a player,” Wiseman says. “Volleyball has always been one of my greatest passions, and the fact that I can still play the sport I love during my college experience has helped me both athletically and academically. It has always been an outlet for me when academics have been too stressful, and also provides me with outstanding time management skills.” That is a good skill to have with all of Wiseman’s extracurricular activities, none more important than serving as president of BSU, the College’s longest-tenured diversity organization. It originated in the 1960s. “Ripon College has made me more interested in social injustice and the empowerment of the Black community,” Wiseman says. “This organization has
SPORTS HIGHLIGHTS WINTER COMPETITIONS SUSPENDED
Inesha Wiseman ’22, foreground, meets with fellow Black Student Union members, from left, Keshon Cleveland ’23, Tekiera Farrell ’24, Tyrell Hilton ’24, Carmone Zavala ’22, Jack, the dog, Stephanie Boahen ’21, Wiseman and Dasia Davis ’21.
offered me leadership responsibilities that I’ll carry with me the rest of my life. It has empowered me to be my true authentic self and stand up in the face of racism in order for changes to be made. “As president of BSU, I’m the face of the organization and I collaborate with other diversity/student organizations on campus while also getting the College and town of Ripon involved. My hope for the future of BSU is to become more involved with philanthropy, because we have to give back to our own community in order to see the changes that we hope for.” There has arguably never been a more important time to be president of BSU than the present, Wiseman says. The many movements and protests in the past several months mostly have served as a beacon of positivity to put an end to racism. “Movements such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) have and will always be at the core of BSU,” Wiseman says. “Over the summer, we collaborated with Ripon’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion and had a Zoom seminar called Unhealed Rage where we talked about the incidents of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and so many other Black people who have wrongfully lost their lives. I believe the only way people are going to learn is if they do more listening and understanding as opposed to just responding. “As part of BSU, we also fought to keep the BLM mural up by The Heist downtown because it shows that after many years, this small, primarily white town is showing that they care about people of color. It was a sigh of relief that the College was accepting of this as well and is willing to improve its campus climate for Black students. This town can no longer live in its ‘ignorance-is-bliss’ mentality, and we must challenge the people around us to change their thinking.” MIKE WESTEMEIER DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
The Midwest Conference Presidents Council in early December announced that it would not sponsor league competition, including championships, for fall and winter sports during the 2020-2021 academic year. This includes the men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s and women’s swimming and diving, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and volleyball. The athletics staff will remain focused on providing meaningful experiences for all student-athletes. Ripon College and the MWC will continue to monitor those factors impacting the decision for suspension of the fall and winter sport seasons, and will take action to resume athletic competition when it is deemed safe to do so.
RIPONREDHAWKS.COM Ripon College athletics has a newly redesigned website at riponredhawks.com. The athletics and marketing teams worked alongside Sidearm Sports — the current athletics website vendor — to update and refresh the website and provide a better experience for both desktop and mobile site users.
TRACK AND FIELD For the fourth consecutive season, Ripon’s women’s track and field team earned National All-Academic Team honors, which requires a cumulative GPA of 3.10 or higher. Ripon held a GPA of 3.32. Including both the track and field and cross country teams, Ripon’s program has now received All-Academic Team honors 21 times. The honors were announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association. The association also named Callista DeCramer ’20 of Princeton, Wisconsin, and Ben Fisher ’23 of Waupun, Wisconsin, to the 2019-20 All-Academic Team with a GPA of 3.30 or higher and a national ranking in the top 50 in the student-athlete’s respective event. DeCramer finished fifth in Division-III in the indoor pentathlon with a school-record score of 3,499 points. She qualified for D-III Indoor Nationals in the pentathlon in March, and currently holds school records in the pentathlon, heptathlon, 60m hurdles, 100m hurdles, triple jump and the indoor 4x200 and 4x400 relays. Fisher ranked 19th in D-III in the high jump with a height of 6-08.75. That clearance earned him a second place finish at the Midwest Conference Indoor Championships and ranked fifth in D-III among freshmen. He qualified for D-III Indoor Nationals in the high jump and holds the school record in that event with that 6-08.75 mark.
MEN’S BASKETBALL Former Ripon player Ty Ketz ’16 was hired as an assistant coach for the men’s basketball team. W I N T E R 2021
I N N O VAT I O N I N I N S T R U C T I O N
Robert Amsden, director emeritus
Rehearsing “Molly Sweeney,” from left to right: Christian Schmidt ’23 of Green Bay, Wisconsin, as Mr. Rice; Dr. Robert Amsden, director; Brooklyn Hogan ’22 of Barneveld, Wisconsin, as Molly Sweeney; and Levi Keen ’24 of Twin Lakes, Wisconsin, as Frank Sweeney.
Theatre reflects the human experience — even in a pandemic T
he show must go on — COVID-19 notwithstanding. Ripon College produced its usual fall plays, but rehearsals and production were done differently. “Molly Sweeney” was directed by Director Emeritus of Theatre Robert Amsden in November. He selected the play because it could be produced under social distancing guidelines. There are only three characters who present monologues of varying lengths to establish their characters, so the actors are not required by the script to be on stage at the same time. Rehearsals were held one-on-one in individual one-hour sessions. “The rehearsals sometimes had the feel of private acting lessons for the actors,” Amsden says. “As a theatre director and an educator, teaching acting is always part of directing, but this seemed more focused; tutor-like. Like a private music lesson.”
The play was recorded and streamed online on days it would have appeared live. “When I watched, I was surprised how effective it was,” Amsden says. “It didn’t lose anything in the transition from live to streamed.”
dramatic elements of the play. “It’s a little bit like the philosophy my wife and I had when raising our children — ‘We’re raising you to leave us.’ My goal as director is to become superfluous.
While Amsden retired as a professor in the spring of 2018, he continues to direct theatre productions and extend his teaching philosophy to future thespians.
“Seeing students be able to take ownership of their roles is very rewarding as a theatre educator,” he says.
“There’s a concept in lighting design called layering,” he says. “And what that means is the lighting designer and master electrician don’t go in and try to do everything at once. Getting the lights set up is managed better if it’s approached in layers. With directing, it’s the same principle. … I try to make sure it’s a stepwise process in what I am teaching (the actors) in how to do the play.” Amsden provides a process for actors to grow into and “inhabit” their characters, guiding them in ways that best support the
Professor of Theatre Ken Hill directed “Spoon River,” an hour-long performance of music and theatre, outdoors in September. A recording of the dress rehearsal is available at ripon.edu/spoonriver. DAKOTA MARLEGA ’21 WAUPACA, WISCONSIN JAYE ALDERSON RIPON COLLEGE EDITOR
Pilot program offers foothold into software development A
s video and software applications become increasingly important in everyday lives, Isaac Sung, assistant professor of computer and data science, is parlaying his personal research interests into new advantages for Ripon College students.
Sung and Erin Munro Krull, assistant professor of mathematics. As part of a pilot test for a proposed Center for Software Innovation, grant funding allowed the faculty to hire three of the class’s students to work during the summer to design and develop an educational algebra game.
In the spring, he offered the first session of an elective course, Introduction to Video Game Development. This course is designed to allow students to use their creativity and work in teams to form “indie games studios” and create a new video game.
Devon Giesler ’22 of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin; Mattie Ryback ’22 of New Berlin, Wisconsin; and Andy Ratayczak ’23 of Cedarburg, Wisconsin, helped develop the game. Munro Krull says she knows that students often find themselves overwhelmed by complicated calculus questions, but the only games she could find online were for simple one- or two-step equations.
The timing wasn’t ideal, Sung says. Just as teams were starting to get productive, COVID-19 forced the shutdown of the campus. Learning went virtual. Students still were able to develop skills necessary to help out with a new interdisciplinary project spearheaded by
gradually build up to more complicated equations. This would help students to have a fun way to build confidence with more complicated equations.” Sung says he hopes the center will evolve to the point where it will be self-sustaining and “provide an opportunity for students to experience authentic design and implementation of software solutions for clients. I hope that we will be able to create software and applications for real-world users. We would like to provide solutions for the Ripon College community, local businesses, and beyond.”
“I wanted to develop a game where students could simply practice solving equations by manipulating them step-by-step,” she says. “That way, they could
Erin Munro Krull Screenshot of newly developed game
W I N T E R 2021
I N N O VAT I O N I N I N S T R U C T I O N
Rachel Hicks ’21 of Endeavor, Wisconsin, worked with a class at Quest Elementary School (above). Alexis Lentz ’21 of Pardeeville, Wisconsin, worked with the third-grade class of Jessi McConnell Johnson ’04 at Quest Elementary School in Ripon (left).
Future teachers learn to adapt to virtual instruction W
hen the pandemic limited traditional clinical experiences for senior Ripon College education students, members of the Department of Educational Studies took action. Jean Rigden, director of teacher education, says, “When things went virtual, I reached out to our alumni, and they were willing to lend a helping hand to give our pre-service teachers opportunities to help them with their virtual students.” This benefited both current Ripon students and alumni working in area schools. • Working with teachers at Quest Elementary School and Murray Park Elementary School in Ripon were Rachel Hicks of Endeavor, Wisconsin; Megan Dille of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin; Cortney Bols of Sandwich, Illinois; Alexis Lentz of Pardeeville, Wisconsin; Austin Anderson of Evansville, Wisconsin; Ava Conrad of Waukesha, Wisconsin; Lilli Smith of Schaumburg, Illinois; and Kylie Tomashek of Plymouth, Wisconsin. Teachers they assisted included Jessi McConnell Johnson ’04 at Quest.
• Working with Ripon Middle School and Ripon High School were seniors Natalie Geiger of Mayville, Wisconsin; and Gunnar Winchell of Cambria, Wisconsin, who worked with Carlie Kloehn Cardinal ’14 of Catalyst Charter School and James Cardinal ’08 of Ripon High School. • Lauren VanDen Heuvel of Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin, worked with Max Herrmann ’13 of Appleton East High School; Brooke Bauer of Platine, Illinois, worked with AJ Zayia ’15 of Northland Pines High School in Eagle River, Wisconsin; Leslie Stark of Grinnell, Iowa, and Seth Stollfus of Pardeeville, Wisconsin, worked with Jon Petkoff ’14 of Montello (Wisconsin) High School; and Maria Estrada of Chicago, Illinois, worked with Melissa Widlake Ludjack ’12 of the Rosendale/Brandon (Wisconsin) School District. One of these students, Rachel Hicks, is majoring in education studies and history. “The Ripon School District was generous and willing to allow us into their classrooms virtually this semester,” Hicks says, “and I wanted to take part in this experience because I knew that learning
how to teach virtually would allow me to be the best teacher I can be for my future students, no matter the circumstances.” This experience taught Hicks how to be a caring and understanding educator because “this pandemic has created stress and heartbreak for all of us, but our young ones have been really hurt by the separation from friends and family” she says. “The biggest takeaway for me was that teachers have the responsibility of reminding students of how smart, special and loved they are,” she says. “My cooperating teacher exemplified what it means to cherish your students, and I cannot thank her enough for all that she taught me.” She adds, “This experience was lifechanging, not to over exaggerate. I was reminded of why I wanted to be a teacher in the first place and why our world needs devoted educators.” JILLIAN HEIDENREICH ’22 MONROE, WISCONSIN
Keeping student-athletes strong and motivated I
n the wake of COVID-19 restrictions, strength and conditioning for studentathletes has become increasingly important while student-athletes are unable to compete and have to work out in smaller groups. Ripon College’s timing was perfect as its first full-time strength and conditioning coach started in the Department of Athletics in the fall of 2020. Brandon Zemke brings to Ripon a wealth of knowledge and experience after working for NCAA Division I and Division III programs to prepare student-athletes for collegiate athletics. “When Willmore Center was being designed, we had every intention that when the time was right we could provide our athletes with someone to utilize all the tools that the Willmore Center offers,” says Athletic Director Ryan Kane. “That benefits not only our student-athletes, but the programming will help the community members at Willmore Center as well.”
Zemke most recently served as the head athletic performance coach at fellow Midwest Conference school Lawrence University. Prior to that, he was the assistant athletic performance coach at the University of Vermont. Zemke’s hire by Ripon Medical Center, a member of SSM Health, demonstrates a strong commitment to providing resources to enhance athletic performances through quality preparation, planning and educational guidance. “Strength and conditioning sessions are one of the few areas where teams can interact with each other in a coach-led session throughout the school year,” Zemke says. “Because of this, strength and conditioning is vital in building team chemistry, leadership and accountability, and helping to develop the overall team culture.
can transfer these to their sport skills and increase their performance, while also decreasing their risk for injury.” He says the COVID-19 restrictions have been challenging, but everyone has adapted to make the most of the situation. “I’m excited for the day when our studentathletes and coaches can finally get back to competing,” he says. “Everyone at Ripon has welcomed me, and the student-athletes have been great to work with. One of the most important aspects of my job is developing a positive relationship with every student-athlete on campus.” MIKE WESTEMEIER DIRECTOR OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
“A good strength and conditioning program will train strength, speed, power, flexibility, coordination and endurance. By increasing these basic fitness components, athletes
Brandon Zemke works with softball player Abby Gilberston ’23 of Markesan, Wisconsin.
W I N T E R 2021
AROUND THE CLOCKTOWER 1
Lisa Wollan ’78
Richard Russo ’76
1. Ripon responds to pandemic
3. Four new members on Board of Trustees
The Reunite Ripon plan established proactive and preventative steps to ensure a safe return to in-person learning in fall 2020. During the summer, a national drop in enrollments had been predicted to be 15% to 20%. While true at many regional institutions of higher education, Ripon’s enrollment actually increased over the fall semester of 2019.
Recently joining the Board of Trustees were:
Early in the fall 2020 semester, testing was available only for students displaying symptoms. When access to wider testing became available, mandatory free testing was done on Oct. 19 for all students living on campus. Confirmed positive cases for the semester numbered 47.
• Lisa Wollan ’78 of Minneapolis, Minnesota, who had a career in marketing, retiring from Wawa Inc. in Philadelphia. • R ichard Russo ’76 of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who had a career in banking, retiring as division president of Isabella Bank. • Camille Carlson Clemons ’00 of Fox River Grove, Illinois, alumni trustee. She is the director of business development for Cohen & Company, a public accounting firm.
COVID-related expenses from the fiscal year that began July 1, 2020, through the end of the semester came to $276,802.
• Michael Hartman ’20 of Grafton, Wisconsin, graduate trustee. He works for Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (WI-05) in his Washington, D.C. office.
Continually updated information can be found at ripon.edu/ coronavirus-information.
4. Colucci shares expertise through talks, writings
(Photo: Jacey Musha ’24 of Omro, Wisconsin)
Lamont Colucci, professor of politics and government and
2. Ripon College honored in national rankings listings
coordinator of National Security Studies, publishes opinion pieces and analyses frequently in national media and also speaks nationwide. Several recent presentations were related to the space race, including talks for:
Ripon College again has been placed on national rankings lists of the best institutions for undergraduate education. Ripon is listed: • Among the Best National Liberal Arts Colleges and as the top school in Wisconsin for social mobility in the 2021 U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. • In The Princeton Review’s 2021 edition of The Best 386 Colleges. Ripon also was named to its Best Regional Colleges list. Only five of those designated are in Wisconsin. • On Money magazine’s 2020 Best Colleges in America list, based on factors such as tuition fees, family borrowing and career earnings. • Among the best Four-Year Liberal Arts Colleges on Washington Monthly’s 2020 College Guide and Rankings and on its Best Bang for the Buck Midwest listing.
• The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. • A Congressional Staff Briefing presented by the American Foreign Policy Council, of which Colucci is a senior fellow for national security. • The U.S. Space Command and Joint Air & Space Power Conference-NATO. • The virtual ASCEND Conference. His most recent book, The International Relations of the Bible, is available for preorder on amazon.com. The book is expected to be released in June.
Camille Carlson Clemons ’00
Michael Hartman ’20
5. Scholarship to aid students of Milwaukee high school A new endowed scholarship at Ripon College will benefit graduates of Cristo Rey Jesuit, a Catholic high school in Milwaukee for young women and men of all faiths and limited financial means. The Franzen/Cristo Rey Endowed Scholarship has been established through a substantial gift from Ripon graduates Mark Franzen ’83 and Janice Heinz Franzen ’83 of New Berlin, Wisconsin. Cristo Rey integrates rigorous academics, professional work experiences and spiritual development to empower graduates to succeed in college and life. The goal of the Franzen/Cristo Rey Endowed Scholarship is to build a sustainable pipeline of Cristo Rey graduates that matriculate and ultimately graduate from Ripon College.
6. Student Support Services awarded new $1.4 million grant A new five-year grant of $1.4 million has been awarded to the Student Support Services program at Ripon College by the U.S. Department of Education, TRIO division. The goals of the Student Support Services program are to increase the retention and graduation of first-generation students, whose parents/guardians did not receive a four-year college degree; students who come from families with lower incomes relative to family size; and students with physical or learning disabilities. Ripon offers academic support and guidance, supplemental grant aid, educational-cultural opportunities, a high schoolto-college Bridge program, financial literacy exposure and graduate school information.
7. Marc Eaton publishes book on paranormal investigations A book by Marc Eaton, associate professor of sociology, was released in print by Routledge in October 2020. Sensing Spirits: Paranormal Investigation and the Social Construction of Ghosts examines ghosts as a social phenomenon. It is available as an ebook on Google and Amazon.
8. Double Alumni Weekend to be held this year
10. Ty Sabin ’17 named to All-Decade Team
New members join Alumni Board
Classes ending in 0s and 5s AND 1s and 6s will celebrate their reunions together in 2021 because of the cancelation of the 2020 festivities. 2020 and 2021 award winners will be honored as well, including:
Former Ripon College basketball guard and three-time Midwest Conference Player of the Year Ty Sabin ’17 has been selected to the D3hoops.com All-Decade Team. The voting considered anyone who played at the Division-III level from the 2009-10 season to the end of the 2019-20 season. There are five teams consisting of five players each, selected to balance front court and backcourt players, with Sabin landing a spot on the Third Team.
New members of the Alumni Board are: Eric Atkisson ’94 of Alexandria, Virginia; Amy Browender ’13 of St. Paul, Minnesota; Chip Retson ’69 of Aiken, South Carolina; Joy Bortz Schleusner ’94 of Middleton, Wisconsin; and Sue Angell Schmidt ’80 of Wausau, Wisconsin. Joining them are six student representatives: Student representatives: Valerie Doornbos ’21 of Allendale, Michigan; Luke Dretske ’21 of Berlin, Wisconsin; Jacob Dudley ’23 of Waukesha, Wisconsin; Solangel Gonzalez ’22 of Green Bay, Wisconsin; Abigail Urbina ’23 of Round Lake Beach, Illinois; and Jacob Zuelhke ’22 of Whitewater, Wisconsin.
• Distinguished Alumni Citation: Ruth Anne Gero Adams ’85, James Danky ’70, Jon Fasanelli-Cawelti ’75, Brian Frey ’91, Lori Stich Obluda ’91, William Quistorf ’80,
Kent Timm ’81 • Outstanding Young Alumni: Sarah Anderson ’10, Lucy Burgchardt ’10, Jeffrey Grinde, Jr. ’16, Samuel
Sondalle ’11 • Athletic Hall of Fame: Nicholas Beaman ’11, Abigail Williams Budzynski ’98, Todd Ciesielczyk ’87 (posthumously), Scott Gillespie ’11, Aaron Johnson ’03, Nathaniel Kok ’01, Troy Youngbauer ’96. College administration continues to evaluate all options for a safe experience, and full details will be posted to ripon.edu/alumni-weekend as they become available.
9. New Ripon affiliation offers dual degree in pharmacy A new collaboration with the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) Pharmacy School in Milwaukee will allow students to earn dual degrees from Ripon College and MCW in only six years. Students in the accelerated program will earn a liberal arts degree from Ripon and a doctor of pharmacy degree from MCW. With the 3+3 PharmD program, students will complete their major requirements and the Catalyst curriculum requirements at Ripon in three years, then attend MCW for three years. The first year of credits at MCW will transfer back to Ripon to complete the student’s bachelor’s degree. More information can be found at ripon.edu/area/pharmacy.
A native of New Berlin, Wisconsin, Sabin played for the Red Hawks from 2013-17, finishing his career as the most decorated player in program history. He currently plays professionally in Iceland after playing in Sweden last year where he led the league in scoring with 22 points per game.
11. Art professor has productive sabbatical During the spring and summer of 2020, Professor of Art Rafael Francisco Salas was on sabbatical, researching rural areas of Wisconsin and Minnesota and translating what he viewed into paintings, drawings and assemblages. Resulting artworks were exhibited in several state museums scheduled throughout the fall, winter and spring, and he continued writing art criticism. He also contributed to an anthology of Wisconsin writers, Hope is the Thing, published in fall 2020.
12. Additional semesters offered for COVID-affected students As the Ripon College community adapts and continues to deal with the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, it is recognized that some students’ ability to graduate in four years while taking full advantage of the Ripon experience has been threatened.
The Alumni Trustee Representative to the Board of Trustees: Camille Carlson Clemons ’00 of Fox River Grove, Illinois, who served on the Alumni Board from 2003-2009. Returning members include: Kevin Dykstra ’83/P’16/P’16 of Glendale, Wisconsin; Janine Emmer ’05 of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin; Kim Jacobson Stapelfeldt ’90 of Jackson, Wisconsin; Mike Tracy ’79 of Overland Park, Kansas; and Dan Yost ’95 of Antioch, Illinois.
13. Steve Martin ’96 presents virtual university lecture Steve Martin ’96, professor of communication, gave a Zoom guest lecture with Fontebonne University in St. Louis, Missouri, in September. The guest lecture included questions and answers with a political communication class. The focus was Martin’s current book, Game Changers; How Dark Money and Super PACs are Transforming U.S. Campaigns, co-written with Henrik Schatzinger, associate professor of politics and government and co-director of the Center for Politics and the People.
Ripon’s Plus Semester Program was established for students enrolled in the fall and spring 2020-2021 semesters. Eligible students with academic reasons for returning will have their tuition waived for their ninth semester or fifth year.
W I N T E R 2021
In memoriam GEORGE F. ERDMAN ’44 of Tallahassee, Florida, died Sept. 12, 2020. He majored in mathematics and physics and was a member of Sig Alpha Eps/Del Sig Psi. He later was a member of Partners in the Legacy. DONALD F. LUECK ’47 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Jan. 2, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in Sig Alpha Eps/Del Sig Psi. He served in the U.S. Army, 292nd Combat Engineers, from 1943 to 1946. He worked at Speed Queen, served on the board of the Ripon Municipal Hospital and the Church Council of Grace Lutheran Church, sang with the church choir and was a member of the Ripon Rotary Club. Survivors include four sons and one daughter. RICHARD E. THRUMSTON ’47 of San Diego, California, died May 17, 2020. He started at Ripon and then was drafted for World War II. He served in the 75th Army Division from 1943 to 1946, serving at the Battle of the Bulge and in campaigns in Belgium, Germany and France. He returned to Ripon to finish his studies in history and participated in music. He attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois, and was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1950. He served churches in several states for about 70 years. Survivors include his wife, Edith Thrumston; one son, GEOFFREY THRUMSTON ’78; one daughter; daughter-in-law ERICKA DOSS ’78; sister CAROL THRUMSTON WEBSTER ’50; brother-in-law EDWIN WEBSTER ’49; cousin CAROL FOLLETT ’68; and niece MARY WEBSTER JACKSON ’72 EILEEN HESS ZNEIMER ’49 of Portland, Oregon, died Oct. 3, 2020. At Ripon, she majored in English, wrote for the literary magazine, and participated in Ver Adest and Alpha Phi/Kappa Sigma Chi. Many of her “Duffie” sisters remained lifelong friends. She later completed a master’s degree at Purdue University. She lived in Iowa, New York City, and Madison, Wisconsin, before settling in Hammond, Indiana. She later moved to Portland to be near family and enjoyed classes at Portland State University, trips to Cannon Beach, and the Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. She enjoyed traveling, particularly trips to France and along Lake Michigan. Survivors include her former husband, JACK ZNEIMER ’48; two sons and one daughter. SUZANNE LOOMANS GIBSON ’50 of Aptos, California, died March 15, 2020. At Ripon, she participated in Ver Adest and Alpha Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Theta. BARBARA GOODRICH CLASEN ’51 of Berlin, Wisconsin, died Jan. 5, 2021. At Ripon she studied biology and English and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega/Alpha Gam Theta. She received a master’s degree in library science from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. She taught remedial reading at Berlin High School, then was head librarian for more than 30 years. She was an avid cook and knitter, and she sports, crossword puzzles, reading and traveling. After retiring, she spent winters in Scottsdale, Arizona, and summers at her cottage in Conover, Wisconsin. Survivors include two sons and two daughters; grandchildren, including KATHLEEN PRELLWITZ ’08; a brother, PHILO “BUD” GOODRICH ’49; a sister, ELIZABETH “BETTY” GOODRICH HIPKE ’55; and a nephew, JAMES GOODRICH ’79. ANN H. HARVEY ’52 of Waupaca, Wisconsin, died Jan. 12, 2021. She attended Ripon from 1948 to 1950. She was the deputy clerk for the city of Waupaca and lived in Rural, Wisconsin, for many years. She enjoyed her cottage on Sunset Lake, animals and traveling. JOAN BLEDSOE ANDERSON ’53 of Palo Alto, California, died April 23, 2020. At Ripon, she majored in English. She
was devoted to her family, had a deep Christian faith and was actively involved in various churches and sharing Bible stories with children from cultures and demographics different from her own. Survivors include one son and two daughters. Her husband was B. MICHAEL ANDERSON ’51. RUSSELL C. BREMNER ’53 of St. Paul, Minnesota, died Oct. 12, 2020. At Ripon, he studied philosophy and psychology and participated in Ver Adest, athletics and Phi Delta Theta/ Alpha Phi Omega. He served in the Army during the Korean War. He worked as a salesman for 3M for more than 30 years in New Orleans, Houston, Belgium, Germany and corporate headquarters in St. Paul, Minnesota. He then started his own marketing business. He enjoyed traveling; performing; singing with the Minnesota Chorale, Apollo Male Chorus and other local groups; and volunteering with organizations such as SCORE, Rotary and Minneapolis Breakfast Club. In his later years, he taught English to immigrants with the Minnesota Literacy Project. Survivors include his wife, Carolyn “Boo” Crandall Bremner; one daughter and two stepsons. CLAIRE “ROBBIE” ROBINSON ’53 of Monona, Wisconsin, died Oct. 14, 2020. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. At Ripon, he studied economics and participated in athletics. He graduated from the University of WisconsinMadison. He worked for 47 years at Farmers Mutual/American Family Insurance Co. He served on the board of directors of East YMCA, was a 70-year member of Masonic Lodge No. 141 and a member of the American Legion Post No. 351. He sang in the choir of Monona United Methodist Church. He volunteered at St. James Catholic School and enjoyed gardening, traveling, watching sports and reading. Survivors include his wife, Shirley; two sons and two daughters. CARL C. SCHEID ’53 of Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, died Nov. 8, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in mathematics and was a member of Sigma Nu/Theta Sigma Tau and ROTC. On a dual two-year/ three-year degree program in conjunction with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he earned a degree there in metallurgy. He later earned a degree in materials engineering from Marquette University in 1971. He served in the Naval Reserves. He was an engineer in diagnostic X-ray for General Electric and held several patents related to mammography. He was an avid aviator, flight instructor and founder of the Fox River Flyers. He also enjoyed the outdoors, skiing, curling and skating in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer. Survivors include his wife, Joan; one son and one daughter. JACK J. JONAS ’54 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Jan. 5, 2021. At Ripon, he participated in athletics and Phi Delta Theta/Alpha Phi Omega. He was a project engineer at Speed Queen and an official for high school football and basketball games. He enjoyed the Green Bay Packers and playing cards, especially sheepshead. Survivors include his wife, Nancy; four sons and one daughter. GEORGE MIDDLETON ’54 of Greenville, South Carolina, died Aug. 20, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in Ver Adest, music, athletics and Sigma Nu/Theta Sigma Tau. He served for two years in the Army in Germany, then studied at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his career in the U.S. State Department in 1964. He served in eight foreign countries, alternating with two-year assignments in Washington, D.C., between each foreign post. His assignments included Belgrade. Yugoslavia; Moscow; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Guatemala City, Guatemala; Hong Kong; Munich, Germany; Bangkok, Thailand; and Paris, France. Survivors include his wife, Judith Lewis Middleton; two sons and one daughter.
THOMAS DOMENCICH ’55 of Stockton, New Jersey, died June 20, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in economics and participated in Ver Adest, athletics and Phi Kappa Pi. He later joined Partners in the Legacy and served on the Board of Trustees for many years. He earned a master’s in economics from the University of Chicago. He was an economist and active in many aspects of the wireless communications industry, focusing on the cellular telephone industry. He was involved with prominent works on transportation and economics in Washington, D.C., notably co-writing much of the deregulation for transportation in the U.S. under the Nixon Administration. He co-wrote the book Urban Travel Demand. He enjoyed traveling, skiing, sailing and equestrian pursuits, and he supported organizations through the Thomas and Nephele Wing Domencich Foundation. Survivors include his wife, Nephele Wing Domencich; and one daughter. ARTHUR “ART” LUNDEBERG ’55 of Tucson, Arizona, died Nov. 14, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in economics, was a member of Lambda Delta Alpha/Delta Upsilon and the college choir, was co-captain of the rifle team, and was commissioned into the U.S. Army through ROTC. He later was a member of Partners in the Legacy. He served 23 years in the U.S. Army, both active and active reserve, and retired as a lieutenant colonel. He worked for Continental Casualty Insurance, Hughes Aircraft Company where he was awarded the Superior Performance Award, and International Business Machines. He also was a professional artist and an avid bowler. He was inducted into the Tucson Bowling Hall of Fame. Survivors include his wife, Alice; and three sons. THOMAS E. SHARP ’59 of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Oct. 17, 2020. He was a certified electronic technician and repaired televisions and radios for several area firms, including Johnson’s TV, Ruby’s TV, Paul’s TV and Dan’s Audio Plus. He served on the church council of Our Saviour’s United Church of Christ and was treasurer for five years. He also was a member of Investments Unlimited and was an avid reader. Survivors include his wife, Jeanne; and two sons. BARBARA KOUBA HOFFMAN ’60 of Vernon Hills, Illinois, died Oct. 23, 2020. At Ripon, she majored in biology and participated in Alpha Xi Delta/Kappa Theta. She had a varied career as a violist, orchestral musician, microbiologist and a gemstone specialist. She was a member of the University of Chicago Orchestra, North Shore Chamber Orchestra and other classical music groups. She also ran two Chicago marathons in the 1980s, was devoted to many Czech-American cultural organizations, and enjoyed reading The New Yorker, The New York Times Review of Books and dictionaries of different languages. Survivors include her husband, Leon J. Hoffman; and one daughter. PATRICIA DRABANT ’63 of Davenport, Florida, died Oct. 23, 2020. She attended Ripon College and studied business administration at Nova Southeastern University. She worked for Dow Chemical in Colorado. Then she and her husband, Evert Bancker, enjoyed traveling, lived in the south of France throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and settled in Florida. She worked in the legal department of Walt Disney World for 20 years and was a key player in managing Disney’s real estate, expansion, infrastructure, and the launch of ESPN Wide World of Sports. Speaking fluent French, she also helped translate and provide guidance for the launch of Disney Land in Paris France in 1992. She retired in 2010. JOHN KIRCHGEORG ’63 of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, died Jan. 13, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in philosophy and participated in student government and Lambda Delta Alpha/Delta Upsilon. He later was a charter member of Partners in the Legacy. He was
president and founder of LIFE Corp. in Milwaukee, where he held six patents and trademarks on medical equipment. He also worked in the banking industry. He was a member of several professional organizations and was appointed to the governor’s Wisconsin International Trade Council and the Wisconsin Export Management Company Task Force. He enjoyed classical music, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Milwaukee Ballet, and boating. BARBARA BLANK LUECK ’64 of Fort Collins, Colorado, died March 12, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in music and was a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She taught music in various locations, including the Virgin Islands; Monona Grove, Wisconsin; Fredonia, New York; Wooster, Ohio; Fullerton, California; and Fort Collins, Colorado. She taught individuals, school choirs and church choirs, directed musical theater productions and led student performance trips around the world. She retired from teaching in 2004. In October 2018, a group of former students arranged for an interview and tribute performance that aired on the national television program “Good Morning, America” from New York. It can be viewed at ripon.edu/lueck. She enjoyed planting roses and vegetables. Survivors include her husband, JOHN LUECK ’64; one son and one daughter. SUSAN SMITH AMACHER ’68 of Lake Shore/Nisswa, Minnesota, died June 3, 2020. At Ripon, she participated in music and theatre, was a member of Alpha Chi Omega/Alpha Gam Theta and later was a member of Partners in the Legacy. She earned a master’s degree in theatre at the University of Oklahoma and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. She had a passion for theater and music. She sang in a rock band and in church choirs and played the piano. She taught in public schools in Virginia and Oklahoma, worked in real estate in Arizona and was elected to the Lake Shore City Council for more than a decade in Minnesota. She entertained and fund-raised for various universities where her husband served, and she enjoyed her dogs and horses. Her husband, RYAN AMACHER ’67, died in 2016. LEE W. MILLS ’69 of Lewes, Delaware, died Aug. 24, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in art. He had been an art administrator throughout the Washington-Baltimore area, including director of exhibitions at Maryland Hall in Annapolis, assistant director of Montpelier Cultural Art Center in Laurel, Maryland, and interim executive director of the Rehoboth Art League in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. He also worked with the architects and City of Gaithersburg to develop the Gaithersburg Art Barn. His work has been shown in galleries around the country, and he was active in amateur and professional theatre in the Washington area. He and his late husband, Donald Gardiner, owned and operated the Coastal Frameshop and Gallery in Rehoboth Beach. He enjoyed cooking and writing poetry. SAMUEL S. WHYTE ’72 of Honolulu, Hawaii, died Sept. 19, 2019. At Ripon, he majored in history and participated in the Parallax student publication. Survivors include his wife, Cathy. WAYNE G. DAVIS ’76 of Winterset, Iowa, died Nov. 6, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in art, worked on WRPN radio and College Days student newspaper, and was a member of Beta Sigma Pi. He was an advertising director for Mills Fleet Farm, vice president of advertising for Central Tractor Farm & Family, and director of marketing for MicroFrontier. He was owner/president of TYPExpress and Digimage Arts used his skills in photography and videography in website development and marketing. He enjoyed travelling and served as a documentarian and ambassador for the Madison County Chamber of Commerce and secretary for the John Wayne Birthplace. Survivors include his wife, Kim; and one son. His first wife, PATTI CARVER DAVIS ’76, died in 2002.
MARSHA L. BILLUPS-WEST ’81 of Richmond, California, died July 30, 2020. At Ripon, she participated in volleyball. She previously had been a quality control manager for Greenworks USA. She was an active member of the Berkeley Mount Zion M.B.C. and was involved with numerous of its ministries, including culinary and greeters. She was an avid fan of the San Francisco 49ers and the Golden State Warriors, and she enjoyed playing tennis, shopping, reading, watching old movies and attending concerts. Survivors include her husband, Larry D. West; her mother, Catherine Billups, of Richmond, California; one daughter and one stepson. BRENDA JOCHUM FOELKER ’82 of Loveland, Ohio, died Dec. 6, 2019. At Ripon, she majored in economics and participated in music and Alpha Chi Omega/Alpha Gamma Theta. Her love of travel and music was fostered in college when she traveled extensively with her choir through Europe. She raised her family in the Green Bay, Wisconsin, area. She was active in the community and enjoyed traveling; reading, gardening, dogs and performing in choirs and orchestras, including the Dudley Birder Collegiate Chorale that took her to New York to sing at Carnegie Hall. Survivors include one son and two daughters. THOMAS A. HOEHNE ’83 of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, died Jan. 13, 2021. At Ripon, he majored in art and criminal justice and participated in the Parallax publication. He worked in various jobs in locations including Ripon, Chicago, upstate New York and Oshkosh. He enjoyed sports, playing baseball and track in school, and enjoyed football and the Green Bay Packers. He enjoyed reading, watching movies, collecting and antiquing. Survivors include one brother, TED HOEHNE ’77; two sisters, SUZANNE HOEHNE KILLIAN ’75 and VICKI HOEHNE MATHIAS ’77; and a sister-in-law, KAREN STOCKDALE HOEHNE ’78. MATTHEW A. MIDDLETON ’94 of Sandwich, Illinois, died Nov. 10, 2020. At Ripon, he majored in economics. He had worked for Experian and then was a founding member of Launch Digital Marketing/Dealer Inspire. His roles included project manager and DMS support manager. He enjoyed animals, golfing, cooking, sailing and spending summers in Onekama, Michigan. Survivors include his mother, Betty Middleton; and his partner, Jennifer “Jiffy” Baker. FREDDY SUBIA ’10 of Chicago, Illinois, died Aug. 21, 2020, after a car accident. At Ripon, he majored in psychobiology and participated in intramurals, martial arts, Cultural Diversity Club, music, and many other activities. He also served as a resident assistant. Survivors include his mother; and one brother, FABRIZZIO SUBIA ’13.
FACULTY AND STAFF BRUCE MACK of Louisville, Kentucky, director of planned giving at Ripon College from 1981 to 1986, died Sept. 14, 2020. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in higher education administration, with a specialization in fundraising, from the University of Michigan. Based on his doctoral work, he worked in fundraising at several institutions of higher education over the next 43 years, including Kings College, Ripon College, Baldwin Wallace College and Penn State University. He retired from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2017 and moved to Louisville, Kentucky. Survivors include his wife, Bertie; and three daughters.
GORDON “GORDIE” MINCH ’50 of Ripon, Wisconsin, alumni director at Ripon College from 1954 to 1957, died Dec. 21, 2020. As a student at Ripon, he majored in mathematics, participated in Ver Adest and Sigma Alpha Epsilon/Delta Sigma Psi, and was commissioned through ROTC. As a staff member at Ripon, he created the alumni office and later received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994 and the Medal of Merit in 1999. After working for 29 years at Admanco Inc. in Ripon, he retired as president and chairman of the board. He enjoyed fishing, golfing and duck hunting and was a member of the Ripon Historical Society. Survivors include two sons and one daughter. DOUGLAS MORRIS of Middleton, Wisconsin, professor emeritus of music and founder/artistic director of the Green Lake Festival of Music, died Dec. 4, 2020. He received his bachelor of music from the University of Tennessee, his master’s from the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, and his doctor of musical arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He was a baritone soloist, lecturer, conductor, composer, adjudicator and clinician, and led numerous choir tours abroad. He was at Ripon for more than three decades, teaching, coaching voice students and conducting the choirs, and won numerous teaching awards. He also was the choral director at First Congregational Church and St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ripon. He was an avid tennis player and won several state championships. Survivors include his wife, Sharon Fitzmorris; one son, two daughters and two stepdaughters. LOUISE SCHANG of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, a former archivist at Ripon College, died Nov. 22, 2020. She studied at Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan, and received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in library science from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She later worked as a children’s librarian in the Princeton School District. She was an avid weaver and artist and enjoyed traveling, reading, going to folk music festivals and visiting friends and her grandchildren. Survivors include one son. Her husband, Professor Emeritus of English WILLIAM SCHANG, died in 2015. JOAN E. VOLBRIGHT of Ripon, Wisconsin, died Oct. 31, 2020. She retired from Ripon College after working in food service for 35 years. She held a degree in fashion design and worked in California, at Pechman’s Studio in Kaukauna and as a lab tech at Triarch. She was a member of Immanuel United Methodist Church in Ripon. WARREN WADE of Park Ridge, Illinois, a former professor of politics and government at Ripon, died Oct. 30, 2020. He was department chair of politics and government at North Park University from 1980 to 2008. He specialized in constitutional law, volunteered for the Illinois Center of Civil Education and helped coach the Maine South constitution team for more than 20 years. He was an active member of Park Ridge Presbyterian Church and enjoyed reading, swimming, biking, skiing, kayaking, and the Wisconsin Badgers and Green Bay Packers. Survivors include his wife, MITZI SCHNEIDER WADE ’66; and one daughter.
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M RE (Photos courtesy of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum)
Stanley Nowinski ’37 is shown, above, during his years of service. At right, in 1973 he and his wife, Hazel, planted trees in a national forest in Israel where he was recognized as Righteous Among the Nations.
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Stanley Nowinski ’37: Righteous Among the Nations lieutenant colonel. He then taught German and American history at Union Grove High School in Wisconsin for six years. In 1973, Nowinski and his wife, Hazel, were invited to Israel where he received the Remembrance Medal and the Righteous Among the Nations designation for nonJews who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust. At Yad Vashem, a national shrine housing a mourning light for those who didn’t survive the Holocaust, the Nowinskis relighted the light and visited the archives, a rare honor. Stanley Nowinski ’37 was the son of Polish Catholic immigrants and grew up on a farm near Ripon. His service during World War II and his humanitarianism led to recognition on the world stage for his assistance to displaced Jews after the war. Nowinski majored in German, history and economics at Ripon College and later taught German here. He was drafted into the military in 1941. He was one of the seven surviving sons in the family who all served during the war, including Peter Nowinski ’45. Stanley Nowinski was an officer in the Rainbow Division, 42nd Infantry, of the U.S. Army in Europe and was one of the liberators of the infamous Dachau Nazi concentration camp. After V-E Day in May 1945, he was assigned as the Displaced Persons Control Officer in Salzburg, Austria. He was charged with collecting, feeding, clothing and housing displaced people, then repatriating them to their home countries. Many Jewish survivors from Eastern Europe feared going back and
claimed they were Italians, with the ultimate goal of going to Palestine (modern-day Israel) instead. Against orders and at the risk of jeopardizing his military career, Nowinski worked with Bricha, an underground Jewish survivor organization, to help about 40,000 Polish and German Jews with altered identification papers pass through the Italian reception center to Palestine. “It wasn’t exactly illegal,” Nowinski told The Journal Times newspaper of Racine, Wisconsin, in 1973. “If they said they were Italians, my job was to get them back to Italy. I just wouldn’t look too carefully at their papers.” He also authorized Abba Weinstein (later Abba Gefen), a Bricha leader, to form the Committee for Assistance to Jewish Refugees and worked to get more food to refugees.
He also was a charter member of the Holocaust Memorial Foundation in Illinois. Nowinski is cited as a hero in several Jewish history books. In Gefen’s Unholy Alliance, it states: “Nowinski expected no rewards from us. He considered it his plain and simple duty, as a human being, to do his utmost for the survivors of the Holocaust on their difficult way to a secure haven. “At least, when he reads these words of mine in his sanctuary of retirement in Wisconsin, he will know that Jews have a peerless historical memory and that they remember with overflowing love and grateful affection all who succored them in their trying hours. “And his fellow Americans, who may note my homage, too, will be proud of him and thank him for investing the American people with the merit of his magnificent services. …” Nowinski died in 1993 at the age of 81.
Nowinski later served in the Korean War and retired from the Army in 1961 as a
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Flash Back 1962 Pick-up football games in the snow from the photo collection of Roger Farleigh ’62. “Those games were held on the upper level of Sadoff Field,” Farleigh says. “I remember it as horribly cold; at least one contestant went to the infirmary each time.”
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