OU Moment

Lon Kuehn, SBA ’86, is reunited with his OU class ring, found after 25 years by Donna Dietrich of Oxford, Michigan.

OU Moment

Winter 2016

Ringing in Memories

Within a matter of weeks, two alumni experienced special memories from their OU class rings.

Martha Catalano’s ring united OU and family history. Lon Kuehn’s ring reunited him with his alma mater and what he presumed was forever lost.

Catalano (BIS ’15) graduated in December as a Legacy class member. Her mother, Joan (Gibb) Stinson-Clair, and her father, David Stinson, met as members of MSU-O’s Charter Class of 1963. David, who was in the Navy, came to MSU-O in its second year.

“My mom held down several campus jobs, including clerical work in the Admissions office, where she came across letters from my grandmother trying to get my Dad accepted to OU once he came home from the Navy,” Catalano said. “So when she later met him quite by chance, she recognized his name.”

Stinson-Clair gave her Charter Class ring to her daughter as a graduation gift. “I was overcome with emotion and so honored and proud to receive the class ring she received from Matilda Wilson,” Catalano said. “My father is deceased, so he watched from above while my brother of the same name was seated with my family. It was truly an amazing day and wonderful VIP treatment for my mom and family in the Legacy section.  

Joan (Gibb) Stinson-Clair (left) and her daughter, Martha Catalano (BIS ’15). Catalano’s father, David Stinson, now deceased, met her mother when the two were in the Charter Class.

MSU-O founder Matilda Wilson was “very proud of the Charter Class students and faculty,” according to an Oakland Chronicles 1996 interview with former Chancellor Durward “Woody” Varner. She decided to give each of the 170 members a senior ring with a diamond.

When he pointed out that some students had already purchased their rings, Chancellor Varner recalled Mrs. Wilson as saying, “Give me the list of names of students who have already paid for their rings and I'll give them their money back, and we'll put a diamond in.”

For Donna Dietrich, the Class of 1986 OU ring she discovered while cleaning a drawer held special meaning. Her daughter, Amber, 23, had graduated from Oakland at the December Commencement, and her son, LJ, 19, is an OU freshman.

Her ex-husband found the ring at the Clarkston Golf Club in 1990 and could not locate the owner. Dietrich, of Oxford, Michigan, contacted OU. From University records, Alumni Relations Assistant Director Amanda Fylan determined that the ring belonged to Lon Kuehn (SBA ’86), of Berkley.

Kuehn kept returning to the clubhouse to try and locate the ring he thought he would never see again. On December 22, Dietrich met Kuehn with the ring at Elliott Hall.

“It looks like it did the day I lost it,” he told the Oakland Press. “It looks beautiful.”