A Prairie Society Chronology
by Warren Hagstrom

1964 First discussion among members of the First Unitarian Society about forming a group like Prairie

1967-68 Prairie buds off from the First Unitarian Society
Chairperson: Charles Davidson

1968-69 Prairie meets at the Holy Name Seminary. The name is chosen: members thought the "Holy Name Unitarian Society" didn't sound right. "Far West" and "Way Out" were rejected. "Prairie" selected because of a hoped-for building site on a Raymond Road prairie.
President: Robert Koehl
RE Director: Marcia Geer
Elinor Loucks newsletter editor (to 1972)
Programs include one on "Mifflin Street's Message to Madison."
Memorial service for Randolph Cautley.

1969-70 Prairie meets at the YWCA.
President: Boris Frank
RE Director: Karen Peters
A bunny raffle is won by the Rucks, Peters, and Birongs.

1970-71 Still meeting at the YWCA. First Upham Woods Retreat.
President: Joan Burns
RE Directors: Norma Magnuson and Pat Cautley
Minister (part-time): David Meyer
The Prairie Chicken Pluckers organized and provide music to 1976 (George Calden, Joe Lawrence, Barbara Willard, Dan Willard, and Chuck Young).

1971-72 Prairie moves from the YWCA to the Portal-Foster Center on West Lawn in mid-year. "Soul-Searching Committee" reports in April favoring a system of lay ministers.
President: Marvin Woerpel
Vice President: George Calden
Treasurer: Roland Parrish
Secretary: Mona Birong
Minister (part-time): David Meyer

1972-73 Still at Portal-Foster. Bond of Union adopted.
President: Al Nettleton
RE Director: Theron Caldwell
Lay ministers: Robert Koehl, Bruce Bashore, Dan and Barb Willard.
The Prairie Recorder group (sometimes plus flutes, the Prairie Winds) organized (John Grindrod, Ruth Calden, Richard Rosnoy, Mike Lyman, Cathy Lyman, Veda Nomura, Diane Remeika, Megan Christensen, Arne Clay, Les Lyons, Eloise Deatty, Joe Benforado, Barb Barley, Diane Knott, Betsy True).

1973-74 Still at Portal-Foster
President: Roland Parish
RE Director: Aileen Nettleton
Newsletter editor this and the following year: Pat Watkins.
Lay ministers: Pat Cautley, George Calden, and Orie Loucks. Orie led a hunt for fiddleheads in the Kickapoo River valley on a Sunday in May.

1974-75 Still at Portal-Foster
President: Barbara Willard
Lay ministers: Steve Friedman and Al Nettleton (on cities), Rebecca French (mostly poetry), and Fred and Ann Seidl ("About Your Sexuality" for middle schoolers).
Warren Hagstrom coordinated a program on W. A. Mozart. The October Retreat was at Camp Anokijig just this once.

1975-76 Still at Portal-Foster
President: David Carson
RE Director: Theron Caldwell
Newsletter editors: Vivian Meyer and Barbara Willard
Lay ministers: Richard Perry (mostly on U-U), Joe Hoffman (on art and artists, including Rembrandt), and Annis Pratt (on quilts, poetry, women).
There was an April program on "Shaker Life and Rituals," led by Ruth Calden and Barbara Carson, with music by the Prairie Shape Note Singers.
Memorial services for Jana Osteraas and Bruce Carson.

1976-77 Still at Portal-Foster
President: Pat Cautley
RE Director: Theron Caldwell
Newsletter editors: Terri Lawrence and Pat Watkins
Lay ministers: Michael Briggs, Warren Hagstrom, and Pat Watkins

1977-78 Still at Portal-Foster
Presidents: Charles Davidson succeeded by Henry Pratt (where to place ads during a newspaper strike turned out to be a divisive issue).
RE Director: Veda Nomura
Newsletter editors: Laura Smail and Carolyn Briggs
Lay ministers: David Lisman (on humanism among other things), David Carson (including a program on E. V. Debs), and Basic Choices (John Ohliger and friends).
In May Barbara Carson led a program on ballet that included a performance of "The Lost Child" by the Carson School of Ballet.
Memorial service for Roland Parrish.

1978-79 Prairie moved to Woodland Montessori on Colby Street.
President: David Lisman
RE Director: Holly Loring
Newsletter editor (to 1986): Lee Bullen (who was officially joined by Alice as co-editor in 1981).
Lay ministers: Laura and John Smail (on Scott in the Antarctic, epics, and mystics), Mary Lou Munts (on politics), and Metje Butler and Lois Hagstrom (on art).

1979-80 Prairie moved from Colby Street to its own building on Whenona Drive, January 1980.
President: Aileen Nettleton
RE Director: Holly Loring
Lay minister: Rod Stevenson (on energy and related topics); the remaining programs were coordinated by the Social Action and Program Committees.
Dedication of the Prairie U-U Meeting House, May 4, 1980. Max Gaebler gave the main address on "The Need for Roots."

1980-81 President: Aileen Nettleton
RE Director: Pat Cautley
Lay ministers: George Calden (marriage, music, and madness), Peg Stevenson (families - a quilt was constructed in May), and John Grindrod (medical history and ethics). In April Hugh Iltis gave an illustrated program on wild maize in Mexico.

1981-82 President: Betty Jallings
RE Director: Pat Cautley
Lay ministers: David Zakem (personalities and cultures), Alice and Lee Bullen (the Bill of Rights), and Barbara Park (the disagreements that unite us as Unitarian-Universalists).
Organization of the Ethnic Connection (nee "Ethnic Impurities"), still providing music at Prairie (Ruth and George Calden, Lee Burkholder, and Doleta Chapru).
On Valentine's Day Dorothy Wetherby and Rachel Siegfried led a program that produced a 4' by 5' "Cosmic Valentine" that was sent to the White House.

1982-83 President: Marty Drapkin
RE Directors: Pat Cautley and Dayle Haglund
Lay ministers: Bob West (crosscurrents in modern society), Shirley Grindrod (aging), and Mary Mullen (the environment and the E-Way, including a program on bird and frog songs).
September saw the publication of the Prairie Kitchen Companion.

1983-84 President: Michael Briggs
RE Director: Dayle Haglund
Lay ministers: Lois and Warren Hagstrom (on art and music), Marty Drapkin (the criminal justice system), and Diane Worzalla (the history of feminist issues).
In August there was a Giant Gigantic Garage Sale, coordinated by Pat Watkins, and in December the RE program had the first Nifty-Gifties project.

1984-85 President: Michael Briggs
RE Director: Mary Beth O'Halloran
Lay ministers: Les Lyons (music, peace, Bertrand Russell, etc.), David McKee and Rick Ruecking (men's issues), and Doleta Chapru (the many faces of Madison).
In July there was a bike trip to Sharon Scrattish's home in Mount Horeb.
Memorial service for Rebecca Clark.

1985-86 President: Rick Ruecking
RE Director: Mary Beth O'Halloran
Lay ministers: Elizabeth Jones (spirituality and intellect), Judy Spring (unanswered questions), Marty Drapkin and Pat Watkins (working).
In March there was a program on spirituality in sports --- baseball, running, Scottish dancing, and the martial arts of India.
Memorial services for Les Lyons and Lois Hagstrom.

1986-87 President: Rick Ruecking
RE Director: Alison McKee
Newsletter editor: Dick Bonser (and to 1992)
Lay ministers: George Calden (Eight Who Dared), Barbara James (musical bureaucracy), and Carolyn DeJoie (difficult questions). George's program on "The Gospel According to Woody Allen" saw the first use of VCR in a Sunday service.
In September the Sunday afternoon Vesper services began, and in October Rachel Siegfried led a program on "Me and Eleanor."

1987-88 President: Mary Mullen
RE Director: Alison McKee
Lay ministers: Linda Lewis (tomorrow's children), Lance Green (secular humanism), and Julie Bonser (evil, and alcoholism)

1988-89 President: Mary Mullen
RE Directors: Alison McKee and Anne Pryor
Lay ministers: Al Nettleton (U-U Principles) and Jack Jallings (Fundamental Changes are Necessary).
The Meeting House was remodeled to permit handicapped access, increase RE space, and have an upstairs kitchen. While construction was going on from August through December, we had to meet elsewhere, in Garner Park (flying kites one Sunday) and Madison General Hospital's McConnell Hall.
Memorial services for Louise Vogel and John Dorney.

1989-90 President: Jack Jallings
RE Director: Anne Pryor (continuing to 1992)
Lay ministers: Warren Hagstrom (on religions), Mary Mullen and Fredricka Schilling (Gay and Lesbian issues), Orange Schroeder (Biophilia), and Mike and Norma Briggs (Men, Women, and Machines).
Installation of the Prairie prairie in front of the Meeting House, led by Rory Nelson and Diane Derouen.
Sunrise nursery school rents the Meeting House for about 18 months.
Memorial service for Dorothy Wetherby.

1990-91 President: Jack Jallings
Lay ministers: Orton Gray (death and dying), Bill Robbins and Michele Honore (Breaking the Cycle of Disadvantage), Ann Forbes and Jim Lorman (Focus on the Environment).
A program on the music of Kurt Weill is arranged by Rosemarie Lester and Al Nettleton.
The Prairie Band, led by Mary Mullen, is organized.
"Secret friends" between children and adults is established by this year.

1991-92 President: Jack Jallings
Lay ministers: Scott Savage (spirituality), Diane Derouen and friends (Ecofeminism), and Peg Barratt (Reaching Out).

1992-93 President: Julie Bonser
Precedent is broken by having the annual retreat at Bethel Horizons on the Labor Day weekend instead of at Upham Woods in October.
Lay minister: Karen Gross (Labor).

(Any errors above should be brought to the attention of Warren Hagstrom, who compiled this.)

Addendum by Bob Park

1993-94 President: Julie Bonser
RE Director: Anne Pryor
Newsletter editor: Dick Bonser (until 1995)

1994-95 President: Julie Bonser
RE Director: Anne Pryor

1995-96 President: Rick Ruecking
RE Director: John-Brian Paprock
Newsletter editor: various

1996-97 President: Rick Ruecking/Barb Park
RE Director: John-Brian Paprock
Newsletter editor: Arleigh Birchler
Lay ministers: Mary Mullen on the Welcoming Community

1997-98 President: Barb Park
RE Director: Robin Carre?
Newsletter editor: Kate Heiber-Cobb

1998-99 President: Nancy Schraufnagel
RE Director: Randy Converse
Newsletter editor: Kate Heiber-Cobb

1999-00 President: Nancy Schraufnagel
RE Director: Randy Converse
Newsletter editor: Anne Urbanski, Rick Ruecking

2000-01 President: Erin Bosch
RE Director: Randy Converse
Newsletter editor: Marilyn Ruecking
Lay ministers: Robin Carre (Our Whole Lives (OWL)), and Susan Hagstrom (skepticism)

2001-02 President: Erin Bosch
RE Director: Randy Converse
Newsletter editor: Marilyn Ruecking

2002-03 President: Ken Skog
RE Director: Kristi Sprague-Klepzig
Newsletter editor: Wendy Williams

2003-04 President: Ken Skog
RE Director: Jeanie Trigg
Newsletter editor: Dan Proud

2004-05 President: Mike Briggs
RE Director: Melissa Gjestvang-Lucky
Newsletter editor: Dan Proud

2005-06 President: Mike Briggs
RE Director: Bob Radford
Newsletter editor: Dan Proud

2006-07 President: Mike Briggs
RE Director: Rebecca Malke-Eliganti
Newsletter editor: Dan Proud

2007-08 President: Rachel Long
RE Director: Rebecca Malke-Eliganti
Newsletter editor: Dan Proud

2008-10 President: Rachel Long
RE Director: Rebecca Malke-Eliganti
Newsletter editor: Kate Liu

2010-11 President: Barbara Park
RE Director: Rebecca Malke-Eliganti
Newsletter editor: Kate Liu

2011-13 President: Barbara Park
RE Director: Rebecca Malke-Eliganti
Newsletter editor: Dan Klock

2013-14 President: Barbara Park
RE Director: Rebecca Malke-Eliganti
Newsletter editor: Susan Herr-Hoyman

2014-15 President: Gary Gates
RE Director: Holly Tellander
Newsletter editor: Susan Herr-Hoyman/Phyllis Long

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