St. Norbert College
|Motto||"Docere Verbo et Exemplo"|
Motto in English
|"To teach by word and example"|
|Type||Private liberal arts college|
|Roman Catholic |
|Endowment||US $145.8 million (2018)|
|133 full-time, 69 part-time|
|Colors||Green and Gold|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III – Midwest Conference|
St. Norbert College (SNC) is a private Catholic liberal arts college in De Pere, Wisconsin. Founded in October 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, a Norbertine priest and educator, the school was named after Saint Norbert of Xanten. In 1952, the college became coeducational. As of March 2018[update], the school's enrollment is 2,165 students.
St. Norbert College was established when Abbot Bernard Pennings, a Dutch immigrant priest from the Premonstratensian Berne Abbey of Heeswijk, the Netherlands, founded the college to train young men for the priesthood. Frances I. Van Dyke, a seminarian, was the first and, at the time, the only student. St. Norbert is the first and only institution of higher learning in the world sponsored by the Premonstratensian order. Abbot Pennings later started a commerce program at the college for lay students before retiring in 1955.
St. Norbert's second president, the Rev. Dennis Burke, expanded the college, anticipating the student population would eventually reach 2,000. Robert Christin, who became president in 1968, implemented the current course system and the academic divisional structure. In 1973, Neil Webb, a former faculty member and vice president, became president. Webb established the first permanent endowment for the school. Serving as the college's president from 1983 to 2000, Thomas Manion led the expansion of facilities and the development of additional academic programs. Enrollment topped 2,000. Thomas Kunkel, former dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, became the seventh president of the college in 2008. Since then, the college has constructed the Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center, the Gehl-Mulva Science Center, the Cassandra Voss Center, Michels Commons, Schneider Stadium, the Mulva Library, Gries Hall, Ariens Family Welcome Center and Todd Wehr Hall.
Brian J. Bruess, a 1990 graduate of St. Norbert College and former executive vice president and chief operating officer of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, became president in 2017. Although he announced on November 1, 2019, that he would not continue in his position as president after the end of the 2019-2020 academic year, uproar from the college community led to further discussion between Bruess and the SNC Board of Trustees that resulted in a multiyear contract. Four members of the board, including the chair, resigned shortly thereafter.
St. Norbert College offers undergraduate programs in more than 40 areas of study, leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Business Administration degree. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is also offered through a joint effort with the Bellin College of Nursing. The most popular undergraduate majors are Business Administration, Biology and Education. In addition to its undergraduate offerings, St. Norbert College offers three masters-level graduate programs in business administration, theological studies and liberal studies. The Master of Theological Studies department hosts a branch program in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Program studies take place at the Norbertine Abbey of Santa Maria de la Vid in Albuquerque. Students on that campus can earn the full MTS degree. In the fall of 2015, the college began offering an MBA program through its new Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics. The Medical College of Wisconsin's Green Bay campus, which serves the northeast Wisconsin region, is located in the new Gehl-Mulva Science Center at St. Norbert.
In 2019, Norbert was ranked 145th among "National Liberal Arts Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report. The college is also ranked 118th among "Liberal Arts Universities" in Forbes's 2019 list of America's Best Colleges.
Mulva Library provides digital and in-person reference services; hosts the Digital Commons, an institutional repository of documents, media, and other materials online; and provides a makerspace with technologies for the academic community. It is the home of the Center for Norbertine Studies, the international center of research on the Premonstratensians and Norbertines. The library also holds the college archives.
The campus consists of 111 acres (45 ha), much of which borders the Fox River. Students typically walk to classes, even in the winter. The many trees and statues on campus provide a scenic view, especially in fall, when the foliage changes colors. Directly behind the Campus Center is a pavilion and marina where St. Norbert hosts a picnic for students to kick off the school year. This shoreline area is also the venue for a free summer concert series, open to the community.
Important social buildings include the Ray Van Den Heuvel Family Campus Center (Campus Center), which includes a fitness center, gymnasium, and diner (Phil’s Diner) and a reading lounge with a picturesque view overlooking the Fox River. There is also an events hall for movies and public speakers. Special events put on by student groups are also held there, such as comedian appearances and awareness speeches.
Much of the campus is located in what is now the St. Norbert College Historic District.
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More than 75% of students live on campus in residence halls, apartments and townhouses. St. Norbert requires all traditional undergraduate students not registered as commuters to live on campus. Freshman housing includes three traditional residence hall options: Madelaine-Lorraine Hall (co-ed), Sensenbrenner Hall (women-only), and Bergstrom Hall (co-ed Honors students). Campus housing options for sophomores include Mary Minahan McCormick Hall, Michels Hall, and Victor McCormick Hall. Upperclassmen enjoy single person dorm rooms such as Burke Hall, the Townhouses and Carriage House (apartment-like housing), college-owned houses and college-owned apartments, including Gries, Xanten and Prémontré Halls.
There are more than 100 registered student clubs and organizations on campus. St. Norbert encourages its students to become involved in their community through community service and by participating in one of the 15 fraternities, sororities, and independent social groups. The school also has 8 National Honor Society chapters, two student publications, and eight musical and performance ensembles. A major activity for St. Norbert students participate in is the annual "Into The Streets" community service project that provides service to organizations in De Pere and neighboring communities. This event is staffed by first-year students, staff and faculty, and is part of the First Year Experience program.
Greek life at St. Norbert includes four sororities and three fraternities, as well as two Greek governing groups. Greek groups sponsor fund-raising activities, food drives, and benefits to support charities. Greek groups collectively completed a total of 2,117 hours of service and raised $9,638 for their respective philanthropies during the 2015-16 school year.
The St. Norbert College Green Knights participate in NCAA Division III athletics and have been members of the Midwest Conference since 1982. St. Norbert offers 22 varsity sports including: football, women's volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey, men's and women's swimming and diving, softball, baseball, men's and women's track and field, cheerleading, and dance. The college's 23rd varsity sport, men's volleyball, will begin its first season in 2019-20.
The Green Knights men's hockey team has appeared in 19 NCAA Division III Tournaments since 1997. The team has 12 Frozen Four appearances and won the national championship in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018, while placing as national runner-up in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2016.
The Green Bay Packers have conducted training camp on the St. Norbert campus since 1958, making this the NFL's longest training camp relationship between a team and school. In exchange, the Packers donate their used equipment and provide St. Norbert yearly grants.
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- Nicholas J. Bichler, Wisconsin State Assemblyman (1935–42, 1951–52)
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- William W. Brash III, Wisconsin Court of Appeals judge
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- William J. Duffy, Wisconsin jurist and legislator
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- Herbert J. Grover, educator and politician
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- Michael Monfils, mayor, City of Green Bay (1975–79)
- William R. Moser, politician and jurist
- Mary Mullarkey, Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court
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