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Message from the President: Summer update from President Kunkel

June 16, 2009

To our alumni:

I’m always a little amused when people ask me, "What do you DO with your summers?"--as if I get to choose between three months of sailing the Great Lakes or chilling out in the Hamptons.

Maybe college summers were leisurely once, but no more. A campus is a 365-day-a-year operation, and as usual St. Norbert will be hopping this summer. I thought you might like to get a little flavor of the kind of activities that take place here under the welcome sun.

For starters, here are a few things you’re invited to attend.

Knights on the Fox

Our popular summer concert series begins its seventh season. All concerts are free and open to the public. Bring your own picnic or purchase food here. The picnic area opens at 5:00 p.m., and the concerts run from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Docks at our marina are open, so come by land or water. This year's line-up: July 14 - Boogie and the Yo-Yo'z; July 21 - Randy Peterson (alumni and children's night); July 28 - Talk of the Town; Aug. 4 - Sam & Ruby; Aug. 11 - Let Me Be Frank Productions.

Music Theatre

This is our 48th season for Music Theatre, and this year features two of the most enduring musicals in the American songbook. "The Music Man" runs from July 9 to 16, and "West Side Story" runs from July 31 to Aug. 12. For tickets, call the box office at 920-403-3950 or 800-762-2699, or purchase them online at

Girls Leadership and Development Summer Camp

This is an innovative new program for girls in grades 1 through 4. The two-week camp will focus on building self-esteem, leadership skills and goal-setting. For more information or to register for the GLAD Summer Camp, go the website at

Passports to the World

The college will also be hosting a new children’s language and culture day camp. Classes include Sports & Spanish, German Castles & Green Knights, Asian Art & Culture Experience, and French Conversations Around the World. You can get more information or register at

Mulva Library Dedication

This exciting event will be at 2 p.m. on August 30. All are welcome.

Meantime, throughout the summer we play host to numerous professional and youth conferences--from Wisconsin bankers and teachers to Upward Bound. We’re even welcoming curling enthusiasts! And of course, as they have for five decades now, the Packers will be in residence here during their training camp the first three weeks of August.

Speaking of athletics, the college runs four different girls’ basketball camps; three hockey schools for various ages; two boys’ basketball camps (one for grades 2-5, another for grades 6-8); and one cross country camp.

And then there’s our very busy summer academic schedule.

Summer school enrollment is up more than 50 percent from just three years ago, with more than 600 students signed up. That includes 52 students who are taking three online courses--our first such offerings. Both our chemistry and mathematics departments have summer research programs for our more advanced students who receive summer grants to work with faculty. And many of those faculty are working on summer research projects, some funded by the Office of Faculty Development.

As usual we have nearly 70 international students on campus this summer, most of them taking multiple courses as they build their English skills. And our Language Services department will be offering four language-based day camps for students from ages 8 to 12.

If that wasn’t enough, I’m informed that there will be 13 wedding receptions on campus in June, July and August.

Todd Danen, director of alumni and parent relations, informs me that A Day at St. Norbert (formerly Alumni College) this past Saturday was very successful. Alumni participated in classes ranging from great books to the economy to art and had opportunities to socialize. If you weren’t able to join us this year for the event, I hope you’ll take part in the many regional alumni events held throughout the summer. Details can be found at

So, to return to my opening question: What am I doing this summer?

Avoiding traffic!

Have a great summer yourself, and I hope you spend at least a part of it at St. Norbert.

Tom Kunkel