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Message from the President: Introducing Todd Wehr Hall

May 12, 2010 

To our alumni friends:

Depending on when you attended St. Norbert College, Todd Wehr was: a) the campus library; b) a women’s residence hall; or c) nonexistent.

Regardless, if you haven’t been back to campus lately to see “the Todd” in its latest incarnation, stop on by. You’re in for a real treat.

As of about six weeks ago, Todd Wehr Hall is a beautiful new center for student services, bringing together the campus offices that students most utilize from a consumer standpoint – the registrar and bursar, career services, financial aid, student advising, residential education and housing, academic support services and so on. All these offices are now served by a large central desk in the middle of the ground floor, and our goal is to handle the vast majority of students’ queries or needs there in a sort of “one-stop” environment.

Todd Wehr also brings together offices devoted to our Campus Ministry and Old St. Joseph Parish, as well as our new Center for Community Service and Learning, an interdivisional initiative in student outreach. And we’ve created several more badly needed seminar and conference rooms, as well as an Honors lounge and plenty of spaces for group and individual study.

Finally, the repurposing of Todd Wehr allowed us to return the college bookstore to the heart of campus. The bookstore staff has been working hard for months to relocate from Old St. Boniface Church to Todd Wehr with no break in service. St. Boniface is a splendid and special space, but its location at the edge of campus was not convenient for students, parents or visitors. Now that the bookstore is centrally located—and as handsomely furnished as any commercial bookstore you’ll find—we’re already seeing a significant increase in traffic. (And special thanks to alumna Laura Schwartz ’95, who joined us at the grand opening to sign copies of her new book. Alumni authors like Laura are featured front and center in the store.)

When you visit Todd Wehr you’ll find that the most stunning feature is a curved wall of stained-glass windows, a gift from our good friend Marianne Van Drisse. The windows have been arranged to define the edge of a new reflection lounge in the building’s former atrium. It’s already one of my favorite sanctuaries on a campus with a growing collection of them.

The building now called Todd Wehr Hall was constructed in the late ’60s to house St. Norbert’s growing population of female students. A decade later it was converted into our first real library, largely through the financial support of the Milwaukee-based Todd Wehr Foundation.

Thus I was honored that a few weeks back, when we held the bookstore grand opening and a reception to celebrate the conclusion of the $3 million Todd Wehr renovation, we were joined by Allan Iding, head of the Todd Wehr Foundation’s board of directors. Mr. Iding pronounced himself delighted at the inventive reuse of this wonderful facility, and he was especially pleased that the Todd Wehr name will become a part of the lives of even more generations of St. Norbert College students.

So are we.