February 2011

Question:

Abbot Pennings,

Now that Minahan Stadium is history, who was the Minahan for whom the stadium was named? Did he contribute the funds for the stadium?

James Reinkober ’55

Answer:

My dearest James,

Warm thanks for your correspondence. I am most happy to enlighten you on the namesake of the college’s now-defunct stadium.

Construction of the stadium, put to proud use for more than 70 years by the athletic department, was made possible through the generous philanthropy of longtime Green Bay resident Dr. John R. Minahan. A noted physician, Minahan was a close friend to the Rev. Thomas Fox, O.Praem., then director of athletics. I, too, was most fortunate to have called John Minahan my friend.

A celebratory dedication of Dr. John R. Minahan Stadium took place on Oct. 8, 1938. Reaching deep in my mind, I do recall that our Green Knights, led by Coach Mickey McCormick, defeated South Dakota State University on that day.

Minahan’s great generosity toward the college extended well beyond athletics. The campus science building, erected with his support, also proudly bears his name.

Whilst I hold your attention captive, it behooves me to clear up some confusion with regard to Dr. Minahan: Rumblings about campus suggest he fell victim to the sinking of the Titanic.

Although a Minahan did succumb to this disaster, it was not our dear John. Rather, it was his brother William. Should you pay close heed as you pass Green Bay’s Woodlawn Cemetery on Riverside Drive, you will note William Minahan’s mausoleum crypt overlooking the same Fox River that winds its way past our beloved campus.

Responses to “Ask the Abbot” questions are penned by St. Norbert College staff in the name of Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., who founded St. Norbert College in 1898.