July 2011

Question:

Dear Abbot Pennings,

I noticed that the Shakespeare Garden between JMS, Bemis, Cofrin, and Todd Wehr halls had pavers added to the walkway this spring. When was the garden created? And is it really named after William Shakespeare?

Patti VandenBusch Albers 76

Answer:

My dearest Patti,

Thank you most warmly for writing, and for drawing our attention to the Shakespeare garden. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the places on campus best-suited for quiet reflection, simply because its delightful benches and well groomed hedges and flowers exude such peace. 

It was astute of you to notice that the garden received a facelift this spring! Memorial pavers for students, staff and faculty members now grace the east entrance to the garden, along with this inscription:  

Gone yet not forgotten
Friends of St. Norbert College
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 
–2 Corinthians 4:18.

The Monday Shakespeare Club of Green Bay, a group of women that met every Monday to study the works of Shakespeare, sponsored the garden in 2000 and dedicated it to the memory of their former president, Mrs. Crane Murphy. The club celebrates its 111th anniversary this year, making it one of the oldest women’s study club and feminine organizations in the U.S.

The garden’s association with Shakespeare extends beyond its name, shared with the Bard. The plants found in the garden are those specifically mentioned throughout Shakespeare’s works.

Ah! Please excuse my long-winded nature, but I do delight in seeing that we continue to connect even the more contemporary parts of our campus with our scholarly tradition and with our community.

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.