November 2012

Question:

Dear Abbot Pennings,

Hi! I was wondering how old is Norby the Knight? Also, when he reaches the end of his fourth year on campus, can he receive an honorary degree? I think it'd be a really cute idea if Norby could graduate, too!

Holly Nickerson ’15

Answer:

My dearest Holly,

I’m so very pleased to have received your inquiry! Knowing that our students have taken our beloved mascot to their hearts truly warms my own – and his, too, I am sure!

I understand Sir Norby Knight to be the college’s first true mascot character. Legend has it that our dear Norby served first as the appointed guardian to the landmark statue of St. Norbert in Prague. Who knows for how many centuries he stayed faithful to this work, until called to a fresh purpose in the New World? Now, he is a proud and mighty standard-bearer for those who represent the saint through the academic and athletic endeavors of the college that bears his name.

It was our privilege to welcome Sir Norby to campus two years ago. I remember fondly his first public appearance on Sept. 25, 2010, when he arrived to cheer on our beloved Green Knights at the then brand-new Donald J. Schneider Stadium. This year, then, my dear Holly, by my estimation we might well be tempted to consider Sir Norby a “junior.”

However, the decision as to whether our beloved knight might one day cross the Commencement stage rests with wiser minds than mine. Honorary degrees from a college as fine as ours are earned through an extended and formidable achievement, and are bestowed at the wish of our estimable board of trustees.

Be assured, I will be certain to share this kind-hearted idea with the necessary college officials and, who knows, we may one day be asked to prepare accordingly. A cap and gown designed to fit our knight becomingly would certainly be warranted!

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.