June 2014

Question:

Dear Abbot Pennings, 

How did the similarity of the Packers and Green Knights team colors (green and gold) come about? 

Wayne Leitermann, St. Norbert Parent

Answer:

Dear Wayne, 

My good fellow, what a splendid question to answer! 

As many know, our beloved institution has a long-standing association with the Green Bay Packers. From their players staying on campus in Victor McCormick Hall during pre-season training and our cheerleaders having the special honor of rooting for the team on home game days at Lambeau Field, to our own President Thomas Kunkel serving on their board of directors and many of our alums going on to work for the organization, we are quite proud of our historic relationship.

So did our shared history lead to similar team colors? Surprisingly, the green and gold colors of both are somewhat of a coincidence.
 
St. Norbert’s school colors were originally Dartmouth green (commonly called forest green) and white, with gold. In 1931, to differentiate between St. Norbert High School and St. Norbert College, the high school (later known as Abbot Pennings High School) was given the green and white, while the college adopted Dartmouth green and light old gold. To this day, St. Norbert College school colors are officially Dartmouth green and old gold, both for the institution and for its athletic teams. 

The Packers colors evolved more gradually. In the teams early years, the team wore uniforms of navy blue and gold, the colors of the founder Curly Lambeau's alma mater, Notre Dame. Throughout the 30's and 40's, the Packers experimented with various green and gold elements in their jerseys, and in 1950, Coach Gene Ronzani cemented the use of green in the color scheme with the observation that We are the GREEN Bay Packers. In 1959, legendary coach Vince Lombardi oversaw a revamped green and gold uniform design whose basic elements are still in use today.  

Although a tad ironic, when autumn comes one can show one’s St. Norbert school spirit in a sea of green and gold at Schneider Stadium on Saturday and one’s Green Bay Packers pride at Lambeau Field on Sunday!

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.