2005 Distinguished Service to the College

Marianne Van Drisse

Service to education, to her church and to her community have been at the very center of Marianne Van Drisse’s life ever since she graduated with a B.A. in English from St. Louis’s Fontbonne College in 1951. Even a cursory look at her activities and accomplishments shows how richly she deserves St. Norbert College’s Distinguished Service Award.

Following graduation, Marianne taught English, journalism and religion in Kansas City, St. Louis and Indianapolis before returning to the Green Bay area where she taught at St. Joseph Academy. Along the way, she earned an M.A. in 1958 from Notre Dame University. From 1983-98, Marianne devoted her energy, expertise and enthusiasm for learning as a member of St. Norbert College’s Board of Trustees, and was a member of the Executive Committee, the Major Gifts Committee and the Chair of the Committee on Trustees. Additional service to education included being a member of the Board of Trustees of Milwaukee’s Sacred Heart Seminary, and the American Foundation of Counseling (Green Bay Division).

Service to her church includes being a past-president of the Catholic Women’s Club, a Board of Trustee member for Green Bay’s Our Lady of Charity center, past-president of the Green Bay Diocese Religion Teachers Association, and a Catholic Foundation Board member.

The greater community in which she lives has and continues to benefit from Marianne’s time, talent and treasure. Besides being a founding member of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, she has been a member of the Heritage Hill Foundation, the Green Bay Symphony Board, the Green Bay Symphony Guild, the Lac Baie Girl Scout Council, the Humanitarian Committee of the Fort Howard Paper Company Foundation and the Scholarships Incorporated Evaluation Committee. One of her greatest joys was working at Paul’s Pantry. Currently, she serves on St. Vincent Hospital’s donor relations committee, and as a member of the Green Bay Symphony Guild. Marianne’s many efforts on behalf of others were recognized by St. Norbert College’s awarding her the President’s Medal in 1998, and conferring an honorary degree in 2001.

With all this activity, Marianne still finds time to enjoy reading, gardening and traveling. A highlight of her travels occurred when she participated in an archeological dig in Jerusalem during the summer of 1968 – only one year after the end of the Six Days War. Here she was significantly impressed with the resiliency of the Israeli people and of the Arabs who worked side by side on the dig not too far from the burned-out tanks and bullet-ridden buildings.

Education has always been at the forefront of Marianne’s life, for it “gave me a true appreciation of the vastness of our world and an eagerness to learn as much about it as possible. Learning never ceases, and in my teaching years I hope I succeeded in stimulating students to explore, study and absorb as much of our God-given world as possible.”

Well, Marianne, we hope St. Norbert College’s Distinguished Service Award indicates how very much your community appreciates and values all you have done in service to others.