Alumni College - In a class by itself!

Yearning for Learning? Come to Campus!

Join us on campus for Alumni College – a chance for St. Norbert grads and parents of SNC students to get into the classroom and hear lectures from some of our stellar faculty on a wide range of topics. You’ll come away from this thought-provoking weekend invigorated and brimming with new insights and perspectives!

Alumni College – in a class by itself!

April 4-5, 2014
Open to the St. Norbert community and the general public.

Attendees of this favorite event will enjoy a special time on campus, featuring fascinating lectures by some of St. Norbert's finest professors! 

View event attendees!

Friday, April 4

Friday, April 4, 2014
11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Opening lunch with President Thomas Kunkel

Hendrickson Dining Room, Bemis International Center
1:15-2:15 p.m. Academic Session One

1A: “Art and Essential Identity”
Rev. James  Neilson, O.Praem. ’88,  adjunct assistant professor of art
Artwork Made in the Image and Likeness of Us All. A survey of contemporary art that both challenges and celebrates ideas and issues related to personal and collective identity, social roles, and spiritual aspirations. 

1B: “The US Economy - How are we doing in April, 2014?”
Kevin Quinn, associate academic dean and professor of economics
The last several years have been tumultuous for our economy. Where are we on the road to recovery after the most significant downturn in eight decades? What do the economic tea leaves say about what we should expect going forward?

1C: “Heaven: Is It For Real?”
Rev. John M. Tourangeau, O. Praem. ’81, pastor of St. Norbert College Parish
According to Fr. John Tourangeau, who had an afterlife experience following a major heart attack, the answer to the question is emphatically, “Yes, Heaven is for real!” Within this enlightening and hope-filled presentation, Fr. John weaves a powerful and dynamic tapestry of the Kingdom of God at hand through exploration of Christian tradition, Sacred Scripture, Catholic teaching, personal experience and references from several popular books on heaven.
Various locations
2:30-3:30 p.m. Academic Session Two

2A: “Elect or Select? How Should We Choose Our Judges?”
Charles Jacobs, associate professor of political science
Political pundits and scholars alike are locked in a debate over how best to select both state and federal judges to the bench. Some, like former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Conner want all judges to be appointed to insure fairness. Advocates of greater democratic control argue that the people should be able to influence the content of the law through the selection of those who wear judicial robes. This presentation offers a theoretical discussion of each approach and some recent data from the State of Wisconsin regarding the public’s view on the matter.

2B: “Please Release Me: The Art of Mystery in Fiction”
C.J. Hribal ’79, professor of english visiting from Marquette University
Do we read fiction to be surprised? Pleased? Entertained? Our popular literature often does that by withholding information from us, essentially by tricking us, keeping crucial information secret for “the big reveal” at the end. But literature can be more than a bag of tricks. As a student at St. Norbert College, Dr. Bob Boyer and Dr. Ken Zahorski informed C.J. and fellow classmates that the purpose of all literature was “escape and recovery.” Escape: an opportunity to leave our lives so that we could momentarily enter into someone else’s. Recovery: a coming back into your own life afterwards, bearing back with you some elemental truth about how to live the life you actually have. Literature does this through mystery. This lecture will look at how writers create mystery in fiction, paradoxically often by giving away up front what lesser writers try to keep hidden till the end.
2C: “The Economic Impact of St. Norbert College on Northeast Wisconsin”
Sandy Odorzynski, professor of economics
Three acknowledged and well-known drivers of the metro Green Bay economy are the NFL Packers, paper, and health care industries. But SNC’s economic footprint is also significant in the region. Using the nationally recognized IMPLAN software and internal College data, Sandy documented the impacts of SNC activity on the local economy during a recent sabbatical leave. Learn about job creation, regional multipliers, and economic activity resulting from the College budget, special building projects, students, visitors, and employee spending. The numbers may surprise you!
Various locations
3:45-4:45 p.m. Campus Tour or Free Time
St. Norbert College campus
5 p.m. Prayer Service
Cassandra Voss Center
5:30-6 p.m. Senior Art Exhibit Reception
Bush Art Center
6 p.m. Dinner and Culinary Demonstration with SNC’s very own Chef Dan
Michels Commons


Saturday, April 5

Saturday, April 5, 2014
8:30-9 a.m. Continental Breakfast Todd Wehr Hall
9:15-10:15 a.m.  Academic Session Three

3A: “God and Suffering: Contemporary Perspectives”
Howard Ebert ’74, associate professor of religious studies and director of MTS and MLS 
We live in an age acutely aware of the immensity and pervasiveness of suffering in the world today and throughout history. This awareness presents challenges to the traditional Christian understanding of God as all good and omnipotent. In this session, we will examine distinctive approaches utilized by contemporary Christian theologians in addressing this challenge. These approaches range from a ‘tweaking’ of traditional responses to a radical reconceptualization of God and of God’s relationship with the world.

3B: “Abbot Pennings: the back story.”
Rev. Andrew Ciferni, O. Praem. ’64, Director of Center for Norbertine Studies
The St Norbert family is rather familiar with the story of the College's founder from the time of his arrival in our land in 1893 to his death in 1954.This lecture will recount the facts of his life from his birth in Gemert,Holland until his setting out for the ‘American Mission.’ Some conclusions will be offered about how his life as a priest in Berne Abbey shaped the foundation of the College and the growth of the Norbertine community in America.

Various locations
10:30 - 11:30 a.m. Academic Session Four

4A: “An Economic Analysis of the Rise and Growth of Megachurches”
Marc von der Ruhr, professor of economics
The 2008 Pew study of religion in America shows that the U.S. religious market is very fluid. Individuals feel comfortable employing their rights as consumers to switch between religions. Naturally, as people switch affiliation, some churches grow while others contract. The session will review trends in religious switching and then apply economic models to analyze the strategies megachurches may employ to successfully compete with other churches in a religious market for attendees. These strategies involve how megachurches have signaled their fit to potential members in an effort to grow and how megachurches encourage new(er) attendees to deepen their commitment to the church over time. Survey data comparing various aspects of denominational life provide support for the theoretical predictions.

4B: “Everything Isn’t as It Seems: How Common Sense Fools Us”
Alexa Trumpy, assistant professor of sociology
Why is the Mona Lisa one of the most famous paintings in the world? Is it because of Leonardo da Vinci’s artistic skill or because it was part of a highly publicized theft and two vandalization attempts? Whether we realize it or not, the explanations we employ to explain the world around us are often incorrect. This talk will draw on a number of examples from art, literature, business, and history to show how everything is not always as clear as it seems. Understanding how common sense fails us allows us to better anticipate the future and understand the present.
Various locations
11:45 a.m.-1 p.m.  Closing Lunch
“A Walk in Time” History of St. Norbert College with Todd Danen ’77, director of alumni and parent relations
Hendrickson Dining Room, Bemis International Center


Registration Details

  • $105 per person for the entire weekend, including Friday dinner and culinary presentation
  • $65 per person for the entire weekend, excluding Friday dinner and culinary presentation
  • $40 per person for Friday dinner and culinary presentation only
  • $45 for Friday academic sessions and luncheon only
  • $45 for Saturday academic sessions, breakfast and luncheon only
  • $20 for any single academic session only
  • $10 for Friday or Saturday lunch only
Don’t wait! Registration deadline is March 26.

Register now!