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Fiat Lux

St. Norbert College's theme for the 2017-18 academic year is Fiat Lux. The Latin phrase from Genesis 1:3 constitutes the first divine command in creation: "Let there be light."

Fiat Lux represents a central aim of education – the enlightenment of the mind through intellectual inquiry and the pursuit of truth. It also represents our collective effort to shed light on scientific and historical mysteries, our desire for spiritual illumination, and our commitment to transparency as our actions are seen clearly in the light of day. Against the fear that promotes repression, the ignorance that finds comfort in obscurantism, we embrace the courage to know and the fearlessness of Fiat Lux. Let courage shed light.

We also take seriously our responsibility to share this light with others. Noting Jesus' instruction to "let your light shine," Pope Francis recently stated, "anyone who hides the light gives counter-testimony.” Likewise, knowledge kept for the few can result in anti-democratic ruling and authoritarianism. Embracing the public mission of the university, particularly a Christian one, we seek to understand, not simply for ourselves, but for the common good and for the well-being of our local and global communities. Fiat Lux. Let the light be shared in the world.

The Easter vigil at St. Norbert Abbey provides a dramatic picture of illumination, as the quiet darkness of contemplation is shattered by light from a fiery torch, the pealing of bells, and exuberant singing in celebration of the resurrection. In higher education, the vigil takes place in the form of long, often lonely hours of research and writing. Intellectual enlightenment, when it comes, arrives slowly through hard work and often with very little fanfare. We acknowledge that patient work, and we commit to it. Fiat Lux. Let our resolve bring a brighter light!

Date, Time and Location Event Sponsor(s)
Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017
7 p.m.

Fort Howard Theater
Killeen Chair Lecture: L.A. Paul, Ph.D.: "Who Will I Become? Self-Discovery Through Transformation"
Killeen Chair

Oct. 9-14, 2017

St. Norbert College

Heritage, Homecoming and Inauguration Week
Oct. 11, 2017 The Inaguration of Brian J. Bruess, Eight President of St. Norbert College Presidentiial Inauguration
Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017
7 p.m.

Fort Howard Theater
The Norman and Louis Miller Lecture in Public Understanding: Joerg Rieger, Ph.D.: "Which Common Good? Rethinking Religion, Self-Interest, and Agency"
The Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice & Public Understanding
Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017
7 p.m.

Fort Howard Theater 
Killeen Chair Lecture: The Rev. Daniel P. Horan, OFM: "Racism, White Privilege and Thomas Merton on Transformative Spirituality and Justice"
Killeen Chair
Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017
3 p.m.

Mulva Library Presentation Room

McNair Scholars Program

This year the following SNC scholars will be presenting their research:

  • Nataly Alanis
  • Jasmine Babineaux
  • Lisa Baeten
  • Morgan Fessler
  • Joshua Leach
  • Tina Pizzo
  • Briana Scott


Thursday, March 22, 2018
7:30 p.m.

Fort Howard Theater

The Norman and Louis Miller Lecture in Public Understanding: M. Shawn Copeland, Ph.D.: "Disturbing Aesthetics of Race" Norman Miller Center for Peace, Justice and Public Understanding

Thursday, April 5, 2018
7 p.m.

Fort Howard Theater

Killeen Chair Lecture: David M. Carr, Ph.D.: "Beyond Original Sin: Genesis on the Emergence of True Adulthood"

Killeen Chair
Wednesday, April 17, 2018
6 p.m.

Walter Theatre
“From Certainty to Faith: Wisdom, Womanhood & Being in the Church”

Sr. Joan Chittister, O.S.B. in conversation with Breanna Mekuly '12. Book signing to follow.
Cassandra Voss Center
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