2017 Commencement Speaker: President Thomas Kunkel
During his tenure at St. Norbert College, Tom Kunkel has overseen the construction and renovation of more than $130 million in campus facilities and infrastructure, including the Gehl-Mulva Science Center and its South Teaching Wing; Michels Commons; Schneider Stadium; the Mulva Library; Gries Hall; the Ariens Family Welcome Center; Todd Wehr Hall; Dudley Birder Hall; the Cassandra Voss Center and schedule to open in May the new Mulva Family Fitness and Sports Center, a state-of-the-art facility. The college’s enrollments have reached record levels on his watch, as has the academic profile of its student body. And the 2016 class is the most ethnically diverse in school history. Beyond that, St. Norbert has climbed steadily in national rankings of liberal arts colleges. He will leave his post as president of St. Norbert College on May 31 after nine years at the college.
Kunkel, who recently published the critically acclaimed biography “Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker,” will continue his writing career after the presidency, and he intends for his first project to be a “short and accessible” biography of the college’s namesake and patron, St. Norbert of Xanten.
Kunkel is a member of the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors and Associated Bank’s regional advisory board. For three years he served as chairman of the President’s Council of the Midwest Conference. He is on the boards of the New North and Achieve Brown County, and he is active in numerous other community groups.
Before coming to St. Norbert, Kunkel served for eight years as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, where he also served as president of the American Journalism Review and as editor and director of the Project on the State of the American Newspaper.
Kunkel spent much of his early career in newspaper management, working for such organizations as the San Jose Mercury News, the Miami Herald, The New York Times and The Cincinnati Post.