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St. Norbert College Announces Commencement Details, Honorary Degrees

From St. Norbert College, May 2, 2016
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

Dave Habiger, CEO at Textura, a leading software provider of collaboration, productivity and payment solutions, will be St. Norbert College's commencement speaker on Sunday, May 15, at 1:30 p.m., outdoors on the quad west of the Campus Center on the college's De Pere campus. Habiger will also receive the President's Medal.

Mike Van Asten, vice chair of the St. Norbert College board of trustees, will authorize the conferring of master's and baccalaureate degrees; St. Norbert College president Thomas Kunkel will award the degrees and diplomas with the assistance of Jeffrey Frick, dean of the college and academic vice president. There are 461 students in the 2016 graduating class, including 458 candidates for baccalaureate degrees and 3 candidates for master's degrees.

The Reverend Jay Fostner, O.Praem., vice president of mission and student affairs, will deliver the benediction.

The student speaker at commencement is graduating senior Brenna Rathsack of Appleton, Wis.

The national anthem will be sung by graduating senior Emily Herman of Black Creek, Wis. with graduating senior Natalie Beck of Appleton, Wis. serving as student honor conductor.

Commencement Speaker

Dave Habiger, the speaker, will be awarded the President's Medal.

Habiger received his bachelor's degree from St. Norbert College in 1991, and obtained his MBA from the University of Chicago. He's gone on to have an impressive career in entertainment technology and has done a great deal to shape how we live today.

Habiger is currently CEO at Textura (NYSE:TXTR), a leading software provider of collaboration, productivity and payment solutions. He is also senior advisor at Silver Lake Partners and a venture partner with the Pritzker Group.

Habiger began his career as a founder of Providence Productions, a media production company. He later began working with the founding members of Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ: SNIC) where he would become president and CEO. At Sonic, Habiger leveraged his relationship with Hollywood studios to help move the industry from DVD distribution to web and consumer electronics delivery of movies and television. Sonic won an Emmy for its contributions to the television industry under Habiger's leadership.

In 2011, Dave took over as CEO of NDS, a 6000-person organization providing software for satellite and cable video distribution. NDS was acquired by Cisco shortly after its registration for IPO on the NYSE.

In 2008, Habiger was chosen as one of the Corporate Leader Magazine's 40- under-40 business leaders. The Hollywood Reporter chose him as one of 2010's Digital Power 50, and in 2011 he was chosen as Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

He serves on a number of prestigious public company and private boards. Habiger is a director at the not-for-profit Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), which brings entrepreneurial training to students in low-income communities. He is on the advisory board of the University of Chicago Center for Entrepreneurship and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. Habiger is also a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE).

Honorary Degrees to be Awarded

St. Norbert College will recognize John (Jay) Williams, a 1973 graduate of St. Norbert College, with an honorary degree for his long and successful career as a leader in the banking industry, for his deep involvement in Wisconsin civic and educational organizations, and, above all, for his abiding commitment and service to his alma mater.

Jay his wife, Madonna, were born on the same night, and were delivered by the same doctor, at the same hospital in Chicago. Although they never actually met one another until they arrived at St. Norbert College, Jay proposed on the steps of Boyle Hall and they married at the end of their junior year. After graduation Jay and Madonna moved to Milwaukee, where Jay set off on his banking career and completed an M.B.A. at Marquette University.

Jay spent his first three decades in banking at U.S. Bank and its predecessors, Firstar Corp. and First Wisconsin Bank. He served as president of U.S. Bank from 2000 to 2003. In 2004 he became a director and COO of The PrivateBank and then established The PrivateBank-Wisconsin in Milwaukee, where he was Chairman and CEO.

As his career flourished, Jay became one of the most prominent business figures in greater Milwaukee and around the state. He serves on numerous regional boards including the Medical College of Wisconsin, Church Mutual, Associated Bank, and was chairman of the Southeastern Wisconsin Professional Baseball Park District, which owns and operates Miller Park. Jay's outstanding service and his highly successful business career garnered considerable recognition, including the alumni distinguished achievement award from St. Norbert College in 2001 and the business administration and graduate school of business professional achievement award from Marquette University in 2010.

At a time in his life when most of his colleagues were planning their retirements, Jay desired one more challenge. Thus in 2010, he accepted an invitation to become president of the Milwaukee Public Museum. Hired specifically to help the museum re-establish a firm financial footing, he accomplished that--and much more. He significantly grew the museum's endowment and net assets. Then he instituted a long-term business plan to ensure that the museum would continue to move forward. Jay now serves as retired chair of the board. He joined St. Norbert College's board of trustees in 2005, and he became chair of the board in 2013. Among the major achievements during his chairmanship, the college built the Gehl-Mulva Science Center, initiated its groundbreaking partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin, created the Donald J. Schneider School of Business and Economics, and started an M.B.A. program.

St. Norbert College will also honor Vince L. Zehren class of 1948 for his exemplary professional accomplishments and his dedication to his alma mater.

Zehren was born in the living quarters of a cheese factory in Shawano County, Wis. The eldest of seven children, Vince began working in the family cheese factory at age 13 and earned his cheese makers license by the age of 18.

Zehren was a sophomore at St. Norbert College when WWII began. From December 4, 1942, to January 2, 1946, Vince served in the Army assigned to the 328th Regimental Antitank Company of the 26th Infantry Division in General Patton's 3rd Army. For his service, he earned numerous awards and medals, including four Bronze Battle Stars and a Purple Heart.

He returned to St. Norbert College and under the tutelage of Rev. Peter Pritzl, he completed his bachelor of science degree, with a major in chemistry in 1948. Vince then went on to earn an M.S., in Dairy Industry in 1950, and a Ph.D. in food science and biochemistry in 1954 from The University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1952, Vince received a Fulbright Research Scholarship to study at Massey Agricultural College of the University of New Zealand. His time as a graduate student in Madison will always remain special to Vince, for it was there that he and a fellow Ph.D. student, Virginia Mularz, met and they were married following his return from New Zealand. Virginia was a scholar in her own right and was professor of chemistry at St. Norbert College, where an endowed chair bears her name.

In 1954 Vince was named technical director at Schreiber Cheese, (now known as Schreiber Foods). He later served as director of manufacturing processes, vice president of industrial affairs and then as a director of the company. In 1962, Zehren became one of 13 employee-owners of Schreiber foods. Vince's many achievements include authoring books and he is still engaged in writing today.

Zehren became the first recipient of St. Norbert College's Distinguished Achievement Award in natural sciences in 1977. In 1986, Schreiber Foods established the Vincent L. Zehren Award for Excellence in Applied Technology; Vince was its first recipient. The National Cheese Institute honored him as the first recipient of its Laureate Award in 1989. He also served as research chairman for the National Cheese Institute for 10 years and received an award in 1986 from the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce for his "Outstanding Contribution to Agriculture in Brown County."

For more information on St. Norbert College's commencement, including live streaming, go to http://www.snc.edu/commencement/.