|@St. Norbert April 2007 - One student's take on Alumni College||St. Norbert College|
Alumni of all ages rediscover the excitement of learning
at St. Norbert College
Many of us have said it—imagine going back to college, knowing what we know now. Alumni College was launched two years ago to make that happen. This year’s event takes place May 17-18. Janet Dickelman ’74 was at Alumni College last year. Her account will give you an idea of what’s in store for this year’s returning “students.”
Where does the time go? Since graduating in 1974, I hadn’t had the opportunity to visit St Norbert. My college roommate Janis (Habun) Hancock ’76 had been telling me how much campus had changed and how beautiful it was.
When I received the 2006 Alumni College information, I decided it was time to go back for a visit. I immediately called Janis and she’d been thinking the same thing, so we registered for the event and a night at the hotel on campus.
The next issue to deal with was what was the best way for me, being blind, to get from St. Paul, Minn., to De Pere.
A call to Tracy Boyd in the alumni office to see if there was anyone driving from my area was all that was needed. Within just a few days she gave me contact information for Theresa Hunter ’02, who was willing to let me tag along. We had so much fun on the drives I didn’t even open the book I’d brought along.
The classes were very interesting and informative. Dr. Crowley’s class on gender studies and how women are perceived was very thought-provoking. Janis has three daughters under age 22, so it really got us thinking.
I wondered how much I’d get out of Father Nielsen’s class on “The Da Vinci Code,” since it was an art-based lecture, but he was such a great speaker and so descriptive that the class came alive even for someone who couldn’t see. I hadn’t read the book beforehand, but I ordered it in Braille when I got home.
The quest for happiness and goodness Dr. Wadell (Religious Studies) presented was so inspiring, and a wonderful way to end our visit.
Even more enjoyable than the classes was the time spent with the other attendees. There were alumni from the 1940s to the 2000s but there were no age distinctions. We all chatted over meals, between sessions and of course at the Abbey Bar Thursday evening. Roommates Marge (Sullivan) Hannon ’76 and Mary Lynn (Evers) Hermus ’74 joined us for Thursday evening’s festivities.
We were excited to not only close down the wine-tasting that was part of the program, but to be the last ones to leave the Abbey Bar.
Funny story about the bar. The girls we were talking to from the class of 2005 had been telling us about the wonderful fries the Abbey served, so we decided to order some, only to find out the kitchen was closed. So the staff suggested cherry cheesecake. Imagine our surprise when the goopy dessert we were expecting turned out instead to be a cocktail comprising shots of several liquors! Janis and I still laugh about that!
There were so many changes to the campus, it was amazing. Of course many of the lovely old buildings remain. It did make us feel old to know that the building that was our dorm is now a library that has become obsolete!
We attended Vespers at the beautifully remodeled Old St. Joseph Church.
The food was excellent and plentiful, as were the cookies at the hotel! The Kress Inn was welcoming and very comfortable. Our only wish was that there had been a tour of campus, because it would have been nice to learn more about the buildings.
Will I come back to St. Norbert—definitely. I certainly won’t wait 32 years!