|@St. Norbert September 2009 - Our biggest open house yet||St. Norbert College|
Our biggest open house yet
Every fall, St. Norbert College rolls out the red carpet to welcome students’ parents, siblings and friends for Family Weekend. During this year’s event, scheduled for Sept. 18-20, both the carpet and the welcome will extend well beyond campus.
On Sept. 19, the college will host SNC Day, a festival of education, entertainment and exploration for the entire St. Norbert community. That event coincides with the De Pere Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Fall Fest in a new city/college collaboration intended to broaden the reach of both events.
St. Norbert president Thomas Kunkel spearheaded SNC Day, modeling it on a community event held annually at the University of Maryland, where he served as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
“We want SNC Day to be a big ‘open house’ to the larger community. It’s an effort on our part to welcome our neighbors, provide a little Norbertine hospitality, and show them the many things the campus has to offer. It’s meant to be fun for everyone, especially families,” Kunkel says.
SNC Day activities will include a host of mini-lectures, horse-drawn carriage rides through campus, a 5K run, a 3-on-3 basketball tournament and live music along the Fox River. Meanwhile, the river itself will teem with tour and ferry boats offering a unique view of campus and easy access to activities at the college and in downtown De Pere.
Chamber president Cheryl Detrick anticipates that pairing Fall Fest and SNC Day will boost attendance at both festivals to the benefit of all. “We expect the event to double in size when we include the St. Norbert family and the families coming in,” she says.
If the collaboration meets that expectation, some 6,000 community members and friends of the college will spend the day in a riverside meet-and-greet, learning what St. Norbert and De Pere each have to offer the other.
“As many people know, community is one of the core values of the Norbertine order and St. Norbert College. But that doesn’t mean we’re a community apart from everyone else,” Kunkel says. “Instead, we see ourselves as existing within the larger community of our friends and neighbors.”
“We want people to feel they have free access to the campus – to get to know the campus and feel welcome here,” adds Amy Sorenson, the president’s chief of staff and a chamber board member pivotal in getting the collaboration off the ground.
“President Kunkel has a strong focus on bringing the college into the community and the community into the college,” Detrick says.