St. Norbert College Magazine - President's report St. Norbert College
 


Tom Kunkel
A continuum of engagement
President Tom Kunkel

It had been an uncomfortably hot, wet summer, and going into Labor Day weekend the weather remained much better suited to mosquitoes and mildew than to football.

But on the Friday evening before our first kickoff, a cold front blasted through the area as if on cue. Saturday broke clear and dry, a good 20 degrees cooler than it had been all the previous week. So even though the calendar insisted it was late summer, we had a perfect fall day to open the Donald J. Schneider Stadium and Outdoor Athletics Complex.

An hour before our game with highly ranked St. Thomas, smoke from dozens of grills was wafting over the grounds: clear sign that tailgating had begun. The Arndt-Bush Center, a commodious picnic pavilion, was full of St. Norbert alums. Over here children were romping on freshly laid sod near the ticket booths, over there they were carefully navigating the prayer labyrinth so generously underwritten by Don and Carol Kress.

St. Norbert gear was being snatched up as quickly as the brats and the hamburgers in the concession stands.

Clearly we weren’t at Minahan Stadium anymore.

I know many of you were among the boisterous crowd of 3,500 who helped us open Schneider Stadium, a beautiful facility and the envy of most other Division III programs. Almost 200 former Green Knight football players returned and joined the family of legendary coach Howard “Chick” Kolstad to dedicate the state-of-the-art, all-weather field in his honor.

On such a glorious day, full of so much pageantry and pride, even our ultimate defeat at the hands of the talented Tommies couldn’t diminish the sense of celebration.

Schneider Stadium is the new home for our football team, as well as our men’s and women’s soccer and track programs. It represents another huge step in St. Norbert’s ongoing pursuit of excellence – and not just because of the competitive edge it’s apt to give our teams. It’s also helping in our overall student recruiting and, as you can read on page 18 of this magazine, we saw an incoming freshman class that was a record both in terms of its size and its academic achievement.

That freshman cohort in turn is part of a record total enrollment at St. Norbert College this fall, an indication of the institution’s robust health as it enters its 113th year of operation.

Indeed, we feel we’ve had much to celebrate in 2010. In its widely watched rankings, U.S. News & World Report recently reported that St. Norbert is continuing its rise among the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges. And a newer national ranking by Forbes magazine, which is pegged to students’ satisfaction with their collegiate experience, sees St. Norbert take its place along with Lawrence and Beloit as the top three colleges and universities in Wisconsin, public or private.

On the academic side of things, our outstanding faculty continue to distinguish themselves, nationally and even internationally – publishing important books, for instance, on topics ranging from the Incan civilization to interpersonal communications to the Catholic intellectual tradition. And in May the college partnered with the Green Bay Packers in a first-of-its-kind collaboration for a national conference on the impact of sports in American society – an event that brought hundreds of academics and sports experts to our campus, and garnered extensive media attention.

As you know, we take this opportunity every fall to report to you on matters financial. In that vein, too, we continue to perform well, especially considering the shaky nature of the economy. On May 31, we finished the college financial year ahead of budget on revenue and well beneath projected expenses, and, as before, much of that difference was reinvested in maintenance of our plant and other capital needs.

That performance was helped considerably, as always, by our many benefactors. We received nearly $10 million in gifts and donations in FY2010, and more than $1.4 million of that went to our important St. Norbert Fund. Most remarkably, despite the challenging economic times, we saw the total number of our donors increase by nearly 250 over last year. Your assistance in some way touched literally every student at St. Norbert College.

And it seemed as if virtually every one of those Green Knight students came out to help us kick off Schneider Stadium – a symbol of the vitality of a college with genuine momentum.

Fall 2010 Magazine

Web extraLook here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current St. Norbert College Magazine.

Audio iconFight song gets new lyrics
Music professors Michael Rosewall and Linda Cook help us “Raise our voices to the Green and Gold” with renewed spirit.

Text ExtraA matter of opinion
Find out what readers are thinking about their college magazine.

Text ExtraFan Reaction to the
Favre-Packer Split

Master's candidate Peter Weiss explores the connections between fandom and identity.

VideoSports Rights Fees
Carl Vogel ’79
speaks on
the financial engine of sports.

Text ExtraA legend at St. Norbert
Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg recall the Vince Lombardi years on campus in the new book,
“A Championship Team.”

VideoNew mascot on campus
Watch Norby adjust to college life.

Text ExtraThe Norby Chronicles
Read the backstory on our favorite new Green Knight.

GalleryA sporting success
Images from the opening
season of the brand-new Donald
J. Schneider Stadium.

Text Extra“Sundays in Manila”
A chapter of Philippines encounters from the new travel memoir by Robert Boyer (English, Emeritus).

Text ExtraAlumni Award Winners 2010
Read more on the life and works of this year’s honorees.



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  St. Norbert College • De Pere, Wisconsin http://www.snc.edu/communications/magazine/2010v42n3/presidentsmessage.html