Message from the President: Traditions

Dec. 17, 2012

To our alumni friends:

The Christmas tree just outside our office in Main Hall, while still beautifully decorated with its lights and silver garland, is devoid of candy canes. That can mean only one thing: the fall semester is officially done.

Each Christmas season Jamie McGuire, my executive assistant, loads up the tree with candy canes and invites passersby to take them to stave off hunger. That invitation goes especially to our students while they work their way through final exams, as they were doing last week. Jamie restocks the tree three or four times before the students, sufficiently fortified, have finished their tests and left for the winter break.

Jamie’s candy canes are a tradition here, one of many little ones that help make the holiday season what it is at St. Norbert College. This year as usual, the rustic crèche took up its familiar residence in front of Main Hall. Deb and I hosted our annual faculty and staff Christmas party at the presidential residence, where guests were serenaded by our student carolers. Over at Old St. Joe’s, parishioners once again bought presents for families in need and put them under the Christmas tree in the atrium. And as we always do on the first night of finals week, we worked the hot griddles to make several thousand pancakes for the semiannual Faculty, Flapjacks and Finals event. (You may have noticed that feeding hungry students is a theme here!)

I know you have your own traditions, and at this joyful time of the year I hope this finds you sharing them with family and friends.

Speaking of traditions, as another Christmas nears and 2013 beckons, may I suggest perhaps a new one?

Our Campus Ministry offers many services central to our mission, and one in particular we’d like alumni to know about is our Online Prayer Community.

If there is someone you wish remembered in prayer by the extended St. Norbert community, let us know by completing our prayer request form.

Maybe at this emotional time of the year you are thinking about someone who is no longer with you. Maybe you are worried about a friend who is ailing or otherwise in need. Maybe it’s to pray for sons or daughters to be safe in their travels or more fulfilled in their lives. Maybe you’re simply in need of prayer yourself – as I daresay we all are!

Or maybe, like me, you'd like to pray for those in Newtown, Connecticut, as they deal with an unspeakable tragedy.

The site is our way of reinforcing that at St. Norbert we are first and foremost a faith community, and that the bedrock of such communities is prayer.

So consider participating by submitting a prayer request, and of course please participate by offering your own prayers for those to be remembered.

Indeed, know that we welcome you to join the community as one who is willing to hold others in prayers. You can join our prayer community online.

Together we can make it the newest, and one of the best, traditions at St. Norbert College.

Tom