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Message from the President: St. Norbert College Magazine

July 24, 2014

To our alumni friends:

I hope you’re having a fine summer. Here in northeast Wisconsin, it’s been a season of largely temperate and sunny days – which we all regard as sweet reward for the ghastly winter we endured.

For Deb and me, summer started with the arrival of our second grandchild, another boy. After going out to meet young Owen Lindsey in Maryland – and from all indications so far he’s going to be a brilliant, athletically gifted and charming lad! – we dropped down to southern Indiana to see our extended family and some old friends.

Back at St. Norbert, I was able to spend some significant time thinking again about a question that’s in the national conversation and certainly in our conversations here on campus. And this time, I was able to draw on some pretty insightful responses from those of you we’d just surveyed on that very issue.

In the past few years many of you have seen magazine articles and television reports asking big questions about the value, not to say the “return on investment,” of a college education. The headline often reads, “Is College Worth It?” Well, we decided that we wanted a concrete answer to that question, at least from the perspective of our own graduates.

Our survey targeted those of you who graduated between 1983 and 1998 – which is to say, you’ve been out long enough to have become established in careers, and you are likely still pursuing them. I’m pleased to say that more than 400 alums responded to our survey, and about two-thirds provided additional comments in the open-ended section.

Gratifyingly, the overwhelming majority of you considered your college experience central to obtaining the kinds of skills and values you needed to succeed in business, and in life. For instance, 85 percent of you said having received your college degree is either “very important” or “extremely important” to your financial stability. But I can also report that those open-ended responses were quite insightful and full of nuance. Many of you, for instance, let us know that having graduated with debt meant you delayed such vital decisions as buying a house or getting married.

Indeed, there is so much important information in this data, and in your related commentary, that I couldn’t possibly do it justice in one message.

So the fall SNC Magazine will go into much more detail – what you told us, what college meant to you, and how we could do things better for today’s students, and tomorrow’s. Look for that issue toward the end of October.

And since we're on the subject … I know you enjoy SNC Magazine as much as I do, because so many of you tell me so. It’s a high-quality publication that any college would be proud of, even those with much larger enrollments and veritable battalions on their magazine staffs. SNC Magazine has an army of essentially just one – editor Susan Allen. But Susan benefits from the support of our dedicated office of communications team, professionals who are also expert at stretching a dime. And over the years she has been able to cultivate an equally talented corps of contributing writers and editors, many of them our own alumni journalists.

All this is evident in the summer issue, which is devoted to the idea of what it means to be Norbertine. Susan and her contributors haven’t just produced another story but have crafted a veritable quilt of the many ways Norbertine heritage and traditions inform this college nearly nine centuries after Norbert of Xanten founded his order.

By the way, we’re equally proud of St. Norbert College Magazine online. It has all the great content in the print version, but so much more – video features, new stories every week, and more. See for yourself at And, as I mentioned, watch for that meaty fall issue!