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Brian J. Bruess ’90, Eighth President of St. Norbert College

Brian J. Bruess became the eighth president of St. Norbert College in 2017, building on a tradition of excellence at his alma mater, a picturesque community situated on the banks of the Fox River in Northeastern Wisconsin – part of the vibrant Green Bay community.

Bruess has already guided St. Norbert to record new-student enrollment, including increased diversity; visioned and implemented a campus-wide renewed focus on student success and retention; launched innovative strategic planning; inspired new academic offerings including Integrative Studies, Data Analytics and Actuarial Science, and new partnerships offering pathways for post-baccalaureate programs in health care; introduced educational-centric financial management; created systemic change on equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging; increased focus on outcomes, evidence-based decision-making and assessment; developed a new fundraising campaign focused on student learning and aimed at doubling the college’s endowment; and led the college through a global pandemic.

Prior to assuming the role of president, Bruess served at St. Catherine University for 22 years in a variety of roles, including executive vice president and chief operating officer. Bruess earned his bachelor’s degree from St. Norbert College in 1990, then a master’s and Ph.D. in College Student Personnel/Research and Evaluation from Ohio University.

Carol Bruess, Ph.D., Brian’s wife of 30 years, also is a 1990 graduate of St. Norbert College. Carol is Professor Emerita of Communication and Journalism at the University of St. Thomas and is now serving as the St. Norbert College’s most passionate ambassador. Brian and Carol have two young adult children: Tony, a 2018 Stanford University graduate and a tech entrepreneur living in New York City; and Gracie, a soon-to-be graduate of Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, who is double-majoring in Biology and Spanish.

In his free time, Brian enjoys kayaking, fishing for walleye and riding his fat-tire bike (sometimes through blizzard conditions) to cheer on his favorite team, the Green Bay Packers. Carol and Brian have two four-legged family members: George the Bernedoodle puppy, currently in training to become St. Norbert College’s therapy dog, and Fred the 14-year old yorkie with one tooth.

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