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Interim President Thomas Kunkel

Thomas Kunkel is serving as interim president of St. Norbert College during the 2022-23 academic year. Previously he was president of the college from 2008 until his retirement in 2017.

During his presidency, Kunkel oversaw numerous academic innovations (including its partnership with the Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay), increased enrollment, and improved student and faculty diversity. He raised more than $150 million, much of which went toward new and renovated campus infrastructure.

He is the author or editor of seven books. The most recent was “Man on Fire: The Life and Spirit of Norbert of Xanten,” a biography of the college’s patron and namesake, which was published in 2019 and named Best Book of the Year (by a small publisher) by the Catholic Book Awards.

Prior to his time at SNC, Kunkel was dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland. There he also served as president of American Journalism Review, a national magazine published by the college. His previous books include “Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker,” published by Random House in 2015 to wide acclaim and winner of the prestigious Sperber Prize for best books about media. His first book was “Genius in Disguise,” a biography of New Yorker founding editor Harold Ross and a New York Times Notable Book of 1995. Three years later he published “Enormous Prayers: A Journey into the Priesthood,” an ethnographic portrait of 28 Catholic priests.

As a journalist, Kunkel worked for the Miami Herald, New York Times, San Jose Mercury News and other publications. When he was named executive editor of the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer at age 29, he became the youngest top editor in the history of Knight-Ridder Newspapers.

Kunkel and his wife, Debra, have four grown daughters and seven grandchildren.

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