June 2007

Question:

Dear Abbot Pennings,

I heard a rumor that the armored Green Knight on display in Schuldes Sports Center ‘disappeared’ from campus at one point in time. Did this really happen?

Ed Bellock ’78

Answer:

What you have heard is certainly not a rumor!

Late one evening in October 1957, the armored Green Knight, otherwise known as the “traveling Knight,” went missing from Burke Hall in a mysterious kidnapping.

Father Dennis Burke ’26 (college president at the time) and Father Anselm Keefe learned of the Knight’s whereabouts very quickly. The Knight sent postcards from around the United States, Europe and Canada – claiming he was on a much-needed vacation.

After two months away from campus, the Green Knight came home. He reappeared on the steps of Main Hall in December 1957, looking in much better shape than when he left. Apparently his vacation had done him some good.

The Knight disappeared again in 1959, during Homecoming week. But rest easy. He returned for Commencement the following spring – looking as good as ever. College officials were sure, and eventually confirmed, that both instances were student pranks.

The college’s historical mascot, the Green Knight, has quite a history. The suit of armor, estimated at between 400 and 500 years old, was purchased by Father Keefe in 1950 at an antique store and was fully refurbished by Leonard Heinrich, of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It first stood in Main Hall, and was then housed at various places on campus until it was placed in Burke Hall. The ‘traveling’ Knight now rests safe and secure in Schuldes Sports Center in a glass case, greeting visitors as they come in to enjoy events.

I hope that readers continue to contact me with these excellent questions. Answering your questions keeps my mind sharp and reminds me how much pleasure I take in keeping in touch with our great St. Norbert graduates!

Responses to “Ask the Abbot” questions are penned by St. Norbert College staff in the name of Abbot Bernard Pennings, O.Praem., who founded St. Norbert College in 1898.