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August 2007


Dear Abbot Pennings,

I have always wondered how St. Norbert came to adopt the Green Knight mascot. Do you know the history on this?

James Boyd ’84


Luckily for you, I have a terrific memory and vividly recall a discussion on just this subject between Fr. Anselm Keefe, dean of the college 1927-1952, and Fr. Dennis Burke. Here is what Fr. Keefe shared with Fr. Burke:

The change in nicknames for St. Norbert athletic teams came about gradually, mainly though the influence of the Rev. Louis A.V. De Cleene, O.Praem., a classmate of President Eisenhower at the Military Academy in West Point.

Father De Cleene enjoyed recollecting his days at West Point, where the football team was known as the “Black Knights.” He was able to persuade people at St. Norbert to adopt the Green Knight nickname for the school teams, which had been known as the Green Juggernaut, the Green and Gold Wave, the Green Wave and the Goldmen. Green was already one of the school colors, but that’s a story for another time!

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.

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