February 2009

Question:

Dear Abbot Pennings,

Last time I saw you, you were not looking yourself at all. Would you like to tell us about what’s been happening to you recently?

Nick Patton ’03

Answer:

Nick,

I was glad to see yours amongst the kind faces that attended me during the momentous events of Jan. 6. That was the day when I – or at least my likeness in marble – was removed from the plinth I have occupied outside the Abbot Pennings Hall of fine arts for more than 40 years.

My statue was handled most gently and respectfully but nevertheless it was an experience bound to prove a trifle unsettling for one of my years. It was reassuring to recognize an old friend like yourself present on that day in particular. (Patton, who works as a graphic designer at St. Norbert, photographed the day’s events for the record. – Ed)

The monument will remain in storage until the new library project is complete. When that time comes, it will be placed inside the Mulva Library, providing a safer spot for me for the ages.

This likeness was a gift from dear friends of the college in 1964. The 2,800-pound marble statue was carved in Italy. My crest and my motto, “Let us love one another,” can be found on the base.

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.