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March 2013


Dear Abbot Pennings,

Who was the first Ugly Man?
Thank you,
Sami Quinn ’08


Dearest Sami,

Ah yes, the Ugly Man contest – undoubtedly a unique tradition here at your alma mater and one that goes back to the early 1950s.

I recall that the contest in reference began as a fundraiser for the independent and Greek organizations on campus. Students from each group could vote as often as they wanted to elect their Ugly Man, paying for each vote they cast. The candidate who earned the most votes, and thus raised the most money, earned the prestigious Ugly Man title.  

I am happy to be reminded that the first to receive the honor was none other than George DesMarais ’56. My dear friends at the alumni house have shared with me the following photos, which were provided by George himself. How remarkable that he still has the trophy in his proud possession! 



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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