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July 2013


Dear Abbot Pennings,

Who is the Phil in Phil’s, the Ed in Ed’s Cafe, the Ruth in Ruths Marketplace and the Dale in Dale’s Sports Lounge?

Danny Carpenter ’14


My dearest Danny,

What a wonderful question! The places you mention are some of the most highly trafficked areas on campus, yet many of my readers probably are not aware of the people for whom they’re named. And these people have been very important to St. Norbert College’s history and development. 

Phil’s, located in the Van Den Heuvel Family Campus Center, is a convenience store and restaurant that’s open until 11 or 11:30 p.m. It was built in 2000 and named after Philip J. Hendrickson. Phil is currently a trustee emeritus, having faithfully served on our board of trustees for 12 years, two of which he spent as chairman. Phil has always been a most generous donor to St. Norbert, and it’s thanks to him that students can grab a snack long after I myself have retired for the evening.

Ed’s Café, which opened in 2009 in the Mulva Library, sells coffee, bakery goods, breakfast sandwiches and various lunch items, along with drinks that I am told are known as smoothies. The café’s namesake is Edward Meyer Jr., another trustee emeritus and generous college donor. Ed’s is open to St. Norbert students and also members of the local community. I hear the menu includes lattes with as few as 60 calories. I’ll have to try one, as my waistline has been, ahem, expanding a bit with age.

Dale’s Sports Lounge and Ruth’s Marketplace are named after Ruth and the late Dale Michels, parents of three St. Norbert grads and grandparent of a recent graduate. The couple greatly aided St. Norbert College by funding our recent, much-needed renovation of Sensenbrenner Memorial Union, which was completed in 2012. Afterward, the Union was re-christened Michels Commons. Ruth’s Marketplace is actually the name for St. Norbert’s meal plan catering area, which features five distinct types of dining fare, while Dale’s offers casual dining and a spacious gathering space.

Alas, Danny, after discussing all of these great dining establishments, I now must take my leave and indulge in a little snack.

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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