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October 2013


Dear Abbot Pennings, 

Where do students do their shopping these days?

Tom Basche ’46


My dearest Tom,

Thank you most kindly for writing. I so relish hearing from our beloved alumni.

Life for today’s Green Knight surely is different from that of dear Ignatius Francis Van Dyke, my very first student back in 1898. Oh, the campus conveniences St. Norbert students now enjoy!

These days our students purchase their books – and much, much more – at the bookstore in Todd Wehr Hall. They can browse unusual gifts at Discoveries International, also located conveniently in Todd Wehr. Our business students who run the latter stock products imported from developing nations, and it gives me great pleasure to state that they then reinvest the proceeds in charitable causes in those same countries. 

Students also have the advantage of being able to purchase foodstuffs and other necessities at Phil’s, in the Campus Center.

The World Wide Web has brought with it many wonders, to be sure. Students and alumni alike – and abbots, indeed – now also shop from the comfort of their homes at distant emporia that include the college’s online store. 

While students almost never need leave campus to shop, those who choose to do so now have an easier time traveling to area stores. In accordance with a recent agreement with Green Bay Metro, students, faculty and staff can ride city buses on all 13 regional routes without charge, simply by showing their St. Norbert College identity card. What a fine example of communio in motion!

Tom, in our day life was perhaps simpler and, at the same time, all necessities were readily procured from neighborhood and Main Street establishments. I have sometimes, wondered, though, how students fared in the ensuing decades that brought new-fangled malls and large establishments within less easy reach of campus. I do invite other members of our esteemed alumni to write to me with their memories.

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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