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November 2013


Dear Abbot Pennings, 

I was on the college web page and saw this year’s Alumni Awards recipients. Who is the earliest alum to be honored?

Myron “Mike” Hauser ’57


My dearest Mike, 

What a great inquiry! After some investigating, I have found the answer to your question.

The earliest alumnus honored with an Alumni Award is Arthur “Art” Pinney, Class of 1911. Interestingly, he is not an alum of St. Norbert College but rather of St. Norbert High School. 

Pinney was born in Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Aug. 31, 1893 – the same year that I landed in America! In 1897, his family moved to De Pere. 

Pinney attended St. Norbert High School from 1907 to 1911. He continued his education for one year at St. Norbert College. Then he chose to attend the University of Wisconsin, where he received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1916.  

Immediately after graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and was stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was discharged in 1919 after serving in World War I. 

After the war, Pinney was hired by the General Electric Company in Cleveland. He later served the company in Buffalo, N.Y., and Detroit, retiring from General Electric in 1958. 

Through his years, Pinney was a loyal supporter of St. Norbert. He became a charter member of the Golden Knights Society in 1958 – the same year he received the Alma Mater Alumni Award.

The Alumni Awards program was established to honor alumni and members of the college community who have demonstrated a spirit of personal growth and achievement. Annually, St. Norbert presents awards in three or four of the following categories:

  • Alma Mater Award
  • Distinguished Achievement Award
  • Distinguished Service to the St. Norbert College Community Award
  • Young Alumni Award 

The annual Alumni Awards dinner, held each October, recognizes award recipients – including those honored in 2013.

Present-day Alma Mater Award recipients like the Rev. Domenic Rossi, O.Praem., ’70, honored this year, must meet the following criteria:

  • Received a degree from St. Norbert at least 30 years ago
  • Lives a life that reflects the Norbertine spirit and Christian ideals of the college
  • Has shown distinction in his or her chosen field or in another area of endeavor
  • Honors the college with his or her personal or professional activities
  • Contributes to the college in outstanding ways, or has made significant humanitarian contributions to the community or beyond

Art Pinney, who died in 1988, had a deep commitment to our institution and indeed lived a life reflective of the Norbertine spirit. I am proud to share a few facts about the 1911 graduate. 

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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