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September 2018


Dear Abbot Pennings,

I’m hearing rumors that there is an echo chamber on campus. Are they true? Where is it located?

Amanda Beck (College Advancement)


Dearest Amanda,

This question makes me chuckle. In fact, the rumors that have reached your ears are not only true, but doubly so! 

It must surprise you considerably to learn that our beloved college has not one but two outdoor “echo chambers.” Over the years, our young tour guides have delighted in demonstrating their effects to prospective students visiting us with their college plans in mind.

Both chambers are in what must certainly be very familiar spots to you and, indeed, to most who have visited our beautiful campus. This echo effect is a most interesting phenomenon of our two circular paved areas: the one, where our new Conversion sculpture stands, on the overlook at the north-west corner of campus; the other, in front of Main Hall where the two malls find their intersection.

The presence of our dear St. Norbert himself, albeit cast in bronze as he is, deters me these days from testing the echo at the overlook – and I hope that it similarly deters you and others! But I urge you to discover the Main Hall effect for yourself, through personal experimentation. Do be sure that you take up your place right in the center of the circle, facing Main Hall. Then, simply say a few words. (Perhaps the college motto would suffice or, ahem, my own abbatial motto, “Let us love one another,” would not be inappropriate in such a circumstance.) I do assure you that you will experience the echo effect for yourself.

All these little-known facts about SNC ...! Dear me, what pleasure it gives me to share them with each new generation of inquirers.


Responses to “Ask the Abbot” questions are penned by St. Norbert College staff in the name of Abbot Bernard Pennings, who founded St. Norbert College in 1898. 

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