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President-elect Thomas Kunkel's campus introduction.

April 2008

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President-elect formally introduced to community

From President Jimmy Carter’s living room to Elvis’ funeral, from talking religion with John F. Kennedy Jr. to talking popular culture with Thomas Wolfe—and from a part-time job as a 16-year-old sports reporter to, now, a college presidency.

The road that has led to the leadership of St. Norbert College has been an interesting one for President-elect Thomas Kunkel, on campus March 4 for the first time since the announcement of his appointment.

“I don’t suppose I have to tell any of you, and certainly not in this sacred space, that the Lord works in mysterious ways,” he told a gathering in Old St. Joe’s.

Kunkel’s formal presentation to the college and wider communities gave him the opportunity to introduce himself in a speech outlining the serendipitous nature of a fascinating career.

He said, “Among other things, my life has taught me not to be surprised by anything. I have learned how to manage in good times and in bad. … I have seen the value of hard work. Most of all, I have witnessed the wonderful things that people are capable of when opportunity, talent, resources and commitment all come together at just the right time.

“I believe that time is now at St. Norbert College.”

Many readers in Wisconsin and Upper Michigan will have a chance to see and hear Kunkel for themselves this month. He is the guest on the new edition of “Conversations from St. Norbert College.”

Kunkel, who is currently dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, takes up his appointment as president of St. Norbert on July 1. 

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