Kaleigh Wenberg ’10, happy at St. Norbert after an efficient, if last-minute, transfer ahead of her sophomore year.
A last-minute transfer and a life-changing experience
Kaleigh Wenberg ’10 just wanted to feel like she belonged somewhere. When she toured St. Norbert on Aug. 21, 2008, she knew she had found the community she was looking for – albeit only a little more than a week before the beginning of the fall semester.
24 hours later, Wenberg was a member of that same community. A transfer student from the University of St. Thomas, her application to St. Norbert was accepted, her deposit put down, and she had her housing and scholarship information in hand, all in one day.
The office of admission offered her a job, to boot, as a transfer student coordinator – a position that drew on her (very) recent experience, and that she took and still enjoys. One week later she started class alongside the rest of the Class of 2010.
“It was kind of a whirlwind,” she says.
When Wenberg first toured St. Norbert College as a senior in high school, she was certain she didn’t want to attend such a small school, choosing to enroll instead at the St. Paul, Minn., school.
However, when she realized she might be interested in transferring from St. Thomas for a different kind of college experience, her sister
Madeline ’13 suggested that she give St. Norbert a second look.
“It was the first – and ended up being the only – college I looked at for transferring,” says Wenberg. “When I took the tour, I knew for sure I wanted to come here, because it seemed like everybody was on campus all the time; everybody wanted to be part of the community. I knew it was the best fit for me.”
Campus life was something Wenberg felt was lacking for her in St. Paul, where many of her friends lived close to campus and often went home for the weekends. "It was tough to find a good group of friends without going home for the weekend with them,” she says. Going back home regularly was not a realistic option for Wenberg, who comes from Kohler, Wis., six hours away from the Twin Cities.
“I wanted to find a school where I felt like I was a part of something. I was on campus a lot, and I just wanted to feel like I belonged somewhere,” she says.
The weekend after she was accepted as a sophomore at St. Norbert, Wenberg returned to St. Paul to pack up her stuff. She moved into Burke Hall on the first day of the St. Norbert semester. She says, “I started to make new friends because there were some other upperclassmen girls on my floor, and I could really talk to them about what I was going through.”
Wenberg acknowledges that the adjustment brought with it some struggles – getting her bearings on a new campus, making new friends. On top of transferring, she was going through much difficulty in her personal life.
But, she says, these struggles made her realize that St. Norbert was a great fit for her. “Having everybody surround me with so much love and friendship on this campus – everybody was just so warm and happy to talk to me if I needed anything, so I think the most rewarding part was making those connections.”
By November, Wenberg had become increasingly involved in campus activities, including the girls’ tennis team, the Residence Hall Association and College Democrats. She says, “The beginning was a little bit rough, but you just have to put yourself out there and make new friends and that’s how you really get accustomed to campus life.”
Wenberg says she’s sad at the thought of leaving when she graduates in May. “I feel sad – not because I’m unhappy but because I have made such a wonderful family here and I love being on our gorgeous campus.”
Wenberg has been blogging about her experience. To read her posts, or for more information on transferring to St. Norbert College, visit the
transfer web page.