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Mark Murphy
A winning team
Mark Murphy, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Green Bay Packers

In 1958, Green Bay Packers head coach Vince Lombardi decided to move the Packers’ training camp to St. Norbert College. The Packers have now held 53 consecutive training camps at St. Norbert, by far the longest streak in the NFL.

Over the years, the relationship between the Packers and St. Norbert has grown stronger and benefited both the Packers and the school. Last spring, the relationship went to a higher level, with the first-ever partnership between an NFL team and an institution of higher education to co-sponsor an academic conference. “A Mirror of Our Culture: Sport and Society in America” attracted scholars from across the country and raised important questions about the proper place of sport in our society.

Having worked in intercollegiate athletics for more than 16 years, I know that nothing stirs more debate on a college campus than athletics. Many faculty and staff question the benefits of an athletic program (and the money spent on “mere” games), while athletics administrators and coaches counter that athletics is an important part of the student athlete’s overall education and brings together the campus community.

No matter where you fall in the debate on the value of athletics, there can be no denying that sports have a significant impact on our society. Given this impact, we were very pleased to partner with St. Norbert on the conference and to raise these important issues.

I realize that I am somewhat biased given that I’ve worked in athletics most of my professional life, but I strongly believe that participation in athletics provides an invaluable experience to athletes. Young men and women learn important life lessons about teamwork, dedication and perseverance through their participation in athletics. While these lessons can be taught in the classroom, I’ve always believed that students learn much more when they experience these lessons firsthand. Former NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue stressed this point during his presentation at the conference, noting that athletics participation serves a key role in developing leaders for our country.

The Packers and St. Norbert College have had an unlikely marriage for the last 53 years. When a team that competes at the highest level in the most competitive professional sports league can partner with a college that competes at the Division III level (representing the best of amateur athletics), you know that they have a special relationship.

As a result of this unique partnership, the conference was able to present the full spectrum of views on the proper role of sport in society. The Packers are very proud of our relationship with St. Norbert College and confident that we will continue to find new, creative ways to work together.

Fall 2010 Magazine

Web extraLook here for web-only content that expands on topics presented in the current St. Norbert College Magazine.

Audio iconFight song gets new lyrics
Music professors Michael Rosewall and Linda Cook help us “Raise our voices to the Green and Gold” with renewed spirit.

Text ExtraA matter of opinion
Find out what readers are thinking about their college magazine.

Text ExtraFan Reaction to the
Favre-Packer Split

Master's candidate Peter Weiss explores the connections between fandom and identity.

VideoSports Rights Fees
Carl Vogel ’79
speaks on
the financial engine of sports.

Text ExtraA legend at St. Norbert
Bart Starr and Forrest Gregg recall the Vince Lombardi years on campus in the new book,
“A Championship Team.”

VideoNew mascot on campus
Watch Norby adjust to college life.

Text ExtraThe Norby Chronicles
Read the backstory on our favorite new Green Knight.

GalleryA sporting success
Images from the opening
season of the brand-new Donald
J. Schneider Stadium.

Text ExtraSundays in Manila
A chapter of Philippines encounters from the new travel memoir by Robert Boyer (English, Emeritus).

Text ExtraAlumni Award Winners 2010
Read more on the life and works of this year’s honorees.

Story ideas? Your ideas for future magazine stories are most welcome. Write to the editor with any suggestions or comments.

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