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Donald J. Schneider ’57

New School of Business & Economics to Be Founded at St. Norbert College

The Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics will soon become a reality at St. Norbert through the generosity of the family of one of northeast Wisconsin’s legendary business leaders and entrepreneurs. 

Pat Schneider, wife of the late Donald J. Schneider ’57, has donated $7 million to establish the School of Business & Economics, as well as to found a new Master of Business Administration program.

“We are humbled and honored by Pat Schneider’s extraordinary generosity; this is the largest gift to endow an academic program in the history of the college,” says President Tom Kunkel

“There truly could be no more fitting name for this new business school than that of one of the college’s most influential and successful graduates. The Schneider name stands for a commitment to excellence, an enduring sense of civic responsibility, entrepreneurialism and business innovation. In naming the school for Don Schneider, we will reflect these same values, as they are part and parcel of our Norbertine heritage.”

Initiative includes creation of MBA program
A portion of the Schneider gift will allow the college to launch its MBA program, expected to admit its first students in the fall of 2015, Kunkel says. But the great majority of the gift will be used to endow the business school and its operation.

The new school will comprise the college’s existing business administration and economics departments. New faculty and staff will be hired as part of the expansion and launch of the MBA program. They will include a dean who will oversee the operation of the Schneider school. 

Business classes have been offered at St. Norbert almost from its beginnings in 1898. But Kunkel says the creation of the Schneider School and the MBA program will allow the college’s strong business and economics programs to reach an even higher level of excellence, as well as to better serve the northeast Wisconsin region.

“The Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics will provide the highest-quality education for business and not-for-profit leaders,” says Kunkel. “Building on St. Norbert’s firm grounding in the liberal arts and its commitment to ethics instruction, the new MBA program will position the college as the intellectual center of values-based business education in northeastern Wisconsin.”

Phil Oswald, vice president for college advancement, adds: “Gifts that match the generous donor’s passions and interests with the needs of the college are most meaningful to us and to the people making the gift. My hope is that the Schneider family and Schneider National associates find great pride and fulfillment in this donation. Mrs. Schneider’s gift to our endowment is a powerful statement of confidence in the future of St. Norbert College.”

Donald Schneider graduated from St. Norbert with a degree in business. He served as president, CEO and chairman of Schneider National, the now-global transportation, intermodal and logistics provider headquartered in Ashwaubenon, Wis. Under his leadership the company grew into a trucking and logistics giant, in large part due to Don Schneider’s commitment to the company’s core values, an unwavering belief that a person’s job delivered personal fulfillment and self worth, and the early adoption of innovations that would later become industry standards.

Don Schneider had a longstanding relationship with St. Norbert – as student, alumnus and trustee – as well as serving as a longtime adjunct instructor in the area of finance and business administration.  He received the St. Norbert College Distinguished Achievement Award in Business in 1979 and the Alma Mater Award in 1991. The college also honored him with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 1999.

He joined the St. Norbert College board of trustees in 1978 and held that post until his death. He was also a member of the board of directors and the executive committee of the Green Bay Packers, and was involved in countless charitable causes. Don Schneider died in 2012.

March 4, 2014