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St. Norbert alumni and student interns are well represented at Breakthrough Fuel in De Pere. Left to right, Yerzhan Nauruzbayev ’13, Peter Romenesko ’10, Caressa Swanson ’11, Brodie Reuter ’11, Keri Hodnik ’13, Jennifer (Brice) Vander Zanden ’07 (first St. Norbert grad to join the company), Craig Westhoven ’10 and Kimberly (Sawyer) Larsen ’09.

Let’s Do Lunch

Alumni events may be coming to a workplace near you

When St. Norbert connects with groups of alumni who work for the same organization, lunch is included. And new workplace alumni events are already delivering tangible benefits to students and employers, too. 

Todd Danen ’77 (Alumni & Parent Relations) and Lynette Green (College Advancement) first brought lunch to Jennifer (Brice) Vander Zanden ’07, Kimberly (Sawyer) Larsen ’09, Peter Romenesko ’10, Brodie Reuter ’11 and Caressa Swanson ’11 at Breakthrough Fuel last winter. 

Romenesko says lunch was a wonderful way to stay connected to the college. “When you have people like Todd and his team coming out to companies like Breakthrough Fuel, you are literally watching your diploma gain value after you have already graduated. Every interaction that your employer or fellow employees have with members of the St. Norbert team reflects almost directly onto you.” 

The following month, Danen brought lunch to Andy Bradford ’97, principal, Mark Kirst ’97, Becky Lee ’97, Cara Berken ’97 and Amanda Davis Peper ’02 at Foxview Intermediate School.

These events were so well received that Green decided to offer an on-campus lunch to Wipfli’s Green Bay office, which employs 13 alumni. Dan Pichler ’83, Lonny Charles ’98, Tori Szkodzinski ’00, Tracy Grosskreutz ’06, Angela Virtues ’10 and Kevin Cherney ’92 attended, along with two of their non-alumni partners. The campus location allowed them to take a tour, eat in the new Michels Commons and meet President Tom Kunkel.

Green says Wipfli had been engaged with the college prior to the luncheon (they have an annual scholarship), but she has since seen that relationship grow and deepen. Wipfli employees are now participating in on-campus mock interviews, mentoring students and giving talks in the classroom. There have also been numerous internship and full-time positions posted through Career Services. 

Pichler and Grosskreutz have since connected with the Accounting Club, taking pizza and recruiting information to one of their meetings. Pichler has personally become involved with the college’s campaign advisory council. Green, who has upcoming lunches planned with both Humana and Schenck, says it’s been an eye-opening experience for the employers. “When we pull our list of alums and show it to them, they often find out that many of their movers and shakers come from St. Norbert. It confirms the quality and caliber of the students and future employees that we have here at the college.” 

March 27, 2013