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A Fine Place to Do Business

Benefiting from the largest gift ever designated for academic programming at St. Norbert, the college is to found the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics. The school will house a new MBA program starting in 2015, as well as undergraduate disciplines.

The announcement comes with news that Pat Schneider, wife of the late Donald J. Schneider ’57, has donated $7 million to establish the school and the new master’s program. It’s a gift that reflects the ongoing generosity of the family of one of Wisconsin’s legendary business leaders and entrepreneurs. And it stands as the largest single donation the college has received in support of an academic initiative and not associated with a bricks-and-mortar project. (The Donald J. Schneider Stadium, opened in 2010, bears physical witness to earlier generosity by Don and Pat, who provided the lead gift of $4 million.)

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

President Tom Kunkel says the creation of the school and the MBA program will enable 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:

“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.

“The Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics will provide the highest-quality education for business and not-for-profit leaders. 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.”

A good fit
Business classes have been offered at St. Norbert almost from its beginnings in 1898. Early in their time in De Pere, the Norbertine fathers – ready to meet the needs of the area surrounding their new foundation – saw the need for commercial education in the region. The new school will comprise the college’s existing business administration and economics disciplines. Additional faculty and staff will be hired as part of the expansion and launch of the MBA program. They will include a dean who, in company with an advisory board, will oversee the operation.

March 31, 2014