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Connections Feed Alumni-Led Gatherings

There’s a special kinship that exists among St. Norbert alumni, even if they’re from different generations, professions or regions. Those eager to connect with each other are finding it simpler than ever with alumni office support to make memories at events they create themselves.

Nate Bond ’07 has organized two major alumni reunion events on campus. Last winter, more than 100 guests attended a 20-year anniversary celebration for the Delta Upsilon fraternity, with campus tours, a dinner dance, and special honors for longtime fraternity advisor Stephen Westergan (Humanities). “You get to see friends you might not necessarily see all the time, especially if they live out of state,” says Bond. “The camaraderie you get from having that alum base is something really special.” 

Bond used a similar formula to plan a Knight Theatre reunion, working with advisor Michael Rosewall (Academic Affairs) and other alumni. After a dinner in Michels Ballroom, they met with the cast backstage then watched the Knight Theatre production of “Young Frankenstein.” “Seeing these kids’ eyes when we all walked in before the performance was a really neat experience,” says Bond. 

Another such event brings together fraternity brothers from Sigma Nu Chi/Sigma Tau Gamma on June 25, when they’ll celebrate the 90th birthday of the fraternity’s former advisor, the Rev. Rowland DePeaux, O.Praem., ’48. They expect a big turnout after the revered priest’s 85th birthday party drew about 150 fraternity members and other alumni to campus. “He has guided us through our years at SNC, married dozens of us and baptized dozens of our children,” says Bill Van Ess ’85 (Business Administration), who is working with the alumni office to plan the June celebration. “He has been a blessing to everyone that has had the opportunity to know him.” This time around, DePeaux is involved in planning the event, which will include a pianist. “It would not be a true Father DePeaux party if he didn’t break out in a song or three!” says Van Ess.

For another upcoming gathering, high-school English teacher Kathleen Harsy ’03 worked with former classmates Becky Radoszewski ’02, Lauren Pisano ’03 and Bridget Jordan ’03 to start a Women’s Education League event series in the Chicago area. The women are now planning a St. Norbert College edition of the event – a luncheon on campus the last weekend of April. “Our first steps as educators began in De Pere,” says Harsy. “We want to contribute to our alma mater’s campus life and reconnect with the location where our love and professionalism regarding education started.” 

St. Norbert alumni who studied abroad in Peru in the 1970s reunited last June; John Koprowski ’61 coordinates regular on-campus breakfast gatherings with SNC professors and priests as guest speakers. The list of reunions and other alumni-driven events continues to grow.

March 14, 2016