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Leadership for the Next Chapter

As President Brian Bruess ’90 departs and St. Norbert College begins its search for its ninth president, the institution maintains its tradition of strong and visionary leadership.

The board has announced that Sandy Odorzynski (Economics, Emeritus) and Mike Foley ’84 will be co-chairing the presidential search process. The committee conducting the national search will be formed once campus listening sessions and surveys have been completed.

Fred Schmidt ’75, new chair of SNC’s board of trustees, says, “St. Norbert College is extraordinarily well-placed at this time to find its next leader. The college is strong and stable. We have a world-class faculty and continue to attract outstanding students who seek a unique liberal arts education grounded in Norbertine tradition. The campus community is looking forward to carrying its cherished mission and Catholic identity into an exciting future.

“Here at SNC, we’ve benefited from a succession of remarkable presidents, individuals who have made their impact not only on this campus but across Catholic higher education. We expect to attract an exciting slate of candidates as the search develops.”

This summer sees President Emeritus Tom Kunkel return to SNC in an interim presidential role while Sister Andrea Lee, I.H.M., joins the college as interim vice president for academic affairs (VPAA). Lee, just like Kunkel, brings to St. Norbert national recognition as a leader in Catholic liberal arts education; deep knowledge of the critical issues and challenges facing higher education; extensive experience with accreditation, assessment, and governance; decades of experience with equity, diversity and inclusion; and a deep love of Catholic higher education.

Meanwhile, the college bids farewell to two pivotal figures in its recent history: As eighth president Brian Bruess ’90 begins his tenure as inaugural joint president of the communities of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University, VPAA and provost Jenn Bonds-Raacke departs to assume the presidency of Saint Martin’s University.

The search for the college’s permanent VPAA will take place under Kunkel’s leadership.

In Trust

At its May 2022 meeting, the St. Norbert College Board of Trustees elected Fred Schmidt ’75 to succeed the Rev. Andrew Ciferni ’64 who is retiring as board chair. Schmidt is managing partner at Law Firm of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C. He is married to another SNC alum, Teresa (McMonagle) Schmidt ’75. The couple were honored with SNC’s Alma Mater Award in 2004 for their services to the college.

Patti (Brash) McKeithan ’71 was elected vice chair. McKeithan is retired from Miller Brewing Company, where she was the vice president for corporate affairs. She received the Alumni Business Achievement Award from SNC in 1998.

June 30, 2022