• |
Header Banner

Preliminary renderings from Workshop Architects of Milwaukee depict the Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall as a signature, showcase building on a highly trafficked corner of the St. Norbert College campus.

SNC to Break Ground on Business Building With Gift From Schneider Family

The campus’s northwest bank of the Fox River will soon be home to the new Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall, with a lead gift from the Schneider family. Preparations for the new building – on the site of the Pennings Activity Center, formerly Pennings High School – will begin this winter.

The facility, expected to open in time for classes in fall 2025, will be the home of the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics.

A new hub for business education in northeast Wisconsin
“We are honored and humbled by this significant gift from the Schneider family, and we continue to be thankful for their deep commitment to advancing our students and so many others throughout our community,” said Thomas Kunkel, interim president of St. Norbert College. “Their gift will help St. Norbert College strengthen its central role in the northeast Wisconsin business community, and it will spark many new opportunities for those who live, learn and work here.”

The Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall, designed by Workshop Architects of Milwaukee, will be a signature, showcase building, Kunkel said. Situated on a high-profile location at the western end of the Claude Allouez bridge – a crossing used by thousands of vehicles and pedestrians each day – the 45,000-square-foot, multi-use facility will include classrooms and workspaces designed for contemporary learning, space for executive education and conferencing opportunities, and a connected terrace for gathering along the Fox River. It will be home to the college’s undergraduate and graduate business and economics programs, including data analytics and a new sports management program that launches in the fall. The facility will also be home to SNC's Center for Exceptional Leadership.

The gift from the Schneider family advances St. Norbert College's Support What Matters campaign. The $125 million fundraising initiative, timed to align with the upcoming 125th anniversary of the college, focuses on preserving, enhancing and amplifying the things that make a St. Norbert education unique.

Plans to honor the former Abbot Pennings and Nicolet High School
The Pennings Activity Center began life in 1923 as Nicolet High School, becoming part of the West De Pere School District. In 1959, it was purchased by the Norbertines and renamed Abbot Pennings High School in honor of St. Norbert College’s founder, Abbot Bernard Pennings. Upon its closure, St. Norbert College purchased the building and land. The college has occupied it since, and currently houses campus safety offices and the college’s ROTC program.

The legacy of Nicolet/Pennings High will be memorialized in Schneider Family Hall, and the college will soon announce plans for a public recognition of the building this fall before it is razed.

June 8, 2023