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St. Norbert College announces Commencement speaker and honorary degrees

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From St. Norbert College, April 27, 2011
by Mike Counter,, (920) 403-3089

David Maraniss, Pulitzer prize-winning author, will be the St. Norbert College commencement speaker on Sunday, May 15, at 1:30 p.m. in Schuldes Sports Center on the college's De Pere campus. Maraniss will also receive an honorary degree from the college.

William N. Auriemma '77, chair of the St. Norbert College board of trustees, will authorize the conferring of baccalaureate and master's degrees; St. Norbert College President Thomas Kunkel will award the degrees and diplomas with the assistance of Jeffrey Frick, dean of the college and academic vice president. There are 485 students in the 2011 graduating class, including 483 candidates for baccalaureate degrees and 2candidates for master's degrees.

Reverend Jay J. Fostner, O.Praem., a 1984 graduate of St. Norbert College and vice president of mission and heritage, will deliver the commencement prayer and the Right Reverend Thomas De Wane, O.Praem., a 1955 graduate of St. Norbert College and abbot emeritus of St. Norbert Abbey, will deliver the benediction.

The student speaker at commencement is graduating senior Amanda Cormican of Milwaukee, Wis. Cormican is graduating with degrees in both psychology and theatre studies; after graduating, she plans on pursuing a career in clinical psychology, specializing in marriage and family counseling.

The national anthem will be sung by graduating senior Jacquie Vandenplas of Luxemburg, Wis. At the close of the ceremony, the entire audience will join in singing the St. Norbert College "Alma Mater," with graduating senior Bryanna Moody of Appleton, Wis., serving as student honor conductor.

Honorary Degrees to Be Awarded
The college will present three honorary doctoral degrees at this year's commencement. David Maraniss, the speaker, will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his life's work in print journalism and political commentary. Maraniss, who grew up in Madison, Wis., won a Pulitzer for his work as a political journalist; he then wrote "First in His Class," a best-selling and highly praised biography of President Clinton. In 1999, he hit the best-seller list again with "When Pride Still Mattered," a biography of Vince Lombardi and also the source material for the play "Lombardi," which is currently running on Broadway. In all, Maraniss is the author of five critically acclaimed and best-selling books.

An associate editor at The Washington Post, Maraniss was also part of the Post team that won a 2008 Pulitzer for the newspaper's coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting.
Michael Thomas Marsden, dean and academic vice president of St. Norbert College from 2003 to 2010, is the recipient this year of the highest academic honor the college can bestow, the degree of Doctor of Laws for his service and dedication to the college.

Marsden has been an energetic builder throughout his career. He helped found and lead the Popular Culture Association and the American Culture Association. As a teacher, scholar, writer and editor, he was associated with these now conjoined associations from their formative years in the seventies. Marsden's ten books and many articles are important contributions to the growth and understanding of his field, and his efforts were recognized when he was made president of the American Culture Association and given their Distinguished Service Award.
A few examples of his many accomplishments at St. Norbert College were the establishment of the Center for Norbertine Studies, the Master of Liberal Studies Program. and the institutional research component of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, and giving critical support to policies and practices that allowed the hiring of forty new members of the faculty. At the same time, he supported a culture of faculty research and development and greatly increased collaborative research between students and faculty. Marsden was a central actor in the design and planning of the new Mulva Library, and in the first stages of the creation of the new science building. He was also the host of the award winning "Conversations from St. Norbert College" television show.

Patrick Kelly, a 1977 graduate of St. Norbert College, has been chosen by the board of trustees to be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his many professional accomplishments and for his steadfast commitment, loyalty and service to his alma mater.

During his undergraduate years at the college, Kelly was a leader in both student government and athletics: he served as president of the Intra-Fraternity Council, was president of the Student Government Association, and played varsity baseball.

A highly successful businessman, Kelly founded Dynapro, Inc., a data processing, consulting and programming firm, in 1980. In 1990, Dynapro merged with Resource One. Kelly is CEO of the firm. Resource One is a leading provider of programming services for the installed Tandem computer base in the United States. Mr. Kelly is also a general partner in the limited partnership of KMK and Associates. KMK has controlling or substantial interest in businesses in the distribution, food, technology, real estate and money management industries.

Patrick Kelly serves on many boards. He was on the St. Norbert College board of trustees for 21 years and chaired it for seven years. He played an integral role in the conception and completion of the Miriam B. and James J. Mulva Library.

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