Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig to Deliver Commencement Address at St. Norbert College

Sunday, May 12, at 1:30 p.m.

From St. Norbert College, May 1, 2013
by Mike Counter, mike.counter@snc.edu, 920-403-3089

Allen H. (Bud) Selig, commissioner of Major League Baseball, will be the St. Norbert College commencement speaker on Sunday, May 12, at 1:30 p.m. in Schuldes Sports Center on the college's De Pere campus. Selig will also receive an honorary degree from the college.

Jay Williams, 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 462 students in the 2013 graduating class, including 455 candidates for baccalaureate degrees and 7 candidates for master's degrees.

The Right Reverend Gary J. Neville, O.Praem., Abbot, St. Norbert Abbey, will deliver the benediction.

The student speaker at commencement is graduating senior Bojan Francuz of Backi Monostor, Serbia.

The national anthem will be sung by graduating senior Aaron Reynolds of Aurora, Ill., with graduating senior Derek Luckow of Manitowoc, Wis., serving as student honor conductor.

Honorary Degrees to Be Awarded

The college will present three honorary doctoral degrees at this year's commencement. Bud Selig, the speaker, will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree for his outstanding contributions to our national pastime and the academy, and his compassionate support for the community.

Selig was named the ninth commissioner of baseball on July 9, 1998, by a unanimous vote of the 30 Major League Baseball club owners. Prior to his election as baseball's commissioner, Selig served as chairman of the executive council and was the central figure in Major League Baseball's organizational structure dating back to September 1992.

Selig has led the way toward implementation of many of the game's structural changes, including the wild-card playoff format, interleague play, realignment, restoration of the rulebook strike zone, consolidation of the league's administrative functions and limited instant replay.

Selig has expanded the reach of the sport in numerous ways. Under his guidance, in January 2000, MLB took the unprecedented step of centralizing all of the sport's internet rights under MLB Advanced Media. On January 1, 2009, MLB Network launched as the largest debut in cable television history. In 2006 and again in 2009, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association staged the World Baseball Classic, the most important international baseball event ever undertaken, in which major-league players competed for their home countries for the first time.

In 1970, Selig bought the one-year-old Seattle Pilots baseball team out of bankruptcy for $10.8 million, and announced that the team would become the Milwaukee Brewers. Selig was hailed as a hero in his hometown, for bringing big league baseball back to Wisconsin after the National League's Milwaukee Braves had left for Atlanta four years earlier.

Upon his assumption of the commissioner's role, Selig transferred his ownership interest in the Brewers to his daughter Wendy Selig-Prieb in 1992.

In 2005, major-league owners unanimously approved the $223 million sale of the Milwaukee Brewers from the family of Commissioner Selig to a group headed by Los Angeles investor Mark Attanasio.

In August 2010, the Milwaukee Brewers unveiled a statue in Selig's likeness outside Miller Park, honoring all of his efforts for his hometown and his leadership of the Brewers and the game of baseball.

Born in Green Bay, Wis., the Right Reverend Gary J. Neville has been involved in Catholic education since his early childhood. Since 1956, Abbot Neville has either been a student or served as an educator, administrator or board member for Catholic institutions.

Reverend Neville holds a 1973 Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with minors in education and theology, from St. Norbert College. His advanced degrees include a Master of Divinity degree earned in 1978 and a Doctor of Philosophy in Canon Law degree awarded in 1988. He received his Juris Canonical Doctorate in 1990.

Abbot Neville entered the Norbertine order on August 28, 1969. He took his solemn vows on August 28, 1976, and was ordained to the priesthood on October 14, 1978.

When not involved with Catholic education, Abbot Neville has led the Norbertine community, both locally and internationally. He was first elected abbot of the De Pere community in 2003, and in 2012 was the only person in this abbey's 100-plus-year history to be reelected to a second term.

Abbot Neville has also been a great friend and supporter of St. Norbert College and an exemplar of the values of the Norbertine order and the college.

St. Norbert College will also recognize its eight surviving alumni who have earned the rank of general in the U.S. military Lieutenant General (Retired) William Campbell '62, Major General (Retired) Raphael Hallada '58, Major General (Retired) James "Jay" Lison Jr. '42, Major General (Retired) William O'Leksy '54, Brigadier General John Hanley '79, Brigadier General (Retired) Francis Linsmeier '50, Brigadier General (Retired) Bruce Miketinac '63, and Brigadier General (Retired) Carl Newhouse '55.

St. Norbert College has produced twelve General Officers through its Reserve Army Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program more than any other institution of higher learning in the country which is not affiliated with the military.