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Commencement is always a highlight of the school year.

Commencement By the Numbers

What does it take to create a memorable Commencement at St. Norbert? Probably a lot more than you may think. Here are some interesting figures for you to enjoy, along with a few engaging facts about Commencements past and present.

• For Commencement 2018, 1,806 chairs were set out. (The bleachers hold an additional 1,660.)

• Last year, SNC’s post-Commencement celebration featured five full sheet cakes, 90-dozen cookies, 95 pounds of veggies and dip, 50 pounds of cheese cubes and 37 pounds of taco dip.

• The smallest graduating class in SNC history (records go back to 1907) was the Class of 1907, with one grad.

• The largest graduating class was the Class of 2014, with 508 graduates.

• The youngest SNC grad on record was 19 and the oldest was 78.

• SNC has bestowed honorary degrees on many people at Commencement. Some of the better-known recipients who appeared in person to accept their honorary degree are:

  • Colonel John Glenn, NASA astronaut and first American to orbit the Earth, plus a U.S. senator from Ohio (1965)
  • Vince Lombardi, Green Bay Packers head coach (1968)
  • Captain Jim Lovell, NASA astronaut and commander of the ill-fated Apollo 13 mission (1999)
  • David Maraniss, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author (2011)
  • Bud Selig, ninth Commissioner of Baseball (2013)

• The Commencement speaker and honorary-degree recipient who traveled the farthest to attend was the Most Rev. Hermenegild Noyens, then-abbot general of the Norbertines. Noyens traveled from Rome in 1998.

• A memorable Commencement snafu occurred in the early 1990s, when the main fuse in the Schuldes Sports Center blew during the ceremony. With the room plunged into darkness and no broadcasting capabilities, Commencement came to a standstill for about 15 minutes while someone sprinted back to Van Dyke Hall to find a replacement fuse. (Today, there is always an extra main fuse in the building.) 

March 12, 2019