St. Norbert College
Latin: Collegium Sancti Norbertus
MottoDocere Verbo et Exemplo
Motto in English
To teach by word and example
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1898; 126 years ago (1898)
Religious affiliation
Roman Catholic (Order of Canons Regular of Prémontré)
Endowment$186,375,000 (2021)[1]
PresidentLaurie Joyner
Academic staff
130 full-time, 32 part-time (Fall 2022)[2]
Students2,009 (Fall 2022)[3]
Green and gold
NicknameGreen Knights
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division IIINorthern Athletics Collegiate Conference

St. Norbert College (SNC) is a private Norbertine liberal arts college in De Pere, Wisconsin. Founded in October 1898 by Abbot Bernard Pennings, a Norbertine priest and educator, the school was named after Saint Norbert of Xanten. In 1952, the college became coeducational. As of April 2023, the school's enrollment is 2,009 students.[5]


St. Norbert College was established when Abbot Bernard Pennings, a Dutch immigrant priest from the Premonstratensian Berne Abbey of Heeswijk, the Netherlands, founded the college to train young men for the priesthood. Francis Ignatius Van Dyke, a seminarian, was the first and, at the time, only student. St. Norbert is the first and only institution of higher learning in the world sponsored by the Premonstratensian order. Pennings later started a commerce program at the college for lay students before retiring in 1955.

St. Norbert's second president, Dennis Burke, expanded the college, anticipating the student population would eventually reach 2,000. Robert Christin, who became president in 1968, implemented the current course system and the academic divisional structure. In 1973, Neil Webb, a former faculty member and vice president, became president. Webb established the first permanent endowment for the school. Serving as the college's president from 1983 to 2000, Thomas Manion led the expansion of facilities and the development of additional academic programs. Enrollment topped 2,000. Thomas Kunkel, former dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park, became the college's seventh president in 2008. Since then, the college has constructed the Mulva Family Fitness & Sports Center, the Gehl-Mulva Science Center, the Cassandra Voss Center, Michels Commons, Schneider Stadium, the Mulva Library, Gries Hall, Ariens Family Welcome Center and Todd Wehr Hall.

Brian J. Bruess, a 1990 graduate of St. Norbert College and former executive vice president and chief operating officer of St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota, became president in 2017.[6] Although he announced on November 1, 2019, that he would not continue as president after the end of the 2019–20 academic year,[7] uproar from the college community led to further discussion between Bruess and the SNC Board of Trustees that resulted in a multiyear contract.[8] Four members of the board, including the chair, resigned shortly thereafter.[9] In March 2022, Bruess announced his appointment as the inaugural president of the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University, beginning in July 2022. Kunkel returned to serve as interim president for the 2022-23 academic year.[10] Laurie Joyner became St. Norbert College's ninth president, and the college's first female president, in July 2023.[11]


Frederick and Patricia Baer Mall. Main Hall is in the background.

St. Norbert College offers undergraduate programs in more than 80 areas of study,[12] leading to a Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, or Bachelor of Business Administration degree. A Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree is also offered through a joint effort with the Bellin College of Nursing. The most popular undergraduate majors are business administration, biology, and education.[13] In addition to its undergraduate offerings, St. Norbert College offers three master's-level graduate programs in business administration, theological studies and liberal studies. The Master of Theological Studies department hosts a branch program in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where program studies take place at the Norbertine Abbey of Santa Maria de la Vid. Students on that campus can earn the full M.T.S. degree. In 2015, the college began offering an MBA program through its new Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics.[14] The Medical College of Wisconsin's Green Bay campus, which serves the northeast Wisconsin region, is in the new Gehl-Mulva Science Center at St. Norbert.[15]

In 2022, St. Norbert was ranked 117th among "National Liberal Arts Colleges" by U.S. News & World Report.[16] The college is also ranked 118th among "Liberal Arts Universities" in Forbes's 2019 list of America's Best Colleges.[17]

The Mulva Library provides digital and in-person reference services; hosts the Digital Commons, an institutional repository of documents, media, and other materials online;[18] and provides a makerspace with technologies for the academic community.[19] It is the home of the Center for Norbertine Studies, the international center of research on the Premonstratensians and Norbertines.[20] The library also holds the college archives[21] and the college's café (Ed's Café).[citation needed]


Old St. Joseph Church. Built in 1890.
Dudley Birder Hall. Formerly St. Boniface Church. Built in 1883.

The campus consists of 111 acres (45 ha), much of which borders the Fox River. As a residential campus, students typically walk to classes year-round. The many trees and statues on campus provide a scenic view, especially in fall, when the foliage changes colors. Directly behind the Campus Center is a pavilion and marina where St. Norbert hosts a picnic for students to kick off the school year. This shoreline area is also the venue for "Knights on the Fox" – a free summer concert series open to the community.[22]

Important social buildings include the Ray Van Den Heuvel Family Campus Center (Campus Center), which includes a fitness center, gymnasium, and diner (Phil's Diner) and a reading lounge with a picturesque view overlooking the Fox River. There is also an events hall for movies and public speakers. Special events put on by student groups are also held there, such as comedian appearances and awareness speeches.

Old St. Joseph Church, which is still an active church, was built in 1890 and renovated in 1998.[23][24] It is located on the site of a former mission chapel that was erected for early settlers by the French-born Jesuit priest Rev. Charles Albane in 1676. The chapel stood for nearly 200 years. An all-wood structure was built in 1870, but it burned to the ground after a lightning strike in 1889. It was rebuilt in its current form as a brick structure in 1890.[25] [26]The church contains a statue/shrine of Saint Joseph that was crowned by Pope Leo XIII in 1891. Novena devotions are held on Wednesday.[27]

The old St. Boniface Church (built in 1883) is owned by St. Norbert College. In 2013, it was renamed Dudley Birder Hall in honor of longtime St. Norbert College music professor, Dudley Birder. It was also converted into a performance arts center following a $1.7 million renovation.[28] It is now used for recitals, chamber concerts, Dudley Birder Chorale rehearsals, and public lectures.

Much of the campus is in what is now the St. Norbert College Historic District.

Student life

Student housing

About 86% of students live on campus in residence halls, apartments and townhouses.[29] St. Norbert requires all traditional undergraduate students not registered as commuters to live on campus. Freshman housing includes three traditional residence hall options: Madelaine-Lorraine Hall (co-ed), Sensenbrenner Hall (Co-ed), and Bergstrom Hall (co-ed Honors students). Campus housing options for sophomores include Mary Minahan McCormick Hall, Michels Hall, and Victor McCormick Hall. Upperclassmen enjoy single-person dorm rooms such as Burke Hall, the Townhouses and Carriage House (apartment-like housing), college-owned houses and college-owned apartments, including Gries, Xanten and Prémontré Halls.

Student involvement

There are more than 100 registered student clubs and organizations on campus. St. Norbert encourages its students to become involved in their community through community service and by participating in one of the 15 fraternities, sororities, and independent social groups. The school also has eight National Honor Society chapters, two student publications, and eight musical and performance ensembles. A major activity that St. Norbert students participate in is the annual "Into The Streets" community service project that provides service to organizations in De Pere and neighboring communities. This event is staffed by first-year students, staff and faculty, and is part of the First-Year Experience program.

In 2013, the old St. John's Lutheran Church (originally built in 1932) was reopened as the Cassandra Voss Center following a $2.7 million renovation.[30][31] It was named after former St. Norbert College student Cassandra Voss, who died in a car accident at age 21. Before her death, she was on track to become St. Norbert College's first student to graduate with a major in women's and gender studies.[32] The building now features offices, study space, performance space, a kitchen, a classroom, and a library. The Cassandra Voss Center offers a variety of programs "exploring intersectional issues of identity and inclusion" and "fostering dialogue on topics related to justice and identity including racism, sexism, homophobia, and classism".[33]   

Cassandra Voss Center. Formerly St. John's Lutheran Church. Built in 1932.

Greek life

Greek life at St. Norbert includes four sororities and three fraternities, as well as two Greek governing groups. Greek groups sponsor fund-raising activities, food drives, and benefits to support charities. Greek groups collectively completed a total of 2,117 hours of service and raised $9,638 for their respective philanthropies during the 2015–16 school year.[34]


There are three fraternities on the St. Norbert campus: Kappa Sigma (ΚΣ), Phi Delta Theta (ΦΔΘ), and Tau Kappa Epsilon (ΤΚΕ).[35]


There are four sororities on the St. Norbert campus: Alpha Xi Delta (ΑΞΔ), Delta Phi Epsilon (ΔΦΕ), Kappa Beta Gamma (ΚΒΓ), and Theta Phi Alpha (ΘΦΑ).[35]


Main article: St. Norbert Green Knights

The St. Norbert College Green Knights participate in NCAA Division III athletics and were members of the Midwest Conference from 1982 through the 2020–21 season. In fall 2021, they joined the Northern Athletic Collegiate Conference.[36] St. Norbert offers 23 varsity sports including: football, men's and women's volleyball, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's golf, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey, men's and women's swimming and diving, softball, baseball, men's and women's track and field, cheerleading, and dance.

The Green Knights men's hockey team has appeared in 19 NCAA Division III Tournaments since 1997. The team has 12 Frozen Four appearances and won the national championship in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2018, while placing as national runner-up in 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2016.[37]

The Green Knights football team has won 17 Midwest Conference championships since joining the league in 1984.[38]

The Green Bay Packers have conducted training camp on the St. Norbert campus since 1958, making this the NFL's longest training camp relationship between a team and school. In exchange, the Packers donate their used equipment and provide St. Norbert yearly grants.[39][40]

Notable alumni

Aerial view of St. Norbert College
St. Norbert College Main Hall. Built in 1903.


  1. ^ As of March 7, 2022. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2021 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY20 to FY21 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  2. ^ "College Navigator - Saint Norbert College".
  3. ^ "College Navigator - Saint Norbert College".
  4. ^ Member Directory. Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities.
  5. ^ "A Place in Your Story | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2023-04-23.
  6. ^ "Brian J. Bruess '90, Eighth President of St. Norbert College". St. Norbert College.
  7. ^ BeMiller, Haley. "St. Norbert College President Brian Bruess will step down at end of academic year". Press Gazette Media. Retrieved 2019-11-13.
  8. ^ "St. Norbert agrees to contract extension with Bruess". WBAY Action 2 News. November 22, 2019. Retrieved 22 November 2019.
  9. ^ BeMiller, Haley (December 2, 2019). "St. Norbert College board members, including Mulva and chairman, resign after president's contract renewal". Green Bay Press-Gazette. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  10. ^ Hurley, Scott (March 15, 2022). "St. Norbert College president Bruess leaving". FOX 11 News. Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  11. ^ "Laurie Joyner Appointed Next President of St. Norbert College | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2024-01-03.
  12. ^ "Programs and Degrees".
  13. ^ "Top Majors and Minors By Discipline". Retrieved 10 January 2020.
  14. ^ "A Schneider MBA Stands Apart – and Sets You Apart". St. Norbert College.
  15. ^ "Building the Future of Discovery". St. Norbert College. April 2, 2013.
  16. ^ "St. Norbert College Rankings". U.S. News & World Report. June 13, 2022. Retrieved June 13, 2022.
  17. ^ "America's Top Colleges". Forbes. 2019. Retrieved November 13, 2019.
  18. ^ "Digital Commons @ SNC". St. Norbert College. January 30, 2018.
  19. ^ "St. Norbert Plays in the Digital Sandbox". St. Norbert College. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  20. ^ "Center for Norbertine Studies". St. Norbert College. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  21. ^ "College Archives". St. Norbert College. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  22. ^ "Knights on the Fox | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  23. ^ "123 GRANT ST | Property Record". Wisconsin Historical Society. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  24. ^ "Old St. Joe's Church | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  25. ^ "Old St. Joe's Celebrates Its 150th Anniversary This Christmas | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  26. ^ PDF of "The History of Old St. Joseph Church and St. Norbert College Parish". Written by St. Norbert College.
  27. ^ "St. Norbert College Parish Prayer Requests | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  28. ^ "St. Norbert College Announces Dedication of New Dudley Birder Hall | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-05-29.
  29. ^ "Fast Facts". Retrieved 29 Jan 2021.
  30. ^ "About the Cassandra Voss Center | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  31. ^ "311 GRANT ST | Property Record". Wisconsin Historical Society. 2012-01-01. Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  32. ^ "Center Embodies Student Legacy | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  33. ^ "Cassandra Voss Center | LinkedIn". Retrieved 2022-06-10.
  34. ^ Patti Zarling (May 7, 2007). "Fraternities, sororities serious about service" (PDF). Green Bay Press-Gazette. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-06-02. Retrieved 2009-04-21.
  35. ^ a b "Greek Life and Social Groups | St. Norbert College". Retrieved 2020-02-24.
  36. ^ "St. Norbert Athletics to Join Northern Athletics Collegiate Conference".
  37. ^ "2018-19 Men's Hockey Yearbook" (PDF). St. Norbert College. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  38. ^ Lukes, Dan (November 10, 2018). "Defense Paces St. Norbert to 17th Midwest Conference Championship". St. Norbert College. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  39. ^ "Night Practices Continue For '07 Training Camp". Green Bay Packers. 2007-06-18. Archived from the original on 2007-07-07. Retrieved 2007-06-18.
  40. ^ Hodkiewicz, Wes (July 24, 2018). "Packers begin moving into dorms at St. Norbert College". Green Bay Packers, Inc. Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  41. ^ "Celebrating the Milestones in the Career of Tadashi Yamamoto on the Occasion of the Conferment of the Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon" (PDF). Japan Center for International Exchange. October 2011. Retrieved 2012-05-13.

44°26′43″N 88°04′07″W / 44.4453°N 88.0685°W / 44.4453; -88.0685