coeducational. The school currently enrolls about 2,180 students.
4Student life4.1Student involvement
4.2.3Independent social groups
St. Norbert College was established when Abbot Bernard Pennings, a Dutch immigrant priest from the Premonstratensian Berne Abbeyof Heeswijk, the Netherlands, founded the college to train young men for the priesthood. Frances I. Van Dyke, a seminarian, was the first and, at the time, the only student. St. Norbert is the first and only institution of higher learning in the world sponsored by the Premonstratensian order. Abbot Pennings later started a commerce program at the college for lay students before retiring in 1955.
St. Norbert’s second president, the 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 seventh president of the college in 2008. Since then, the college has constructed the Mulva Family Fitness and Sports Center, Gehl-Mulva Science Center, Cassandra Voss Center, Michels Commons, Schneider Stadium, Mulva Library, Gries Hall, Ariens Family Welcome Center and Todd Wehr Hall.
St. Norbert College offers undergraduate programs in more than 40 areas of study, 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, Teacher-Education, and Communication. In addition to its undergraduate offerings, St. Norbert College offers three masters-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. Program studies take place at the Norbertine Abbey of Santa Maria de la Vid in Albuquerque. Students on that campus can earn the full MTS degree. In the fall of 2015, the college began offering an MBA program through its new Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics. The Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus, which serves the northeast Wisconsin region, is located in the new Gehl-Mulva Science Center at St. Norbert.
St. Norbert College has a student-to-faculty ratio of 13.5:1 and an average class size of 20. Regardless of their major, students enrolled at St. Norbert College complete a 12-course (48 credit) Core Curriculum Program that emphasizes writing and the liberal arts. The school places an emphasis on its honors program, student-faculty collaborative research (as early as freshman and sophomore years), professional internships and study abroad.
Since 1991, St. Norbert was ranked as one of the top five comprehensive (bachelor’s-level) colleges in the Midwest by U.S.News & World Report. In 2008, St. Norbert moved into the national liberal arts colleges category and is now ranked 127th of the 264 schools in the nationwide category. The college is also listed among the “Best in the Midwest” by the Princeton Review, and is ranked 113th out of 650 by Forbes on their list of America’s Best Colleges.
Mulva Library provides digital and in-person reference services; hosts the Digital Commons, an institutional repository of documents, media, and other materials online;and provides a makerspace with technologies for the academic community. It is the home of the Center for Norbertine Studies, the international center of research on the Premonstratensians and Norbertines. The library also holds the college archives.