No lack of fun at this year’s SNC day, Sept.22
By Lee Reinsch
DE PERE — Where else can you, in less than a third of a day:
• Learn 30 minutes of Arabic or American Sign Language
• Hear about the chemistry of chocolate
• See a 3D human dissection
• Try your skills at fleeing an escape room
• Learn about the power of worms
• See an illuminated manuscript of the St. John’s Bible
• Listen to three stages of music
• Much, (seriously) much more, and do it all in one place?
St. Norbert College Day lasts just 360 minutes, and the folks in charge of this Saturday’s event (Sept. 22) have crammed so much to do in such a short period that one might feel the need for a clone.
Since it’s the 10th annual St. Norbert College Day, and it also happens to be Family Weekend, the campus will be even more a hub of activity than it otherwise would be.
Some 20,000 people are expected to attend, according to Amy Sorenson, chief of staff at St. Norbert College.
“It’s a mixture of people from the community, alumni, and students, plus their families as as part of the mix,” Sorenson said.
Former SNC president Tom Kunkel launched the event a decade ago, modeling it after a similar event he experienced at the University of Maryland.
“He felt that it’s an outreach to the community,” Sorenson said. “So many times people drive or walk by the college and don’t feel like they’re welcome; they feel like we’re sort of an ivory tower, and he wanted to make sure people knew they were welcome here, to look at our beautiful grounds and be able to see all the things we offer.”
St. Norbert College Day is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., mostly on campus grounds.
“It’s a way of getting people from the community to our campus, getting them familiar with our buildings and all of the things we have to offer throughout the year,” Sorenson said.
All of the college’s buildings will host activities, and in honor of the event’s tenth birthday, the school’s mission and values will be a focus.
The Bush Art Center is displaying an 1,150-page illuminated reproduction of the St. John’s Bible commissioned by a Benedictine monastery.
It’s purported to be the first of its kind since Johannes Gutenberg came up with the printing press in 1439.
Illuminations are illustrations and hand-colored, often gold-leafed letters that stand out through their larger font size.
Two Norbertine priests, Father Jim Neilsen and Father Mike Brennan, will lead religious art and sculpture tours around the campus, and buses will shuttle guests a short ride over to St. Norbert Abbey for hour-long tours of the grounds.
There’ll be an art market featuring local and regional art, and a caricature artist sketching visitors right on the spot in the Sensenbrenner Hall Quad.
Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Art will host short films from the 2018 Green Bay Film Festival at Walter Theatre, and just the hall at Webb Theatre, Evergreen Theater performers will put on a free show of the play, “Lombardi,” by Thomas Morass at 2 p.m.
Visitors can learn how to dance the foxtrot, the cha-cha, the hustle and East Coast swing at Michels Commons Ballroom, with lessons by the Ballroom Dance Club.
The Medical College of Wisconsin will hold some pretty physical demonstrations at the Gehl-Mulva Science Center.
Those with strong stomachs can see actual human organs and the anatomage table, which features a three-dimensional dissection.
Those whose interests tend to lean more outside the body, such as in the environment and nature, can learn about growing their own food and the benefits of the lowly worm, at the Cassandra Voss Center.
Rumor has it that Smokey Bear will make an appearance.
A few more densely populated activities might thin the crowds during their duration – the 9:30 a.m. Don Schneider Memorial 5K Challenge Run that launches the day and usually draws some 400 participants, and the 1 p.m. St. Norbert Green Knights vs. Grinnell College football game at the 2,454-seat Schneider Stadium.
List of SNC Day events
Gazebo Music Stage on the Fox River
• 10 a.m.-noon – Big Mouth
• 12:30-2:30 p.m. – RPM
• 3-4:30 p.m. – Ants Marching
International Music Stage
• 10-11:30 a.m. – Sawdust Symphony
• Noon-2 p.m. – Doozey
• 2:30-4 p.m. – Listening Party
Dudley Birder Hall
• 1-3 p.m. – SNC’s Knights on Broadway
Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts
• Green Bay Film Festival shorts and documentaries
• 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – The play “Lombardi” (Note: tickets are needed for 7:30 p.m. performance www.snc.edu/tickets)
• 7 p.m. – Faculty and student fall concert
• 1 p.m. – Football – St. Norbert vs. Grinnell College
Elsewhere on campus throughout the day
• Boat rides on the River Tyme riverboat
• Segway tours of campus and the surrounding area (nominal charge)
• Religious Art and Sculpture Campus Tours
• Art market featuring local and regional artists
• Crew demonstration
• 16 lectures by St. Norbert faculty members on topics ranging from “The Science of a Happy Marriage” to “Find Your Roots and Add Branches to Your Family Tree.”
• Horse-drawn wagon rides through campus
• Tours of St. Norbert Abbey (transportation provided)
• Loads of kids’ activities, including inflatables, face-painting, a balloon artist, free-throw contest, shoot-on-the goalie and mini golf.
• Information about St. Norbert’s undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay program, housed at SNC
• Food marketplace, including several local food-truck favorites and beverages from Titletown Brewing.
• Don Schneider Memorial 5K Challenge Run
• Breakout rooms and the No Borders Virtual Reality Room
• The Automobile Gallery’s display of fully-restored vintage cars
• Health and wellness resources and activities, Tai Chi, CPR and self-defense
• 30-minute language classes
• Ballroom dance demos and classes
More in-depth info, organized by topics of interest, is at the St. Norbert College Day website, snc.edu/sncday/.