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With the future in mind


Patricia Schneider visits with attendees following the ceremony to kick off construction of the Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall
Patricia Schneider visits with attendees following the ceremony to kick off construction of the Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall. The Schneider family has been a large benefactor for the college. Kris Leonhardt photo

By Kris Leonhardt

Editor-in-chief

DE PERE – With the future in mind, St. Norbert College (SNC) held a ground-breaking ceremony on Monday, May 13, to mark the beginning of construction of the Donald and Patricia Schneider Family Hall — future home of the Donald J. Schneider School of Business and Economics — on the former site of Pennings Activity Center/High School.

During the event, SNC Board of Trustees Chair Fred Schmidt said that the project was a component for seeing the institution into the future, as the college also works to close up a $5 million projected deficit for the 2025 fiscal year.

“First, taking the appropriate steps to ensure that we can live within our means,” Schmidt said.

“And second, implementing strategies for revenue diversification, innovation and growth. These strategies include curricular innovation spearheaded by our faculty in the School of Business to ensure our offerings meet both the needs and interests of tomorrow’s students.

Donald & Patricia Schneider's son, Paul, addresses the crowd at the May 13 groundbreaking held on the St. Norbert College campus. Kris Leonhardt photo
Donald & Patricia Schneider’s son, Paul, addresses the crowd at the May 13 groundbreaking held on the St. Norbert College campus. Kris Leonhardt photo

“And most significant the growth we see in this new facility will attract and welcome additional students and community members alike.

“It is invigorating to be together on a day that points forward to our future with conviction that we will continue the legacy of our college that has been built over the past 125 years.”

The 45,000-square-foot facility will house classrooms and workspaces, which the college said are “designed to foster contemporary learning.”

“It will also provide space for executive education and conferencing opportunities, and a connected terrace for gatherings along the Fox River. This dynamic space will be the hub for the college’s undergraduate and graduate business and economics programs, including data analytics and a new sports management program launched last fall,” a St. Norbert release stated.

“I appreciate the intentionality and care taken to integrate markers of our Catholic identity throughout the building, as well as honoring the Norbertine spirit of ‘ever ancient, ever new’ by incorporating key elements of the former Abbot Pennings High School into Schenider Family Hall. All who will benefit from this new building are grateful to Tom Kunkel for his leadership and securing the generous gift that supports it,” said SNC President Laurie Joyner

The project was possible due to a major gift from the Donald and Patricia Schneider family, who were also significant donors for the Donald J. Schneider Stadium and to the college’s endowment.

A rendering of the future Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall. SNC image
A rendering of the future Donald & Patricia Schneider Family Hall. SNC image

Don Schneider was the president/CEO and chairman of Schneider National before his death.

He was an SNC student and trustee, as well as an adjunct instructor in finance and business administration.

“This isn’t just about the Schneider family. There are a lot of families who have supported the college over the years and names that we see on buildings. For those of you that know us, this is not a comfortable place to have our names with thousands of cars that are going to drive by it every day,” said the Schneider’s son, Paul.

“At the end of the day, this is about the future, about students that are going to have great classroom spaces to learn. It’s about faculty who are going to have offices and be able to work with those students and it is also for the community to have this place to be able to meet and celebrate what I think is just a wonderful place.”

Schneider Family Hall is expected to be completed in the fall of 2025.

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