Bruess Given a Warm Welcome


Homecoming and Heritage Week saw many new events occur this year in celebration of the history of St. Norbert College. Whether it was the humorous cannonball competition or the exhilarating football game, the organizers of Homecoming Week set out to offer something for all SNC students during its celebration of 119 years of the only Norbertine institution of higher education in the world.

This year, St. Norbert College also had the opportunity to celebrate the inauguration of its new president this year. Dr. Brian Bruess was selected in the spring semester of 2017 as its eighth president and returned to SNC this semester to assume that role.

President Bruess and his wife, Dr. Carol Bruess, were celebrated and welcomed in the midst of Homecoming Week on Wednesday, Oct. 11. The special day began for the couple, along with their children Tony and Gracie, with a 12:30 p.m. Mass at Saint Norbert Abbey. The Inaugural Mass had a high turnout, with family and friends of the Bruess family, in addition to many students, faculty, staff and alumni there to help the family celebrate. Saint Norbert College’s Chamber Singers began the ceremony, all while a parade of Norbertines, family members, and the honored couple entered the Abbey. Reverend Jay Fostner delivered an extremely heartfelt and at times comedic homily based on this year’s school theme of “Fiat Lux.” All of the readings also touched on the topic of light to reflect this same theme. After the Celebration Mass had ended, attendees received an hour before the next part of the celebration began.

The inauguration ceremony of President Bruess began at 2:30 p.m. in the Walter Theater of the Abbot Pennings Hall of Fine Arts. The faculty of SNC were in attendance, along with  representatives of every student organization. Other students, along with family and friends of the Bruess family, staff members of the college’s various departments, alumni and local community members, all filed into the Walter Theater to hear speeches of officials from other universities, members of the community and President Bruess. Speakers ranged from Associate Professor of Teacher Education Omobolade Delano-Oriaran to De Pere mayor Michael Walsh, to the Bishop David Ricken of the Diocese of Green Bay. President Bruess delivered an inaugural address that delivered both heart and humor and in which he ensured those listening that he was ready to give his heart to Saint Norbert College. After the inauguration, all were welcome to attend a reception with light refreshments in front of Main Hall, where President Bruess and his family greeted those in attendance.

Saint Norbert College welcomes you, President Bruess! Students, faculty, and staff are thrilled to have such a hilarious, humble and level-headed man as our President. This writer is assured that as long as we have such a luminary for our school that the events, community and future of St. Norbert College will be filled with light. Congratulations, President Bruess! Welcome home.


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