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President Thomas Kunkel retires from St. Norbert College

St. Norbert College has announced that Thomas Kunkel will be its Commencement speaker on Sunday, May 14, 2017, at 1:30 p.m. in the new Mulva Family Fitness and Sports Center on the college’s campus. Kunkel and his wife, Deb, will receive honorary degrees, as will James and Miriam Mulva.

Mr. Kunkel will retire as president of St. Norbert College on May 31, 2017, when he will have served nine years in the position.

Mr. Kunkel recently wrote the critically acclaimed biography “Man in Profile: Joseph Mitchell of The New Yorker.” He will continue his writing career after the presidency, and he intends for his first project to be a “short and accessible” biography of the college’s namesake and patron, St. Norbert of Xanten. Mr. Kunkel is the author or editor of six other books.

During his tenure at St. Norbert College, Mr. Kunkel has overseen the construction and renovation of more than $130 million in campus facilities and infrastructure, including the Gehl-Mulva Science Center and its South Teaching Wing; Michels Commons; Schneider Stadium; the Mulva Library; Gries Hall; the Ariens Family Welcome Center; Todd Wehr Hall; Dudley Birder Hall; the Cassandra Voss Center; and the new Mulva Family Fitness and Sports Center, a state-of-the-art facility scheduled to open in May. The college’s enrollments have reached record levels on Mr. Kunkel’s watch, as has the academic profile of its student body; the 2016 class is the most ethnically diverse in school history.

Mr. Kunkel is a member of the Green Bay Packers Board of Directors, Associated Bank’s regional advisory board, and board chair of the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. For three years he served as chair of the Presidents’ Council of the Midwest Conference.

Before coming to St. Norbert, Mr. Kunkel served for eight years as dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland.