St. Norbert College move-in day brings back memories

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) The start of another school season is just around the corner at St. Norbert College in De Pere.

More than 500 freshmen arrived on campus for move-in day.

For one St. Norbert graduate, today was truly a walk down memory lane.

Outside Burke Hall this morning, Brian Bruess knew exactly how many parents were feeling.

"When we dropped our first child off to campus my wife cried for 42 days straight," Bruess told another parent.

He also shared a keen sense of what this moment was like for the young men and women leaving home for the first time.

"It was on these steps in 1986 where it was really quite awkward, I was standing here, my dad was here, my mom was here, and my mom was doing her best to say goodbye, my dad just wanted a handshake, and my mom pulled me down, gave each other a hug, she turned, they walked down that sidewalk, and I could see by the time they got to the curb she was bawling," Bruess recalled.

Inside the residence hall, Bruess found room 215.

"Except for these brand new, beautiful lofts, it is exactly the same," said Bruess.

And he met Nathan Rasmussen, one of two freshmen who will share the room Bruess called home 31 years ago.

"Do you know how high the pressure is on you, this is really intense, although your grandma told me that it should be no problem," Bruess told him with a smile.

Just a few months on the job, St. Norbert's eighth president and 1990 graduate admits today, helping the freshmen move in, is special.

"Coming back to a place you love so much and to see it so healthy, so vibrant, it's just a thrill, and I can see it in the new students' eyes today, they know this is the right place for them," said Bruess.

In the days and weeks to come, Bruess says it's his goal to make sure every new student feels valued and welcomed so they can flourish.

And he wants them to know that he used to be one of them.

"Absolutely, I was. If I can do it, anybody can do it, right?" said Bruess with a hearty laugh.

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