DE PERE — The campus at St. Norbert College would normally be buzzing with excitement at the beginning of training camp.
Each season the Packers would move into the dorms for three weeks. It was a tradition that began in 1958 and is the longest such partnership in the NFL.
Vince Lombardi took over in 1959 and formed a quick friendship with former St. Norbert College president Father Burke. Lombardi grew up a devout Catholic and quickly became fond of the campus.
During this era, it wasn't uncommon to see local kids running errands for stars like Paul Hornung, Bart Starr, and Ray Nitschke.
St. Norbert College interim president Tom Kunkel said in recent years, the training camp offered a throwback feel that fits perfectly with the Packers being a very community-oriented franchise.
The school and the Packers were forced to put the tradition on hiatus during the pandemic.
Despite the recent break in tradition, the Packers and the college are working together to make sure the players get that bonding experience in the years to come.
Kunkel said he's talked with Packers president Mark Murphy and is encouraged about what's to come.
"We're doing some renovations in some of our dorms and I know that he is very interested in actually having the Packers staying on campus," said Kunkel.