Lifelong Learner Spreads Passion
When Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Life must be lived and curiosity kept alive," she could have been referring to Carol De Groot. Throughout her life, Carol has remained open to the possibility offered by the next experience. How else could she have gone from serving as a Franciscan nun to becoming a world-traveling grandmother? Her path has been filled with a willingness to respond positively to what might come next, and each step has provided an opportunity for education and learning. In that spirit, Carol has committed to extending the opportunity to learn and keep curiosity alive for current and future St. Norbert College students through the Carol R. De Groot Endowed Scholarship Fund, which will aid students who have a passion for the environment and a strong interest in serving their community.
Carol, a 1962 graduate of St. Norbert College, has loved learning, both as an educator and as a student. She has many fond memories of elementary school at St. Joseph's in De Pere, including Abbot Pennings officiating the Mass in which she received her first Holy Communion. Carol committed to becoming a nun at age 18 and was a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc for seven years. At age 25, she decided to leave the Franciscan Sisters and enrolled in the education program at St. Norbert College. As a teacher, she inspired elementary, middle and high school students for almost 40 years. At age 47, she earned her Master of Environmental Arts & Sciences degree from the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay and served as an ad hoc professor, teaching science methods to education students.
Carol's interests in education, the environment and social justice steered her life in many directions. After college she got married, and as a parent she challenged her five daughters and cultivated their sense of wonder. The De Groot family hosted 14 exchange students (10 from Sophia University in Japan) between 1972 and 1988, exemplifying the value Carol places on understanding other cultures as a way to promote communio.
Carol has traveled with her daughters and grandchildren, individually, on nine international science expeditions through the Earthwatch Institute, an international nonprofit organization that brings science to life for people concerned about the Earth's future. They studied leatherback turtles in Trinidad, African elephants in Kenya, humpback whales and bottlenose dolphins in the Pacific Ocean, and tropical rain forests in Costa Rica, and conducted archaeological digs in Italy and Mallorca.
Carol is a role model and an inspiration. She has been a longtime community volunteer as a tutor for the Literacy Center, a member of the League of Women Voters, past president of People for People (an organization that supports student scholarships) and a student in the Lifelong Learning Institute. She is a member of Amicale Francaise and currently teaches French classes once a month at the Aging & Disability Resource Center. Carol is also a member of JOSHUA, a coalition of faith groups working on social issues like prison reform, immigration, and environmental issues. She has also volunteered at Santa Maria Nursing Home for 21 years.
Carol believes "Catholic, educated persons are the wealth of the church," and sees St. Norbert College as an integral part of the greater Green Bay community.
In addition to her scholarship, Carol has also included St. Norbert College in her estate plan by establishing a charitable gift annuity. This gracious gesture ensures that her legacy will live on and the college that she loves will continue to thrive.
To join Carol in her gracious giving, please contact Lisa Vanden Avond ’82 at 920.403.3059 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll help you get started on creating a plan that protects the people and causes in your life.