Norwich University 2003 Commencement
Members of the Norwich University Class of 2003 officially ended their time as undergraduates at the nation's oldest private military college on Sunday, May 11, at the university's Commencement ceremony. The class of 278 students, comprised of civilians and members of the university's Corps of Cadets, participated in the ceremony before an audience of family, friends, faculty and university staff.
President Schneider welcomed the crowd of 4,500 guests and spoke to the graduating class of the important role Norwich alumni continue to play after their time on "the Hill" is finished.
"You are the future of Norwich. You hold our reputation in your hands -- 184 years of tradition. Care for it carefully, for many have gone before you, and we stand on their shoulders today."
President Schneider then introduced the Commencement speaker, US Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.). Sen. Leahy addressed the audience on the subject of "The Use Of American Power In A Unipolar World."
The Senator was also the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree, which was presented to him in recognition of his decades-long commitment to Vermont and the Nation, as well as his unwavering support of Norwich University and the school's mission to produce ethical, dedicated citizens and future leaders.
Leahy was elected to the United States Senate in 1974 and remains the only Democrat elected to this office from Vermont. He ranks eighth in seniority in the Senate. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, Leahy is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee's Subcommittee on Foreign Operations and also sits on its Defense, Interior, Homeland Security, VA-HUD and Commerce-Justice-State subcommittees.
"You are all examples of the promise that America offers the world," said Vermont's senior Senator. "Your degrees from this great university will open doors that others will find closed. It will give you a chance to serve your country and to put your hands to the wheel of history in ways that can change the future. May you have the good fortune to find yourselves, first by losing yourselves, in causes bigger than yourselves."
Following the senator's speech, Hubert Maultsby, Provost and Dean of Faculty, introduced the class Valedictorian, Cadet Aida Martinez.
"Norwich University has set us up for success and has instilled in us a confidence we did not possess when we first walked through those gates," said Martinez.
In addition to the degree presented to Senator Leahy, Joseph Milano, Jr. '66, the outgoing Vice-Chairman of the Norwich University Board of Trustees, was also presented with an honorary degree: Doctor of Public Service. Milano has been an active and enthusiastic supporter of his alma mater for many years, having served as president of the Norwich Club of Boston, director and vice president of the Alumni Association and is a member of the university's Board of Fellows. He has been a Trustee for 19 years. Milano is president and CEO of Union Oyster House, both the oldest restaurant in Boston, Mass., and the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the United States.
"This honor marks the pinnacle of my career at Norwich University. My life's mission since my graduation almost forty years ago has been to serve the nation, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and my community, as well as volunteerism as a trustee," said Milano. "I am profoundly moved and honored."
email@example.com, May 2003