First Norwich MBA class graduates

procession of MBA graduatesNorwich University celebrated the graduation of the University's first class of MBA students on Friday, August 8, 2003. Sixty-three students from the United States, Canada and France received their Master degree at the event.

The Norwich online MBA program began in September 2001 and has been met with positive response from students and business professionals.

"I have found the Norwich University MBA program to be intellectually challenging, professionally cogent, and exceedingly rewarding," said Charles Enger, one of this year's graduates. "The faculty is top-draw, having both an impressive academic background as well as real-world experience in each of their fields."

Professor Paula Gills opened the ceremony with the singing of the National Anthem. Professor Gills was followed by University Chaplain Bill Wick, who gave the opening prayer. The keynote speaker was Norwich University President Richard W. Schneider, who addressed an audience of graduates, their friends and families, and members of the University faculty who gathered in the University's White Memorial Chapel.

President Schneider addresses graduating class in White Chapel"For over 184 years, Norwich University has been an institution dedicated to a tradition of academic excellence. Today, each of you become a part of that tradition."

The Valedictorian of this year's graduating class, Shawn Bryan (NU '70), also addressed his classmates. The ceremony was followed by a dinner for the graduates and their families, hosted by the university in Harmon Hall.

The Norwich University online MBA program is an 18-month program consisting of six seminars, each lasting approximately 11 weeks, with a 2-week break in between seminars. Students are placed into small online classes of 12 students and work together in the same group throughout the 18 months. At the end of the program, all students attend a week-long residency on the Norwich University campus, where they connect with the physical campus, learn about Norwich's proud history of academic excellence, and participate in conferences and seminars before their experience in the program culminates in the graduation ceremony.

During this year’s residency, students participated in seminars and group discussions where they addressed issues influencing today’s business, such as economic globalization and corporate ethics. Guest speakers for these sessions included Norwich University Trustees Douglas McCracken '70, the Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Consulting and Chairman of Deloitte & Touche, and Larry Wesneski '70, the President, Chairman and CEO of the investment banking firm of Hoak Breedlove Wesneski & Company.

MBA graduate"In designing this program, we sought to couple a dynamic online learning experience with a genuine camaraderie of students and pride in the institution. Based upon the feedback of this residency, I think we have succeeded," said Dr. Fred Snow, Dean of Distance Education & New Business Initiatives. "If education is going to move towards distance delivery, and it is, this approach will be vital for the institutions of tomorrow."

Since the MBA program began in September 2001, enrollment figures have increased from an inaugural class of 63 students to over 200 students currently enrolled.

dmudgett@norwich.edu, August 2003

What's New | 2003 News Archive