Answering the call - Norwich community sends textbooks to Iraq
When James Riley '95, Signal Company Commander with the 101st Airborne
Division currently serving in Mosul, Iraq, put out a call for used textbooks,
the Norwich community responded.
Charged with the task of restoring over 50 classrooms into functional
study halls and computer labs, Captain Riley faced a daunting challenge.
"Mosul University is the largest university in Northern Iraq
they are desperate for books on any subject," he said. When a request
came in from the head of the History Department at Mosul, Riley emailed
Norwich President Richard W. Schneider, outlining his predicament. "They
lost many books due to looting, and what books they did have were subject
to censorship under the former regime," he wrote.
Within days the word had spread throughout the Norwich community, and
by September 24, the last of 30 boxes - over 1300 books - was shipped
out. "The response from the University and the neighboring community
has been overwhelming," said Nicole DiDomenico, Norwich Director
of Volunteer Programs.
Norwich students, faculty and staff were not the only ones who responded.
"We had calls from Northfield residents and faculty retirees. There
was even a distance learning student from Colorado who sent a book after
reading about it on CLiC," said DiDomenico.
President Schneider was tremendously pleased with the outcome. "We
are thrilled to be able to support one of our alums serving overseas.
This is a wonderful example of the Norwich family stepping up to the plate
in a time of need," said the president.
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