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.

dweggler@norwich.edu, September 2003

What's New | 2003 News Archive