Former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon Sullivan named Norwich Commencement speaker

President Schneider with General SullivanNorwich University has announced that General Gordon Russell Sullivan USA (ret.) will be the speaker at the school's 185th commencement ceremony, on May 9th at 10:30 a.m. in the Shapiro Fieldhouse. Sullivan, who led a distinguished military career, is a 1959 graduate of Norwich and currently serves as the Chairman of the university's Board of Trustees.

Sullivan served as Army Chief of Staff from June 1991 to June 1995. During his tenure as Chief of Staff, Sullivan presided over fundamental transformations in the Army following the liberation of Kuwait. He oversaw new peacekeeping missions across the globe, and led the Army into the information age. He retired from active service in 1995, and now serves at the President of the Association of the United States Army.

A highly decorated soldier, General Sullivan's military honors include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Army Commendation Medal (with Oak Leaf Cluster), Defense Superior Service Medal, Army Achievement Medal, and Combat Infantryman Badge.

"I was filled with pride when the decision was made to have General Gordon Sullivan as this year's commencement speaker," said Norwich President Richard Schneider. "General Sullivan is a proven leader with a great vision for the future. I am certain that he will be able to give words of inspiration and guidance to members of the graduating class which will help them as they head out into the world to begin their various careers."

General Sullivan is the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Association of the United States Army, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. He assumed his current position at the Association in February 1998.

Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Sullivan was commissioned a second lieutenant of Armor after being awarded a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Norwich University in 1959. He holds a Master of Arts degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire. His professional military education includes the US Army Armor School Basic and Advanced Courses, the Command and General Staff College, and the Army War College.

General Sullivan retired from the Army on 31 July 1995 after more than 36 years of active service. He culminated his service in uniform as the 32nd Chief of Staff - the senior general officer in the Army - and a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As the Chief of Staff of the Army, he created the vision and led the team that transitioned the Army from its Cold War posture.

He is the co-author, with Michael V. Harper, of "Hope Is Not a Method" (Random House, 1996), which chronicles the enormous challenges encountered in transforming the post-Cold War Army through the lens of proven leadership principles and a commitment to shared values. He serves on the boards of several major corporations, including Newell-Rubbermaid and Shell Oil. He is also a director of the Institute of Defense Analyses and the Chairman Emeritus of the Marshall Legacy Institute.

During his Army career, General Sullivan also served as Vice Chief of Staff (June 1990-June 1991); Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations and Plans (July 1989-June 1990); Commanding General, 1st Infantry Division (Mechanized), Fort Riley, Kansas (June 1988-July 1989); Deputy Commandant, U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas (March 1987-June 1988); and Assistant Commandant, U.S. Army Armor School, Fort Knox, Kentucky (November 1983-July 1985). His overseas assignments included four tours in Europe, two in Vietnam and one in Korea.

by Mark Albury
March 2004

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