School of Graduate Studies
Residency Week 2007 sights & sounds © July 9, 2007 Norwich University Office of Communications
For students of the Norwich University School of Graduate Studies (SGS), the institution is a place they constantly interact with on their computer screens and over their phone lines.
However, in past weeks they traveled from all over the world to the Northfield, Vt., campus for the annual Residency Week Conference, which took place from June 17 through 22.
Residency week is a time of presenting thesis projects and taking capstone courses, but it's also a time when many students meet each other and see their campus for the first time. It was here that Norwich became their alma mater in a real sense.
The conference closed with a commencement ceremony in front of a near-capacity crowd in Shapiro Field House. Addressing the crowd, Norwich University President Richard Schneider offered the following quote from President Harry Truman as a gift to the graduating students. ‘Men make history and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.’
“That's what I need you to do,” Schneider added. “That's what the nation needs you to do. That's what the world needs you to do.”
The ceremony's guest speaker was Dr. Jane Holl Lute, Assistant Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations. The department she oversees is responsible for mounting and sustaining peacekeeping operations worldwide. A retired U.S. Army officer, Lute taught at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and served in Operation Desert Storm.
“You are now part of the Norwich tradition,” Lute told the graduating class. “A special tradition, which where I come from, is well known.” Lute also congratulated Norwich for having, “the good sense to recognize men and women of your caliber and attract them here.”
The school has been successful in attracting students. Last year, the SGS program conferred more diplomas than the University's undergraduate program, by a slim margin.
This year the undergraduate program graduated 381 students while the SGS program graduated 446. This meteoric growth in the University’s graduate school enrollment is reflected in the fact that planning has already begun for next year's Residency Week Conference, when the number of graduates is expected to nearly double.
“If the numbers of students we're currently expecting to graduate stays the same, we're looking at three weeks of conferences next year,” said Debra Wick, associate dean of the School of Graduate Studies.