Honored to be first US Institution to host ISOMA
Norwich University is the nation’s oldest private military college. Founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge, its mission is “To give our youth an education that shall be American in its character — to enable them to act as well as to think — to execute as well as to conceive — ‘to tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them’ — to make moral, patriotic, efficient, and useful citizens, and to qualify them for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen of this free republic.”
Norwich University holds a very special place in the nation’s landscape of higher education. Captain Partridge believed the ideal education was a practical, scientific and liberal one which prepares youth for the responsibilities of peace and war. He was convinced by the lessons of history, both ancient and modern, that a well-trained citizen-soldiery was the best defense of a republic because citizen-soldiers “identified in views, in feelings, and in interests, with the great body of the community.” He created a novel program that combined civilian liberal arts and theoretical and practical military studies in order to produce educated and useful citizen-soldiers mentally and physically fit. He pioneered experiential learning, adopting field training as a regular and important extension of theory learned in the classroom, and laid the foundation for the creation of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corp (ROTC).
Now over 200 years later, Norwich’s brand continues to reflect Captain Partridge’s vision and values and its reputation for preparing leaders to serve in the military, government and business is renown. There are less than 40 American institutions of higher learning as old as Norwich University and fewer still that continue to adhere to the educational principles of its founder. Partridge’s educational philosophy continues to guide Norwich University and serves as a touchstone by which the university can be measured and appraised.
There are more than 3,500 colleges and universities in the United States, but there is only one Norwich. It is a unique academic community that stresses a dynamic yet structured learning environment, self-discipline, a dedication to the concept of the citizen-soldier, and a commitment to the motto, “I Will Try.”