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Travis Morris
Director, Peace & War Center
Executive Director, Symposium
Associate Professor, Criminal Justice

Megan Liptak
Assistant Director – Research Centers

THE PRITZKER MILITARY MUSEUM & LIBRARY is proud to partner with Norwich University to help solidify the university as a regional center on military history and affairs. As both a private university and a non-government organization, Norwich and the Museum & Library share strong stakes in the study of military history and affairs as they have a deep impact on the character of who we are as a country. Together, the Museum & Library and Norwich build awareness of the importance of study of military history and affairs and the role of the military in a democracy.

Pritzker Military Museum and Library Logo The Museum & Library’s sponsorship of Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium helps further promote it as a world-class forum that features established and emerging scholars in the field of military history and affairs. In addition, by bringing William E. Colby Award winners to Chicago to be featured on the Museum & Library’s television series Pritzker Military Presents, the Museum & Library draws greater attention to the Award and drives Norwich University’s message and mission into another region.

The Pritzker Military Museum & Library is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Open to the public, the Museum & Library features an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military that are available to visitors in person and online. Opened in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library is a center where citizens and service members come together to learn about military history and affairs. Each year, the Museum & Library awards the prestigious Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing to recognize a living author who has made a lifetime contribution to the understanding of military history affairs. The Museum & Library is a living memorial to current and former service members and their families and is supported by its members and sponsors.


  • Colby Award Frequently Asked Questions

    Question: Do you accept self-published books?Answer: Yes. However, per our guidelines, we do not accept self-nominations. To be eligible, a self-published book must be nominated by someone other than the author. For example, an editor, another author, or subject-matter expert Read More
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The Colby Award is named for William E. Colby, a notable American intelligence officer and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Mission/History of the Symposium

The Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium was designed to expose students, faculty, alumni and the public to the works and views of authors, historians, journalists, and national figures. It aspires to educate, enlighten, and inspire.

The program was originally conceived by former Norwich president MG Russell Todd ’50, USA (Ret.) as a way to bring influential writers to the campus of Norwich University. In 1996, Norwich hosted a small, prestigious group of writers on campus for a two-day series of lectures and panel discussions. Among them was ambassador and former C.I.A. Director William E. Colby, prolific military fiction writer W.E.B. Griffin, military historian and biographer Carlo D’Este ’59, and Philip Caputo, Vietnam memoirist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. The event was initially known as the Norwich University Military Writers’ Symposium.

William Colby died unexpectedly shortly after that first event, prompting the university to rename the experimental program the William E. Colby Writers’ Symposium in April 1997 to honor the Norwich honorary degree recipient. In 2019, to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the program during Norwich’s bicentennial year, the program reclaimed its original name. Now a program of the Peace and War Center, the symposium and the William E. Colby Award hold a unique place among Norwich’s most celebrated annual traditions.

Since 1996, the symposium has grown to the national prominence it enjoys today, hosting hundreds of military writers, historians, and biographers, and confronting difficult and important issues central to the public’s understanding. Once a single event, the program has evolved to year-round experiences to expand students’ experiential learning.

The symposium is the only program of its kind in existence at an American university. It has brought some of the most prominent military, intelligence, and international affairs writers and historians of our time to central Vermont and Norwich University.


Pritzker Military Museum and Library Logo

and with support from

NU Military Writers’ Associates

Experience the Symposium
Don’t see what you’re looking for? Need assistance with accessibility or transcriptions? Email colby@norwich.edu.

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