Expect Challenge. Achieve Distinction.

Let’s Celebrate the Class of 2020 Together on Saturday, September 12, 2020 at 2 p.m. EDT

Shapiro may be empty, but our hearts are full

With unprecedented challenges before us, we have never been more proud of you, our Norwich graduates. The world needs your strength, talent, grit, and compassion now more than ever. Take with you the leadership and readiness skills you have honed at Norwich — semper paratus — always be ready. You are well prepared to serve. We are proud.

Congratulations, Norwich class of 2020!

MAY 2, 2020

Sept. 12, 2020— Virtual Commencement

We came together virtually to recognize and celebrate the Class of 2020 in a virtual Commencement Ceremony after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation of the scheduled in-person ceremony in May.

Live Recording

MAY 2, 2020

May 2, 2020—President Schneider

President Schneider's heartfelt reflection on missing you, his last graduating class under his 28-year presidency at Norwich.

Video

MAY 2, 2020—Alumni welcome

Welcome to the Norwich family!

Your time on The Hill may have been cut short, but your connection to all that is Norwich has just begun.

Video

VIRTUAL CEREMONY

2020 Virtual Commissioning Ceremony

President Schneider and RADM Dan MacDonnell '85 recognize the commissioning class of 2020.

Video

COACHES

For Our Student Athletes

From empty Sabine Field, President Schneider expresses his deep gratitude and loss. Coaches offer parting advice and thanks.

Video

SENIOR SLIDESHOW

A Look Back

Surprise! What you would have seen on the big screen as you entered Shapiro Field House. Thanks for the memories.

Slideshow

TRI-SERVICE

Tri-Service Awards

Special salutes, all in the line of service. These awards honor students for leadership in our four military branches.

Awards

RESEARCH

2020 Research and Creativity

2020 Celebration of Excellence in Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.

Recognition

FACEBOOK

Notes to you on Facebook

Alumni extend their words of wisdom, and humor, to the graduating class of 2020.

Advice

FRAMES

Custom NU Facebook Frames

Let’s cover the Norwich family’s Facebook profile pictures with messages of congratulations.

Pride

Special letter from Provost Sandra G. Affenito (PDF 371KB)

2020

Virtual Commencement Program

From the Director of Alumni & Family Relations

On September 12th we will recognize the achievements of the Class of 2020 with a virtual commencement ceremony. Though they will not be able to walk the stage this year, Norwich President Mark C. Anarumo has extended an invitation for the class to do so at any future commencement until all members of the Class of 2020 have received that recognition. Perhaps some will wait until 2070 when they will celebrate commencement and enter the Old Guard in the same year!

Help welcome and celebrate our newest alumni!

Alumni: If you are interested in meeting the new grads in your area, let me know and we’ll help you connect with them.

Class of 2020: Your Norwich email address will expire at the end of October. Use this form to update your contact info now so we can invite you to alumni events and help you network and connect with other alumni and classmates wherever you go.


Weekend Schedule

Family and guests are invited to join their graduates at all weekend ceremonies, awards and recognition events, College receptions and open houses, and the Baccalaureate Community Worship Service on Friday evening.

Senior Dinner and all rehearsals are for graduates only.

For students in the online bachelor’s degree completion programs, find your commencement details here.

Weekend Schedule

Plan Your Visit

Norwich University is located at 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, Vt. The Alumni Office maintains a comprehensive list of area accommodations. Do not hesitate to ask hotels if they offer discounted rates for friends and family attending Norwich University Commencement and Commissioning.

Google Map view:

Tickets and Seating

Due to the size of this year’s graduating class, ALL seats for Commencement 2020 will be ticketed and must be reserved in advance.

Commencement ticket reservation will be open to graduating students beginning April 1, 2020 through April 22, 2020. Students will be responsible for logging in to the ticketing request site with their Norwich credentials to reserve tickets. Students will be able to request up to five (5) tickets for their families and guests.

An additional, limited number of seats will be available for reservation by the public beginning April 1, 2020 through April 22, 2020. Anyone (including families and guests of graduates) may request up to three (3) tickets for seating in Shapiro Fieldhouse. Tickets may be requested by emailing the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and providing the following information:

  • Requestor’s Name
  • Requestor’s Email Address
  • Requestor’s Phone Number
  • Number of Tickets Requested (limit 3) 
  • Accessibility Requests (if applicable to anyone in your party)

Ticket requests will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please be aware that requests received prior to April 1, 2020 will not be processed.

Tickets will be sent to the email address provided and must be printed and brought with guests to the venue.

Note: At the close of the Commencement ceremony, Norwich Artillery Battery will fire a Pack Howitzer cannon outside the venue. For guests with noise sensitivities, please consider reserving seats on the right side of the venue away from the main doors.

Tickets are required for entry and re-entry to Shapiro Fieldhouse and for all seating at Saturday’s Commencement ceremony. Tickets are numbered and correspond to individual seats in Shapiro Fieldhouse seating areas. Ushers will be available to assist guests in locating their seats. Guests who do not have tickets for seating in Shapiro Fieldhouse are invited to celebrate at either of two satellite viewing locations in Mack Hall Auditorium or in the Abare Dining Room in Wise Campus Center. Commencement will be livestreamed in both locations at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

The ROTC Joint Commissioning Ceremony and individual branch commissioning ceremonies are not ticketed. Tickets are not required for children who will be seated in an adult’s lap.

For additional information, please visit our FAQ page or contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. directly.

Accessible Seating for Guests with Disabilities and Limited Mobility

Guests using wheelchairs who have reserved tickets will be seated in the chair or space corresponding to their ticket. For ease of access, it is recommended that students reserve an aisle seat for guests using wheelchairs.

Note: One section of reserved seating is bleacher seating. While these seats provide guests a higher vantage point from which to view the ceremony, bleacher seating is not easily accessible by guests with disabilities and/or limited mobility, and bleacher seats do not have backs. Students should plan accordingly when reserving seats in the bleachers.

Memorabilia & Gifts

Announcements & War Whoop Tributes: Graduation announcements and War Whoop yearbook tributes may be ordered directly through Jostens.

Gifts: The Norwich University Bookstore and the Norwich Alumni Office offer a wide array of gifts, including diploma frames and commemorative Bicentennial items. The bookstore is located on the ground floor of Wise Campus Center and will be open the following hours during Commencement and Commissioning weekend:

Friday, May 1, 2020 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 2, 2020 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 3, 2020 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Graduation Photos: Official graduation portraits are taken at the Commencement ceremony, directly after graduates receive their diplomas. Both senior and graduate portraits are available for order directly from Gray School Portraits.

Yearbooks: Copies of the 2020 War Whoop yearbook will be available for order directly through Jostens. Books will ship in late fall 2020.

Guest Dress Code

While Commencement and Commissioning ceremonies have no official dress code, we encourage families and guests to dress in a manner appropriate to the ceremonies. Many of our guests dress business casual.

Student Dress Code

Depending on the graduating student’s lifestyle, graduates will wear academic regalia, Dress Blues, or the dress uniform of their service if they are an active duty service member, Reservist, or National Guard. If you are in doubt as to which uniform is prescribed, verify with the senior ranking member of the ROTC unit for your service.

Corps uniforms, pins, and laundering, pressing, and tailoring services are available at the Uniform Store. Corps graduates may wear academic honor society medallions, ribbons, badges, honor cords, and/or other awards.

Academic regalia is ordered at Grad Finale in March from Jostens. Academic regalia orders and pick-up are coordinated by the University Bookstore. Graduates wearing academic regalia are required to wear appropriate business casual attire underneath academic regalia. During the Commencement ceremony, caps/mortarboards are removed by all students for the National Anthem. Students should plan accordingly if they intend to pin their caps on. Students wearing academic regalia are not permitted to decorate their caps in any way.

Ceremony Viewing Options

Guests on campus for Commencement who do not have tickets for the ceremony in Shapiro Fieldhouse are invited to celebrate at either of two satellite viewing locations in Mack Hall Auditorium or in the Abare Dining Room in Wise Campus Center. Commencement will be livestreamed in both locations at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

A live webcast of Commencement, Joint Commissioning, and Army Commissioning ceremonies will be available for family and friends unable to attend in person.

Commencement Ceremony
May 2, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time

Joint Commissioning Ceremony
May 3, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time

Army Commissioning Ceremony
May 3, 2020 at 10:30 a.m. Eastern Time

DVD videos of all weekend ceremonies, including the U.S. Air Force and Naval Commissioning ceremonies, will be available for purchase here.

Future Ceremonies

Our Commencement and Commissioning dates are based on the academic calendar. To view the most current information on the academic calendar, please visit the Registrar’s Office website.

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