“Families are the compass that guide us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights, and our comfort when we occasionally falter.” –Charles Bradford Henry, former governor of Oklahoma

This fall marks two milestones in our university’s history: The final year leading up to our bicentennial in 2019 and one of my last as president of Norwich University.

It has been an incredible honor for me to serve this university for 26 years. When I was hired in 1992, I had no intention of staying longer than five years. But there is something about Norwich that gets under your skin and stays there.

One reason I am still here has to do with our university’s geography. How someone who loves sailing on the ocean and breathing in the salt air as much as I do can have an equal affection for this landlocked state is a mystery. But Jaime and I have made the Green Mountains our home, and we intend to stay here.

Another reason has to do with our university itself—its 200-year history, its distinguished military heritage, and its principled founder, Captain Alden Partridge. Representing a school with such an illustrious heritage is a rare opportunity. I can honestly say that the only thing that could possibly make me prouder of Norwich is if I were an alumnus.

But what has really kept me here for more than a quarter century is, as General Sullivan loves to say, “the people.” I doubt there is a higher education institution in the world whose alumni have a greater affinity for their alma mater, or whose bonds amongst themselves are stronger. These characteristics set Norwich apart. Among the thousands of colleges and universities that can grant you a degree, there is only one that allows you to become a member of the worldwide family that is Norwich.

Those of you who have passed through the proverbial gates of Norwich know what I am talking about. You are the people who have made Norwich University’s reputation what it is today. You are the reason Alden Partridge’s bold venture is still alive and well two centuries after he conceived it. And you are the force propelling Norwich into its third century stronger than it has ever been.

Thank you, Norwich family, for making these last 26 years the best years of my life.

Richard W.Schneider

Norwich University Perspectives Project: COVID-19

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