NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies presents “Dare to Matter: How Norwich University Grads Rise to Significance,” a presentation by Pete Smith, author and personal and professional coach, for the 2020 Residency Conference keynote and Todd Lecture Series at 7 p.m. June 24 online at

This lecture is free and open to the public. Register online here.

This lecture is the keynote presentation for this year’s annual residency conference of approximately 400 students representing 13 online graduate programs and 6 bachelor’s degree completion programs at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies. Tuning in from across the country and around the globe under the theme of “Expect Challenge, Achieve Distinction.” these Norwich students will come together for a virtual week of capstone and culminating academic work and conferences.

This year’s Annual Residency Conference will be conducted online because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since 1996, Smith has had a career journey that would make most career counselors scratch their heads, which is ironic given that one of his early jobs was helping students navigate career paths.

From the humble beginnings of landscape design, sales and construction, to national telecommunication sales, to roles in education as a high school teacher, wrestling coach, counselor, director of admissions, and director at a non-profit alternative school for students with disabilities, Smith leveraged his experience and obsession of individual performance, productive teamwork, and transformational leadership into the founding of SmithImpact in 2011.

A major catalyst for the founding of SmithImpact occurred in 2010, when Smith survived a stroke at the young age of 35. Focusing on what he believed to be his last thoughts of “Did I Matter? Was I SIGNIFICANT?” Smith has shared his story and the lessons learned from this experience to help others lead more productive and fulfilling lives, both personally and professionally.

In 2017, Smith published “Dare to Matter: Choosing An Unstuck and Unapologetic Life of Significance.” He has been asked to bring audiences to their feet while speaking in most of the continental 50 states, Canada and Europe.

“Surviving a stroke is easy compared to what it’s like living in a home full of redheads,” Smith said. “As if being married to a redhead (who totally rocks, by the way), raising two redheaded kids and a redheaded dog wasn’t hectic enough, [I] and [my] wife, Whitney, are co-founders of Matter More Coffee, the most awesome coffee shop in Hampstead, North Carolina.”

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Russell Todd and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. Todd ’50, serves as Norwich President Emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings the nation’s foremost thought leaders drawn from business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other arenas to its Northfield campus. All lectures are streamed live and are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Todd Lecture Series website or call (802) 485-2633.


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About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Capt. Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

About the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies
Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) builds upon the institution’s 200-year academic heritage with innovative online programs. CGCS offers master’s degrees in a variety of areas; bachelor’s degree completion programs; graduate certificates; and continuing education opportunities. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention.

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