Virtual Fall Open House will answer ‘Why Norwich?’ question for prospective students

What’s college life at Norwich University like? Informative, transformative, challenging and, frequently, exhilarating. Student bloggers have said so for weeks, and this weekend, the Admissions Office will deliver more information and color.

Saturday brings virtual Fall Open House, featuring campus life information on academics and Norwich’s 30-plus programs, along with the athletics and the experience-enriching extracurriculars for Corps of Cadets and civilian students. The open house is usually in-person, but because of the coronavirus pandemic, it went virtual as Sept. 12’s Commencement ceremony did and next weekend’s Homecoming will.

“I know I am in the right place. The nerves are starting to settle and I find myself at home.”Jillian Patria, Norwich University freshman and blogger

Admissions Director Steven Wolf, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel, said the Open House’s 9 a.m.-to-2 p.m. sessions, will answer the “Why Norwich” question for prospective students and their parents.

“We will explain to the students and their families how Norwich can help them achieve their personal and educational goals,” Wolf, the former dean of the College of National Service, wrote in an email. “We want to give the prospective students and their families all the information they need to make an informed decision on whether Norwich is right for them. In addition to presenting them information, we’ll take the time to answer all of their questions.”

Prospective students might get some Open House questions answered in posts from Norwich’s In Their Words page. Since August, students from the university’s 26-blogger team have mused on studies, food, Corps initiation, friends and life.

Returning students have described exciting moments. Erica Terwilliger, a sophomore communications major from Randolph, Vermont, described the joys of seeing peers after months away and decorating her dorm room door. Haley Bechard, a junior nursing major and civilian student from Milton, Vermont, wrote of eagerly awaiting her first clinical rotation at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, and unwinding after class with music.

Seizing the days

New students have written about tackling college with “I Will Try” aplomb. For example, Cody Cousland, a freshman from Amherst, Massachusetts, and a rook, wrote Sept. 19 that she’s adapted incrementally as her campus time blurred by. Everything is possible, she wrote, if you take things a day at a time and stay positive.

pod students walk 9 7 2020 min
The Admissions Office’s virtual Fall Open House will let prospective students ask questions on academics, scholarships and other aspects of Norwich University campus life. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

Jillian Patria, a freshman criminal justice major from Rindge, New Hampshire, wrote Wednesday that she learned to manage once-daunting college workloads. Studying three hours for every in-class hour and writing frequent papers have lost their shock, she wrote. Discovering ties between topics — psychology, sociology, statistics — has been fun and fascinating.

“After three weeks of classes, I have determined it is not as bad as it sounded,” Patria wrote. “I find it cool that all my classes are connecting. … It is all so interesting to me and I can’t get enough. Those three hours of homework (are) doable, because those are three hours I want to spend learning about these topics.

“I know I am in the right place,” she added. “The nerves are starting to settle and I find myself at home.”

Aira Yzabel Manampan, a freshman nursing major, wrote that she’s learning academic self-sufficiency and has bonded with her platoon. In a few short weeks, rook siblings have become family, she wrote.

“Staring at my laptop’s screen, I realized I have changed, and so have my rook siblings, cousins, and buddies,” Manampan wrote Thursday. “After a month, I cared more about my well-being and physical health than ever before. After a month, I believe I found real friends and mentors.

“Even if it’s only been this long since we have started,” she added. “I know we have been making progress.”

Prospective students can register here for the Fall Open House.


  • 9 to 9:15 a.m.: Welcome session. Meet Admissions Director Col. Steven Wolf, USMC (Ret.).
  • 9:15 to noon: Live sessions on academic highlights, civilian life, the Corps of Cadets, ROTC.
  • Noon to 1 p.m.: Student-and-parent breakout sessions: clubs, athletics, Parent and Family Association.
  • 1:15 to 2 p.m.:  Live sessions on admissions, scholarships and financial aid.



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