Tri-Service Awards, 2021 Corps of Cadets Ring Ceremony give way to Homecoming as marquee events

Waiting may be the hardest part, but it pays off. Honorable patience yielded honor and jubilation for Norwich University students this past week.

First, the honor. On Wednesday, a COVID-19-adjusted Tri-Service Awards ceremony, complete with face masks and physical distancing, came to Sabine Field, following a virtual presentation online in the spring.

Fifty-four Tri-Service Awards were presented last spring for leadership in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy and for academic and athletic achievements of cadets in Norwich’s Corps of Cadets. The prizes, some named for distinguished servicemen and servicewomen, honored students’ patriotism, professionalism, appreciation for military history, warrior ethos, devotion to community and compassion for peers.

“You live our guiding values of men and women of honor and integrity and you are taking the road less traveled.” Norwich University President Mark C. Anarumo, to the Tri-Service Award winners

On Wednesday, Norwich’s new president, Mark C. Anarumo, who spent 30 years in the U.S. Air Force and Army, congratulated the gathered honorees.

“You all represent the very best of what Norwich University is,” said Anarumo, who succeeded Richard W. Schneider as president June 1 and retired as an Air Force colonel Aug. 1. “You live our guiding values of men and women of honor and integrity and you are taking the road less traveled.

“Less than 1% of our nation serves … when you think about the power of our nation, unequaled and unrivaled, the professionalism of our military, that low percentage is really striking,” he added.

Armed forces personnel have great respect, Anarumo said, adding that wearing the uniform is almost like wearing the American flag. But responsibility accompanies the reverence — the duty to project near-flawless excellence.

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Norwich President Mark C. Anarumo told Tri-Service Award winners that they will face steep challenges on a compressed timeline as the United States’ future leaders. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

America, faced by myriad complex challenges, sorely needs that excellence from its leaders, Anarumo said. Today’s leaders, he said, will face higher risks under a more compressed timeline than previous generations. Future pandemics, for example, may be humanly engineered, he said; near-peer adversaries have used clever espionage and industrial programs to accelerate research and shrink the American advantage.

“The world demands a higher level of thinking and critical decision making that all of you as a generation have been grown to excel in,” Anarumo said. “You have to be innovative in your critical thinking. You have to achieve a high level of agile decision making.

“I have great trust and confidence that all of you will rise to all future challenges.”

Now, for the jubilation (and more honor). Last weekend, Corps of Cadets members from the Class of 2021 celebrated receiving their class rings. Students welcomed their guest speaker, President Emeritus Richard W. Schneider, and awarded him a small statue of the ring they’d designed.

Like Anarumo, Schneider told the soon-to-be graduates that big hurdles await.

“I’ve lived 74 years, I’ve lost a wife, I’ve been to Vietnam. … I’ve done all the things I was supposed to do,” Schneider said. “And this right here may seem like it’s terrible for you, but let me tell you, it’s not the worst thing you’re going to face.

“And, by the way, it’s getting you ready to be the leaders we need you to be,” he added. “What a great proving ground.”

The week also featured meditation — an online mindfulness session from the Counseling and Wellness Center and preparation — an online résumé sharpening session from the Counseling and Wellness Center to precede October’s Careerpalooza. Employee-hunting businesses and students will connect all month long during Careerpalooza, presented by the Career and Internship Center.

All roads lead to Homecoming

In the week ahead, all roads will lead to Homecoming, which because of the coronavirus pandemic will run online. Activities start Thursday and run through Saturday. Highlights include the Grit Games, an obstacle course competition for Norwich’s fall sports athletes who’ve missed their season because of the pandemic, a virtual 5-kilometer run, and the launch of the Shoulder-to-Shoulder fundraising campaign.

There will also be video of the dedication of Schneider Hall, a Review with Retreat parade by Norwich University’s Corps of Cadets and a concert by the Regimental Band. Click here for the full Homecoming schedule.

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Tri-Service Awards were presented for leadership in the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Navy and for academic and athletic achievements of cadets in Norwich’s Corps of Cadets. (Photo by Mark Collier.)

With three events, Monday will be chock full. An information session on state and local government internships will run 10 to 11 a.m., featuring guests from Vermont’s Governor and Lt. Governor’s Office, the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, the Vermont Commission on Women and the Vermont Fuel Dealer’s Association. Log onto Handshake to join the panel discussion.

Monday will also feature two Counseling and Wellness Center Events — a webinar on helping friends in distress from noon to 1 p.m., and another virtual mindfulness meditation workshop from 2 to 3 p.m.

“The Counseling and Wellness Center hopes that some students will take the time to learn something new and see if it is helpful in their day to day,” Counseling and Wellness Center Director Nicole Krotinger wrote in an email. “It is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.”

Tuesday will feature a Fall Admissions Webinar for prospective members of the Corps of Cadets, hosted by the Admissions Office from 6 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday will bring an Employer Spotlight on the Peace Corps, featuring a presentation by Randi Dermo, a recruiter for the  Peace Corps’ Brattleboro, Vermont, office. The Career and Internship Office will host the event, running noon to 1 p.m.

Wednesday will also feature a webinar on the importance of emotional intelligence in leadership from 2 to 3 p.m., featuring faculty from Norwich’s Master of Science of Leadership program, and another Fall Admissions Webinar for prospective Corps of Cadets members from 9 to 10 p.m.

Visit https://events.norwich.edu/ for a full list of upcoming events at Norwich University.

(Slideshow photos by Mark Collier.)

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