President fires cannon for Class of 2021, graduates’ friends and family and university staff

Norwich University’s spring semester and 2020-21 academic year concluded Saturday with an appreciative salvo of bangs on the campus’s Upper Parade Ground.

The university’s cannon, stationed near the flagpole under a sunny sky in front of Jackman Hall’s steps, fired thrice — once for the Class of 2021’s parents, family and friends; once for the Class of 2021’s graduates; and once, specially, for Norwich’s faculty and staff.

President Dr. Mark Anarumo fired the cannon’s first shot.

“In celebration of our provost, Dr. Sandra Affenito, and to all our honorees today,” Anarumo, clad in his green Vermont Militia dress uniform, said before firing the cannon. As a plume of smoke floated skyward, a small collection of masked, physically spaced onlookers whooped and clapped. A few people held up smartphones to record the moment.

Frédéric Edem Hegbe, Togo’s ambassador and plenipotentiary to the United States, took the second shot. Hegbe’s countryman, Kpatcha Massina, graduated Saturday after four years of study, research and service in the university’s Corps of Cadets.

Frank Vanecek, Norwich’s senior vice president of student affairs and technology, fired the final shot.


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