Norwich Alum Tackles the Boston Marathon to Benefit Patients at Boston Children’s Hospital

By Saraa Kami, NU Director of Communications

It was just another typical spring for Brent White '05 when his life suddenly took an unexpected turn. As White and a group of friends began to train for the 2022 Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon, one of his teammates had a great idea that would be serve as the portal to a new chapter in White’s life.

It was a suggestion to use their participation in the competition as a fundraiser for the Boston Children’s Hospital Trust. Unbeknownst to him, White’s teammate had just planted a seed that would begin the wheels turning towards his new focus in life: Competitive Fundraising.

White and his teams’ efforts weren’t futile. In fact, their participation raised over $15,500 for Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) and yielded some other non-tangible bounty in the process. For White, an engineer in the Pittsfield, MA area, it was raising that first $15K that helped him realize just how great of an impact his charitable donations could make at BCH.

He also learned around the same time that one of his former Norwich classmates, Matt Rodman, had a son who was an open-heart patient at the hospital.

It would be on a beautiful Autumn Day in September of 2022, that White decided to reach out to Matt and his family to see if they would support his application to run the 2023 Boston Marathon with their son, Nathaniel Rodman, as his patient partner. The Rodman family agreed, and when White was officially accepted to compete on the BCH 2023 Miles for Miracles Boston Marathon team, the next leg of his newfound journey instantly began to take form.

In January 2023, White, and his fellow teammates, got to meet with the entire Rodman family, other patient partners, coaches, and the BCH staff at a gathering in Framingham, MA. Reunited with his Norwich brother for the first time since graduating in 2005, White said that the duo picked right up where they left off nearly two decades ago.

It was this informal reunion with Matt, the Rodman family, and the Miles for Miracles team, that affirmed for White just how great of a need for support there was for the families of patients like Nathanial at BCH. He said that it was at this moment that he grasped exactly how much of a privilege it was to carry the baton forward for these brave individuals by participating in the Boston Marathon in their honor.

White says that there is another hidden teammate that he credits with keeping him focused on the true motivation behind his efforts, his wife Jenna.

“I would not be able to team up with the Rodmans to support BCH if it were not for my wife, Jenna White,” he says. “She has been beyond patient with the time demands of my job and training while she manages to work full time and take care of our boys, Sullivan and Cormac, while I’m training.”

As White prepares for the 2023 Boston Marathon on April 17, he says that he can’t help but feel grateful for the support of his Norwich University family who has been with him every step of the way. For this, he says that the only words that come to mind are “Thank You!”

“I have been overwhelmed by the generosity of donors from the Class of 2005, as well as alumni whom I have never met, but learned about what I was doing and contributed,” continued White. “I am hopeful that through further outreach that more members of the Norwich family will contribute to BCH.”  

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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 Captain 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).

Media contacts:

Saraa Kami  
Director of Communications  
Norwich University  
158 Harmon Drive  
Northfield, VT 05663

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