Norwich University hosts General Paul Nakasone, commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service

By Zackary Bennett, NU Senior Writer

Norwich University is known for its ability to send leaders out into the world, but on Wednesday, Norwich welcomed a world-renowned military leader through its doors when General Paul Nakasone walked onto campus. Later, another Norwich University first was announced after the university signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).

General Paul Nakasone

Norwich University is known for its ability to send leaders out into the world, but on Wednesday, Norwich welcomed a world-renowned military leader through its doors when General Paul Nakasone walked onto campus. Later, another Norwich University first was announced after the university signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM).

Nakasone, in addition to being a four-star general, is the commander of CYBERCOM, director of the National Security Agency, and chief of the Central Security Service. The general made a trip to Northfield to visit the nation’s oldest senior military college and birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps to spend a day presenting to and talking with students, as well as touring the university’s facilities that support its cyber programs.

The day on campus started with a welcome in Jackman Hall’s foyer by Norwich University President Mark Anarumo. The pair then made their way to a packed Mack Hall auditorium where a standing-room only crowd of students and faculty welcomed the general.

General Nakasone spent his time on stage talking with Norwich students about leadership and national security. He discussed the roles CYBERCOM and the National Security Agency play in national security, potential future developments students should prepare for, what effective knowledge officers will need to conquer cyber and international warfare, and leadership advice for our future national security leaders in attendance. Nakasone then fielded questions from curious students. President Anarumo presented the general with a Presidential Coin, a copy of “Norwich University. Today. Tomorrow. Norwich Forever,” and a handmade wooden plaque with the Norwich mission statement and Cadet Creed crafted by Norwich alum Joshua Paille ’11.

“Our students are poised to reach increased levels of excellence and are ready to understand significant security threats while at Norwich,” said Dr. Travis Morris, director of the Peace and War Center. “General Nakasone’s visit brings greater visibility to the unique attributes and skill sets of our students which will propel them into unique areas of research, internships, and networks that will advance their education and ability to serve as distinguished graduates.”

As Nakasone and Anarumo were leaving Mack auditorium, the general made time for a quick question and answer session with two Corps of Cadets public affairs officers before heading off on his tour of Mack Hall prior to ending his time on The Hill. Walking and talking throughout the tour, Nakasone, Anarumo, and company discussed Norwich cyber programs and leadership development as he was guided through the Digital Forensics Lab, Server Room, and Information Warfare classroom.

A visit by any general is special, but this visit by Nakasone is especially important to the future development of Norwich students, according to Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships Dr. Sharon Hamilton. “General Nakasone’s visit will further motivate Norwich students to serve in the Department of Defense and the intelligence community. By visiting our campus and spending time meeting with students and faculty, he demonstrated that he values our efforts to serve the nation.”

Dean of the College of Professional Schools, Aron Temkin, said that “General Nakasone’s visit reminded our students of the critical mission that cyber security and cyber operations are playing in the realm of global defense and warfare, and that Norwich University plays an important role in preserving and protecting our lines of defense and warrants a visit from a four-star general at the head of U.S. Cyber Command.”

President Anarumo echoed Temkin’s sentiments. “General Nakasone’s visit allowed Norwich students, faculty, and staff to interact with a true pioneer serving in the highest levels of leadership. Having the chance to learn from his vast experience and his perspectives regarding current and future threats, especially his thoughts on the changing character and dynamics of conflict, was powerfully additive to our learning environment,” he said. “General Nakasone provided an ideal experiential learning engagement for which Norwich University is so well known.”

Provost Karen Gaines agreed with Anarumo’s sentiment. “Norwich University offers unique academic and experiential learning opportunities through our academic programs in the Senator Patrick Leahy School of Cybersecurity and Advanced Computing, innovative faculty research, the Center for Cybersecurity and Forensics Education and Research, and the Department of Defense Cyber Institute,” she said. “We have a long history of preparing leaders to serve in the military and civilian sectors, and our innovations in these realms guarantee that we will continue to graduate students who, by engaging in a classroom learning and hands-on experiences, have the skills to meet a critical need for experts to serve the civilian and military sectors.”

In addition to the knowledge gained from Nakasone’s visit, Norwich University’s current and future student population received a major boon when Norwich officially signed an Educational Partnership Agreement with CYBERCOM. Norwich and CYBERCOM entered the agreement in recognition of the importance of education to inspire the future cyber workforce who will be on the frontlines to secure our business, military, industrial, and educational institutions within the United States.

“General Nakasone’s visit reinforced how crucial this workforce preparation is, and having the chance to hear his perspective regarding long-term and near-future threats in cyber operations connected the relevance of what they are learning at Norwich to the work they will soon be doing for the Department of Defense, government agencies, or the private sector,” said Gaines.

The aim of this agreement is to create an educational and research partnership between CYBERCOM and Norwich University, and it formalizes Norwich University’s relationship with the CYBERCOM Academic Engagement Network. Because of this agreement, CYBERCOM is authorized to: transfer to Norwich University defense range equipment determined by USCYBERCOM to be surplus; make laboratory personnel available to teach science courses or to assist in the development of science courses and materials for Norwich University; cooperate with Norwich University faculty in developing a program under which students may be given academic credit for work on defense laboratory research projects; provide academic and career advice and assistance to Norwich University; and provide Norwich University faculty, staff, and students opportunities to engage and participate in multiple CYBERCOM events, available summer internships, and CYBERCOM Cyber Recon Program.

“Norwich University has for over 200 years been dedicated to the creation of ‘useful citizens’ and leaders needed by our republic and the world. We continue to demonstrate our commitment to these values by ensuring our academic offerings and student experiences create graduates prepared to thrive in the 21st century,” said Anarumo. “The world is changing quickly, and Norwich is ensuring our community of learning is prepared to meet current and future challenges.”


About Norwich University 
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and 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).

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