Welcome to the Spring 2021 Semester!
Today we come together as a community of learning, albeit virtually instead of in person as we would all want. The word “together” is growing in meaning and importance as we continue to live through great strife and discord in our nation. The chaos and violence at the U.S. Capitol last week demonstrated that instead of coming together to face threats and challenges as we have in our nation’s past, we continue to grow further apart. History will rightly remember this past week as a moment of great embarrassment for our country.
If we are to thrive as a nation and as Americans, we must reverse this trend. Each of us has an important role to play as members of Norwich University. We are an international institution of higher education, meaning how we act and what we say will reverberate around the world and across the military, government, businesses, and in our communities. Our alumni are serving with honor in all branches of our armed forces, in health care, as sworn law enforcement officers at all levels of government, as engineers, construction managers, cyber experts, and in every other area of vocation and service.
Our nation is struggling. The past few months have tested us, and these trials and tribulations are unlikely to dissipate in the near term. Tensions are likely to remain high as we face questions on free speech, the role of technology in political discourse, on race and ethnicity, on international relationships and on economic recovery post-pandemic. The road ahead will not be easy for the new presidential administration, the 117th United States Congress and state and local governments as they establish their priorities and resume their important work, while wrestling with the health and well-being of the world in a global pandemic.
We are Norwich. Together. We must never let the vitriol and animosity of national politics infect our community. With our guiding values as our bedrock, our dialogue and debates must be respectful. We must ensure the free exchange of ideas in our classes and amongst one another in all interactions. We simply have to be better.
Many of you know that I retired in August 2020 after over 30 years of active military service. Every enlistment, re-enlistment, and commissioned promotion I was fortunate to receive included an oath. In each oath, I swore allegiance not to a person, nor a party, but to a document - the Constitution of the United States of America. I am not ashamed to admit that as I grew older and better understood why the allegiance was so special, I was unable to hold back tears when I spoke the words. I love our country. I have lived overseas most of my adult life, and have been blessed to view our nation through the eyes of others. We are a great nation at the confluence of challenges from which we will emerge better and stronger than before.
I ask you to join me in ensuring Norwich University plays our part in restoring our national character. Together, as men and women of honor and integrity, let us engage ourselves in teaching and learning, emphasizing teamwork, leadership, creativity, and critical thinking this semester. We are in service to our great nation, and through our service we will emerge from the current strife stronger and more resolute.
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Mark C. Anarumo, PhD
Col, USAF (ret) President