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Nearly 200 Years—Learn More About Norwich

Arrival of freshman Corps, civilian students signals beginning of new academic year at Norwich University

The grass is cut, the uniforms are on, and students are marching and milling about, radiating energy and activity campuswide. All signal that Norwich University is about to start the 2019-20 academic year.

The first semester begins Monday, Aug. 26, with about 764 new students. First-year students in the Corps of Cadets arrived Sunday, Aug. 18; new civilian students arrived Tuesday, Aug. 20, for orientation.

The Class of 2023 comprises approximately 465 rooks (first-year students in the Corps of Cadets) and 299 civilian students (residential and commuter) coming from 38 states, two territories (Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.) and 23 countries. There were 24 civilian-to-Corps transfers to add to the 2019 Rook Class.

These students arrive as the university celebrates 200 years since its founding in 1819. Norwich will mark it bicentennial with celebrations on campus, in Northfield, in the region and across the country.

University officials said in January that the $100 million goal of the five-year “Forging the Future” bicentennial fundraising campaign — the largest such campaign in Norwich history — had been reached ahead of the planned December 2019 end date. The campaign goal was then increased to $110 million. 

The fundraising campaign has funded the construction of Mack Hall, a new, four-story academic building on campus that opened in August 2018, significant renovations to Dewey, Webb and Ainsworth halls, increased scholarship endowments and modernization of the Kreitzberg Library to be an epicenter of experiential learning. The library renovations were completed in August 2015.

“At Norwich, we continue our 200-year-old tradition of evolving and investing in high-quality and relevant academic programs,” said Richard W. Schneider, who begins his 28th year as Norwich’s president, making him one of the nation’s longest-serving university presidents. “These programs, rooted in values and experiential learning, continue to attract high-performing and motivated students to Vermont.”

All new students will participate in the New Student Oath Ceremony, a long-standing Norwich tradition, on Sunday, Aug. 25, at Sabine Field. Corps and civilians participate jointly, a “beginning” that cultivates campuswide student unity. 

As part of the oath, incoming civilians and rooks will promise to accept, uphold and apply the principles of the Norwich honor code and guiding values. Their recitations will end with: “In all my endeavors from this day forth I will reflect in the spirit of the Norwich motto, ‘I will try.’”

Parents and family members are invited to attend the Oath Ceremony, or stream it live at

Class of 2023 by the numbers:

  • Top five most popular majors: Criminal justice; undeclared; mechanical engineering; computer security; nursing
  • Top 10 sending states: Massachusetts; Vermont; Connecticut; New Hampshire; New Jersey; Florida; California; Texas; and Pennsylvania and Virginia are tied.
  • ROTC scholarships: 74
  • Civic Scholars 15
  • Honors Program 24
  • International students 41 (from 23 countries).

Read about the 2019-20 rook arrival.

Norwich president welcomes new rook class for 2019-20

Norwich University’s 2019 rook class arrived on campus Sunday, and President Richard W. Schneider invited them to accept the challenge before them and persevere, because perseverance will portend success.

Norwich Humanities Initiative will tap power of humanities to develop citizen scholars

As they head through their academic majors and, eventually, toward graduation, Norwich University students may ask themselves “Who am I?”—A future biologist? Mathematician? Engineer? Military personnel member? A new humanities initiative might answer, “Yes, you may be all of those things, but first, you’re human.” 

And humans, and humanities, are full of perspectives, as the Norwich Humanities Initiative will show.

Think back to the last time you visited the doctor. She might have sat you down and asked what hurt or was amiss. You probably replied with a story—a very human, and humanities, thing to do.

This fall, in the Norwich Humanities Initiative’s first course, English professor Patricia Ferreira and Nursing Director Paulette Thabault will help students examine the nexus of practice, poetry and prose in Narrative Medicine.

WINTHROP, Mass. — Three-sport Norwich University standout Emily Oliver ’19 (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) became the first student-athlete in school history to be named the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) Woman of the Year.

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Kathleen Moriarty, Master of Science in Information Security & Assurance (MSISA) Advisory Board member within the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) at Norwich University, was selected from a field of 1,000 cybersecurity professionals to the prestigious “Women Know Cyber” book for educators and professionals, which is distributed to cybersecurity industries nationwide. 

Governors Institutes of Vermont Health and Medicine camp lets teens test nursing skills

Learning takes no vacations, even when it’s midsummer and visitors might expect to find campus cue-the-crickets quiet and students away. On a mid-July morning, Norwich’s nursing simulation lab in Bartoletto Hall’s basement buzzed with teenage visitors and university student advisors. All were there for the Governor’s Institute of Vermont Health and Medicine camp.

Guy Debord argues in the Society of Spectacle that the tangible world has been replaced by images. For Debord, images derive their power from individuals’ desires for the commodities that appear in visual advertisements. The obsession with visual culture that fascinated Debord led me to consider one specific type of image in 19th century Parisian culture, which Debord and other critics have left unexplored. I begin by discussing the boom in photographic portraiture and looking at collections of portraits. Specifically, I examine texts by Baudelaire and Zola that feature women obsessed with amassing people’s photographs. Like Narcissus, these women cannot look away.

The world is home to about 6,000 to 7,000 languages, but how many are spoken at Norwich University?  In one class, EN 199 Advanced Academic English II, world languages are commonplace. As a group, the 15 international and multilingual American students in this class know more than 25 languages.

To spotlight language as an academic, cultural, and international resource, the class sponsored two events.

The Norwich Record | Summer 2019

In March, School of Nursing Director Paulette Thabault led students on a service-learning mission to Costa Rica, where they staffed a medical clinic for refugees fleeing violence in neighboring Nicaragua. We sent long-time National Geographic photographer Karen Kasmauski—known for her Pulitzer-nominated work on global health, nursing, and refugees—to join them.

The Norwich Record | Summer 2019

U.S. security policy classmates take selfies outside the White House. In our next issue, Pulitzer-nominated documentary photographer Karen Kasmauski joins students during their weeklong trip to D.C., where they met with top national security leaders and their staff—many of them Norwich alumni.


D.C. Policy Trip

Norwich law enforcement alumni on the front lines of the nation’s most deadly drug epidemic

The Norwich Record | Summer 2019

Dana Dexter ’03 became a cop because he wanted to help people. A former champion runner, he also knew from an early age that he didn’t want to spend most of his adult life trapped in a cubicle. So, after Norwich, he followed his older brother onto the police force in Concord, New Hampshire. Sixteen years later, he is now a master police officer and training officer with the department’s patrol division. Four years from retirement eligibility, Dexter still loves putting on the uniform, still loves not knowing what any given day will bring. One minute he could be rescuing a cat, the next chasing a felon down a river.

FEMA’s Albie Lewis ’73 & M’98 helps North Carolina recover from Hurricane Florence

The Norwich Record | Summer 2019

Last September, the thousand-year rain event known as Hurricane Florence heaved across the coastal Southeastern United States. Over four days, the slow-moving Category 1 storm dumped as much as 35 inches of rain on parts of the Carolinas and Virginia. The inundation flooded thousands of buildings, killed 53 people, and caused an estimated $24 billion in damage—a figure comparable to the 2018 California wildfires, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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