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  • Norwich's Center for Leadership hosts its first annual leadership conference April 10-11. Call for Papers/Articles through Feb. 17.

    Norwich's Center for Leadership hosts its first annual leadership conference April 10-11. Call for Papers/Articles through Feb. 17.

    • Special Events
  • Commandant of the Field Artillery, Col. Shane P. Morgan, NU '94, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at Fort Sill Friday, January 27.

    Commandant of the Field Artillery, Col. Shane P. Morgan, NU '94, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at Fort Sill Friday, January 27.

    • Alumni News
  • George Commo, the voice of Norwich hockey, to step away from broadcasting at end of 2022-23 season

    George Commo, the voice of Norwich hockey, to step away from broadcasting at end of 2022-23 season

    • Athletics News
  • Norwich alum Michelle LeBlanc '92  is looking to take her Vermont Paws & Boots service dog business “to the next level.”

    Norwich alum Michelle LeBlanc '92 is looking to take her Vermont Paws & Boots service dog business “to the next level.”

    • Alumni News
  • Norwich to host First Lego League (FLL) VT State championship on Saturday, Jan. 28.

    Norwich to host First Lego League (FLL) VT State championship on Saturday, Jan. 28.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center on March 7 to hold a free full-day course on Cybersecurity Resiliency in Industrial Control Systems at VTC Williston.

    Norwich with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center on March 7 to hold a free full-day course on Cybersecurity Resiliency in Industrial Control Systems at VTC Williston.

    • Save The Date
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On Thursday, May 31, 2018, Norwich University broke ground for a new granite stairwell that will bear the names of 78 individuals to be memorialized as part of Norwich’s 200th anniversary.

The Bicentennial Stairs will be constructed between the southeast corner of the Upper Parade Ground and the Sullivan Museum and History Center. The 78 names selected for this monument include Norwich leaders, distinguished alumni, honorees from military and civilian careers, and those who represent “firsts” of the university. They serve as a tribute and daily reminder of those who personify Norwich Founder Capt. Partridge’s ideals and exemplify Norwich’s mission “to make moral, patriotic, effective and useful citizens.”

In 1919, a granite stairway was constructed at the northeast corner of the Upper Parade Ground in celebration of Norwich’s centennial. Each of the 40 granite steps bears the name of an individual considered important in Norwich’s first 100 years. The Bicentennial Stairs will pay tribute to individuals who made important impacts in the university’s second century.

See the complete list of Bicentennial Stairs honorees.  

Two Alumni: One Unbreakable Bond

“You could get the surprise of your life”
– From "Live Your Life", by T.I., 2008

IT HAD BEEN a glorious day on the Hill, and cadet spirit—set aflame in the maroons and golds of a trademark Vermont autumn—burned brightly. Later the same evening, as close to 1,000 students packed into Plumley Armory for the annual Regimental Ball, that same spirit crackled through the crisp twilight air like fallen leaves under the heels of their high-gloss oxfords.

Lauren Musso ’11 at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, California, in August 2017. She completed her active-duty military service on Aug. 31. On Sept. 1, 2017, she transitioned into service with the Navy Reserves. (Courtesy of Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton.) Today, Bryan Stegehuis ’09 enjoys a full, healthy life at his home in Windsor, New York. (Chuck Haupt Photography.)

It was Oct. 18, 2008: a watershed moment for Norwich seniors as they symbolically passed through the receiving line, under the arc of swords, and into the next phase of their lives. But neither Bryan Stegehuis ’09, nor Lauren Musso ’11, were thinking much about the future as the deejay cranked the volume on the evening’s first song. Instead, they fully intended to embrace the present: storming the dance floor to the opening lines of T. I.’s “Live Your Life.”

And so they danced—two friends whose paths would soon diverge: his, to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, where he would train as an intelligence officer and go on to serve as the Mission Intelligence Coordinator for the Remote Piloted Aircraft team; hers, back to the classroom, where she would complete her nursing degree before commissioning into the Navy in June 2011.

NU’s Regimental Ball on Oct. 18, 2008.

Having met two years prior at the intersection of their social circles, the pair hoped they would keep in touch once Stegehuis graduated. What they couldn’t have known on the dance floor that night was that the fiber of their friendship had already been woven into a tapestry that would later be measured by the Fates.

A Devastating Diagnosis

Montgomery, Alabama, in June is nature’s version of cowboy coffee: wisteria blooms, dark roasted and ground with organic rot, drip-brewed into a viscous concoction of dank and sopping air. And there were bugs. Lots and lots of bugs.

Still, Stegehuis—who was temporarily stationed at Maxwell Air Force Base for aerospace training in 2010—could not, for the life of him, understand why he was so itchy.

“The sensation is almost indescribable,” he says, grimacing at the memory of the angry red bumps that had erupted up and down his limbs. “At times, I thought I’d scratch right through my skin.”

When on-base medical staff pegged chiggers as the likely culprit, Stegehuis was relieved. With some hydrocortisone cream and a little perseverance, he figured he could outlast the persistent little parasites: at the end of the month, he would complete his course and return to Creech Air Force Base in Nevada, where he’d recently been assigned to the 432nd Operations Support Squadron as a security manager.

Then he started vomiting, profusely.

“I was feeling so sick,” Stegehuis says, “but the doctors had no explanation. So I just kind of dealt with it, hoping everything would resolve once I got out of Montgomery.”

Except it didn’t.

Back at Creech, by then noticeably jaundiced and fatigued, Stegehuis consulted Dr. Philippa Augustin, his active-duty primary care physician out of Mike O’Callaghan Military Medical Center at Nellis Air Force Base. Under the care of a specialist, gastroenterologist Dr. Jonathan Ricker, he commenced a monthslong game of diagnostic Whac-A-Mole: just when it seemed Dr. Ricker had identified and knocked back the cause of Stegehuis’ symptoms, they reappeared with a vengeance. “At first, we thought it was gallstones,” Stegehuis says, “so I had a few procedures to clear those out. When that didn’t work, I had my gallbladder removed. And when that didn’t work…well, it was frustrating. I just wanted to feel better.”

Finally, on Jan. 3, 2011, Dr. Ricker presented a definitive diagnosis: primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a rare and chronic liver disease that gradually destroys the bile ducts and leads to cirrhosis.

“There is no cure for PSC,” the doctors gently explained to Stegehuis. “Your only hope is a liver transplant.”

“I was stunned,” Stegehuis says. “I never once thought I could have had anything worse than the common flu.”

By that October, his dream of piloting the MQ-1B Predator or MQ-9 Reaper reconnaissance drones unrealized, Stegehuis was medically retired from the Air Force.

Others Before Self

Meanwhile, assigned to her first billet at Navy Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), Musso had quickly become immersed in a career of service for which she had seemed destined all along: tending to soldiers on the Wounded Warriors floor as a Navy nurse.

Growing up in Queens, New York, the eldest of two children born to Francisco and Jaqueline “Jackie” Musso, Lauren “was always the kid who would give up her coat, or her lunch, if someone needed it,” Jackie says. “She’s wired for compassion.” That compassion intensified one clear September morning in 2001, when a young and impressionable Musso witnessed, up close, the suffering and loss as the Twin Towers fell—and the bravery and grace of the first responders. “That event lit the fire inside me to join the military.”

Throughout their transplant preparations and recovery, Stegehuis and Musso enjoyed moral support from many of their Norwich friends. Visiting them near Lahey Clinic shortly before the surgery (l-r): Owen Humphreys ’09, Stegehuis, Musso, and Mike Cleary ’09.

It also fueled her desire to heal. In high school, as the city tended its own post-9/11 wounds, Musso worked as an emergency medical technician. When her boss—a Norwich graduate—mentioned the Navy Nurse Candidate Program and inquired whether Musso had considered it, something clicked. “The suggestion perfectly addressed my two desires for the future,” she recalls. Later, visiting Norwich with her father, she found herself hooked. “I spent a weekend captivated by the Corps of Cadets, and experienced how welcoming the students were. Despite the fact that it was snowing in April—that never happens in New York!—I immediately felt I belonged.”

Her decision to enroll, and the lesson she first learned as a rook to “always do the right thing, even when no one is looking,” foreshadowed what would happen a decade later. Without the first, she never would have met Stegehuis. Informed by the second, she made a decision that would save his life.

“Suck It Up and Drive On”

Settled back home in Windsor, New York, after his medical discharge, Stegehuis sought constructive ways to occupy his time. Qualifying for a liver transplant depended on his MELD (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) score and, despite how poorly he was feeling, his score was too low. “My care team at Syracuse VA Medical Center had sent me for a work-up to see if I might be a candidate,” Stegehuis says. “But my MELD was a twelve on a scale of zero to forty, with forty being total liver failure. In that range, there’s a real possibility that transplantation would actually decrease my quality of life. My only choice was to wait things out.”

A CrossFit devotee and accomplished power lifter while in Nevada, Stegehuis believed that keeping in shape would extend his prognosis—so he resumed working out at his high school gym. He also volunteered as a strength and conditioning coach for the football and track teams, saying that the activities “gave me a sense of purpose, something to focus on besides my health situation.”

In the following years, with his MELD score hovering around twelve, Stegehuis quietly battled the symptoms and complications of his disease: persistent itching, profound fatigue, nausea, bile duct stones, inflammations, and blockages that required more than a dozen invasive procedures to clear out. Save for his immediate family and closest friends, few—not even Musso—knew anything was wrong. While she and Stegehuis had maintained Facebook contact, time and distance prevented anything deeper than what Musso describes as “an acquaintanceship.”

“We had this pattern of falling in and out of each other’s lives through social media,” she recalls. “We’d congratulate each other on good news, comment on a photo here and there, but that was about the extent of it.”

In July 2013, when Musso deployed from NMCSD to Kandahar, Afghanistan, as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, Stegehuis took note. There, she spent nine months as an Intermediate Care Ward (ICW) nurse at the NATO Role 3 Multinational Medical Unit (MMU)—the primary trauma receiving and referral center for all combat casualties in the southern part of the country. It was stressful and exhausting work. During that time, as Stegehuis endeavored to boost Musso’s morale with positive messages and the occasional care package, their friendship enjoyed a brief renaissance.

Not once did he mention his illness.

“As a junior, I was a cadre for incoming rooks,” he explains, “and I had to set an example: in the face of adversity, you suck it up and drive on. Self-pity doesn’t change your circumstances, and often makes them worse.”

When Musso returned to NMCSD in March 2014, she remained unaware of her friend’s dire health. Soon thereafter, engrossed in the routines of work and daily life, she fell back out of touch with Stegehuis.

Two years later, that would change.

A Close Call

Have I fallen into a well? Darkness surrounded him and fear choked away his breath.

But Bryan Stegehuis wasn’t at the bottom of a well. He was in the intensive care unit at SUNY Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse. It was July 2016.

Just a few days earlier, as a direct consequence of his silently progressing PSC, he had suffered a life-threatening internal bleed: his liver had become so inflamed, and his portal veins so compressed, that he had developed esophageal varices (enlarged veins) that ultimately ruptured. After six blood transfusions and an emergency TIPS (transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic stent) procedure, he awoke on a ventilator.

“That was my closest call,” Stegehuis says. It was also, he hoped, a qualifying event to be listed on the National Donor Registry. Although Stegehuis’ MELD score remained unusually low—at 15 following his hemorrhage—doctors urged him to begin the medical workup for transplantation.

“They knew how long the wait could be, and wanted me to be ready,” Stegehuis says.

According to the American Liver Foundation, as of 2015, more than 17,000 pediatric and adult liver patients were listed on the registry. The shortage means that as many as 1,500 candidates die each year awaiting transplants. Managed by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), a national nonprofit that matches deceased organ donors with transplant candidates, the registry prioritizes potential liver recipients by medical urgency, among other factors.

Conversely, living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) effectively circumvents the National Donor Registry, its priorities, and wait times. In this procedure, surgeons extract a healthy donor’s right lobe (about 40 percent to 60 percent of the liver) and transplant it into the recipient, completely removing the diseased liver. In both patients, the liver fully regenerates, typically returning to normal size and function within six weeks.

The first LDLT was performed on Nov. 27, 1989, at the University of Chicago; now, each year, hundreds of patients undergo LDLT at one of 73 specialized centers across the country. The prognosis is excellent: according to statistics released by Columbia University Medical Center, the three-year survival rate for adult recipients approaches 97 percent.

Stegehuis’ doctors, aware that the country’s largest LDLT program was just over 300 miles away at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, advocated for the procedure.

“But I’m not good at asking for help,” he says. “I never once approached anyone about donating.”

As it turns out, he didn’t need to.

“All About Stegehuis”

A few days after Stegehuis’ hemorrhage, Lauren Musso spotted a photo posted on Facebook: her friend, tubes and wires snaking out from all directions, laid up in what appeared to be the intensive care unit. Concerned, she fired off a message. “Pardon my asking, but is everything okay?” Stegehuis reluctantly confessed to his PSC. Shocked by his prognosis, Musso processed the news for a few weeks. Then she shot him another question: “What’s your blood type?”

He chuckles at the recollection. “I honestly thought it was because she was a nurse and just had an interest in that kind of thing.”

Musso had an interest, all right: she intended to become a living donor for Stegehuis. “I wouldn’t say I felt ‘called,’” she explains. “But I’d always known that if someone were in need, and I had an opportunity to donate, I would step up.”

Nurse practitioner Alicia Parrott, who would become Musso’s transplant coordinator at Lahey, leverages some perspective. “There is a real risk for liver donors—a 1 in 200 chance that they will die during, or after, the surgery. When I realized Lauren intended to donate for a friend, not a relative, I went home to my husband and said, ‘I’m sorry; the only person I’m ever giving my liver to is one of our kids!’”

“Lauren is a rare breed of selfless,” Parrott continues. “Throughout this entire process, everything has been about Bryan. It’s never been about her.”

Unfazed by the risks, Musso quietly forged ahead with her initial compatibility testing. “I knew the chances of Bryan and me being a match were fairly slim,” she says. “I didn’t want to give him false hope.”

Bound by Fate

As it turns out, in almost every critical measure of compatibility, Musso was a perfect match. She shares Stegehuis’ blood type, A-positive. Her liver proved to be the appropriate size, which is uncommon: because liver size correlates with a person’s height and weight, female donors typically do not match well with male recipients. And later, during a more comprehensive evaluation, Musso’s doctors discovered an exceptionally rare anomaly. Instead of two portal veins (the vessels that carry blood to the liver), Musso had three—and two of them led to her right lobe. This, explains Parrott, meant that surgeons would not have to split Musso’s sole portal vein and then reconstruct it for Stegehuis. “That third vein was perfectly positioned; it was unreal.”

Musso’s gift to Stegehuis, it seemed, had been written in the stars.

The Surprise of His Life

Two weeks after her evaluation, Musso told her friend she intended to donate part of her liver for him. “I was blown away,” he recalls in a voice thick with emotion. “It was the surprise of my life.”

“It took a while for me to convince him I wasn’t joking,” Musso reflects.

The next four months crawled by at a snail’s pace. As Musso completed a battery of physical and psychological tests, and submitted reams of paperwork to secure official Navy approval for her medical leave, she worried constantly about her friend. “Bryan was home and relatively stable, but as a nurse, I knew we were on borrowed time,” she says.

Surgery pre-op, January 30, 2017.

So, she verbally paced out her anxiety, phoning her Lahey and Navy contacts every day, over and over. She called Parrott: Has the transplant team convened? Can we schedule the surgery? She called the Department of Defense Bureau of Medicine, responsible for approving her medical leave: Where is my paperwork? Is it signed? When will it be signed? She called Stegehuis: Hang in there; things are moving along!

“I knew it was possible Bryan might not make it,” she says. “I was trying so hard to get everything done, and felt that if I pushed hard enough, I could expedite the process.”

At one point, Musso even declared to her commander: “If Bryan needs me, and I don’t yet have approved leave, I’m still going. You can charge me with something later, but think of the bad press that would attract!” Soon thereafter, the Navy’s surgeon general offered his signed blessing.

Then, on Nov. 17, 2016, Musso received official approval from Lahey. “And then we waited. And waited. And waited some more. First, it was the holidays. Then it was a doctor’s vacation. And in the middle of it all, Bryan suffered another serious bleed and they had to push the surgery back another week. It felt as though he and I had run a marathon, only to collapse ten feet before the finish line.”

But they clawed their way across it. Finally, on Jan. 30, 2017—almost six years to the day that Stegehuis received his diagnosis—nurses rolled both friends into the surgical suite, and forever into each other’s futures.

Stegehuis and Musso wander the halls, postsurgery. “I had a tube in my nose because I couldn’t eat anything,” Bryan reflects.

A Perpetual Gift

Am I in Kyoto? Pagodas emerged from the mist while a gently plucked guzheng sprinkled the air with staccato notes. A woman approached, whispering Japanese in his ear. But Stegehuis wasn’t in Japan. He was emerging, befuddled, from a transplant procedure that had taken three days. “My spleen was apparently gigantic, so they had to remove it first,” he says. “And that exerted such stress on my body that they had to let me rest.” It was an unexpected setback, but recoverable.

Stegehuis’ outcome has been remarkable. After spending two months recovering at Lahey, he left the hospital in March with a fully regenerated liver and completely normal lab results. “I’m still learning what it’s like to feel healthy again!” he says. By April, he had returned to training his athletes.

Musso’s surgery proceeded smoothly—but unexpected post-procedure complications required a lengthy hospital stay: doctors didn’t discharge her until April 9. She eventually returned to a limited work schedule at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton. “There’s a running joke at Lahey,” she laughs. “If there’s an anomaly, good or bad, it will find me!” Her liver regenerated more slowly than normal—but she and her doctors do expect a full recovery.

Would she do it all over again? “Absolutely. No question.” In a tone as soothing as a cold compress on a fevered forehead, she says, “You can’t predict every outcome. As a nurse, I knew that going in.”

For Stegehuis, Musso’s gift is the ultimate symbol of her character, her dedication to being a caregiver, and her friendship. “She’s incredible,” he says. “I will never be able to express how deeply grateful I am for Lauren’s remarkable sacrifice.”

Again settled at opposite ends of the country, Stegehuis and Musso talk almost daily. Their bond, forged at Norwich, cultivated over the years, and sealed with their common, life-altering experience, is now permanent. They will never again lose touch. “I’ve told Bryan that he can never get rid of me,” Musso laughs.

After all, they are now, literally, a part of each other. – Jane Dunbar (Norwich Record Fall 2017)

Musso’s now-husband, Marine Bobby Barclay, was “one hundred percent supportive” of her decision to donate. During her surgery and recovery, Bobby’s commanding officer granted him a month’s leave. The couple married on July 1, 2017, officiated by Dana Flieger ’11 (center). Lauren now goes by Lauren Musso Barclay.

Norwich University continues its 2018 Todd Lecture Series with “The Psychology of Illusion, the Power of Perspective,” a presentation by entrepreneur, magician and motivational speaker Vinh Giang on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, at 7 p.m. in Plumley Armory.

This lecture is free and open to the public and will be streamed live at tls.norwich.edu.

The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies welcomes Giang to campus as the 2018 Residency Conference keynote and Todd Lecture Series speaker. As a magician, Giang is both a “surprising and provocative speaker,” in keeping with the Todd Lecture Series’ mission. His experience and message supports Norwich University’s goal to be a learning community that is “global in perspective, engaged in personal and intellectual transformation and dedicated to knowledge, mutual respect, creativity and service.”

Giang’s drive as an entrepreneur and his methods for constant self-improvement reinforce the week-long Residency conference theme of “Build on the Past. Lead into the Future.” His presentation will cover a wide range of topics including: influence, perspective, goal-setting, and creative thinking. Giang will use magic to illustrate how these topics have affected his life and business practices. His personal experiences align with Norwich’s focus on experiential learning and its values of teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, perseverance in the face of adversity and personal responsibility.

With only six months to graduate, Giang left his degree in commerce and law to become an online magic teacher ultimately building a hugely successful online business, 52kards, which now serves over 800,000 students all around the world. This earned him the award of Top Young Entrepreneur in Australia.

Giang’s real magic journey began when he finally understood what Robert Houdin (a magician) meant when he said: “A magician is an actor playing the part of the magician.” Once Vinh understood the meaning behind this quote, he focused all his energy on studying the art of performance and not the art of presentation. As such, he has spent the last 15 years mastering the art of performance-enhanced communication, helping thousands of professionals worldwide to learn these skills.

Giang is also the CEO of Luminary Productions, which produces exceptional video for individuals and companies all around the globe.

According to Giang: “I believe that magicians are salespeople; they sell one of the most difficult products in the world. They sell magic – they sell the illusion. The way they’re able to sell magic is by working ridiculously hard. It takes thousands and thousands of hours to be able to sell the illusion, to be able to really sell the magic. Imagine if you applied the same mindset to your company – imagine if you applied the same dedication to your business – think about what you could achieve.”

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of retired U.S. Army Major General Russell Todd and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. General Todd, a 1950 graduate of the university, also serves as president emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings national thought leaders from business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other fields and endeavors to its Northfield campus. Lectures are streamed live at tls.norwich.edu.

For more information, please visit the Todd Lecture Series website tls.norwich.edu or call (802) 485-2633.

About College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS)

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) builds upon the institution’s nearly 200-year academic heritage with innovative online programs. CGCS offers master’s degrees in a variety of areas; bachelor’s degree completion programs; graduate certificates; and continuing education opportunities. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention. online.norwich.edu.

About Norwich University

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). 

Norwich will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Daphne E. Larkin M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office: 1 (802) 485-2886
Mobile: 1 (802) 595-3613
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Press Release Courtesy of Norwich Office of Athletic Communications

Senior goalie Braeden Ostepchuk (Lethbridge, Alberta) of the Norwich University men's ice hockey team was named a College Sports Information Directors of American (Co-SIDA) Academic All-District honoree for the third straight year on Thursday afternoon.

Ostepchuk is the first three-time Academic All-District honoree in Norwich University history. Last year, he became just the second two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in school history and the 11th overall selection after earning First Team At-Large category honors in 2017. He was named to the Third Team in 2016.

The men's at-large category comprises student-athletes from fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, water polo and wrestling.

The CoSIDA Academic All-American program recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.

Ostepchuk was one of 10 student-athletes selected to the District I Region team.

Ostepchuk held a 4.0 cumulative GPA through all eight semesters at Norwich as a mechanical engineering major. He won the Freshmen Award for having the top GPA in the entire freshmen class last year. He is a four-time University scholar, three -time NEHC All-Academic team selection and also won the Freshman Engineer Award. He has also volunteered with Special Olympics events on campus and participated in the National Walk to School Day event with local community school children.

Ostepchuk became the fifth NU men's ice hockey player in the last nine years to win the prestigious NCAA Elite 90 Award at the 2017 NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship for having the highest cumulative GPA out of all the student-athletes at the championship.

He also had a lead role in the Norwich University student team that won the third annual NASA Big Idea Challenge in March for their prototype that focused on an innovative flexible solar array design using inflatable booms to provide a compact stowed configuration and low launch mass for implantation on Mars.

On the ice, Ostepchuk had another historic season becoming the program all-time leader in career shutouts and moving all the way up to second on the all-time goalie win list with 51 career victories.

He was also named the NEHC Goalie of the Year and earned First Team All-Conference honors, marking the second straight year he earned NEHC All-Conference honors. He posted a 12-5-2 record with a 2.04 goals against average (16th nationally) and a .924 save percentage (29th nationally). He also had three shutouts to tie for ninth nationally.

In 2016-17 as a junior, Ostepchuk backstopped the Cadets to the program's fourth NCAA Division III National Championship. He led the nation with a perfect 16-0-0 record for a 1.000 winning percentage, becoming the first NU goaltender to accomplish that feat in program history.

Ostepchuk is a two-time PrimeLink All-Tournament Team selection and two-time Northfield Savings Bank All-Tournament team selection.

Ostepchuk marks the sixth time in the last seven years that a male NU ice hockey player has earned Academic All-District.

Ostepchuk will each be added to the pool of candidates for At-Large Academic All-American honors, which will be announced in early June. He will look to become the first three-time CoSIDA Academic All-American in Norwich University history after earning third team honors in 2016 and first team honors in 2017.

Norwich has had eight CoSIDA Academic All-Americans in the last six years with Greg Payne '15, men's soccer (2012, 2013); Colin Mulvey '13, men's ice hockey (2013); Andrew Banuskevich '14, football (2012); Pier-Olivier Cotnoir '13 (2012), men's ice hockey and Julie Fortier '12, women's ice hockey (2012).

Norwich University has been awarded $100,000 from Vermont Mutual Insurance Group Giving Fund to be paid over the next five years in support of “Forging the Future,” Norwich’s $100M, five-year fundraising campaign scheduled to conclude in 2019, Norwich’s bicentennial.

The Forging the Future campaign is committed to propelling the university into an era where technology, collaboration and interdisciplinary studies attract and retain the brightest students. The largest fundraising effort in the university’s history, the focus of the campaign is on creating a state-of-the-art learning environment, strengthening academic programing and growing scholarship endowments.

The first construction project in the campaign was a $6.8 million renovation to modernize Kreitzberg Library. In April 2017 Norwich broke ground on a $50 million project to construct Mack Hall, a new academic building, and renovate Dewey, Webb and Ainsworth Halls.

Susan Chicoine, Vice President of Human Resources, stated: “Vermont Mutual is proud to partner with Norwich University and their Forging the Future Campaign. We could not be more pleased to be able to support such a venerable institution and one that plays such an important role in our community.”

About Vermont Mutual

Vermont Mutual Insurance Group® is a trade name of Vermont Mutual Insurance Company, Northern Security Insurance Company, Inc. and Granite Mutual Insurance Company. Chartered in 1828, Vermont Mutual is one of the ten oldest mutual property/casualty insurers in the United States and provides coverage throughout New England and upstate New York. Through more than 400 independent agencies, the Group insures over 300,000 policyholders with a direct written premium of more than $465,000,000. The group is rated “A+ Superior” by A. M. Best and a Ward’s Top 50 performing property/casualty insurer in the U.S. for the past nine consecutive years.

About Norwich University

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). 

Norwich will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Media Contact:
Daphne E. Larkin M’17
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office: 1 (802) 485-2886
Mobile: 1 (802) 595-3613
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  • Norwich's Center for Leadership hosts its first annual leadership conference April 10-11. Call for Papers/Articles through Feb. 17.

    Norwich's Center for Leadership hosts its first annual leadership conference April 10-11. Call for Papers/Articles through Feb. 17.

    • Special Events
  • Commandant of the Field Artillery, Col. Shane P. Morgan, NU '94, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at Fort Sill Friday, January 27.

    Commandant of the Field Artillery, Col. Shane P. Morgan, NU '94, was promoted to brigadier general during a ceremony at Fort Sill Friday, January 27.

    • Alumni News
  • George Commo, the voice of Norwich hockey, to step away from broadcasting at end of 2022-23 season

    George Commo, the voice of Norwich hockey, to step away from broadcasting at end of 2022-23 season

    • Athletics News
  • Norwich alum Michelle LeBlanc '92  is looking to take her Vermont Paws & Boots service dog business “to the next level.”

    Norwich alum Michelle LeBlanc '92 is looking to take her Vermont Paws & Boots service dog business “to the next level.”

    • Alumni News
  • Norwich to host First Lego League (FLL) VT State championship on Saturday, Jan. 28.

    Norwich to host First Lego League (FLL) VT State championship on Saturday, Jan. 28.

    • Norwich In The News
  • Norwich with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center on March 7 to hold a free full-day course on Cybersecurity Resiliency in Industrial Control Systems at VTC Williston.

    Norwich with the Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center on March 7 to hold a free full-day course on Cybersecurity Resiliency in Industrial Control Systems at VTC Williston.

    • Save The Date
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Norwich University admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.

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