Since our earlier announcements about fall planning, we have grown steadily more optimistic about the fall semester as our state and our nation make great strides in combating the spread of COVID-19 through vaccinations and adherence to health guidelines. Given the progress and reviews of modeling and research, it is our goal is to have a vaccinated campus by 1 August 2021, allowing us to return to a much more normal student experience, including in-person classes, a vibrant campus life, military training, club activities, and athletics.

President Anarumo congratulates Norwich students, faculty, staff, parents and family members at the conclusion of the 2020-21 academic year, acknowledging the many challenges faced and overcome together in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On behalf of the University, I express my sincerest appreciation to everyone who has contributed to our students’ success and commend all who worked tirelessly to ensure their special day come to fruition. I recognize that many of our parents, families, and guests will be using this occasion to not only celebrate the accomplishments of the Class of 2021, but also to visit their alma mater and to possibly reconnect with old friends and acquaintances. Some alumni may be coming with fond memories of past commencement ceremonies and possibly expecting to take part in certain traditions. For this reason, I wish to highlight a number of changes we must make to this year’s celebrations to ensure the health and safety of our entire Norwich community and to meet the State of Vermont COVID-19 guidelines on hosting gatherings. As a reminder, these guidelines carry with them the force of law; we do not have the option to non-comply with the published requirements.

As the birthplace of ROTC, Norwich University takes immense pride in producing exceptional military leaders for our country. The Class of 2021 includes 169 commissionees representing four branches. I am especially delighted that Maj. Gen. Gary Keefe, U.S. Air Force, retired, NU’86 and Adjutant General of the Massachusetts National Guard, has graciously accepted our invitation to deliver the Joint Commissioning Ceremony keynote address at this event.

We are now just two weeks away from Norwich University’s May 1st in-person 2021 Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies. Please know we are doing all that we can to ensure a safe, celebratory recognition of our students and their achievements. Our priority is to provide the best possible experience for our seniors, in accordance with the capacity and crowd limits that are now in place under the Governor’s Vermont Forward Plan.

In this video

Norwich University President Mark C. Anarumo updates the Norwich community on COVID-19 operations, athletics, spring events and Commencement and Joint Commissioning planning for May 1 celebrations.

The countdown to our in-person 2021 Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies has begun! We are thrilled to be able to celebrate this important milestone in the lives of our students with a limited number of our parents, families, and guests.

Based on current guidelines established by the Vermont Forward Plan, I am pleased to provide you additional details regarding our decision to permit guests to attend:

  • Norwich University will host two (2) indoor Commencement ceremonies at 9:00 a.m. and two (2) Commencement ceremonies at noon. These ceremonies will be held simultaneously at each time slot in Shapiro Fieldhouse and Kreitzberg Arena in keeping with the physical distancing guidance and COVID-19 protocols stipulated in the Vermont Forward Plan for indoor events to ensure the health and safety of the Norwich community and our guests. These ceremonies are being developed for Norwich University’s colleges and schools, with more details forthcoming in the week ahead as we work through our student preferences and guestlists.

On April 6, 2021, Vermont Gov. Phil Scott released a reopening guide to provide Vermonters and state business and higher education communities the path for a phased return to unrestricted travel, business operations, and event gatherings. The plan was developed by the Department of Health, the Department of Public Safety, and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development and uses vaccination milestones to ensure a safe easing of personal restrictions and continued reopening of the state's economy.

What does the Vermont Forward Plan mean to Norwich University?

Simply stated, Norwich University is now able to welcome and host guests to our onsite, in-person 2021 Commencement and Joint Commissioning ceremonies on Saturday, May 1. Each graduate will be permitted to invite two (2) fully COVID-19 vaccinated guests.

Effective immediately, we are able to loosen select Campus Quarantine Phase 2 restrictions for commuter students and student employment on campus. Please review the following updates to Phase 2:

Commuter Students Welcome on Campus

We are pleased to welcome commuter students back to campus.

In order to come onto campus, commuter students must participate in COVID-19 surveillance testing. Commuter students will be required to test two times each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. If an alternate testing day is needed, commuter students should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to coordinate an alternative testing day. Hours of operation for the Plumley Armory COVID-19 Testing Site: 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, 

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