By Richard W. Schneider< br/> The Norwich Record | Fall 2019

Around the time you receive this maga­zine, Norwich’s largest Bicentennial com­memoration and celebration will soon be underway during Homecoming 2019. More than five years in the making, the jubilation has harnessed the talents of alumni, faculty, students, staff, and volunteers, who came together to perform thousands of hours of plan­ning and execution. It is an effort befitting the occasion, and I sincerely hope that everyone reading this is able to take part in some way, and in so doing, feel a sense of awe at what this milestone represents.

As for me, I am incredibly grateful to have had the hon­or of being Norwich Univer­sity’s president during this moment in our history. It has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I could not be more pleased with the outcome, particularly with regard to the Forging the Future campaign. We not only met our original fund­raising goal of $100 million, we are on track to exceed it by some $10 million. Includ­ed in this issue of the Nor­wich Record is our 2019 Annual Report, which lists the names of the trustees and donors—our alumni, friends, faculty, staff, and supporters—who provided the leadership, guidance, and financial resources for us to realize our vision. As I have said many times before, vi­sion without resources is hallucination. Time and again in my 27 years as your president, you all have prov­en to me that I am not hallu­cinating.

From day one of my pres­idency, I have tried to remain faithful to Capt. Partridge’s vision of educating and training citizen-soldiers. My business plan was simple: educate and train the stu­dents of today to protect, de­fend, and build this republic, and the republic will send us their best students. The plan required expanding and up­grading the physical plant, diversifying and modernizing our academic and co-curric­ular programs, and national­izing our brand. In higher education, if you are not moving forward, you are falling behind; and in today’s competitive market, you cannot afford not to be out in front. Moving Norwich for­ward is something I never tire of, even as I approach the in­evitable end of my time on the Hill. I can honestly say it holds even more excitement for me today than it did in 1992, and there is so much more I would like to do.

But I cannot go on indef­initely. As Norwich enters its third century of service to America, I will step aside to make room for my successor to pick up where I have left off. And he or she will stand on my shoulders, as I have stood on the shoulders of those who came before me.

In this last year of my presidency, I feel at times like the Roman god Janus, simul­taneously looking ahead and back. I have presided over change and evolution—care­fully navigating Norwich’s transition from past to fu­ture and from one era to an­other, while helping young people transition into adult­hood. And even though I am sad to be leaving Norwich, I am excited about what our new president will bring. I have tried my best to provide a solid foundation on which to continue to transform this institution into the “Great American University” our founder envisioned more than 200 years ago.

Our Bicentennial has giv­en each and every one of us the opportunity to recognize Capt. Partridge’s significant role in the development of higher education in this country, and to understand the value of his timeless ideas.

 That is the power of the moment. That is what we are celebrating — Partridge and Norwich University’s cumu­lative impact on America and the world over the course of 200 years. I believe we have made our founder proud.


Richard W. Schneider

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