BY MARK ANARUMO, PHD
NORWICH RECORD | Winter 2023
Norwich has been recognized for over two centuries as an institution devoted to the creation of leaders. Other schools have pursued a similar purpose to varying degrees of success, yet there has always been something special about a Norwich graduate. Despite our relatively small size, Norwich has managed to build leaders who have served at the highest levels of government service, in the military, and across all industries. We are disproportionately successful in ways the rest of the world respects and envies. The natural question to ask in the face of this is success is why? What is it about the Norwich model that leads to the creation of alumni who are so remarkably successful? General Gordon Sullivan ’59, USA (Ret.) famously referenced the Norwich “secret sauce.” As we move into the future, we are identifying the ingredients of the sauce and making sure we preserve the recipe.
In previous editions of the Record, I shared the backgrounds of our current on-campus cabinet members and summarized how we will approach building an institution ready to create leaders for the 21st century. Summarized again here, we are committed to a whole-of-institution focus on student success and are determined to leverage our distinctiveness to become The National Leadership University. We will create the leaders needed by our nation, and our world, ready to thrive in the challenging and increasingly complex global environment in which we live.
To ensure we achieve these lofty and critical goals, in 2023 we will launch two new leadership academies: The Federal Service and Leadership Academy, and the Global Leadership Innovation and Service Academy. These intensive, in-house learning centers will challenge and prepare our Corps and civilian students for careers in non-uniform federal services, such as the CIA, NSA, and numerous others, and prepare our graduates to lead successfully in an increasingly complicated international community. We want the world to know they need Norwich graduates if they want leaders who will successfully face any challenge.
Our students are already demonstrating tremendous interest in these new leadership programs, and we should not be surprised. The current generation of college-age students, including those serving in the military, want to lead earlier than any previous age cohort. Whether in uniform, in industry, business, or non-uniformed service, these young men and women crave the opportunity to lead early and to be challenged often. As we know, the experiential learning program at Norwich creates significant challenges for all willing to prove themselves. We will be adding to our proven model, formalizing and delivering on the integration of contemporary leadership development for all students. We will give our students the tools they need; I am confident they are ready to receive them.
We have the talent in place to make this all happen quickly. Every Norwich student, whether Corps or civilian, is fortunate to have tremendous mentors and role models for inspiration and guidance. They include our committed faculty, ROTC and Commandant staff, student life professional staff, our world-class centers, and athletic coaches, among others. That list does not begin to touch on the deep bench of leadership talent and career mentors found among our extraordinary alumni, who serve at the highest echelons of our nation’s military branches and government civil service, and as leaders in many of our nation’s most successful and innovative companies, nonprofits, small businesses, and large corporations.
Over the past few months, we have enjoyed observing the continued accolades and accomplishments of our Norwich alumni. One recent example is the extraordinary achievement of Air Force officer Thomas Bussiere ’85. In October 2022, Lt Gen Bussiere, serving as deputy commander of United States Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, was nominated by the President for promotion to four-star general. He was confirmed in December 2022, making General Bussiere the first Norwich graduate to achieve the rank of four-star general in the Air Force. Bussiere, who visited Norwich last year and spoke to the Record (Winter 2022 issue), affirmed the bond between NU alumni currently serving in our nation’s military, saying “I think the long-standing, multi-decade connection of Norwich grads is strong and sound. I can guarantee in the Department of Defense that Norwich graduates—officer, enlisted, civilian, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines, and now (Space Force) Guardians—are connected and stay connected.” We are so proud of you Tom and know that our service members, our country, and the world will benefit from your leadership.
Another incredible achievement was the recent promotion and assignment of Douglas Stitt, a distinguished military graduate of the Class of 1990. Doug started the year as a two-star general doing great things for our nation and proudly served as speaker for the 2022 Norwich University Joint Commissioning Ceremony. Soon after his visit, we learned of his promotion to lieutenant general and as a three-star was assigned as Director, Personnel Management for Headquarters of the Army, one of the most demanding and critical jobs in the entire Department of Defense. Doug, we are so proud of your amazing accomplishments and incredible success and are excited to see all you will do for our Army, our nation, and a world that seems at greater risk now than any time in the past 30 years.
In the private sector, countless Norwich alumni continue to launch exciting and transformative businesses. Among them is a thriving cybersecurity and artificial intelligence company led by Cesar Nader ’01, USMC (Ret) whose company, X Corp Solutions, is leading innovation in cybersecurity, blockchain technology, intelligence/counterintelligence, and emerging technologies in support of national security. Another is Xelevate, co-founded by married NU alumni Marcy Eisenberg ’97 and Andrew Biechlin ’97, a Leesburg, Virginia, company pioneering drone and unmanned aerial vehicle testing and training. Remarkably, 11 of the company’s 12 employees are Norwich graduates; clearly, they are blessed with extraordinary talent and are poised for continued success!
I cannot imagine a more challenging or critical time that demands the creation of leaders with Norwich credentials. For 203 years, Norwich has proven we know how to prepare and graduate the leaders needed for their time. We have assembled the Norwich team that will build and deliver the programs that will prepare the next generation of leaders needed now and in the future.
As The National Leadership University, Norwich will be a key partner for all sec¬tors of service and every profession. Our alumni have established an incredible reputation for our institution. It is now up to us to preserve, solidify, and expand the things that make Norwich such a remarkable institution. Working together, we will make leaders the world needs and who will make us all proud.
Norwich Together, Norwich Forever!
Mark Anarumo, PhD
Maj Gen (VSM)