Mission & Values

Norwich cadet marching on the UP next to flags.

Norwich Mission

Captain Alden Partridge founded our university in 1819 with a vision to create an educational institution distinctly built for the challenges facing a new democracy on a largely unsettled continent.  He knew the circumstances of time and place required his new college to educate and develop American citizens who could guide the country through the opportunities of the decades and centuries to come. 

His vision is succinctly captured in the University mission statement from 1843:

“To give our youth an education that shall be American in its character - to enable them to act as well as to think - to execute as well as conceive - to “tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them” - to make moral, patriotic, efficient, and useful citizens, and to qualify them for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen of this free republic.”

Today, that mission remains unchanged, its wisdom more keenly understood as it has demonstrated its value in the intervening years.  It captures fundamental concepts easily adapted to changes in technology and the evolution of human knowledge.

To make this mission statement come to life, Norwich University created a framework for how to build such citizens and leaders.  This framework has evolved over many years, with leaders and educators continually seeking better processes aimed at the same results – creating the graduates who bring the Norwich mission to life.

The Vision for Norwich University

Norwich University will be a learning community, American in character yet global in perspective; engaged in personal and intellectual transformation, and dedicated to knowledge, mutual respect, creativity, and service.

Guiding Values

Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge, U.S. Army, and is the oldest private military college in the country. Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students in a Corps of Cadets or as civilians, and adult students. Norwich identifies the following as our guiding values:

  1. We are men and women of honor and integrity. We shall not tolerate those who lie, cheat, or steal.
  2. We are dedicated to learning, emphasizing teamwork, leadership, creativity, and critical thinking.
  3. We respect the right to diverse points of view as a cornerstone of our democracy.
  4. We encourage service to nation and others before self.
  5. We stress being physically fit and drug free.
  6. To live the Norwich motto, “I will try!” – meaning perseverance in the face of adversity.
  7. We stress self-discipline, personal responsibility, and respect for law.
  8. We hold in highest esteem our people and reputation.