News from the NUAA – Spring 2018


“Oh, so you went to a military school?”

This is the typical response I receive after mentioning I graduated from Norwich University. Quite often, what follows is several minutes of me elaborating on how I attended the school as a “civilian” and didn’t participate in the military activities. This admission typically leads to more questions about what that experience must have been like.

The short answer? Eye-opening and life-changing.

No matter how many times I go through this narrative, I am always reminded of how thankful I am for the valuable perspective I gained by sharing a classroom with people from all backgrounds eager to bring their unique strengths to the table as future members of our global community, whether we choose the military, public service, work in sustainability and agriculture, or the public sector. Although I didn’t wear a uniform, I was able to speak with my counterparts in the Corps of Cadets and hear their thoughts on serving our country, the discipline and respect required to do so, and the importance of working together toward a common goal.

Norwich isn’t just an academic institution; it’s also an excellent place to prepare yourself for the real world—one of the very first things I learned here was how to work and coexist with others who may act and dress differently than me. Paying attention to others’ feelings is key for creating a culture of belonging and ensuring the success of diverse teams. Empathy is essential to the smooth functioning of business and society—a management concept often in short supply these days.

Inclusive leadership isn’t a buzzword; it’s a goal to strive for. Norwich challenges us to do better, to surround ourselves with people from different backgrounds, and to open up to others’ experiences. These lessons have served me well in my professional life, where I’ve worked alongside everyone from seasoned veterans to high school students poised to enlist. I am extremely proud of my university’s legacy of leadership and service. I boast about the many accomplishments of our alumni—and that includes all alumni, whether you are Corps or civilian, and whether you are a graduate of our brick-and-mortar programs or the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

The Norwich University Alumni Association Board represents a variety of lifestyles—Corps, civilian, and online students and graduates—and, just as we did when we were students, we have to work together to achieve our common purpose.

Remember, we are all one Norwich.

Yours in Service,
Eddie Habeck ’99

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