Jacque Day in front of Kreitzberg Library.

Jacque Day in front of Kreitzberg Library.

One Norwich.

Eddie Habeck ’99 makes this his punctuating statement in his column on page 39, and there is great wisdom to it. As Norwich University approaches our third century, we are bearing witness to a global reimagination of the very idea of space. In the twentieth century, humans reached into outer space. In the twenty-first, we are exploring the vastness of cyberspace, or inner space, and the deeper we go the more we discover its infinite possibilities, and the more we question our preconceived limitations of the physical space around us.

Retired Army General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59 makes frequent emphasis of the word change: not only is change necessary, he says, but we must change the way we change. From the get-go, Norwich has challenged the status quo, beginning with our founder bucking the establishment’s notions of what education should be, instead imagining what it could be. In imagining what we can’t yet see and trying for it, we change the way we change.
So what does Eddie Habeck mean by “one Norwich”?

Up until 1998, to attend Norwich, to teach at Norwich, to work for Norwich, required occupying a specific physical space. Twenty years ago, Norwich stood at the forefront of what is now a widespread concept: online education. Today, Norwich University has just over 24,000 living alumni. Of those, 7,770—almost a full one-third—are graduates of our online programs. At present, students in our online programs represent nearly 40 percent of our total enrollment. To embrace this “new” Norwich is to embrace the idea that now, with the exception of one on-campus Residency week, more than one-third of our students attend a global classroom—and, they are shaping and defining the Norwich experience for themselves. So by “one Norwich,” Eddie means all of us, from the Corps and civilians on our brick-and-mortar campus, to the growing and evolving global Norwich.

Twenty-five years ago, a story about an architecture firm operating in a virtual office might have been passed off as science fiction. Because they’re in the business of designing structures, traditionally, architecture firms have been rooted to brick-and-mortar offices. But Joe Fisher ’10 & M’11 challenged that convention, and flipped the script. Today he operates his architecture firm, Studio 355, in a virtual office, with staff—all Norwich alumni—as far away as South Korea. Working in cyberspace has challenged the Studio 355 team to reexamine how they imagine the physical spaces they are building.

In this issue, we imagine the Norwich of the future. Within the following pages you will find a Q&A with Joe Fisher and an introduction to CityLAB:Berlin, another step in the journey to a global campus. As we close in on the Forging the Future campaign and look ahead to the future, why don’t you close your eyes and try to imagine a Norwich University of 2035. What will it look like? How far beyond Northfield will we have grown?

Wherever your imagination takes you, wherever Norwich goes from here, you are forever a part of it, a step in the Norwich story, like so many of the Hill’s great, cascading steps. Infinite possibilities, countless steps, one Norwich.

For the Record,

Jacque E. Day
Acting Editor


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