The President’s View – Fall 2015
A new academic year has begun. Fall semester classes are well underway and the UP is once again echoing with the sounds of cadences for all to hear. Many of you opening this issue are planning to make the trek to Northfield for another Homecoming on October 1–4. If so, I look forward to seeing you. I promise the foliage will be spectacular and the programming even more so.
You may have heard me say, “When it comes to higher education money is the root of all excellence.” What I mean by that is you can have all the dreams in the world, but if you don’t have the resources, the execution is not going to happen. As I crisscross America with Mark Kisiel ’59 and Joel Kobert ’65, the message we are bringing to the Norwich family is one of transformation. Support from our alumni and friends is helping us to not only envision the future of Norwich, but also to actualize it. Through the power of philanthropy, the Forging the Future campaign will transform the academic experience at Norwich as we know it, enabling the University to maintain pace with advances in education while keeping that education within reach of the middle class.
If you have college-age children, you know precisely what I am talking about. Not so long ago, a student’s entire technology expenditure for the year consisted of a slide rule purchased from the bookstore. Today we budget $6 million a year for technology alone. Graduates of a few decades ago will recall that Norwich—like most colleges—had no academic achievement center, no counseling center, no center for civic engagement, no director of undergraduate research, no internship coordinator, and no international center. Forging the Future will raise $1.5 million in funding targeted at enhancing faculty development and international programming; while another half million will be allocated toward service-learning and community-service programming. These necessary enhancements augment the classroom experience and equip our students and faculty with the tools and experience they need to be valuable contributors to society. They also serve to keep Norwich competitive in the higher-ed marketplace.
The physical campus is also being transformed: Three academic buildings—Dewey, Webb, and Ainsworth halls—are slated for $24.5 million in renovations and upgrades. In addition, we are investing $24 million in the construction of a brand-new academic building, Mack Hall. Another $6.8 million funded the transformation of the Kreitzberg Library, completed this summer. (See the Annual Report for details.)
Equally important, we are setting aside funding for scholarships, which transform the lives of students whose parents cannot afford to send their young adults to Norwich.
Every Homecoming I talk to alums who haven’t been back to campus since their graduation, and they exclaim, “I can’t believe how much the campus has changed!”
They are absolutely right. It has changed. But preserved within the walls of those new facilities are the things that haven’t changed: our Honor Code, our Guiding Values, and our commitment to service to nation and others before self. These intangibles are what make the Norwich of today the same Norwich you attended. But don’t take my word for it. Come back to the Hill and experience it for yourself!
Richard W. Schneider
RADM, USCGR (Ret.)