The President’s View – Fall 2017

I love the excitement that a new school year brings—the hustle and bustle of preseason sports camps, the arrival of a new freshman class, and the anticipation of Homecoming and Parent and Family Weekend. These annual rituals, framed in crisp autumn mornings and brilliant foliage, make the beginning of the fall semester one of my favorite times of year.

This fall promises to yield even more excitement than usual. All summer long, the northeast area of campus has been a hub of activity, with heavy equipment moving tons of earth to make way for the construction of Mack Hall and the renovation of Dewey, Webb, and Ainsworth. The centerpiece of a vast slate of improvements being funded by the Forging the Future Campaign, this $48.5 million project will be ready in time for the conclusion of our bicentennial celebration at Homecoming two years from now.

At this year’s Homecoming we officially kicked off the Year of Legacy, the fourth annual theme in our five-year bicentennial commemoration. As with our previous themes—Year of Service, Year of Transformation, and Year of Leadership—the Year of Legacy allows us to reflect on how Norwich has influenced each of our lives. As alumni, your character, your career, your friendships—and most of all, your memories—have been shaped by your Norwich experience. Yet as much as Norwich is part of you, you are part of Norwich. No matter if you graduated in 1934, like 106-year-old Mo Smith, or last May, like Naval Distinguished Graduate and Class of 2017 valedictorian Derek J. Lotito, you are an indelible part of Norwich’s history. Yet by the same token, you are an enduring part of her future.

Because regardless of your academic major, or whether you chose the cadet or civilian lifestyle, or if you are a graduate of one of our many online programs, you hold this institution’s reputation in your hands. As this nation’s citizen-soldiers, it is your duty to perpetuate Alden Partridge’s legacy of preparing leaders of honor and integrity, committed to a life of service. Every time you inform me of your new promotion, new job, new degree, or latest recognition, I feel proud that what you learned at Norwich is playing a role in inspiring you to try harder and reach further than you ever dreamed possible.

As I enter my 26th year as president of your university, I am grateful for all the positive things Norwich alumni are doing to give back to their communities, this country, and our world. If humankind is going to survive past the 21st century, it needs educated, innovative thought-leaders who can work together to develop lasting solutions to the many causes of human suffering, including war, poverty, and disease. Your Norwich degree and guiding values have given you a giant leg up on leaving this world a better place than you found it—whether at the local, national, or global level—so I challenge everyone reading this to ask themselves the question, “What do I want my legacy to be?”

Norwich Forever!

Richard W. Schneider

 

 

Richard W. Schneider
RADM, USCGR (Ret.)

 

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