The President’s View – Summer 2015
As I write this column, we have just finished wrapping up a three-month, 23-city tour to generate support among members of the Norwich family for the future of our University. At each venue we presented the Forging the Future campaign video, which speaks to the timeless value of service so critical to our mission of producing citizen soldiers. Forging the Future co-chairs Mark Kisiel ’59 and Joel Kobert ’65 joined me at these events to talk about how the $100 million campaign will help us create the environment wherein we can continue to educate leaders of character and purpose.
Now that the tour is behind me, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there is a rising tide of excitement for Norwich. Without exception, wherever we went, the Norwich family’s response was overwhelmingly positive. In all my years as president I have never seen such abundant pride and displays of loyalty on the part of our alumni.
All across the country, from Boston to San Francisco and Chicago to Houston, I had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with many of you and hear your stories. My biggest takeaway from that experience is that Norwich prepares its graduates to become useful and active citizens, and ultimately leads them to success in work and in life. This uniquely Norwich characteristic is directly linked to our mission statement. It is one thing to conceive of a plan, but another thing entirely to execute it. What impresses me most about Norwich alumni is that they can think and act: They get things done.
One can think about a campaign in terms of a bucket that needs filling: Every drop you put in the bucket raises the level a little higher. At this point in the campaign our bucket is almost two-thirds full, and in order to fill it I am going to need the participation of every single one of you. Those of you who have already stepped up to the plate—you have my deepest, most heartfelt thanks—but I need everyone doing their part if we are going to execute our plan. Only with all of us working together will we be able to help Norwich fulfill its promise of educating tomorrow’s leaders today.
When you were a student, you stood on the shoulders of those who came before you. Now I am asking you to be the shoulders for future generations of Norwich students to stand on. In the campaign video, Chairman of the Board of Trustees General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59 challenges Norwich alumni to “show people what you know about leadership.” What leadership role are you going to play in your class to help Norwich reach its goal? We have four more years until our bicentennial. Let’s get it done!
Richard W. Schneider
RADM, USCGR (Ret.)