The President’s View – Summer 2017

“One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”
John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States

This issue of the Record marks the fourth and final in our Year of Leadership—the third of five themes leading up to our bicentennial in 2019. And what a year it has been! We christened our Distinguished Leader in Residence Program, hosted global CEO Marilyn Tam, established the Center for Global Resiliency and Security, and added several new degree-completion and certificate programs to our slate of online offerings in the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies.

Yet perhaps the most impactful leadership event of the year happened on March 21, when we brought ten high-ranking military leaders to campus for our first Leadership and Service Summit. Nine of these men have achieved the rank of general or flag officer (GOFO) in the Armed Forces of the United States, and one is a Senior Executive Service leader within the Air Force. From all branches of service, they are serving our country in multiple and diverse ways. Many are active duty, while some are Guardsmen, Reservists, or retired. All are consummate professionals who have made a career of service to nation, and all are Norwich alumni who returned to the Hill to “pay it forward” in gratitude to the institution that set them on their paths to success.

As with last year’s centennial celebration of the birth of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, these outstanding leaders convened on our campus for the express purpose of interacting with Norwich students. Daytime activities included classroom presentations, networking opportunities, a panel discussion moderated by our own General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59, and mil lab breakout sessions, culminating in an evening Todd Lecture Series event featuring Admiral Philip S. Davidson, U.S. Fleet Forces Command/Naval Forces U.S. Northern Command.

By all accounts the day was a fabulous success. I heard glowing remarks from participants on all sides and throughout the ranks, ranging from “exceptional event” to “wonderful experience” to a resounding “hooah!” The GOFOs said they came away “energized by their conversations with the students” and with a renewed spirit of leadership.

One of my jobs as leader of Norwich is to inspire students to dream more, learn more,
do more, and become more, so that when they leave this campus, they will be qualified “for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen of this free republic.”* It is a job I take seriously, but not one I can accomplish single-handedly. John F. Kennedy, a great leader who inspired many, said, “One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”

I am deeply indebted to our alumni who so generously give of their time, stepping up to the plate to inspire our students, help launch their careers by offering them jobs, internships and networking opportunities, host them at their homes for student Sendoffs or during Spring Break, help make their educations affordable through scholarships, or serve as caring mentors. When it comes to our students’ intangible assets, you are second only to their Norwich education—both while they are here and long after they graduate. On behalf of our students, thank you for all you have done, and for all you will do, to support them and help them succeed.

Richard W. Schneider

 

 

Richard W. Schneider
RADM, USCGR (Ret.)

 

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