The President’s View – Winter 2017
As we enter the second quarter of our Year of Leadership, I am inspired to reflect on the many leaders who have influenced me in my role as president of Norwich. Topping this list are the four outstanding chairmen of the Board of Trustees I have had the privilege to serve: Rollin S. Reiter ’50, Charles S. Adams ’40, Fred C. Kreitzberg ’57, and Gordon R. Sullivan ’59. Although each brought his own distinct skill set, professional base, and personality to the table, collectively they possessed qualities shared by all highly respected leaders: integrity, trustworthiness, vision, passion, and accountability. For 24 years I was blessed by their wisdom and guidance, and Norwich in turn benefited greatly from their efforts.
No two people lead in the same way: Each has his or her own personal style. This is certainly the case with my current chairman, Alan DeForest ’75. Alan has served on the board since 2000, most recently as vice-chair, and has spoken on several occasions to various NU audiences in recent years; however, his name may not be familiar to many in the Norwich family.
A dedicated alumnus, Alan has served Norwich as an admissions ambassador and as a director and treasurer of the Norwich University Alumni Association. A four-year rugby player and captain as a senior, he continues to take an active role in the Scrum Alums, an organization which helps support our men’s and women’s rugby programs. In addition, he and his wife, Cynthia VC’75, are passionate about giving back to Norwich, and have achieved recognition as two-star generals in the Partridge Society. They are also proud NU parents: Their daughter Danielle holds both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree from Norwich, and their son-in-law is also a Norwich graduate.
In the 16 years I have worked with Alan, he has demonstrated that he shares the same values as my four previous chairmen, wanting only what is best for Norwich and for our students. He is deeply committed to working together with faculty, staff, students, and alumni in helping to develop our Norwich After Next 2035 Strategic Plan, which you will be hearing more about from Alan himself. In the meantime, Alan and Forging the Future campaign Chair Joel Kobert ’65 will be joining me on the road as we share our exciting vision for Norwich’s future with you. I cannot wait for everyone to meet Alan and get to know him better, as I know you will find him to be an approachable and thoughtful leader. I also look forward to speaking with many of you at these engagements throughout the year. To learn more, visit alumni.norwich.edu/leadership.
Richard W. Schneider
RADM, USCGR (Ret.)