Your Letters – Fall 2017

Tanks
Here is a photo I took during school year 1949–50. The cadets from left to right are Ed Fitzpatrick ’52, Gardner Marchant ’50, Dick Van Ness ’52, Tom Hoar ’52, and Mase Saunders ’51. This was the last year the Cadet Corps was organized as a squadron of seven troops. The horses were gone, replaced by M24 “Chaffee” light tanks, and the branch was now armored cavalry. The photo was taken following an exercise of the Honor Tank Platoon. Gardner Marchant was the last squadron commander and Dick Van Ness was to become the second regimental commander.

Norwich Forever!

Tom Atwood ’53
Bonita Springs, Florida

Kudos and more Tanks

I would like to throw in a comment about Dave Whaley ’76. As you all know, in the summer of 2016 he made that incredible cross-country bike trip and made most of the journey alone. Dave being a Norwich grad accomplished quite an incredible feat with that ride. Doing my duty for the Army on my last assignment, I was all over that part of the West, but in a rental car, not like Dave alone on a bike. And even for me there were long stretches of boring nothing. Well done.

By the way, I wrote an email to Ron Lotz ’60 whose article you included in the section about the lasting impact of ROTC instructors. I asked him how they managed to throw the tracks of all five tanks—he said snow and ice were big contributing factors.

They used to do their driving in what they called the “Bullpen,” a rough-terrain area even for tanks. At that time, Norwich had a platoon of tanks (five 50-ton M48s that replaced the five M47s they had when we first got there) that they kept in a tank shed not far from the old hockey arena. Whenever they wanted to get the tanks to the “Bullpen” they would have to travel toward Route 12, past where I think the Sullivan Museum is now and then onto Route 12 south for a short distance before they made a right turn back onto Norwich property. Because the tanks were so big and wide, once in a while an unsuspecting motorist would suddenly come face to face with one of those iron monsters. I am not sure if there might have been one or two near-accidents. I believe after receiving some complaints Norwich had to change the tank route.

Someday, if you are looking for an article to fill a space in your Record, perhaps a feature can be done: “When Norwich Had Tanks.” The person that might be the most help to you would be Ron Lotz ’60, since he was a member of the Honor Tank Platoon and he travels up to Norwich quite frequently. Another man who would have been a great voice for a tank feature was the late William Stockman III ’60, who died some years ago. His father, William Stockman II, was in horse cavalry at Norwich with the class of 1934, the same class as Mo Smith and the late Dick Schultz ’60’s father.

Take care and my very best to your staff for all those wonderful written works you folks create for us to read about our beloved Norwich.

Victor L. Kim ’60
Pocasset, Massachusetts

Editor’s note: Would you like to see a feature on “When Norwich Had Tanks”? Contact us at record@norwich.edu.

 

President Schneider: Open-Door Policy
I just finished reading the summer edition of the Record and was particularly interested in “The Man Behind the Presidency,” as it allowed me to reflect on my interactions with President Schneider.

While I was on the Hill, Norwich was just beginning to transform as part of the 2019 initiative. Harmon Hall was closed and under construction while we dined in the basement of what is now Bartoletto Hall.

In addition, plans were underway for many other campus transformations. Needless to say, President Schneider was an extremely busy leader. I provide that as background to give a frame of reference for my first interaction with him.

In the spring of 2007, I had signed up to participate in a Relay for Life event in the Attleboro, Mass., area. As I surpassed my initial goal of raising $100, I decided that I would make the effort to reach $1,000. I decided, merely on a whim, to contact President Schneider to see if he would be willing to assist. Given everything occurring on campus, I wasn’t expecting what followed. I was merely a junior civilian student lacking any true “Norwich fame.” I didn’t write for the Guidon and I wasn’t a star athlete. Not having interacted with President Schneider before, I didn’t anticipate being of interest to him.

President Schneider immediately responded to my email with a request to meet with him in his office. We spoke at length about Relay for Life and how I was embodying the Norwich way. The discussion lasted roughly 15 minutes, but the time is not important. Not only did I leave his office with a donation for Relay for Life—I left knowing that President Schneider was reachable to anyone on campus regardless of status.

The next year I happened to live in Flint Hall across the street from the president’s house. We would greet each other when we ran into each other on the street. At Commencement that May, he said “congratulations, neighbor” as I received my diploma. That made the day that much more personal.

President Schneider’s closeness to the campus was made all the more relevant when I attended commencement exercises for family members that did not attend Norwich. When asked what their presidents were like, they didn’t have an answer. Thank you President Schneider for making a positive impact on my time at Norwich and allowing me to have insight into the type of leader you are.

Matthew Magliozzi ’08
Attleboro, Massachusetts

 

Achieving “Norwich Forever”
With President Schneider emphasizing both growing the endowment and improving Norwich affordability in the summer 2017 Record, I would like to see the university put more emphasis on graduates becoming both financially successful and also happy long-term with their Norwich experience, so that a higher percentage of alumni, both cadet and civilian, will be in a position to give back to the university.

It seems like this increased percentage of alumni donors will be necessary due to the generally lower prosperity levels we are experiencing in this country. In summary, sustaining Norwich Forever will only occur if we can keep the math working.

Walter Legan ’70
Orlando, Florida

Editor’s note: This is a great suggestion. Norwich does offer free financial literacy courses through the Center for Civic Engagement. In the 2017–18 Norwich course catalog, financial literacy is listed as a key goal of the finance minor. Personal financial management is also offered to pre-college-aged students in the Youth Leadership Conference, which takes place during the winter on the Norwich campus. Do you have ideas for promoting financial literacy among our students? Email record@norwich.edu.

 

“Prison Sing Much Liked by Convicts,” 1927
The following is an excerpt from an April 15, 1927, issue of the Norwich Guidon that includes a letter written to the Norwich Glee Clubs by the inmates of the Vermont State Prison. It was recently discovered in the Norwich Archives:

Singing four times in three days the Norwich Glee Clubs last week covered three towns in Vermont giving one concert in Springfield, two in Windsor, and one in White River Junction. One of the concerts in Windsor was given at the state prison on the invitation of the prison chaplain. The clubs left Thursday on the return of the Corps after vacation and returned early Monday morning.
The concert at the state prison was the most successful one given. The prisoners were very glad to have the routine of the “walled city” broken by the Glee Clubs’ program and Prof. Whitcomb was presented with the following letter:

We, the men of the Vermont State Prison, who have been so highly favored this day by the musical program rendered by you, wish to express our heart-felt gratitude for the same.
It was mighty fine of you, boys, to come down here to Windsor this after-noon, the one day in the week a college man can call his own, to give us “shut-ins” an opportunity to listen to some first-class music, free from the tin-pan variety known as jazz.

Norwich University has rendered a service that will carry on in the mind of every man of the Vermont State Prison for many a day and we the men of the “Walled City” wish to thank each and every one of you gentlemen for the part you played, in bringing about this splendid entertainment.

In all of us, you will have loyal rooters, and may the success of Norwich University ring out from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Inmates of the Vermont State Prison
By S. D. Richardson, 1927


The Record welcomes correspondence from its readers. All letters will be considered for publication, but yours is more likely to be published if it is less than 300 words and addresses a relevant and timely topic. We reserve the right to edit for grammar, length, taste, and clarity. In addition, all letters must include your name. Address letters to: Editor of the Record, Norwich University, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield VT 05663. Or, email record@norwich.edu with “Letter to the Editor” in the subject line.

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