Your Letters – Spring 2018

A DEEPENING CONNECTION
Last fall, my wife and I attended our third Parent and Family Weekend at Norwich University, to mark the fifteenth year of my son’s graduation. (MAJ Nicholas Milkovich is currently attending the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.) I fell in love with Norwich the first time I visited.

Because of a light drizzle that morning we decided to step into one of the campus buildings on the UP before the cadets came out for review.

We were greeted in the lobby by an instructor who informed us that the projects on display were the work of freshmen architecture students. I mentioned that I, too, was (briefly) an architecture student at Kent State University, Ohio, in the fall of 1964. She replied that her father was an instructor at KSU at that time. Well, guess what? Cara Armstrong’s father was my architecture instructor that semester!

So, after driving over 700 miles through three states I discovered a connection between my college experience and Norwich University. After a good laugh and some warm memories, we left with the promise to return in five years, if not sooner.

David Milkovich P’02
Akron, Ohio

Fun Fact: Did you know that Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art has the only National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB)-accredited architecture program in northern New England? The NAAB is the sole U.S. agency authorized to accredit architecture programs.

In addition to returning for Parent and Family Weekend a decade and a half after his son’s graduation, David Milkovich supports Norwich as a donor and active member of the Ohio alumni chapter.

Do you know of a parent who has continued to engage with Norwich after the graduation of a child? Email record@norwich.edu.

LITTLE ARMY-NAVY GAME

I will always remember the great rivalry and tradition of the Little Army-Navy football game, having played in three of those traditional games, two in New London, Conn., and one in Northfield. These games were hard-fought, and usually went down to the last minute to decide the victor.

One game in particular sticks out in my mind. It was early October on a very warm day in New London. I had one of my greatest games as a football player. Playing nose guard that day, I had eight individual tackles and seven assists, intercepted a pass, recovered a fumble, and blocked a punt for two points for a safety. With time running out we were losing 10-9. The Coast Guard tried a quick kick on third down, which I blocked. This set up a Bob Potter to Paul Phaneuf* pass with a go-ahead touchdown to beat Coast Guard 16-10 with less than a minute to go. For my play that day I was voted ECAC Defensive Player of the Week.

The Little Army-Navy Game always brought the best out of each team. The three years that I played varsity football, the mug never left Northfield. Hard-fought games, but always great fun.

President Schneider, you were probably at that game in 1967, in that you graduated in June of 1968. I hope you can remember the tremendous play of the defense that day. Sorry to spoil your day. Only kidding. Again, the memory of this tradition will always stick in my mind as one of the greatest traditions of Norwich University.

Terry Stecker ’70
Stewartsville, New Jersey

Editor’s Note: President Schneider, responding to Mr. Stecker, said, “Yes I remember, and they were all great fun and very exciting, even when CGA lost!”

* Both Class of 1968

Wow, the last issue of the Norwich Record sure brought back some 65-year-old memories. They include the brothers Passalacqua. To begin, Coach Duke Benz, Sam Passalacqua ’54, Marvin Solin ’54, and I all came over to Norwich from Hartwick College. At Hartwick, Sam was a sophomore guard and I was a freshman tackle. At Norwich, coach Benz teamed us up with Charles Pulsford ’54 to form the left side of the offensive line. Chuck was as hard-nosed an athlete that I ever played with or against.

Few were aware that Sam was missing the thumb and forefinger of his left hand due to an accident while playing with his brother, Dom ’55. It seems they found a shotgun shell and while Sam held it Dom hit it with a hammer.

I was involved in three games against Coast Guard. The first game was at Norwich. When we came out for warmup there was no Coast Guard team on the other side of the field. We returned to the locker room for the inspirational speech and then out to the field ready for action. Still there was no opposition. Then the Coast Guard team appeared from our practice field. They had been down there scrimmaging!

I do not remember who started with the ball, but let’s say Norwich had the ball. As we turned it over to their offense, eleven new Coast Guard players came onto the field. Norwich exchanged two players. This continued on into the game. We substituted when there was an injury. They just kept coming. After a while a different group of Coast Guard players came out on offense and defense. I would like to say that our dogged determination won out. It didn’t. However, I did get to meet a hell of a lot of Coasties. And so it went the next two games.

There is one thing I would like to note, that even though we were outmanned, we never took a step back. And a few of us had our revenge. Ed Meehan ’55, Chet Szwejkowski ’55, Marv Solin ’55, Dom Passalacqua ’55, and I all traded our football helmets for basketball shorts, went down to New London, and beat them at basketball.

Martin Wasserman ’55
Syosset, New York

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