YOUR LETTERS – Winter 2011

MEMORIES OF “SPEED” CAULDWELL

I remember COL Van Ness’s supervisory presence when I was a rook walking tours as a freshman. His comments regarding MG Oscar R. Cauldwell, USMC, our Cadet Corps commandant, brought back many memories (see summer 2010 Record). General Cauldwell had a decided influence on me in my junior and senior years, as did his wife, Sara. Once it was determined that I would become a new officer of Marines, Mrs. Cauldwell went out of her way to ensure that I did not try “to reach into the almond bowl…instead of the peanut bowl.” 
 
I believe the best day I ever had with the general was in my senior year, when he called me into his office. MSgt Gutowski inspected me before I was ushered in to the general. After I properly reported, the old man asked me if morale in the Cadet Corps was low for some reason. I responded to the negative and that I believed cadre morale was at its normal peak…high! The general went on to explain that on this particular morning, the cannon which was placed outside his office window was not turned around to point into his office. (Normally, cadets returning from liberty at the Tavern in Montpelier would turn the old cannon around as a matter of drill. Top Gutowski would then get Cadet/LtCol M. Don Vought ’54 to turn the cannon back to its proper alignment.) I immediately got Cadets John Teed ’54 and Billy Ouelette ’56 to help me point the cannon toward the general’s office.
 
I stayed in contact with the Cauldwells after I was commissioned, and visited them in Avon Old Farms, Conn., several times. The general passed away in September 1959 and was buried at Arlington. I attended his burial ceremony.
 
In 1980–82, when I was a G-3 at MCRD, Parris Island, S.C., old retired hands (e.g., Generals Tommy Tompkins, Oscar Peatross) would stop in my office and query me on Norwich University and General “Speed” Cauldwell, a distinguished officer of Marines from Chateaux-Thierry, World War I through World War II. Our Cadet Corps was lucky!
 
COL Bruce M. MacLaren,
USMC (Ret.) ’54
Northfield, Minnesota
 
 

THE 1968 FOOTBALL TEAM

Thank you for your fine effort on the just-received summer edition. Very nice piece on the M1902! I now have a better appreciation for my cadet officer saber. 
I especially enjoyed the photo tribute to Coach McShane. As a rook in the fall of 1967, the seniors in the Class of 1968 still hold a special place in my memory, and particularly the members of the football team. I remembered a photo in the 1968 War Whoop, looked it up, and was delighted to see how it correlated to the McShane photo. I’m not sure they planned it that way, but there are Dick Starbuck ’68 and Paul Phaneuf ’68, “in formation,” on the left side of both photos. The other common member is Mark Studley ’68, at the far right in the yearbook shot. Third from the left in that one is Bob Potter ’68, with Al Willey ’68 between Potter and Studley.
 
Those ’68 footballers played a schedule of “the Maineites,” Colby and Bates, “the Nauticals,” Maine Maritime and Coast Guard, “the Vermonters,” Middlebury and UVM, and St. Lawrence and Worcester Tech. Believe me, those schools are embedded in my psyche since we had to recite them thrice daily in the “meatline” after each mess as we “braced” back to our barracks. Since I lived in Gerard Hall, we M Co. rooks received the largest dose of school spirit, with eager “encouragement” from the ubiquitous cadre. 

And speaking of cadre, there was some significant cadet rank in the McShane photo. That’s former Cadet Captain and Company Commander Dick Bennett ’68, former Cadet Lieutenant Colonel, Battalion Commander, and ROTC/track poster guy Dick Starbuck ’68, and former Cadet Colonel and Regimental Commander Harry Blackey ’68. You guessed it, more rook knowledge that a few of us never forget!

Thanks for inspiring this old unregistered nostalgia buff to reminisce about my Norwich days that I look back upon most fondly. And thank you for the excellent job you do keeping the alumni well-informed on our treasured alma mater.

Greg May ’72 
Lakewood, Colorado

 

FAMILY BONDING

I am a graduate from the Class of 1982 and currently sit on the Board of Fellows. My son, Jeff Johnston, attended hockey camp at Norwich for ten sum-mers starting in second grade. He has also attended Future Leader Camp the past three summers. I am proud that he has made the decision to “take the road less traveled” and join the Class of 2014 as a rook. As a young boy, Jeff always commented on the special bond Norwich people have as he would see me interface with other Norwich people. Some of the people I knew well and others I would have just met. He could not believe the “special Norwich bond.” I guess he was smart enough to realize he wanted to join the “family.”

I would like to commend all of the people at Norwich who made the “drop- off” experience so nice. All of the speakers were outstanding in that they were all very well prepared and 100% accurate with their messages. It comes as no surprise to me, but their level of professionalism and love for their job and the University really stand out. My wife is a graduate of UNH and we have a daughter at Bryant University. For the 24 years we have been married, she has heard me brag about what a special place Norwich University is. Yesterday she found that out firsthand. Outstanding performance by all.

Ken Johnston ’82 
Norwood, Massachusetts

 

CAKE CARVING TRADITION

I read, with considerable interest, the article in the last Record by Tony Sussmann ’66 about the M1902 Norwich officers ceremonial saber. My father, Charles Burch ’13, was a cadet officer his senior year and had a saber of this type. It is still in the family, and we now have a family tradition of using the saber to cut wedding cakes. My two sons used it at their weddings; my brother, Donald Burch ’46, used it at his son’s wedding; and two of our grandchildren have used it too. Next week our third grandchild will use it at her wedding. We have two other granddaughters who plan to be married next summer and, of course, will use the saber. We don’t know how long this can go on, but we do have a great-granddaughter now, but at eight months old who knows what will happen. I guess only a proud son and grandfather would think this would be of interest to anyone else, but I’m sending it anyway! 

Walter T. Burch ’51
Melbourne, Florida

 

THE JUNIOR CADET CORPS

The last two issues of the Record have contained mention of students (or lack thereof) at Norwich during WWII. However, I did not see mention of the Norwich Junior Cadet Corps, of which I was a member.

My recollection is that it was formed in June of 1944 and provided, in about 15 months, for the senior year of high school and freshman year of college. We received our high school diploma on March 31, 1945, signed by President Homer L. Dodge. We immediately entered our freshman year of college. I had completed that by the time I entered the army in Sept. 1945.

It was strictly military in structure, with NU-issued uniforms. The rest of the student body was ASTP or ASTRP—I don’t recall which. I returned to Norwich in 1947 but subsequently changed to a major not offered by Norwich. I received my bachelor’s from U. Mass and master’s from Yale.

I was saddened to also read in the summer 2010 issue of the passing of the Honorable Chris Byron ’48. Chris was another member of the Junior Cadet Corps.

Horace H. Brown
Manchester, Connecticut

 

I WILL TRY

The following letter was addressed to President Richard W. Schneider 

I am a recent graduate of Norwich’s MBA program. I wanted to take the opportunity to express my gratitude for the excellent program, devoted teachers and staff, and unmatched Norwich tradition of family.

I first heard about Norwich in 2000 when my younger brother Greg Cartier ’05, decided to become a cadet. I was a student at Fordham University in New York and was quite impressed by my brother’s ambition and fortitude. I still remember when my father and I dropped off my brother at the beautiful campus in the mountains of Vermont.

I also remember, with great awe, visiting him the first time for Parents Weekend and seeing the man he had become in a few short weeks. Throughout his four years in Vermont, my father, sister, and I loved to go up for long weekends, and were always ready when Greg would come through the door with ten of his MCW brothers. We saw firsthand what being a Norwich student was about—becoming a part of a family.

Three years ago (after Greg had graduated, gone through ranger and airborne schools, been stationed at Fort Drum and then sent to Iraq) my father, sister, and I found ourselves at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington D.C. (Greg came into contact with two IEDs while on dismounted patrol.) Among our very first visitors were members of the NU community— the D.C. area club came to see how we were; Greg’s MCW friend came and spent an entire week with us; Greg’s rook buddy visited with food and his new wife; and countless NU alums called and sent packages. We were bombarded with love, support and guidance from the NU community. During that time, my father, sister and I realized that not only was Greg an alumnus, but we were ALL part of the Norwich family.

A year later, as my brother was transitioning out of Walter Reed and into Western New England School of Law, I decided an MBA would be my next step in life. It was without question that I would attend the university I had grown to love and depend on. Throughout my entire Norwich experience, I understood what this meant in my life…I would now have the responsibility to TRY to be a better person for this nation.

As my sister and brother met me at NU at the end of Residency week (unfortunately my father passed shortly after Greg’s injury) they were both overwhelmed by the wonderful changes and the enormous amount of gratitude we all have for Norwich. It was truly one of my greatest moments to walk on that stage in front of my family and my fellow classmates to join the Norwich alumni community.

I am in a transition stage in my life. I am moving from Colorado back to my hometown in Massachusetts in order to further my career and give back to the world and the people of it. I am determined to make the Norwich community, as well as my family, proud of the person I will become. Norwich gave me the fortitude and strength to TRY. I will give the Norwich community something to be proud of.

President Schneider, thank you for reminding the world what Norwich stands for, one graduate at a time. The Cartiers now have two Norwich University alumni that will become strong members of the family. I WILL TRY. 

Elizabeth Cartier M’10
Holyoke, Massachusetts

 

HOMECOMING 2010

The following letters were addressed to President Richard W. Schneider

Wow! What a Homecoming! It was exciting from beginning to tearful end. The Corps never looked better.

Each visit I learn of a new facet to the diamond that is Norwich. This time I had an opportunity to talk for 45 minutes with Prof. Karen Hinkle, who brought me up to date on the Pre-Med Club and some of the academic initiatives with regard to faculty development and research. That information, plus your update on our accreditation, as well as our favorable listing in the media, convinces me that Norwich is making its mark in the critical field of education. The student exchange program is another marvel.

When my daughter Deborah arrived back at her home in Mass., I called her to be sure that she’d had a safe trip. She and her husband are U. Penn graduates. I asked her for her overview of the weekend. Her answer was “We Penn alums are individuals, you Norwich alums are a family.”

We are indeed a very close and a very functional family and it comes through loud and clear. None of this most memorable weekend could have taken place without a great deal of time, effort and commitment by a host of staff.

I know I speak for all alums when I ask that you convey our very deep appreciation to all of them. Everyone made us feel so welcome and so very important. As for myself, I am still overwhelmed by the gift of the framed painting of the early American flag that you presented to me at our class banquet.

Congratulations on all the success that you have brought to our noble institution.

Ralph Kristeller ’50
East Hanover, New Jersey

 

Rich, again my hat is off to you and your magnificent staff. What an incredible week (can’t say weekend anymore). Everything was perfect and executed in great detail. It’s a good thing you have such an active PT program up there because the food at every event was awesome. I know you guys are keeping the best Homecoming ever for 2012!

Tim Donovan ’62
Lake Frederick, Virginia

P.S. I think the wind chill on Saturday morning reminded me a little of “Frosted Gold” on top of Paine Mountain in February 1993, when the then “new Pres” participated in an Army ROTC exercise and tried snowshoeing for the first time. 

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