|Motto||I Will Try|
|Type||Private military college|
|Established||August 6, 1819|
1,200 acres (486 hectares)
|Colors||Maroon & Gold|
|Athletics||NCAA Division III |
Great Northeast Athletic Conference
18 sports teams
Norwich University – The Military College of Vermont is a private university in Northfield, Vermont. It is the oldest private military college in the United States. The university was founded in 1819 at Norwich, Vermont, as the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. It is the oldest of six senior military colleges and is recognized by the United States Department of Defense as the "Birthplace of ROTC" (Reserve Officers' Training Corps).
The university was founded in 1819 at Norwich, Vermont by Captain Alden Partridge, military educator and former superintendent of West Point. Partridge believed in the "American System of Education," a traditional liberal arts curriculum with instruction in civil engineering and military science. After leaving West Point because of congressional disapproval of his system, he returned to his native state of Vermont to create the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. Partridge, in founding the academy, rebelled against the reforms of Sylvanus Thayer to prevent the rise of what he saw as the greatest threat to the security of the young republic: an aristocratic and careerist officer class. He believed that a well-trained militia was an urgent necessity and developed the American system around that idea. His academy became the inspiration for a number of military colleges throughout the nation, including The Citadel, and later the land grant colleges created through the Morrill Act of 1862. Today, Norwich offers substantial online distance graduate programs and is similar in many regards to The Citadel in mission, online offerings, student body composition, and size. All entering freshman entering the Corps of Cadets are called "Rooks" and their first year at Norwich is called "Rookdom". The institution of "Rookdom" consists of two three-month processes that mold civilians into Norwich Cadets: Rook Basic Training and Basic Leadership Training. Culmination of Rook Basic Training marks the halfway point toward Recognition and occurs before Thanksgiving break, after which Rooks are awarded privileges. Recognition into the Corps of Cadets typically occurs around the eighteenth week.
Partridge's educational beliefs were considered radical at the time, and this led to his conflicting views with the federal government while he was the superintendent of West Point. Upon creation of his own school, he immediately incorporated classes of agriculture and modern languages in addition to the sciences, liberal arts, and various military subjects. Field exercises, for which Partridge borrowed cannon and muskets from the federal and state governments, supplemented classroom instruction and added an element of realism to the college’s program of well-rounded military education.
Partridge founded seven other military institutions during his quest to reform the fledgling United States military. They were the Virginia Literary, Scientific and Military Academy at Portsmouth, Virginia (1839–1846), Pennsylvania Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy at Bristol, Pennsylvania (1842–1845), Pennsylvania Military Institute at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania (1845–1848), Wilmington Literary, Scientific and Military Academy at Wilmington, Delaware (1846–1848), the Scientific and Military Collegiate Institute at Reading, Pennsylvania (1850–1854), Gymnasium and Military Institute at Pembroke, New Hampshire (1850–1853) and the National Scientific and Military Academy at Brandywine Springs, Delaware (1853).
In 1825 the academy moved to Middletown, Connecticut, to provide better naval training to the school's growing Corps of Cadets. Beginning in 1826, the academy offered the first program of courses in civil engineering in the US. In 1829, the state of Connecticut declined to grant Captain Partridge a charter and he moved the school back to Norwich (the Middletown campus became Wesleyan University in 1831). In 1834, Vermont granted a charter and recognized the institution as Norwich University. During the 1856 academic year, the first chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity was founded by cadets Frederick Norton Freeman and Arthur Chase. With the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, Norwich cadets served as instructors of the state militias throughout the Northeast and the entire class of 1862 enlisted upon its graduation. Norwich turned out hundreds of officers and soldiers who served with the federal armies in the American Civil War, including four recipients of the Medal of Honor. One graduate led a corps, seven more headed divisions, 21 commanded brigades, 38 led regiments, and various alumni served in 131 different regimental organizations. In addition, these men were eyewitnesses to some of the war's most dramatic events, including the bloodiest day of the conflict at Antietam, the attack up Marye's Heights at Fredericksburg, and the repulse of Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. Seven hundred and fifty Norwich men served in the Civil War, of whom an estimated fifty-six fought for the Confederacy. Because of the university's participation in the struggle, the number of students dwindled to seven in the class of 1864 alone.
The Confederate raid on St. Albans, Vermont precipitated fear that Newport, Vermont was an imminent target. The Corps of Cadets quickly boarded an express train for Newport, the same day, October 19, 1864, to the great relief of the inhabitants.
After a catastrophic fire in 1866 which devastated the Old South Barracks and the entire Military Academy, the town of Northfield welcomed the struggling school. The Civil War, the fire, and the uncertainty regarding the continuation of the university seriously lowered the attendance, and the school opened in the fall of 1866 with only 19 students. The 1870s and 1880s saw many financially turbulent times for the institution and the renaming of the school to Lewis College in 1880. In 1881, the student body was reduced to only a dozen men. By 1884, the Vermont Legislature had the name of the school changed back to Norwich. In the 1890s, the United States Army and Norwich expanded their collaboration, including the two-year appointment of career officer Jesse McI. Carter as an instructor and Commandant of Cadets. In 1898 the university was designated as the Military College of the State of Vermont.
As part of the Vermont National Guard, the school's Corps of Cadets was mobilized as a squadron of cavalry in the First Vermont Regiment to assist in General John J. Pershing's Mexican Expedition. This greatly disrupted the academic year and in 1916 the War Department designated Norwich as the first site for a Senior ROTC cavalry unit; also in 1916, the first African-American to attend the university, Harold "Doc" Martin (NU 1920), matriculated. Classes graduated early for both the First and Second World Wars and many Norwich-made officers saw service in all theaters of both conflicts. Professional education offered at Norwich also changed and adapted with the advance of technology. Military flight training began in 1939 and from 1946 to 1947, horse cavalry was completely phased out in favor of armored cavalry.
Graduates returning from European and Pacific fields of battle found a university very different from the one they had left behind. From the late 1940s to the 1960s, Norwich was greatly expanded and added a number of new opportunities. In 1947, the Army Department created a new program uniquely suited to Vermont's harsh climate: a mountain and cold weather warfare unit. Air Force and Navy ROTC programs were established in 1972 and 1984 respectively. During the 1974 school year, the university admitted women into the Corps of Cadets, two years before the federal service academies. The 1972 merger and 1993 integration with Vermont College added two groups to "the Hill," women and civilian students. In 2001, Norwich sold its Vermont College campus and non-traditional degree programs to the Union Institute and University. Vermont College's arts programs were spun off as the once again independent Vermont College of Fine Arts in 2008.
Prior to the 2009–2010 school year companies consisted of one upperclassmen platoon and one freshmen platoon, with each platoon consisting of three squads. The companies in the original system were Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta, Echo, Foxtrot, Golf, Hotel, India, Kilo, Lima, Mike, Band, Drill Team, Military Police and Artillery. The companies Alpha through Mike were known as "line companies", and were part of Battalions 1, 2, 3 and 4. Band, Drill Team, Military Police and Artillery were placed in Provisional Battalion. Under this traditional system a cadet could spend his entire time at the school in one company. While this had the benefit of creating unique cultures and traditions in each company, and strengthened the bond each cadet had with his/her fellow "Rook Buddies" and the Corps and school at large, sometimes long-standing company traditions would lead to fraternity-like hazing and eventually challenge the authority of the Corps chain of command.
In 2009, the Provisional Artillery Company was deactivated.
In the nineteenth century, hazing of undergraduates by upperclassmen was normal in all military schools and many non-military ones as well. Hazing diminished in the early 20th century. By the late 20th century, it became not only counter to university rules but illegal as well. Nevertheless, there were several reported instances of hazing in 1990 and 1995.
In 1910 Ainsworth Hall was constructed for the United States Weather Bureau as its central Vermont station. Returned to the university in 1948, it served as the administrative headquarters of the campus. By 1955, growth of the university forced the relocation of the administration back up the hill to Dewey Hall. When also in 1955 construction began on Webb Hall to the immediate west of the building, the infirmary moved into the now empty structure. Due to an expansion of the university in the 1960s and 1970s the building was converted into the home of the Division of Social Sciences. The building is named for Mrs. Laura Ainsworth, widow of Captain James E. Ainsworth (NU 1853), who in 1915 worked to bring an infirmary to campus.
Chaplin Hall, originally Carnegie Hall, was built in 1907. The School of Architecture + Art is located there. Paid for by Andrew Carnegie, the building served as the university's library until 1993 with the construction of Kreitzberg Library. When the library was renovated in 1952, from the contributions of trustee Henry P. Chaplin, it was rededicated as the Henry Prescott Chaplin Memorial Library. Until 1941 and the addition of Partridge Hall to the growing campus, Chaplin Hall also provided the classrooms and offices for the Department of Electrical Engineering.
This building, on the site of the first building in Northfield Center, contains the offices and classrooms of the Communications Department. The offices for the school newspaper The Guidon and the studios for the university's radio station WNUB-FM are also located in this building. The building was purchased by the university in 1973 and restored in 1988.
Named for Admiral of the Navy George Dewey (NU 1852–1854), and completed in 1902, Dewey Hall is one of the oldest buildings in the Northfield campus. It was originally two stories high with the lower floor occupied by offices of the university's administration, the library and museum. Office space for trustees and faculty, a chapel with a seating of five hundred and the United States Weather Bureau were located on the second floor. With the departure of the Weather Bureau in 1909 and the completion of the then new Carnegie Library in 1907, the Hall was primarily used by the Military Department. In October 1925 a fire gutted the building which led to its reconstruction as a three-story structure.
Hollis House is today the location of a number of classrooms and offices of the College of Liberal Arts. Built in 1852, the building was until 1909 the house of a number of prominent residents of Northfield. When sold that year to the university, it became part of the US Weather Bureau's station collocated on campus. The building was later named for David B. "Dixie" Hollis (NU 1922) who upon his death in 1993 gave what was then the largest donation in the university's history: $7 million.
The Engineering, Math and Science Complex houses the David Crawford School of Engineering as well as the departments of Geology, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Mathematics and Sports Medicine. An addition of Nursing was completed in 2011. The complex (known as the "U" building) is composed of six sections: Juckett, Partridge and Tompkins Halls, the Science Building, Bartolleto Hall and the Cabot Annex. The complex was completed in 1997 and replaced a previous set of 1940s- and 1950s-era facilities. The Engineering, Math and Science Complex also contains the university's Information Technology Services office.
Kreitzberg Library is named in recognition of Barbara and Chairman of the Board of Trustees Fred Kreitzberg (NU 1957). The library has a catalog of more than 240,000 books, about 45,000 electronic journals, and a collection of federal government publications. The Norwich University Archives and Special Collections has rare books and unique source materials relating to military history, the history of Vermont, and the history of the university. The 58,000-square-foot (5,400 m2) library was designed by Perry Dean Rogers Architects. It was completed in 1993 at a cost of $8.1 million. In 2015, a renovation project brought the library into the twenty-first century with enhancements including new workstations, group-study and collaborative-learning areas, new technology-enabled classrooms, and a café. Additional improvements include two new conference rooms, a 77 percent increase in the number of seats, and an increase in data speeds.
Webb Hall was completed in 1960 and originally housed the English, Modern Languages, Social Sciences, Business Administration and the Psychology and Education departments. Dole Auditorium, which seated over four hundred people, was located in Webb Hall. The building is named after J. Watson Webb, a Norwich trustee. The auditorium honored Charles Dole (NU 1869), who served in his career at the university as an instructor in mathematics and Latin, a professor of history and rhetoric, the commandant of cadets and acting president of the university from 1895 to 1896. In 2017, Webb Hall underwent a major renovation that included the dismantling of Dole Auditorium. Following the commencement of the spring semester in 2019, Norwich University completed renovations on Webb Hall, now known as North Hall.
Andrews Hall, built in 1980, houses the Department of Athletics. In addition, it has basketball and racquetball courts and the equipment and athletic training rooms for the university's varsity and intramural teams. The Athletic Hall of Fame is also located in Andrews Hall. The facility honors trustee Paul R. Andrews (NU 1930).
Kreitzberg Arena is home to the men’s and women’s varsity ice hockey teams, as well as the school’s club team.
The armory, built in 1928, is named to honor a notable 1896 graduate of the university, Charles A. Plumley. Plumley served as the president of the university from 1930 to 1934 when he was elected to Congress as Vermont's sole representative from 1934 to 1951. The main floor of the building provides seating space for 4,000 in an area as large as three basketball courts. There is an elevated running track as well as locker rooms, training rooms, and Navy ROTC offices in the basement. Connected to the armory is Goodyear Pool. Built in 1962, the pool is a 25 x 14 yard 6 lane facility that is open to all university members.
Dedicated in 1921, Sabine Field was originally a venue for football, baseball, track, and outdoor ice hockey. Over time, as hockey moved indoors and baseball found its own home at Garrity Field, Sabine continued to serve the university football and cross country teams. Then in 2013, a renovation transformed Sabine Field into a multi-sport, multi-activity, lit stadium that can be used in most weather conditions. The improvements included synthetic turf field that meets NCAA regulations for football, soccer, and lacrosse, a 400-meter resilient urethane running track with 42-inch lanes, energy-efficient stadium lights, a new sound system, bleachers, and press box, and other upgrades. On October 4, 2013, Sabine Field was officially renamed to Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium. Sabine Field was dedicated in 1921 in honor of the memory of 1868 graduate Dr. George K. Sabine’s son, George K. Sabine Jr., who died shortly after returning from overseas.
Shapiro Field House, built in 1987 and named for trustee Jacob Shapiro (NU 1936), houses a multipurpose arena that has a 200-meter indoor running track, four tennis courts, and a climbing wall. It is also used for morning PT (Physical Training), athletic practices, Commencement, concerts and other university functions.
The Harmon Memorial is a tribute to Major General Ernest Harmon, who attended Norwich University from 1912 to 1913 and was later president from 1950 to 1968. Recorded on the memorial, by year of death, are the names of alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Norwich University that have made a "significant contribution" to the university.
Harmon Hall opened in 1955 and later enlarged in 1958. Since then, it has served as the focal point for student life and activities. The campus mess hall, bookstore, post office, and The Mill (a snack bar open to Corps upperclassmen and civilians) are located on the lower two floors. The Foreign Student Office, Student Activities, Yearbook Office, Music Program offices, a game room, and a lounge were located on the top floor. This floor originally housed the departments of English, History, and Modern Languages until they were moved to Webb Hall in 1960. Harmon Hall was renovated in 2007. The addition onto Harmon Hall is named the Wise Campus Center.
Norwich University moved to Northfield from Norwich, Vermont, in 1866 when the South Barracks at the older location were destroyed by fire. Old Jackman Hall was the first building to be constructed at the new central Vermont site. The building was erected in 1868, and named Jackman Hall in 1907 to honor Brigadier General Alonzo Jackman (NU 1836) a faculty member, proponent of the Transatlantic telegraph cable and militia Brigadier General during the American Civil War. From its construction till 1905 the building served as housing for cadets. In the mid-1950s Jackman Hall was extensively remodeled and modernized, however, it became apparent that the almost century-old barracks were too costly to maintain. It was decided that rather than pay for near continual upkeep to build a new hall on the same site. As many newer barracks had been built since its original construction it was decided that the new Jackman Hall would serve as the primary administration building. Currently the Army and Air Force ROTC departments are also housed in Jackman Hall.
Constructed by a gift from Eugene L. White (NU 1914), a trustee, the chapel was completed in 1941. Originally designed as a multi-purpose building, then White Hall has served as a mess hall with a dining room, lunch room, kitchen, a college store and a recreational room. White Hall was converted to the university's first single-purpose chapel after Harmon Hall was opened in 1955. There are two bronze plaques on the walls that honor the Norwich war dead. Weekly services include Catholic Mass on Wednesday and Sunday, non-denominational service on Sunday, and Islamic prayer on Friday.
One of the newer buildings on the campus, the Sullivan Museum was opened January 22, 2007. The building is named after General Gordon R. Sullivan (ret.), Norwich class of 1959 and former U.S. Army Chief of Staff. The Sullivan Museum houses state-of-the-art conservation, storage, and display facilities for the wide variety of Norwich University artifacts and memorabilia. Items currently displayed cover a wide spectrum of Norwich history, including uniforms worn by Alden Partridge and Alonzo Jackman to pieces from more recent history.
Norwich university has more than 4,000 students, including over 2,500 traditional undergraduate students and more than 1,500 in the university’s online programs, which includes nearly 800 graduate students and over 700 in undergraduate degree-completion programs. As of 2018, Norwich University has 162 full-time faculty and more than 200 part-time faculty. In attendance in 2018 are 81 international students and scholars and exchange students, representing 30 countries.
Cadet officers and non-commissioned officers command the Corps of Cadets. As leaders, they are responsible for the day-to-day administration, operation, training and discipline of the Corps. Norwich is one of six senior military colleges in the country recognized by Title 10 of the U.S. Code, Section 2111a(f). This entitles eligible ROTC graduates to active duty service if they so choose. Until 2018, the Corps was structured as a regiment commanded by a cadet colonel (C/COL) with five battalions each commanded by a cadet lieutenant colonel (C/LTC) and a Headquarters company commanded by a cadet major. 1st, 2nd, and provisional battalions were composed of companies of upperclassmen commanded by a cadet captain with two or three platoons per company. 3rd and 4th Battalion were freshman training battalions and were composed of three companies of three platoons each. This structure was put in place for the 2009–2010 school year, replacing the more traditional "Original Company" system.
In fall of 2018, the Corps of Cadets was reorganized as a regiment, still commanded by a cadet colonel, having only three battalions (1st, 2nd, and Provisional), commanded each by a C/LTC (Headquarters Company now falls under the command of Provisional Battalion). In addition to having two upperclassmen companies (of three platoons each), both line battalions also contain freshman training companies (consisting of three platoons each). Provisional Battalion now houses Headquarters Company and one freshman training company (containing three platoons) which feeds into its original three specialty units (Band Company, Drill Company, and the Cavalry Troop).
This change creates a “sister company” partnership with upper-class companies and the Rook training companies (CTC 1 partnered with A Co etc.). This “sister company” construct creates a partnership between a Rook Training Company and an upper-class company. For instance, if a Rook is in CTC 1 his first year, he will matriculate to A Co. his second and subsequent years. A Co.supports CTC 1 in training and has a vested interest in CTC 1’s success because the Rooks in that Company will be members of A Co. the following year. Freshmen in CTC 5 who do not complete the specialty unit training required to be in Band Co, Drill Co, or the Cavalry troop will be assigned to a unit in a line battalion at the start of their second year in the corps.
New Corps structure (Fall 2018 onwards):
|1st Battalion||2nd Battalion||Provisional Battalion|
|Cadet Training Company 19–1 (CTC 1)||Cadet Training Company 19–3 (CTC 3)||Drill Company|
|Cadet Training Company 19–2 (CTC 2)||Cadet Training Company 19–4 (CTC 4)||Cavalry Troop|
|Cadet Training Company 19–5 (CTC 5)|
Norwich University Corps of Cadets rank insignia follows West Point with the use of chevrons to show all cadet ranks in lieu of chevrons, disks & lozenges. Any recognized cadet defaults to the rank of private if they hold no job responsibilities in the Corps of Cadets.
Ranks are as follows:
The college has several special units that are supervised by federal ROTC units. The Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (AROTC) detachment contains the Norwich Artillery Battery, the Norwich Ranger Company, the Ranger Challenge team, and the Mountain Cold Weather Company. The NROTC detachment sponsors a chapter of the Semper Fidelis Society and Golden Anchor Society.[clarification needed]
Norwich has 29 majors across six academic divisions with the most popular major being criminal justice.
The College of Graduate and Continuing Studies oversees the university's online graduate programs as well as six online bachelor's degree completion programs. The majority of the graduate programs are conducted on a distance learning platform. The university offers accredited and highly recognized programs in a range of fields including diplomacy, international relations, military history, history, business administration, civil engineering, criminal justice, public administration, information security and assurance, leadership, nursing and strategic studies.
Norwich offers 12 online graduate programs, including a combined 5-year Master of Architecture program, and, since 2001, a National Security Agency-sponsored Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.
Norwich offers 20 varsity sports, including baseball, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross country, football, men's and women's ice hockey, men's and women's lacrosse, men's and women's rugby, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's swimming and diving, softball, men's tennis, wrestling, and women's volleyball. The Cadets compete at the NCAA Division III level and are affiliated in four conferences, mainly the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference. The football team joined the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference in 2017. The college also has a number of student clubs for sports such as golf, paintball, fencing, horseback riding etc.
The Cadets first fielded a football team in 1893. Among early notable moments is a 28–6 loss to Boston College at Fenway Park in 1914, the first college football game ever played at that venue. Overall, the program has appeared in seven ECAC bowl games (1984, 2003, 2004, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014) and two NCAA tournaments (2011, 2015). Norwich has produced 16 All-Americans, and has won or shared four Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC) Championships (2009, 2011, 2013–shared with Gallaudet University, 2015). Six former Cadets have reached an NFL camp.
Norwich was a member of the ECFC from 2009 to 2016, and departed the league with a 46–10 record in conference games. In 2017, Norwich joined the NEWMAC as an affiliate member for football.
The Cadets' home field is Sabine Field at Haynes Family Stadium. The field underwent a massive renovation for the 2013 season, transitioning from grass to turf, and adding lights for night contests. Campus folklore includes a tale of a ghost of an old cavalry cadet who guards the gate to the stadium.
Norwich's most prominent football rivals include Middlebury College, Castleton University, and the United States Coast Guard Academy.Norwich also plays long-time opponent St. Lawrence University for an annual trophy. The series with Middlebury concluded after the 1991 season, after 99 contests, with the NESCAC's decision to eliminate non-conference football competition. Castleton founded their football program in 2009, and the Norwich game quickly became an intense rivalry. The Norwich/Coast Guard series (the Little Army/Navy Game) had been dormant after the 2005 game, but resumed again in 2017.
All these rivalry games involve a traveling trophy awarded to the winner:
Women's rugby has existed at Norwich since 1985 and gained a varsity status in 2008. They won the inaugural USA Rugby Collegiate Division II National Championship in the spring of 2012 and a USA Rugby Collegiate Division 1 National Sevens Title in the fall of 2011.
Men's ice hockey began play in 1909 and has become a national powerhouse. The program has won regular season conference championships in 20 of the last 22 seasons. The Cadets have won four NCAA Division III Men's Ice Hockey Championship titles (2000, 2003, 2010, and 2017). The program has reached the NCAA Division III Frozen Four 13 times. Dozens of players have gone on to professional careers, and three alumni have reached the NHL (Frank Simonetti, Keith Aucoin, Kurtis McLean).
In 2007–08 Norwich women's ice hockey was elevated to varsity status. A year later, the Cadets won their first-ever ECAC East conference championship and advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Ice Hockey tournament. They have won 8 conference championships, and have reached 7 final fours. Norwich won the program's first NCAA Division III title in 2011, and won again in 2018.
Women's lacrosse program gained varsity status in 2008. They won 3 consecutive Great Northeast Athletic Conference Titles (2010, 2011, 2012), advancing to the NCAA Division III Tournament each time.
Rifle team won the national intercollegiate rifle championship in 1916 and 1920. It is no longer a sport at the school.
Rifle (2): 1916, 1920
Women's Rugby (6): 2011 Division I Sevens (USA Rugby), 2012 Division II 15s (USA Rugby), 2012 Division I Sevens (USA Rugby), 2013 Division I Sevens (USA Rugby), 2013 Division I 15s (ACRA), 2014 Division I Sevens (ACRA)
Men's Hockey (4): 2000, 2003, 2010, 2017
Women's Hockey (2): 2011, 2018
Drill Team: 2009
138 graduates of Norwich University have served as general officers in the U.S. armed forces: 102 Army generals, 12 Air Force generals, 9 Marine Corps generals, and 16 Navy admirals. 26 graduates served as generals in foreign armies: 9 Royal Thai Army generals, 1 Royal Thai Air Force general, and 16 Republic of China Army generals.
Among the notable military graduates and former students of Norwich are:
The presidents of Norwich University include:
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