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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Norwich University announces speaker for 2012 Commencement exercises

For Immediate Release
Feb. 29, 2012

Contact: Daphne Larkin
802-485-2886 or 595-3613(m)

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Norwich University officials announced that General Martin E. Dempsey, the 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be this year’s speaker for the commencement exercises to be held on Sunday, May 13.

As the highest ranking military officer in the country, Dempsey serves as the principal military adviser to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Council.

Formerly the Army’s 37th Chief of Staff, Dempsey is a highly decorated military officer with a Master’s Degree in English from Duke University who was once assigned to the English Department at the US Military Academy at West Point, his alma mater.

Officials at Norwich University are honored to welcome Dempsey, who will address both military and civilian students in the ceremony that marks their transition from students to professionals serving their country both on the battlefield and in business, government and their local communities.

Dempsey’s visit to Norwich is notable for its historical significance. The University was founded in 1819 by fellow West Point alum and former West Point Superintendent US Army Captain Alden Partridge upon the then radical principal of educating citizen soldiers.

That concept is a national institution today. In the past 10 years of The Global War on Terror the all-volunteer US military has relied heavily upon Reserve and Guard units, otherwise known as citizen soldiers.

Partridge’s Norwich model became the blueprint for the federal government to duplicate military training at land grant universities across the country in what we now know as the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

On Sunday, May 13, Dempsey will address the approximately 400 graduating Norwich students and their families in commencement exercises to be held at 10:30 a.m. in Shapiro Field House. Of the 400 graduating students, approximately half are civilian and half are graduating from the Corps of Cadets. Approximately 115 students will have commissioned into the US Armed Services through ROTC the day before.


Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army. Norwich University is the oldest private military college in the United States of America and the birthplace of our nation's Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu