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Thursday, May 31, 2012


For Immediate Release                                                     Contact: Daphne Larkin
May 31, 2012
                                                                                          802-485-2886 or 595-3613(m)
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Norwich graduate school announces speaker for 2012 commencement ceremony

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Officials at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) announced that former Congressman Paul McHale will be this year’s commencement speaker.

On Friday, June 15, McHale will address approximately 656 graduates from nine different online master’s programs and one bachelor’s degree completion program at a 10 a.m. ceremony in Shapiro Field House.

McHale is the president of Civil Support International LLC, a consulting firm offering advisory services to government agencies and private contractors related to military sales, homeland defense, disaster preparedness and crisis response.

McHale was elected to represent the15th Congressional district of Pennsylvania in the United States House of Representatives where he served for three terms (1992-1998). Throughout that period, he was an active member of the House Armed Services Committee which has oversight responsibility for all U.S. military operations and training. Additionally, while serving as Congressman, Mr. McHale co-founded the National Guard and Reserve Components Caucus which advocates the interests of reservists and guardsmen worldwide. He was previously elected to five terms in the Pennsylvania General Assembly (1982-1991).

From 2003 - 2009, McHale served as Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense, where he supervised all homeland defense activities for the US Department of Defense (DoD). The first to hold that position, he was responsible for homeland preparedness, DoD Critical Infrastructure Protection, civilian oversight of the two combatant commands that cover North and South America, and the transfer of technologies to homeland security use pursuant to Section 1401 of the 2003 DoD Authorization Act.

As the Domestic Crisis Manager for DoD, McHale’s responsibilities focused on disaster relief planning, to include terrorist threats, earthquakes, hurricanes, industrial accidents and pandemic influenza. He routinely represented DoD at the highest levels of US domestic crisis planning.

“We are delighted to have Paul McHale address our graduates given his insight on important contemporary policy issues founded on his significant experience in Congress and the Department of Defense,” said CGCS Dean and Vice President William Clements.  “Paul McHale is a thoughtful and wonderful speaker that all of our students will learn from in a meaningful way as they begin a new chapter in their lives at commencement.”

For his service as Congressman and Assistant Secretary of Defense, McHale has been awarded the DoD Distinguished Public Service Medal - the department’s highest civilian honor - by each of the past three Secretaries of Defense.


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

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) builds upon the institution’s 193 year academic heritage with innovative online master’s degrees in a variety of areas. CGCS also offers a certificate in teaching and learning; a certificate in continuity of governmental operations and a bachelor’s completion program. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention.  http://graduate.norwich.edu/