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#131 For 110 Years, the Record Has Connected Alumni With Their Norwich Family

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, This Week in History

1908 edition of the Norwich Record

During this festive season, we seek to connect with our loved ones near and far. That is precisely the spirit in which the Norwich Record was started 110 years ago.

In 1907, the main publication regularly coming out of Norwich University was the Reveille. The Reveille was founded in 1860 by a student who owned a printing press and his friend who had been apprenticed to a printer before entering the university. This combination student newspaper, alumni magazine, and literary publication was issued sporadically from 1860 until the 1880s, and then more regularly until it was supplanted by the Guidon in the 1920s.

However, as the Reveille tried to be everything to everyone, alumni became frustrated that they did not have more of a voice on its board, nor a say in its content, which was trying to cater to both on- and off-campus audiences. They took matters into their own hands, and the University Record was founded in October 1907. Initially it was issued four times a year. The first few issues contained such items as a librarian’s report, a report on gifts to the university, photographs of campus life, and information about the academic program at Norwich.

Beginning in 1909, the Record changed to a weekly and then a bi-weekly format that gave more detailed news reports about the goings-on in Northfield and on the Hill. Topics included athletic contests, Alumni Association meeting minutes, Corps promotions, and even the weather. The Record also published the university course catalog every year, and for many years issued a promotional pamphlet entitled “The Story of Norwich.” A Commencement issue each June was dedicated to the activities that weekend, including speakers, board meetings, and annual reports of various committees.

The Record also bore the responsibility of reporting significant and often tragic campus events to the wider Norwich community, such as the 1909 and 1913 deaths of Norwich football players and the infamous 1927 flood. During World War I and World War II, it served as an essential source of news on alumni serving overseas, as well as friends and classmates who were injured or killed in combat.

The Record has continued to evolve in its format, frequency, and type of content over the century since it was founded by a group of alumni determined to stay connected to their Norwich family.

Partially adapted from a two-part feature by Robyn Greeneentitled “100 Years of the Record” that appeared in the Winter and Summer 2007 editions of the Norwich Record.