#178 This Montpelier Seminary Graduate Was FDR’s Physical Therapist

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

When Alice Lou Plastridge-Converse celebrated her 100th birthday in 1989, she was the oldest living Vermont College alumna, having received her diploma from the college’s predecessor institution Montpelier Seminary in 1908. She started working as a physical therapist in 1914, making valuable contributions in the treatment of polio in the days before vaccines were available. One of her patients in …

#175 Steve Palermo, Class of 1971, a Hero and former MLB Umpire

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Steve Palermo was a native of Worcester, Mass. who attended Norwich and two other institutions of higher education before finding his true calling at Major League Baseball’s highly competitive umpiring school in Florida. He first discovered a love of umpiring when he umpired for local amateur leagues to pick up some extra cash during high school and college. After completing …

#147 Online Programs Continue a Legacy of Alternative Education

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Norwich University has been awarding graduate degrees since the 19th century. But in the last few decades, innovative low-residency programs have placed it at the vanguard of higher education. In 1981, Norwich acquired a low-residency graduate program from Goddard College in Plainfield, Vt. Goddard was a pioneer in non-traditional models of education. Known for being experimental where Norwich was steeped …

#145 Stanton Burgess, NU 1917: a member of America’s first Boy Scout Troop?

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Norwich University is known for having many former Boy Scouts among its students, alumni, faculty, and staff. And scores of Norwich alumni were first introduced to the university through their attendance at Boy Scout camporees on the Hill in the late 1980s through the early 2000s. But it is a little-known fact that nearby Barre, Vermont, holds the distinction of …

#122 Keith Aucoin, Class of 2001, Still Making His Mark on Professional Hockey

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Keith Aucoin, Class of 2001, is arguably the most decorated athlete in Norwich University athletics history. The four-year star for the men’s ice hockey team holds the all-time point record with a remarkable 240 points in 116 games played. He scored 116 goals and notched 124 assists and was named an All-American all four seasons he played for the Maroon …

#120 Frank Liebel, Class of 1943, Was a Standout Player for the New York Giants

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Frank Liebel hailed from Erie, Pa. According to newspaper reports, he was six feet tall in the seventh grade, destined for an athletic career. He entered Norwich in 1939 and played on two consecutive state championship teams. He was famous for catching long passes from teammate Walt Domina. Like so many Norwich students during the war years, Liebel entered the …

#117 Norwich Felt the Impact of the Great Depression But Remained Strong

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

  As with many national events, Norwich remained both removed from and deeply affected by the depression. In large part, life on campus carried on as usual, with academics, athletic contests, cadet training, and social events at the forefront. But national events have a way of seeping in. Enrollment began to decline. Seniors worried gravely about their employment prospects after …

#112 Summer School Brought Engineers Closer to Partridge for 70 Years

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

For over 70 years, from approximately 1899 to 1970, summer school was a requirement for all civil engineering students at Norwich to gain practical experience in the field. It was a natural extension of Alden Partridge’s “American system” of education. The sessions ranged in length from three to five weeks, and were at various times offered to rising sophomores, juniors, …

#104 The First Norwich Alumni Club Started in 1852

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

The first formal organization of Norwich University alumni was established in 1852 under the name Norwich University Friendship Club. The founding document was signed by 17 members, with 11 honorary members listed, including Grenville Dodge and two of the Ransom brothers. The signatories sought to “voluntarily organize ourselves for the purpose of keeping in remembrance those friendly feelings, and that …

#101 Perley Belknap and the Potato Wars

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Adapted from an article by Peter F. Young that first appeared in the Dog River Crier, the newsletter of the Northfield Historical Society, and which later appeared in Young’s book, Tales from the Dog (And More). When a fire destroyed Norwich University’s South Barracks in March of 1866, the university lacked the resources to rebuild on the site. The citizens …