#48 “I Will Try” and “Essayons”: A Tale of Two Mottos and the Chapultepec Myth

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Norwich University has had two official mottos: “Essayons” and “I Will Try.” The origins of both mottos and the relationship between the two are commonly misunderstood. “Essayons” is French for “let us try,” and has been the motto of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers since before Norwich was founded in 1819. Conventional wisdom erroneously attributes the phrase “I Will …

#45 The “College Wars” of 1914 Highlighted What We Love About Norwich

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats Leave a Comment

In 1914, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching completed an extensive study and report on the state of primary, secondary, and higher education in Vermont. Commissioned by the Vermont Education Commission, the recommendation of the “Carnegie Report” shocked the Norwich community. One of the report’s key conclusions was that the state was putting too much funding—a total of …

#41 Memories of Dodge and Jackman

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

By Martin Suydam, Class of 1965 In the late 1800s, Norwich University consisted of two imposing structures on “The Hill”—Jackman and Dodge Halls. Today, with 53 buildings and counting, the campus evokes pride in all graduates. The buildings of Norwich, both past and present, have generated a lot of memories over the years. Much has changed about both the buildings …

#38 The Move to Northfield

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

The South Barracks, Norwich University’s principal building at the original Norwich, Vermont campus, burned nearly to the ground on March 13th, 1866. No historical records mention deaths or injuries associated with the fire. In an April board meeting that year, the trustees resolved that they would endeavor to keep the university in Norwich if possible, but if not, they would …

#37 The Space Research Institute Brought Space-Age Innovation to Vermont

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Norwich University has always been on the cutting edge of technological education, beginning with its pioneering engineering curriculum in the 1820s. In the late 1960s, the world of science and technology was exploring a new frontier: outer space. The Norwich trustees voted in 1967 to partner with the Space Research Corporation to offer graduate and undergraduate degrees in aerospace studies. …

#34 Norwich on the Cutting Edge of Computing Technology

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

In January 1962, Norwich entered the digital age when an IBM Model 1620 computer was installed in Norwich University’s new Computer Center. It was purchased to “provide Norwich students with the most up-to-date apparatus for solving the complex problems of space-age science and engineering education.” The IBM 1620 was about the size of an upright piano, and was run using an …

#33 The Norwich Red Socks Take the Ice

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Norwich’s hockey team was started in February 1909 by a group of restless cadets who were looking for something to do during the winter months. The eight skaters called themselves the “Norwich Red Socks,” and won two out of the three games they played that year before the ice began to melt. With no indoor athletic facility existing on campus …

#28 Two Schools Forever Changed: The Merger of Norwich University and Vermont College

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

On January 7, 1972, the agreement was signed to merge Norwich University with Vermont College, then a two-year women’s college located in Montpelier. The result was Norwich’s dramatic transformation into a co-educational institution, with civilian students learning alongside the traditional Corps of Cadets. As they entered the 1970s, Norwich University and Vermont College both faced declining student populations. Vermont College …

#24 Partridge’s Academy at Middletown

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

Within a decade of its founding, the American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy took a sojourn south. For four years, from 1825 to 1829, the Academy was located in Middletown, Connecticut. Unsuccessful at obtaining a charter from the State of Connecticut, it reopened in Norwich, Vermont in 1831 and was chartered as Norwich University just three years later. When Alden …

#17 The Rook and the Corps shoulder patch

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Fun Facts & Stats

By Martin Suydam ’65 During the 1961-62 school year a contest was announced to replace the Norwich University Corps of Cadets shoulder patch. The prize was $50. At that time $50 was a respectable prize award. Entries were to be submitted to the Office of the Commandant in color and full-size. The competition was open to all members of the …