#97 Mike Thomas Brown, From Rehabilitation to World Champion

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

It’s called mixed martial arts, although people unfamiliar with one of the world’s fastest-growing sports might view it as mayhem. It’s a fast, intense combat sport, and many call it brutal. Mike Brown is one if its stars, winning the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) featherweight title in November 2008 in a first-round knockout over defending champion Urijah Faber. A native …

#96 Colonel Frank Tompkins Led Norwich’s Cavalry Charge

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Frank Tompkins was born in Washington, D.C., the son of a Civil War general who commanded the 1st Vermont Cavalry. His 32 years of service with the U.S. Army included stations in Cuba, the Philippines, Mexico and France. He became well-known for his pursuit of Mexican revolutionary Francisco “Pancho” Villa during the Mexican Revolution. Tompkins’ men helped beat back Villa’s …

#90 Rev. John Thomas Was a University President During Two World Wars

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

The Rev. John Thomas was born in Fort Covington, N.Y., graduating from Middlebury College in 1890 and from Union Theological Seminary in 1893. He spent 15 years as a Presbyterian minister in New Jersey before becoming president of Middlebury in 1908. He served in that capacity for 13 years, leading the college through World War I. After the armistice, he …

#86 Major General Briard P. Johnson

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Major General Briard Poland Johnson graduated from Norwich University in 1927, when cavalry training was at the heart of a Norwich education. He commissioned into the U.S. Cavalry Reserve after graduation, and served as a reserve officer for six years while working as a civil engineer. He began active duty in 1933. During World War II, he served in the …

#83 Deborah Ann Light Transformed Her Community

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Light was born in London in 1935 and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 1961. She married three times and eventually settled on a 30-acre farm known as Quail Hill in Amagansett, New York. Her 1985 master’s degree from Vermont College was in religious studies, and she practiced as a …

#81 Edward Shuttleworth Created a Military Prize While Still a Lieutenant

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Edward Shuttleworth graduated from Norwich in the Class of 1891. Just five years later, in 1896, members of the Corps of Cadets were surprised and delighted to learn that Shuttleworth had promised to give a sword every year to the member of the junior class “who should attain the highest average in his military work.” Shuttleworth was born in Boston …

#80 The Partridge System of Education Across America

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Shortly after the Academy opened its doors in 1820, Partridge was already making plans to spread his ideas up and down the East Coast. He and other adherents to his educational philosophy eventually established over 20 schools across the landscape of the United States. The earliest Partridge-backed academies after the one in Norwich were founded in Harlem, New York and …

#73 President Charles Plumley Served Norwich and Vermont

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, 200 Things drafts, Leaders & Legacy

Charles Plumley graduated from Norwich in 1896, served as president of the university for 14 years, and went on to represent the state of Vermont in the United States Congress. Plumley was a true local boy. He was born and raised in Northfield, the son of Congressman Frank Plumley, who was also a lecturer and honorary degree recipient at Norwich. …