#29 Taraknath Das, Class of 1911, Fought for Indian Independence

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Taraknath Das was an Indian intellectual and reformer who fought tirelessly for the independence of his country. He attended Norwich University from 1908 to 1909 and advocated for more people from India to seek higher education so that they could bring about liberation from the British Empire. In spite of his commitment to a peaceful political process, the British and …

#27 Alden Partridge at West Point

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Though Alden Partridge’s departure from the United States Military Academy at West Point was controversial, his 15-year affiliation with that institution was a crucial formative period during which he developed many of the ideas and values that would guide him upon founding Norwich University. Partridge entered Dartmouth College in 1802, but left at the beginning of his senior year when …

#23 Robert F. McDermott: A maverick in education, insurance and basketball

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

When Robert F. McDermott, NU Class of 1941, became the first dean of the U.S. Air Force Academy, he took some lessons from Alden Partridge’s playbook. General McDermott created the first service academy program that blended military training with the “whole person” concept. Like Norwich founder Captain Partridge, General McDermott emerged as a pioneer in higher and military education. After …

#20 General Dwight Eisenhower addressed Norwich commencement in 1946

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

The Norwich University commencement exercises of 1946 were an auspicious occasion. Dubbed the “Victory Commencement,” it marked the completion of the first regular academic year following World War II. In fact, it was the first full-fledged commencement ceremony to be held since 1941. The occasion attracted a prominent commencement speaker: Army Chief of Staff and former Supreme Allied Commander of …

#19 Glen Leet ‘30: Founder of Trickle Up

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Shortly after his graduation from Norwich University in 1930, Glen Leet began an extraordinary 60-year career in public service. Originally from Brockton, Mass., Leet became a field representative for the American Public Welfare Administration, where he helped draft many of the social welfare laws during the Great Depression. In 1944 he was appointed by the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation …

#15 Alden Partridge:
The first extreme hiker

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Alden Partridge had an astounding idea: He would hike two of Vermont’s highest peaks, Mount Mansfield and Camel’s Hump. That might not sound like such a revolutionary notion to us. After all, thousands of people hike those mountains each year. But this was 1818, a time when hiking wasn’t exactly a popular sport. Just saying you wanted to climb a …

#14 Luther Swift Dixon

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

Ever since the signing of the US Constitution in 1787, the issue of states’ rights versus those of the federal government have been debated. In 1859, Luther Swift Dixon, Norwich class of 1847, became Chief Justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and took on the hotly contested Fugitive Slave Act and the right of states to overrule the federal government. …

#8 NU’s Maj. Gen. Ernest Harmon: “The Second Patton”

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

This year represents the 65th anniversary of NU President Ernest Nason Harmon’s inauguration in 1950. President Harmon had an immeasurable and lasting impact on the university. During his 15-year presidency, he oversaw a period of unprecedented growth in the student body and physical campus, instituted many practices and traditions that are an integral part of Norwich today, and ushered the …

#6 Founder’s Day

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Leaders & Legacy

On 6 August, 1819, the first bricks were laid in Norwich, Vt., for the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy. News of the groundbreaking was reported in a number of local newspapers, including this excerpt from the Essex Patriot of Concord, N.H. On Friday, the 6th instant, the first bricks were laid; under which, at the two front corners, were …