#47 Peace Corps Preparatory Program Pioneered a New Concept of National Service

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Firsts

In the summer of 1986, Carol Todd returned to Norwich from a volunteerism conference with an idea for her husband, Norwich President Russell Todd. She had just heard Loret Miller Ruppe, the director of the Peace Corps, present the idea of an ROTC-like training program to recruit new volunteers for the Peace Corps. The timing was serendipitous. President Todd had …

#9 Alcoholics Anonymous Founder “Bill W.”

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Firsts

William Griffith Wilson was one of the most influential people of the 20th Century. Known to millions as “Bill W.,” Wilson attended Norwich from 1914 to 1917 and was the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. Since its inception in 1935, Wilson’s 12-step program to recovery has helped countless people achieve sobriety and overcome addiction. Now celebrating its 80th year, Alcoholics Anonymous …

#3 Walter Aiken

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Firsts

The first Cog Railway was designed and built by Norwich alumnus Walter Aiken. Born in Dracut, Mass., Aiken began tinkering in his father’s machine-shop at an early age and had a natural talent for mechanics. Aiken, who attended Norwich from 1850-1852, took out more than forty patents. At the age of 22 he invented and built one of the first …