#62 “Black Hawk Down”: Norwich at the Battle of Mogadishu

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

Thomas DiTomasso, Class of 1989, played a leadership role in the 1993 Battle of Mogadishu, fighting alongside Michael Goodale, Class of 2009. DiTomasso says that there’s a lot missing from its depiction in the book and film Black Hawk Down—most importantly the values of trust, friendship, and selfless service that he learned as a Norwich cadet. In 1993, Somalia was …

#58 Cadets Saved the Day in the 1927 Flood

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

The 1927 flood is considered the greatest natural disaster in Vermont history, rivaled only by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011. Three days of devastating rain from November 2 to 4 led to the loss of 84 lives and significant destruction of the state’s infrastructure. As they have so often, the cadets of Norwich University rose to the occasion. Almost immediately …

#53 Trustee Leonard Wood and the Rough Riders Association

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

The Rough Riders was a nickname given to the First U.S. Volunteer Cavalry regiment, which distinguished itself in Cuba during the Spanish-American War. The regiment was commanded by future Norwich trustee Leonard Wood and future U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, and Norwich alumnus Henry Hersey was counted among their ranks. After the war was fought, the Rough Riders Association had an …

#44 Alden Partridge’s Model for the Morrill Land-Grant Act

Jeff Dobbin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There Leave a Comment

By Gary Lord The landmark legislation passed by the United States Congress in 1862 supporting a national system of agricul­tural and technical colleges is commonly known as the Morrill Land-Grant Act. Vermont congressman Justin Smith Morrill prepared the bill, and its successful passage was in large measure the result of his persistence and political acumen. The legislation would eventually be …

#26 Linda Eastman VC ’61 Married Paul McCartney

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

Linda Eastman came to Vermont College in 1959 from Scarsdale High School in suburban New York. At that time, Vermont College was a junior college, offering two-year programs in subjects like secretarial science. Eight years later, in March of 1969, Eastman did what she is perhaps best known for: In the midst of the Beatlemania craze, she married Paul McCartney. …

#22 Russell W. Porter: Telescope Maker

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

Russell Williams Porter was enthralled by the questions that swirl in a thoughtful man’s mind when he contemplates the stars. Porter, who attended Norwich from 1889-1890, is regarded as “the father of the amateur telescope movement.” Among his life achievements was designing the 200-inch Hale telescope at Mount Palomar, California. A native of Springfield, Vt., Russell Porter was an architect …

#21 Lieutenant Colonel Harold Watson, NU ’40, Pilots B25 on Doolittle’s Raid

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

In the months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt was looking for something to give the American people a boost in morale for what was expected to be a long war both in Europe and the Pacific. The Navy and Army Air Corps presented a plan that became famously known as “Doolittle’s Raid.” It was a yet …

#18 “Daredevil” Hersey: Rough Rider and Aeronaut

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

Henry Blanchard “Daredevil” Hersey, Norwich class of 1885, led a colorful and adventure-filled life in which he played many roles, including as a meteorologist, balloonist and member of the Rough Riders. A native of Williamstown, Vt., Hersey entered Norwich in 1881. Like many students in the nineteenth century he left after two years to enter the United States Signal Service …

#13 The College Cavaliers

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

In October 1862, twenty-three Norwich cadets returned to campus from a stretch in the Civil War with an amazing story to tell. They had been part of “the College Cavaliers”, a Union cavalry unit made up of college students primarily from Dartmouth and Norwich. They had signed up for a three-month enlistment, and during that time participated in a daring …

#10 The Professor Who Solved a Mass Poisoning Whodunit

Bicentennial Admin 200 Things about Norwich, Norwich Was There

Criminal Justice may be the most popular major at Norwich. But it took an associate professor of chemistry to solve a truly terrible case on the other side of the globe—the largest mass poisoning of a population in history. Working in Bangladesh since 1997, analytical chemist Prof. Seth Frisbie revealed that over 50 million Bangladeshis were drinking water with unsafe …