Norwich to Hold 20th Annual Colby Military Writers’ Symposium

Public Panel to Address the Topic: “Cyber Warfare and Privacy: How Do We Keep the Balance Between the Rights of Citizens and the Security of the Nation?”
Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated March 30, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University will host the 2015 William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium on Wednesday and Thursday, April 8-9, hosting Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Philip Caputo, among other literary luminaries.

The symposium, which is free and open to the public and marks its 20th anniversary this year, celebrates the best in military writing, books and ideas.

It brings together some of the nation’s leading military writers, historians and thinkers, who gather for a two-day residency on the campus of the country’s oldest private military college to share their work and discuss current affairs and military issues.

The William E. Colby Award winning book is also formally recognized during the symposium. The accolade, which includes a $5,000 cash prize, honors the best work of military nonfiction or fiction of the year by a first-time author.

This year’s winner is historian and U.S. Army War College professor Colonel Douglas V. Mastriano, PhD, for his book “Alvin York: A New Biography of the Hero of the Argonne.”

The theme of this year’s Colby symposium is “Cyber Warfare and Privacy: How Do We Keep the Balance Between the Rights of Citizens and the Security of the Nation?” Norwich University undergraduate and online graduate programs are consistently ranked among the best in the nation for cyber security education and are certified by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE).

The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, is scheduled for Thursday, April 9, from 1-3 p.m. in Plumley Armory.

This year’s panelists include:

  • Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Philip Caputo. A guest of the inaugural symposium, Caputo has written 15 books, including two memoirs, five nonfiction books and eight novels including his acclaimed memoir of Vietnam, “A Rumor of War.”
  • Cheri Caddy, Director for Cybersecurity Policy Integration and Outreach, National Security Council, the White House. Caddy reports to the special advisor to the president for cybersecurity and shapes national policies related to improving cyber protections for federal agencies, state governments, the private sector and foreign partners. Caddy is a 1990 Norwich alumna.
  • Lewis “Bob” Sorley, PhD, a third-generation graduate of the United States Military Academy who has served on the faculties at West Point and the Army War College. He is the former CIA chief of policy and plans division and the author of several books including the Pulitzer Prize-nominated “A Better War: The Unexamined Victories and Final Tragedy of America’s Last Years in Vietnam.”

Founded in 1996 by Carlo D´Este and W.E.B. Griffin, the Colby Symposium has brought more than 100 authors, historians, and filmmakers to Norwich University in Northfield, Vt. The symposium is the only program of its kind at an American university.

“The William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium aims to expose Norwich students, faculty, alumni and the public to the works and views of authors, historians and national figures to educate, enlighten, and inspire,” D’Este says.

“Participants come to Norwich hoping to make a difference in the lives of our students through their interaction in a variety of lectures, social functions and lively in-class sessions. They also come to further the debate on current issues,” he adds.

The Colby Military Writers Symposium is frequently covered by C-Span Book TV. Last year, C-Span broadcast interviews with Colby panelists by journalist Mark Johnson of WDEV radio. Watch the video here.