Norwich to hold commencement and commissioning ceremonies this weekend


May 12, 2016

Norwich University will celebrate commencement and commissioning with ceremonies on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 9 a.m.

Both ceremonies are free and open to the public and will be livestreamed here:

On Saturday, May 14, at the 2 p.m. commencement ceremony, former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno will deliver the university’s 2016 Commencement address to more than 450 graduating seniors.

A decorated officer and distinguished leader, Odierno served as the 38th Chief of Staff of the United States Army from 2011 to 2015. His previous posts include assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, where he served as the primary military advisor to U.S. Secretaries of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Odierno’s military career spans nearly 40 years of service, during which he commanded units at every level, from platoon to the battlefield, with duty in Germany, Albania, Kuwait, Iraq, and the United States.

Odierno retired from active military service last year. He became a senior advisor to JPMorgan Chase & Company in September, where he provides strategic advice and global insights to company Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon and its board of directors and operating committee. In that capacity, Odierno engages a broad range of issues, including international planning and country risk analysis, technology, operations, leadership training, and the rapidly evolving issues of physical and cyber security.

Odierno’s military awards and decorations include five Defense Distinguished Service Medals, three Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, the Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, six Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, four Meritorious Service Medals, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Achievement Medal, and the Combat Action Badge. He has also received the Secretary of State Distinguished Service Medal and Orders of Military Merit from Brazil, Colombia, Romania, and Italy. He was also appointed as an Officer in the French National Order of the Legion of Honor.

On Sunday, May 15, at 9 a.m. Major General John W. Baker ’85 returns to the Norwich campus to speak to ROTC commissioning officers during a formal joint services commissioning ceremony to mark the occasion.

In his address, the Army officer will touch on themes of leadership, integrity, allegiance, kindness, trust, service history, service values, and family.

Baker currently serves as the Commanding General of the 7th Signal Command (Theater), which is headquartered at Fort Gordon, Georgia. The command installs, operates, maintains, and defends Network and Mission Command capabilities for Joint, Interagency, Intergovernmental, and Multinational forces within the Western Hemisphere in support of Unified Land Operations and, as directed, supports other national missions or contingency operations. The command currently commands and controls 77 Network Enterprise Centers providing information technology services at installations throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.

Baker is one of 21 Norwich alumni currently serving the nation as a general officer, admiral, or in the federal government Senior Executive Service.

At the May 15 commissioning ceremony, Baker will address approximately 127 students anticipated to commission into four branches of the military. During the service, the new officers receive their second lieutenant or ensign bars and their first salutes. The event, which begins at 9 a.m. in Shapiro Field House, is part of Norwich University’s Commencement Weekend and is open to the public.

Here are anticipated commission numbers: Army: 84; Air Force: 11, and Navy/Marines: 32.

Following the joint services ceremony, at 11 a.m. Army will hold an individual ceremony in Shapiro Field House; Air Force will hold an Air Force ceremony in Milano Ballroom, and Navy will hold a commissioning ceremony for Navy and Marine officers in Plumley Armory. The Army ceremony will be livestreamed; videos of the Air Force and Navy ceremonies will be available post-commissioning and can be purchased here:

About Norwich University˜

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) 

In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Transformation” here:    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886
Mobile: (802) 595-3613