Norwich University to Break Ground on Bicentennial Stairs


May 22, 2018

Norwich University will break ground on a granite stairway that will mark the university’s 200th anniversary and honor 78 individuals who have made significant contributions to the university in the past century. The ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 31, at 2 p.m. on the plaza outside the Sullivan Museum and History Center.

President Richard W. Schneider (one of the honorees), along with trustees and some of those whose names will be inscribed in the steps, and some relatives of deceased honorees, among many others, will celebrate the project, which is slated to be completed and dedicated in September 2019 as part of Homecoming Weekend festivities.

In keeping with Norwich’s local and sustainable business practices, the project will be completed by firms all based out of Barre, Vt. The mason for the project is Ziter Masonry; the stairs will be constructed of Barre Grey granite from the Rock of Ages quarry; and the stairs will be cut, processed and finished by Vermont Stone Art.

The Bicentennial Stairs are part of Norwich’s $100 million Forging the Future campaign. The largest fundraising effort in the university’s history, the focus of the campaign is on creating a state-of-the-art learning environment, strengthening academic programing and growing scholarship endowments.

The stairs will be constructed between the southeast corner of the Upper Parade Ground and the Sullivan Museum and History Center. The 78 names selected for this monument include Norwich’s leaders, distinguished alumni and others from military and civilian careers and those who represent ‘firsts’ at the university. They serve as a tribute and daily reminder of those who personify Norwich Founder Capt. Partridge’s ideals and exemplify Norwich’s mission “to make moral, patriotic, effective and useful citizens.”

A granite stairway was constructed at the northeast corner of the Upper Parade Ground in celebration of Norwich’s centennial in 1919. Each of the 40 granite steps bears the name of an individual considered important in Norwich’s first 100 years.

Among the Bicentennial Stairs honorees are: Tracey Poirier, NU 1996, Norwich’s first Rhodes scholar; Richard W. Schneider, Norwich’s current and longest-serving president; and members of longtime Vermont families such as Charles Dole, NU 1869, who served as acting president and a trustee; William Mayo, a Northfield physician who created a scholarship that boosted enrollment after the Civil War; and Paul Carrara, NU 1959, former President of J.P. Carrara & Sons and a trustee; Trustee Emerita Colonel (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), a distinguished entrepreneur and philanthropist; along with many others. For the entire list of Bicentennial Stairs honorees, click 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:    

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