Norwich University to Celebrate Commencement and Commissioning This Weekend 

Norwich University Office of Communications

May 7, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University will celebrate commencement and commissioning with ceremonies on Saturday and Sunday, May 9-10, in Shapiro Field House. Both events are free and open to the public.

At a 2 p. m. ceremony on Saturday, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole will deliver the 2015 commencement address to over 400 seniors graduating from 31 majors. The Class of 2015 is comprised of 264 students in the Corps of Cadets and 168 civilian students.

Perhaps best known as the former president of the American Red Cross and for her own political career as U.S. senator representing her home state of North Carolina, Dole is also the wife of former senator and World War II veteran, Bob Dole.

In 2012, Dole, who will receive an honorary degree from Norwich University, founded Caring for Military Families: The Elizabeth Dole Foundation, to raise awareness and support for the spouses, mothers, fathers, and other loved ones caring for wounded, ill and injured military personnel.

Norwich University officials say Dole was the natural choice for its 2015 commencement address given her lifetime of public service. This year, Norwich is celebrating the 2014-15 academic year as the “Year of Service,” the first of five years in a countdown to the university’s bicentennial celebration in 2019.

At 9 a.m. Sunday, during a joint services commissioning ceremony, graduating future officers will hear remarks from one of their own.

Brigadier General Raymond R. Descheneaux ’87, United States Marine Corps Reserve, Assistant Deputy Commandant for Aviation (Mobilization), returns to the Norwich campus to speak to ROTC commissioning officers during a formal ceremony to mark the occasion.

As this year’s speaker, Descheneaux will address more than 100 students anticipated to commission into four branches of the military – Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. The new officers will receive their second lieutenant or ensign bars, and their first salutes.

See the full schedule of weekend activities here. Post-event coverage will be posted on the website of the Office of Communications.

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. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the “Year of Service” here:    

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886, (m) 595-3613
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