Norwich University to Dedicate Plaza to Dr. Erasmus Arlington “Arlie” Pond

A physician, major league pitcher, Norwich alum, and veteran of the Spanish-American War, Pond made a lasting impact fighting disease and supporting education in the Philippines
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 14, 2015

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University officials will dedicate the west end of Sabine Field as Pond Plaza in honor of Dr. Erasmus Arlington “Arlie” Pond. The ceremony will be held Thursday, April 23, during the annual April meeting of the university’s board of trustees. The memorial is made possible through the generosity of the Tawani Foundation.

An athlete, physician, humanitarian and soldier, Pond graduated from Rutland High School in 1888 and enrolled at Norwich University, where he distinguished himself as a baseball pitcher and musician. Two years later, he transferred to the University of Vermont, graduating in 1893 and completing medical school in 1895. During a medical residency and internship in Baltimore, he pitched for Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles.

Called to duty as a surgeon during the Spanish-American War, Pond served in the Philippines, supporting American troops throughout the conflict and again during WWI. From 1903 until his death 27 years later, Pond remained in the Philippines, where he worked to stop the spread of disease, share his love of baseball and provide schooling for local children.

In December 2014, a group of Norwich students, staff and faculty visited the Philippines as part of a long-term effort to help the country rebuild after the devastating effects of Typhoon Haiyan. While there, the group visited the hospital Pond established there. The trip took place through the auspices of NU VISIONS Abroad, an international service-learning program coordinated by the university’s Center for Civic Engagement.

The four-year project is generously supported by a grant from the Chicago-based Tawani Foundation.

The April 23 ceremony begins at 5 p.m. and is open to the public. Please join us.

Photo caption: Dr. Erasmus Arlington “Arlie” Pond (bottom right, first row) pitched for the Baltimore Orioles during a varied career.

About the Tawani Foundation

Founded by COL (IL) Jennifer N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), Trustee Emerita of Norwich University, Tawani Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) grant-making organization whose mission is: to enhance the awareness and understanding of the importance of the Citizen Soldier; to preserve unique sites of significance to American and military history; to foster health and wellness projects for improved quality of life; and to honor the service of military personnel, past, present and future, through an awards program that includes the JROTC/ROTC Award for Military Excellence and the Pritzker Military Museum & Library Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing.

About Norwich

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). www.norwich.edu

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: bicentennial.norwich.edu.

Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Assistant Director of Communications
(802) 485-2886, (m) 595-3613
dlarkin@norwich.edu

Norwich Professor Examines Botswana’s Nation-Building Success

By David S. Westerman, PhD
Office of Academic Research

April 8, 2015

History Professor Rowly Brucken will present his findings on nation-building at the 13th International Conference on African and Latin American Studies in Lisbon, Portugal on April 16-17.

His paper, entitled “Botswana and Nation-Building Theory,” discusses which of the major theories of nation-building explains the post-independence evolution of Botswana into a multi-party democracy with a stable, prosperous capitalist economy.

The key finding of the work is that the establishment of democratic and transparent governance before the discovery of diamonds and other mineral wealth laid the basis for responsible, sustainable, and participatory economic development.

Professor Brucken’s research has been supported by a Charles A. Dana Research Fellowship and a Chase International Travel Grant. His paper will be published in the peer-reviewed conference proceedings.

About the Author: David S. Westerman, PhD, is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Geology at Norwich University and the Associate Vice President for Research in the university’s Office of Academic Research.

Smithsonian Aviation Curator to Speak at Norwich about Lincoln Balloon Corps

Norwich University Office of Communications

March 12, 2015 

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center, the state’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, will host Dr. Tom Crouch, Senior Curator of Aeronautics at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, for a lunch-and-learn on Wednesday, April 8 at noon in Milano Ballroom, located in Roberts Hall.

Crouch’s presentation, “Mr. Lincoln’s Air Force:  Military Aeronautics in the Civil War,” is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be served, and a book-signing will follow.

Abraham Lincoln held a life-long fascination with technology and during the Civil War seldom missed an opportunity to investigate new weapons or innovations. New England balloonist T.S.C. Lowe was able to demonstrate to Lincoln the role that observation balloons might play in providing improved reconnaissance for the Union Army. The President not only encouraged Lowe’s plan to form a Balloon Corps to serve with the Army of the Potomac, but intervened on his behalf when military officials proved less than enthusiastic about the experiment. With the assistance of the President, Lowe was able to create and equip the Balloon Corps, which saw extensive service from 1861 to 1863.

Copies of Crouch’s books “Lighter-Than-Air: An Illustrated History of Balloons and Airships,” and “The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright,” will be available for sale at the event.

Crouch holds a BA (1962) from Ohio University, an MA (1968) from Miami University and a PhD (1976) from the Ohio State University (all in history) and has been a Smithsonian employee since 1974. He is the author or editor of a number of books and many articles for both popular magazines and scholarly journals. These include “Eagle Aloft: Two Centuries of the Balloon in America” and “Wings: A History of Aviation from Kites to the Space Age.”

Crouch has also received a number of book awards including a 1989 Christopher Award, a literary prize recognizing “significant artistic achievement in support of the highest values of the human spirit,” for “The Bishop’s Boys: A Life of Wilbur and Orville Wright.” His book “Wings: A History of Aviation From Kites to the Space Age” won the AIAA Gardner-Lasser Literature Prize for 2005, an award presented to the best book selected in that year from all books in the field of aerospace history published in the last five years.

For more information, call the Sullivan Museum at (802) 485-2183, or email smhc@norwich.edu.  RSVPs encouraged, but not required.

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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). www.norwich.edu

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: bicentennial.norwich.edu  

New Civil War Exhibits Open at Sullivan Museum

Fall of Richmond Illustration by Currier and Ives
Norwich University museum celebrates opening of fifth and final exhibition in Civil War series and related show by artist Kara Walker
January 15, 2015

 

NORTHFIELD, Vt.–Norwich University’s Sullivan Museum and History Center invites the public to celebrate the opening of a new exhibit, “1865, Out of the Ashes: Assassination, Reconstruction, and Healing the Nation,” with a reception on Friday, January 23 from 5-7 p.m.

The exhibit, which focuses on the aftermath of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the rehabilitation and restoration of the South, and efforts to unify the country, is the fifth and final exhibition in the museum’s series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War.

A centerpiece of the new exhibition is a unique and rare firearm recently acquired by the Sullivan Museum and History Center: a Spencer repeating rifle. Possibly tested by President Lincoln himself, the weapon had remained in private hands for several generations and will now be on public view for the first time since the Civil War. The rifle was itself an important part of Civil War history. Adopted by Union troops, it allowed for more accurate and rapid firing. The Spencer rifle now on view was an early issue, originally given to Lincoln by the manufacturer and later gifted by Lincoln to Gideon Welles, NU’1826, in recognition of his Civil War service as Secretary of the Navy.

In addition to the rifle, historical objects from Ford’s Theater, a brass cannon used during the Civil War and period currency loaned by the Hon. John W. Walter will be included in the exhibition.

Kara Walker Prints

The museum is also pleased to concurrently present a separate complementary exhibition of pictorial works by contemporary African American artist Kara Walker, made possible through the generous support of Tawani Foundation Endowment Funds.

“Kara Walker: Juxtaposition, Contemporary Specters, and Harper’s Pictorial History of the Civil War,” features contemporary works on loan from Mount Holyoke College.  The artist combined her signature overlays of black silhouettes with historic lithography to produce poignant and sharp commentary on stereotypes found in the nation’s history of slavery, Jim Crow and segregation that still infiltrate present stereotypes.

Both exhibits will remain on display until July 31, 2015. Visitors exploring the museum will find a blackboard to engage in ongoing discussion about the legacies of the Civil War and Reconstruction that still affect society today.

Plan Your Visit

The Sullivan Museum and History Center is a Smithsonian Affiliate, the only such museum in the state of Vermont. (See related article.) The museum is located on the Northfield campus of Norwich University. It is open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the academic year. There is no charge for admission to the museum. For more information call 802.485.2183 or visit the museum’s website (academics.norwich.edu/museum/) or Facebook page (www.facebook.com/SullivanMuseum).

In Europe, Students Research Old London, Roman Concrete Mysteries

Using summer research grants to study primary sources, undergraduates Shaili Patel and Taylor Davidson analyzed early London architecture and the stuff that made Roman buildings endure.
By Shaili Patel and Taylor Davidson

October 22, 2014

This summer, two Norwich University architecture students researched intriguing historic puzzles in London and Italy.

Undergraduate architecture and history major Shaili Patel, a rising junior, researched the influence of Enlightenment philosophies on London city planning through the work of Christopher Wren and John Gwynn, luminaries of 17th and 18th century architecture.

Patel visited the English capital to study and analyze primary sources, most of which were original engravings of city maps and plans designed by Wren and Gwynn. At the same time, she experienced modern London; in many ways the opposite of the rational London proposed by the gentleman architects she studied.

Her research culminated in an in-depth paper with visual analysis of the plans and texts she studied. Patel plans to submit her paper for presentation at the Phi Alpha Theta (the national history honor society) undergraduate research conference.

“Wren presented a visual theory with his plans, while Gwynn took the theory and made it a practical application of the rationalism of the Enlightenment that is evident in the London of today,” Patel says. Consequently, more of Gwynn’s ideas are present in present-day London.

Roman Concrete

While Roman ruins are also present in London, undergraduate architecture student and rising junior Taylor Davidson traveled to Italy this summer to research the applications of Roman concrete and related designs as part of a Norwich University Summer Research Fellowship.

His research, entitled “Concrete: Looking at the Old to Improve the New,” looks for practical techniques that can be taken from Imperial Roman concrete and applied to modern construction.

“The longevity of these structures, such as the Pantheon and Coliseum in Rome, stand as a testament to the success of Imperial Rome’s concrete and design,” Davidson says.

“If we can apply some of the techniques that proved successful in Rome, perhaps we can increase the structural longevity of our own concrete, thereby reducing costs and CO2 emissions … from concrete production.”

Davidson visited Rome and Pompeii to examine remaining examples of Roman concrete. He spent weeks documenting and examining structures to extrapolate techniques and material use that contributed to the longevity of the structures.

“Rome is a treasure of architectural wealth. The fact that these buildings, some of which are more than 2,000 years old, remain standing provides us with the richest source for examining and understanding the past,” Davidson said.

Davidson documented sites using notes, detailed drawings and detailed photographs of each site he visited, all of which contribute to his culminating research paper.
These ancient Roman architectural structures preserve a record of invaluable information about the civilization from which they arose.

Davidson hopes to answer why modern structures have such a comparatively short lifespan, a problem that faces contemporary architects, builders and society overall.
Deducing the key techniques and designs from ancient Roman can inform the construction of the future, he says. It may be possible to create structures that endure beyond what we now consider the acceptable lifespan of a building.