In Conversation: Former NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly

Photo: Two Norwich cadets interview former NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly
Norwich University Office of Communications

November 27, 2017

Raymond Kelly led the New York City Police Department for 14 years under mayors David Dinkins and Michael Bloomberg, becoming the city’s longest-serving police commissioner while capping a 47-year NYPD career. Between appointments, Kelly oversaw policing in Haiti for the United Nations, worked for Interpol in Europe, and led the U.S. Customs Bureau. At the NYPD, he implemented many innovations, including the push to recruit police officers who speak 106 languages to serve one of the most diverse cities in the world. The counter-terrorism bureau he established at the NYPD in 2002 was the first of its kind for a metropolitan police force.

The author of the 2015 book, Vigilance: My Life Serving America and Protecting Its Empire City, Kelly visited the Norwich campus earlier this month to present the Fall 2017 Todd Lecture. During his visit, the former Marine and Vietnam War veteran sat down to talk about his life and career with Jess R. Hindman ’19 and John L. Smith ’18. Hailing from Mansfield, Mass., and Houston, Tex., respectively, the two Norwich cadets and criminal justice majors kicked off the conversation.

We’d like to ask you primarily about leadership, because that’s why we’re in the Corps and why we chose Norwich. Throughout your career, what’s been consistent in your leadership and management style?

Kelly: It’s a good question. I had three older brothers in the Marine Corps. They used to bring home their “72” gear, or field equipment, including a guide book for Marines. I probably saw this when I was 13. It’s been around since 1910. But they keep issuing new editions of it. It talks about leadership traits. The general principle is, “Hey, if you act like a leader, if you sound like a leader, if you do the things that good leaders do, you’re a leader.” Leaders are made. They’re not born. I sort of took that to heart.

Photo: Portrait of Raymond KellyThere are 14 leadership principles in that book. I have a Franklin Planner that I use. In one of the dividers, I have these 14 leadership traits. Obviously, you could write paragraphs, books, about each one of those things. But some of them are justice and judgment. How do you treat people who are working for you? What you ultimately want is respect from the people you work with. How do you get that respect? One of the ways you get it is by using these traits. There’s dependability, obviously integrity, decisiveness. There’s tact. There’s initiative, enthusiasm, bearing, unselfishness, courage, job knowledge, loyalty, and endurance. Now, if you look at all of those, and you try and emulate them as best you can, people are going to see you as a leader. Someone who they respect. That’s what I try to do. There’s certainly lots of challenges, in life, challenges as a leader. But it’s sort of worked for me. I know there’s a lot of different definitions of leadership. But I wanted to keep it simple in my head.

That is a little bit of my leadership secret. Also, I’m a hands-on leader. I’m not a micro-manager. But I am hands on. I want to do things that enable me to see what personnel are doing, let them know that I appreciate what they do. Also, you never want to become one of the boys or girls. A lot of people don’t realize that. There’s a price to pay for leadership. The expression, “It’s lonely at the top.” Yeah. It is—at every level. Again, you want that respect. If you are just one of the crowd and become sort of one of your subordinates, they’re not going to respect you. These are some of the things that I think work for me.

Taking counter-terrorism work as an example, you were able to effect great amounts of change in the NYPD. What would you say has been your most effective method for enacting that change and getting people to do what you want?

Photo: Norwich cadets interview Raymond KellyWell, let’s face it: The position of authority gives you the ability to affect change. Now the question is, is it lasting? Will people resist it? Will it somehow be undermined? Just having a position of authority enables you to initiate things. I think the respect element I talked about is what enables it to sort of take hold. You know, “This person is leading this effort. Because it’s this person, I think it has merit. I am buying into it.”

What are some ways that you’ve changed your leadership style over the years?

I think leadership to a certain degree is situational. It depends on what the work force looks like and what the immediate situation is. I think you need to be flexible in terms of how you approach it. If I have to use one word as to how I lead, I would probably say “authoritative.” I have that model because in an organization like the police department, you’ve got people working 24 hours a day. The department needs the structure, the people need that structure. I think in many things you have to have that authoritative style. But then there’s the coach, and then there’s the element of counseling people. So, depending on the situation you’ve got to be able to adjust to what you believe is the right leadership style. In an emergency situation, you have to use the authority that you have. People expect that. People want somebody in charge. You have to take that position. But you don’t have to go around flexing that all the time.

How have you dealt with people that didn’t like you or the decisions you’ve made and been able to move on?

You do just that—move on. I would say this, I did learn a lesson. I made a decision, and quite frankly I don’t remember what it was, but it had to do with constituencies. You have to think about the [ones] you have when making a decision. I made this decision that did not incorporate the union or the union position. You work with the public, the media, elected officials, the boss, the mayor, that sort of thing. I just didn’t think about the union. It came back to cause a problem.

Photo: Raymond Kelly stands with two Norwich cadets, holding challenge coin giftSo, I actually drew a decision wheel, and I put all these constituencies in it. “Did I think of this? Did I think of that?” So, I learned a lesson. If you have the time to do that, you want to use the capacity that you have to check in with people and see what their thoughts are. Sometimes you have to force your hand. But if you have the time and the opportunity, you check with your constituents.

Interview condensed and edited for length and clarity.

Produced, edited and photographed by Sean Markey

Norwich Welcomes Former NYPD Commissioner and Author Ray Kelly for Fall Todd Lecture Series Event


Oct. 11, 2017

Norwich University continues its Todd Lecture Series with a presentation by former New York City Police Commissioner and author of “Vigilance: A Life & Legacy in Public Service and Leadership,” Raymond W. Kelly on Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m. in Plumley Armory. A book signing will follow the presentation.

This event is free and open to the public and is the first Todd Lecture in Norwich University’s “Year of Legacy” of the bicentennial countdown. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A. Prior to the public presentation, Kelly will spend the day on campus in classroom sessions with Norwich students.

With 50 years in public service, including 14 years as police commissioner of the City of New York, Raymond W. Kelly is one of the world’s most well-known and highly esteemed leaders in law enforcement. Kelly was appointed police commissioner in January 2002 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, making Kelly the longest serving police commissioner in the city’s history, as well as the first to hold the post for a second, separate tenure. He also served as police commissioner under Mayor David N. Dinkins from 1992 to 1994.

In 2002, Commissioner Kelly created the first counterterrorism bureau of any municipal police department in the country. He also established a new global intelligence program and stationed New York City detectives in 11 foreign cities. In addition to dedicating extensive resources to preventing another terrorist attack, the NYPD reduced violent crime by over 40 percent during his tenure. Commissioner Kelly also established a Real Time Crime Center, a state-of-the-art facility that uses data mining to search millions of computer records and put investigative leads into the hands of detectives in the field.

A 43-year veteran of the NYPD, Commissioner Kelly served in 25 different commands before being named police commissioner. He was appointed to the New York City Police Department in 1963. Shortly thereafter he accepted a commission to the United States Marine Corps Officer Program. He served on active military duty for three years including a combat tour in Vietnam. He returned to the police department in 1966 and entered the New York City Police Academy, graduating with the highest combined average for academics, physical achievement, and marksmanship. He was also a member of the inaugural class of the New York City Police Cadet Corps for three years while a student at Manhattan College. During his tenure in the NYPD, Kelly received 14 citations of merit for outstanding police work. Commissioner Kelly retired as a colonel from the Marine Corps Reserves after 30 years of service.

Commissioner Kelly holds a BBA from Manhattan College, a JD from St. John’s University School of Law, an LLM from New York University Graduate School of Law, and an MPA from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He has been awarded honorary degrees from the Catholic University of America, Manhattan College, St. John’s University, the State University of New York, the College of St. Rose, Iona College, Marist College, New York University, Pace University, Quinnipiac University, and St. Thomas Aquinas College.

In September 2006, Commissioner Kelly was awarded France’s highest decoration, the Légion d’honneur, by then French Minister of the Interior Nicholas Sarkozy.

Commissioner Kelly currently serves as the Vice Chairman of K2 Intelligence.

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Russell Todd and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. Todd ’50, serves as Norwich President Emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings the nation’s foremost thought leaders drawn from business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other arenas to its Northfield campus. All lectures are streamed live and are free and open to the public.

For more information please visit the Todd Lecture Series website or call (802) 485-2633.

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) 

Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.


Media Contact:
Daphne Larkin
Director of Media Relations & Community Affairs
Office Tel: (802) 485-2886

Norwich University Regimental Band to perform in the 58th Presidential Inauguration


Jan. 13, 2017

The Norwich University Regimental Band and Drill Team, will represent the state of Vermont and perform in the 58th Presidential Inauguration, to be held on Friday, Jan. 20, in Washington, D.C., for Donald J. Trump.

“The Norwich University Regimental Band and Drill Team is proud to represent the university and the state of Vermont,” Assistant Commandant and Director of Bands Todd P. Edwards said.

As the oldest collegiate band in the country, the Regimental Band carries on a long tradition of excellence musically, academically and militarily. Founded in 1820, the Band’s motto is “Semper Zoo.”

The Regimental Drill Team “Shock Platoon” was formed in 1937. The talent of Drill Team is considered a showpiece of the university. The team is a perennial powerhouse in U.S. college and university drill competitions, with a motto of: “Fierce Pride.”

Music at Norwich has been a significant part of the curriculum since its founding in 1819. With the arrival of William W. Baylay, the first professor of instrumental music, in 1823, the Regimental Band became an all-brass band and an integral part of the daily life of cadets at Norwich.

Today, the band is a full instrumentation band—woodwinds, brass, and percussion—and it continues to perform in support of the Corps of Cadets at all formations, reviews and special parades. The Regimental Band has performed for the inauguration of several United States presidents, as well as for parades and concerts throughout Vermont and New England.

The Norwich University Regimental Band has been invited to these previous Inauguration ceremonies:

  • 21, 1961: Band and 90-man unit march for John F. Kennedy
  • 20, 1969: Band and unit march for Richard Nixon
  • 20, 1977: Band, color guard, regimental staff, drill team and banner carriers (100 total) march for Jimmy Carter
  • 21, 1985: Band and unit invited to march for Ronald Reagan (parade canceled by subzero cold)
  • 20, 1989: Band, regimental staff and color guard march for George H.W. Bush
  • 20, 2005: Band marches for George W. Bush
  • 21, 2013: Band marches for Barack H. Obama

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

Top 10 Norwich University News Stories of 2016

Norwich CSIA majors, faculty and alumni stand in front of Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif., on the eve of Super Bowl 50
Norwich University Office of Communications

December 14, 2016

It’s that time of year—a chance to highlight just some of the many accomplishments of Norwich University’s outstanding students, alumni, faculty, and staff during 2016. While they may make taking on difficult challenges and achieving distinction look effortless, it isn’t. A case in point: This list of stories below. In the end, we couldn’t winnow it to ten and were forced to sneak in four more.

1. Norwich Cyber Majors Help Safeguard Super Bowl 50

After a year of preparation, Norwich CSIA majors and faculty based in California and Northfield, Vt., worked with Santa Clara city, California state, and federal law enforcement officials to analyze and flag potential cybersecurity threats during the NFL championship matchup between the Denver Broncos and Carolina Panthers.

2. Norwich University Celebrates 100 Years of ROTC
The birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, Norwich University celebrated ROTC’s centennial anniversary with a leadership symposium in April that drew scores of military VIPs. Among them, 39th U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley, who gave the keynote address.

3. Norwich Class of 2020 Largest in University History
This fall, Norwich welcomed close to 900 first-year students to campus, the largest incoming class in the university’s nearly 200-year history.

4. Forbes Awards Norwich an “A” for Financial Strength
In August, Forbes magazine published their analysis of the financial footing of roughly 900 private colleges and universities, ranking Norwich University in the top 20 percent.

5. Writing Prof. Sean Prentiss Wins National Outdoor Book Award
Winning the history/biography category, Finding Abbey chronicled Prentiss’s two-year search for the hidden desert grave of environmental writer Edward Abbey.

6. Student-Built Tiny House Showcases Innovation, Hands-On Service Learning
Norwich architecture, construction management, and engineering majors and faculty designed and built C.A.S.A. (Creating Affordable Sustainable Architecture), a 334-square-foot tiny house with a small price tag to address Vermont’s affordable-housing crisis. See related article and video.

7. Norwich’s Standout Athletic Teams and Coaches Fight to a Four-Way Tie

8. Nisid Hajari Wins NU’s 2016 William E. Colby Book Award
A journalist who oversees Asia coverage for the editorial page of Bloomberg News, the first-time author won for Midnight’s Furies, an account of the 1947 partition of India and its surrounding violence following the end of British colonial rule. Founded at Norwich University, the annual book award and symposium celebrates outstanding writers, authors, and ideas from the fields of military affairs, military history, intelligence, and international affairs.

9. NUARI Cyber Attack Simulation Software Nominated for “Innovation of the Year”
Developed by the Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, the DECIDE-FS cyber-gaming platform has been used by major U.S. financial industry firms, regulators and law enforcement agencies to test institutional preparedness and resiliency in the face of cyberattacks.

10. Norwich Wins $700K+ NSA Grant to Train Next-Generation Cyber Soldiers
Working in collaboration with the United States Army Reserve, the National Security Agency announced in December that it had awarded Norwich over $700,000 to support scholarships for soldiers.

Bonus: Washington Post Columnist Says NU’s “I Will Try” Is Best College Motto
Writing in her Answer Sheet blog for the Washington Post, education reporter Valerie Strauss opines on “The Small Vermont University With Arguably the Best School Motto.”

Video: Why First-Year Science Majors Read “The Martian”


Norwich University Office of Communications

September 21, 2016

Incoming freshman in Norwich University’s College of Science and Mathematics discuss Andy Weir’s blockbuster about survival, science, engineering, and leadership on the Red Planet. Prof. David Westerman discusses why he recommended the book and NU Board of Fellows member and UVM polymer chemist Chris Allen leads the discussion.

Norwich Commencement |The Speeches: Gen. Raymond Odierno’s 2016 Graduation Address

Photo: Gen. Raymond Odierno addresses the Norwich University Class of 2016 during commencement ceremonies at Shapiro Field House

Former U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno received an honorary doctorate in military science from Norwich University on May 14, 2016, after which he delivered the 2016 Norwich University Commencement Address. A copy of his prepared remarks follow.

President Schneider, thank you for that very kind introduction and your incredible leadership and stewardship of this great university. I’m excited and inspired for our nations future as a look out upon the men and women of the class of 2016.

And it’s such a pleasure to be back at this beautiful campus. Every time I come here I’m struck by what a perfect setting this is to develop and educate young men and women to be future leaders. An Incredible setting with incredible people creates the right atmosphere for learning

Today is the day to celebrate the hard work and awesome achievements of the class of 2016. First, I want to thank the Faculty and Staff who invested so heavily in every student’s development. Your steadfast commitment and dedication has contributed greatly to every student who will receive their coveted diploma today. To all the family members and friends here today. You have supported your students for the last 4 years and for some maybe a bit longer. I will not mention any names. Your love and support allowed each of these men and women to grow and mature and realize their goal. You should be very proud of your son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, brother, sister, niece or nephew. They have demonstrated endurance, resilience, dedication and selflessness. We all can agree they are very different from the young men and women who entered Norwich in 2012. Students lets give the Faculty and staff and all your friends and family members a round of applause.

Before I go any further, I’ll just say that I’ve learned over the years that being a good Keynote speaker is the art of saying a lot without talking a lot. I remember the message from a young school boy who had to give a report on Julius Caesar. “Julius Caesar was born a long time ago,” The boy began. “He was a great General. He won some important battles. He made a long speech. They killed him.” So today today with many anxious graduates and families I’ll try not to earn Caesars fate.

Norwich is a special place that has had an outsized influence on our military and our society. Of course, as the birthplace of ROTC, you’ve produced thousands of military leaders for our nation, including well over a hundred general officers and flag officers who played key roles in our forces. One of those, General Gordon Sullivan, graduated from this school in 1959 and went on to be one of the most consequential chiefs of staff our Army has ever had.

But beyond those accomplishments, for two centuries you’ve also been a model for the entire American higher education system. And for more than four decades you’ve been a place where the military and the civilian worlds come together in the classroom and on the campus in a way that is as unusual as it is valuable. There are many military colleges and academies around the world, but to find one that has military and civilian students fully integrated, side by side, as they are here, is exceedingly rare, and each of you has gotten a rare grounding in both worlds as a result of that.

And that cross-grounding is so important. Everyone here has the opportunity to choose your own destiny. It is my belief that No one’s destiny is predetermined. You will define yourself by your choices and actions. There is no greater gift then the one of selfless service to the betterment of human kind.

We, all of us, had the good fortune to be born in or to immigrate to a country that lives on the principle of serving others and the greater good. As you leave here, I’d charge you to dedicate yourselves to doing your part in the life of your nation through service of your own, whether it’s by taking up military commissions; or by seeking careers in teaching or healing or civil service; or maybe by doing local volunteer work as you pursue careers in the private sector. Whatever your walk of life, the future of the nation is going to depend on people like you making the choice of selfless service. Of course, that’s a choice that Norwich graduates have always made, just as your distinguished fellow alumnus General Gordon Sullivan did. He not only served 36 years in the Army, but for the past 18 years he has served as the President of the Association of the US Army, an organization dedicated solely to the welfare of our soldiers. More than half a century of service to his country and its Army…believe me when I say that Gordon Sullivan could have had any job and commanded any salary he wished, but he chose a lifetime of service to his country and his fellow service members. In my book, that’s the epitome of selfless service, and just like you, he started that journey right here at Norwich.

As Americans, we choose to selflessly serve our country not simply because it’s the place we’re from. America is not just a place; it’s an idea, one that is unique in human history. When we are in service to our country, we are in service to the uniquely American idea that individuals have the right and the ability to choose. Never forget that your own actions, hard work, and everyday experiences are the things that will determine what you become in life, and not what someone else has predetermined you will become.

You’ve heard it said many times that our country is the land of opportunity, and it’s true. I say that as the son of first-generation Italian-American parents (who are unfortunately no longer with us) and who, if they had been here to see it, would no doubt have been surprised to see their son as the Chief of Staff of the Army, considering my family’s somewhat humble beginnings in the lower East Side of New York. But as people who left the old world to come to a new one, I think they would’ve instinctively understood that this is a country where anything is possible for anyone. Where the place in which you begin your life doesn’t dictate how you live it or where you end up.

The right to make your own path in life is a precious gift that you and I have received, one that most of the world doesn’t share. Think of how many people are born, live, and die on this earth without experiencing that kind of freedom, or how many people have been willing to die just to give their children a small chance at it. I urge you to cherish this gift and not to let a day go by without making the most of it.

I’m sure for many of you the thought that the rest of the road ahead of you isn’t already defined is a bit daunting. But don’t let this deter you. Embrace it and have confidence that no one knows what you want to accomplish in your own life better than you do.

The world today is a dynamic, complex and exciting, but unfortunately it is also a dangerous place. The military graduates among you are entering the profession of arms at a time of uncertainty and unpredictability, in which our country and its allies face a challenging economic, security, and political environment around the world.

We once again find ourselves in a national dialogue regarding our national security priorities and what the future U.S. role should be around the world. It is an important discussion that will shape our future. The American way in the past has been to dangerously draw down our military forces after a prolonged conflict like the world wars, Vietnam, or the post-9/11 wars. It’s understandable; we are a peace-loving people who for most of our history have been protected by the two oceans that physically separate us from much of the rest of the world. But we have to face the fact that in the modern era, whenever we have decided to withdraw from the world, we have only made ourselves and our way of life less safe. We can’t afford to make that same mistake again now.

Almost everyday on the news we are reminded of the growing instability around the world. Failed and failing states are causing shockwaves through the post-World War II order that the United States and its allies created, an order that was designed to prevent the recurrence of world wars. The velocity of instability around the world is greater than at any other time in my life, driven partly by the proliferation of technology and digitization of information, which have created new capabilities that both friendly and enemy entities can use.

The US will be involved in resolving conflicts arising from the diffusion of state power and contests among a rising number of regional powers and social movements. Hostile nation states are likely to use non-state actors as their surrogates, and our adversaries will fight in networks across regions to create instability and insurgencies that will affect our country’s interests, and to which we will have to respond. We can already see across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific a level of instability that is unprecedented, and with it a clear threat to the homeland.

Steering our nation safely through this kind of environment in the coming decades is going to require strong, capable leadership at all levels, and in all forms. It will require Competent Committed leaders of Character both civilian and Military whether it be in business, education, engineering and the sciences, or throughout our government. In other words, we need great leaders in every facet of society. We need all of you graduating today to take up the mantle of leadership no matter what field you choose to work. Follow the example of great Norwich leaders of the past such as General Sullivan, Robert McDermott former CEO of USAA and Emily Caruso national champion in Air rifle and a member of 2 Olympic teams.

They each earned the trust of their superiors, subordinates and peers by performing their duties with competence, displaying commitment to the mission, and demonstrating character in their decisions and actions. Effective leaders also have a physical and mental toughness to get themselves and their team through difficult conditions, as well as moral courage to handle the difficult choices that will inevitably present themselves. And they set and enforce high standards of performance for themselves and their subordinates.

Once they’ve established this kind of foundation, the best leaders in the future will be the ones who can constantly learn and adapt, because as you are quickly going to find out, there are no predetermined solutions to the problems you’re going to face. And the pace of change is only going to increase as time passes. Being successful will require an adaptive and innovative mind, a willingness to accept prudent risk in unfamiliar or rapidly changing situations, and a flexibility to adjust based on continuous assessment.

The reason these traits are so important is that the weight of leadership is going to fall upon your shoulders right away. For the soon-to-be military officers among you, you are going to have to make decisions that have real consequences for other people, and you’re going to have to do it right out of the starting blocks. For all of you, within just months you’re going to find yourselves with expectant faces gathered around you, probably many of them older than you, awaiting your guidance, asking you, “What should we do? That’s the responsibility of leadership. It’s daunting, but embrace it.

As you cross the stage today and receive your well deserved diploma celebrate your accomplishments. But, I also want each of you to commit yourselves to a lifetime of service to others. Choosing the harder right over the easier wrong. Each generation has the responsibility to build on the success of previous generations. That is what has made this country Great!

I have mentioned the importance of character a few times already. I emphatically suggest that each and everyone of us is defined by our character. Your character will be tested and it will be the most important test you ever take. Stand up for what is right, don’t be afraid to make tough decisions and treat everyone with dignity and respect, this will earn you the respect of your fellow employers.

Great leaders inspire ordinary men and women to be extraordinary and to achieve what was believed to be unachievable. That is what this country has been built on.

I’ve had the chance to live and work all around the world, and the one thing that is very clear is that there is no nation like the United States of America. There is no other nation that allows each individual to rise and perform to the best of their abilities and provides them the opportunities to do whatever they want. However, it is your choice. I challenge you to make the best use of that choice.

Norwich is a special place I have watched them put their arms around their own during the most difficult times. Be proud of this great university and all it stands for. You will carry its legacy wherever you go or whatever you do.
Congratulations for your accomplishment on this special day. It is time for all you to change the world each in your own way. I wish you nothing but the best of luck and great success in the future. Thank you very much, and God Bless America.

Norwich in the News: ROTC 100 Symposium Media Coverage

U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley

Norwich University Office of Communications

April 25, 2016

News coverage of last week’s ROTC Centennial Symposium: “Preparing the Next Generation Leaders in a Complex World” hosted by Norwich University appeared in over 200 media outlets across the country and beyond. The event marked the 100th anniversary of the Reserve Officer Training Corps, an idea begun at Norwich University.

Some highlights:

AP: Military brass to gather in Vermont to highlight ROTC origin

Wilson Ring of the Associated Press reported on the upcoming symposium, interviewing Maj. Gen. Peggy Combs, the commander of the Army’s Cadet Command, which oversees the ROTC programs, among others. He writes: “The two-day symposium on the Norwich campus in Northfield is scheduled to be attended by 12 general and flag officers, who will be focusing on what roles ROTC and citizen soldiers will play going forward…

Many of the nation’s top military officers were trained to fight a traditional war against the Soviet Union. Now, threats that young officers must confront are changing daily and they must be trained to adapt, Maj. Gen. Peggy Combs, the commander of the Army’s Cadet Command, which oversees the ROTC programs, told The Associated Press in an interview.”

Full story ≫

Vermont Public Radio: ROTC’s Roots at Norwich University

VPR’s Patti Daniels interviews Norwich University President Richard Schneider and four ROTC students about the unique experience of being a Norwich cadet. The “Vermont Edition” feature was first broadcast April 21, 2016.

Full program ≫

WCAX TV: Norwich Celebrates 100 Years of ROTC

Launch video >>

Army Chief of Staff General Mark A. Milley to Give Norwich Todd Lecture

Photo collage: Mark Milley and Todd Lecture Series event information
Norwich University Office of Communications

April 13, 2016

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University will host the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army, General Mark A. Milley, Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. in Kreitzberg Arena. Milley will present the Todd Lecture keynote address, “Leading Through Complexity,” for the ROTC Centennial Symposium.

This lecture is hosted by the College of National Services and includes a Q&A.

General Mark A. Milley assumed duty as the 39th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army August 14, 2015 after most recently serving as the 21st Commander of U.S. Army Forces Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

A native of Winchester, Mass., Milley graduated and received his commission from Princeton University in 1980. He has had multiple command and staff positions in eight divisions and Special Forces throughout the last 35 years.

He has served in command and leadership positions from the platoon and operational detachment alpha level through Corps and Army Command including the 82nd Airborne Division and the 5th Special Forces Group at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; the 7th Infantry Division at Fort Ord, California; the 10th Mountain Division at Fort Drum, New York; the 2nd Infantry Division in Korea; the Joint Readiness Center at Fort Polk, Louisiana; the 25th Infantry Division at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii; the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell, Kentucky; and the 1st Cavalry Division and 3rd Infantry Division in Baghdad, Iraq.

He commanded the 1st Battalion, 506th Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division; the 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division; served as the Deputy Commanding General for the 101st Airborne (Air Assault); and served as the Commanding General for 10th Mountain Division. While serving as the Commanding General, III Corps and Fort Hood, he deployed as the Commanding General, International Security Assistance Force Joint Command and Deputy Commanding General, U.S. Forces – Afghanistan. Additionally, he served on the operations staff of The Joint Staff as the J33/DDRO, and as a Military Assistant to the Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon.

His operational deployments include the Multi-National Force and Observers, or MFO, Sinai, Egypt; Operation JUST CAUSE, Panama; Operation UPHOLD DEMOCRACY, Haiti; Operation JOINT ENDEAVOR, Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation IRAQI FREEDOM, Iraq; and three tours during Operation ENDURING FREEDOM, Afghanistan. He also deployed to Somalia and Colombia.

General Milley’s education includes a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Princeton University, Master’s Degrees from Columbia University (International Relations) and from the U.S. Naval War College (National Security and Strategic Studies). He is also a graduate of the MIT Seminar XXI National Security Studies Program.

General Milley and his wife have been married for more than 30 years and have two children.

His awards and decorations include the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; Army Distinguished Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Defense Superior Service Medal with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Legion of Merit with two bronze oak leaf clusters; Bronze Star Medal with three bronze oak leaf clusters; Meritorious Service Medal with silver oak leaf cluster; Army Commendation Medal with four bronze oak leaf clusters; Army Achievement Medal with one bronze oak leaf cluster; National Defense Service Medal with one bronze service star; Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with two bronze service stars; Afghanistan Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars; Iraq Campaign Medal with two bronze service stars; Global War on Terrorism Service Medal; Korea Defense Service Medal; Humanitarian Service Medal; Army Service Ribbon; Overseas Service Ribbon with numeral 5; NATO Medal with bronze service star; and the Multi-national Force and Observers Medal. He is authorized to wear the Combat Infantryman Badge with star; Expert Infantryman Badge; Master Parachutist Badge; Scuba Diver Badge; Ranger Tab; Special Forces Tab; Joint Chiefs of Staff Identification Badge; Joint Meritorious Unit Award; and Meritorious Unit Commendation and the French Military Parachutist Badge.

Norwich University’s Todd Lecture Series is named in honor of retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Russell Todd and his late wife, Carol, in gratitude for their dedicated service to the university. General Todd, a 1950 graduate of the university, also serves as president emeritus. With this series, Norwich brings national thought leaders from business, politics, the arts, science, the military and other fields and endeavors to its Northfield campus. Lectures are streamed live from

For more information please visit the Todd Lecture Series website ( or call (802) 485-2633.

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:

Mathematics Prof. Cathy Frey Appointed to Vermont Commission on Women

Photo: Norwich professor Cathy Frey looks at camera

November 16, 2015

Norwich University Professor of Mathematics Cathy Frey has been appointed to serve on the Vermont Commission on Women by Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith.

The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is a non-partisan state agency advancing rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women’s issues guide VCW’s public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts.

A professor of mathematics at Norwich, Frey serves as the vice chair of the NU Faculty Senate and has taught at Norwich since 1985.

In 1991, she became both the first female associate professor of Mathematics and the first female faculty member ever tenured in the university’s Department of Mathematics. Frey broke ground again in 2001, when she became the first-ever professor of mathematics at Norwich, later serving as the first female chair of the Department of Mathematics from 2002-2006.

Following that appointment, Frey served as the first female dean of NU’s College of Mathematics and Sciences from 2006-2013.

Frey’s research interests encompass mathematics pedagogy, or teaching methods, and actuarial science, the application of mathematical and statistical methods to assess risk. She particularly enjoys creating videos and instructional modules for the web.  Under her leadership, Norwich began offering a major in Actuarial Concentration in Mathematics in 2014.

Cathy Frey was the recipient of the Vermont Women in Higher Education Jackie Gribbon’s Award for leadership in 2008.  She returns to the Vermont Commission on Women, having served two terms previously from 2006-2014.

“Cathy is an experienced and effective advocate for women’s issues and I am thrilled that she has agreed to return to the commission,” said Speaker Smith.

VCW’s Executive Director Cary Brown said: “We warmly welcome Cathy back to the commission.  She’s a great example of a trailblazer. A woman who has not only succeeded brilliantly in a traditionally male-dominated occupation, but has risen to leadership positions within that profession.”

“Cathy is a strong proponent of fairness and equity in education,” Brown added. “We know she will contribute this experience and passion to our deliberative discussions.”

 About the Vermont Commission on Women

VCW offers many services to the public, including a toll-free information and referral service at (800) 881-1561 and many publications, including the handbook The Legal Rights of Women in Vermont.


Source: Vermont Commission on Women