American in character, Norwich University teaches students to understand and hold dear those values and principles upon which this free republic was established. The American experience was unique and world changing in its creation by Captain Alden Partridge in 1819. Norwich’s system of balanced and useful education became the pattern for the great American System of Education. It was built upon the fundamentals of democracy and the notion that people have inalienable rights. Norwich students know the principles and the events in which these principles manifested which lead up to the great American experiment, the history of our Republic’s journey, and the reasons why the principles manifested in the Bill of Rights, the Constitution, and the Declaration of Independence are worth fighting for. Between curriculum and student life, we build in this value and ensure our students understand it. We are here to serve this great nation and educate students who will become leaders in business, government, and the military in order to advance the causes of the Republic, ensure its continued freedom, and develop the economic, political, and social infrastructure of this new century.
At Norwich, students develop and hone traits common among leaders in every profession—discipline, integrity, confidence, loyalty and honor—through a wide range of opportunities that will empower you in ways you never imagined.
At the core is a rigorous academic environment emphasizing interactive classes, mentoring relationships with faculty and extensive hands-on learning. Whether you join the Corps of Cadets or pursue a civilian lifestyle, you should expect think critically and take action as you accept and pursue the greatest challenge of your life.
Global in perspective means that our students should understand that the United States is not alone in this world. The world is a very complex place, and civilization and her emerging cultures have actually taken several courses in arriving at the present day. Defining the entire world with American values distorts the reality of a multicultural planet and limits one's perspective on the history of man's journey to the present time. Because America is a leader in the world, and because our students are destined to be leaders in America, we must understand and respect all points of view as part of gaining the wisdom to lead. Between curriculum, civic engagement, community service, study abroad and student life, we build in this value and ensure our students understand it.
Mutual respect, social interaction, and human decency. Mutual respect is a cornerstone of civilization and a foundation of academia. It is what initiates a salute; it is what allows two people to appreciate each other for the value that they bring to the relationship, no matter how lasting or temporary the relationship is. It is common human decency, kindness, and a cornerstone of a civil society. Mutual respect turns into lasting friendship. Its successful breeding at Norwich University is a primary reason why people develop close relationships with those they otherwise might not. In addition to mutual respect, Norwich students and graduates are known for their tact and grace in social situations. The Norwich environment breeds this characteristic. Between curriculum and student life, these traits and values are cultivated and ensured.
Service is an integral part of the Norwich experience and a guiding value. Students must experience the phenomenon of “service to nation and others before self” as a vital part of their transformation and maturation process, taking from Norwich the expectation that service will be a lifelong commitment. Leaders serve, and we purport to train leaders who will make the world a better place whether through military service, civic engagement or community service.
Experiential Learning: thinking and acting, conceiving and executing: Most schools focus on thinking and conceiving. Capt. Alden Partridge, the founder of Norwich, founded the university on a radical curriculum and pedagogy for the time, that of developing students in an experiential learning environment, hence the "acting" and "executing" additions to the classical model of the day. The context provided in the learning experience from the experiential nature of the curriculum aided the learning process, and for many decades now this has resulted in Norwich graduates who exhibit a solid work ethic, a penchant for good leadership, and a hands-on pragmatic approach. Leaders lead from the front and Norwich students accept the responsibility of leadership with understanding and empathy.
Useful Citizens: Capt. Partridge was developing "useful", pragmatic citizen-soldiers, like civil engineers and chemists, which the young country desperately needed at the time. "Useful" and "experiential" went hand in hand. This was during a period of history where education was far more classical in nature. Capt. Partridge's approach was a perfect match for the young pragmatic nation. To the term "useful" citizens, we might add the term "engaged" citizens as a way to tie together the elements of service and the experiential aspect Partridge was seeking. Students should be committed to achieving the highest ideals of knowledge and skill, both for their own advantage in life and also for the advantage of and service to the community, nation, and world. We teach our students that success is something that should benefit both themselves and others and that their personal goals in life should naturally include both self and others. Between curriculum and student life, we build in this value and ensure our students are ready for the responsibilities of citizenship.
Pride: Norwich University is a very proud organization. Her alumni maintain deep bonds with the university and with each other. This strong and enduring bond lies at the heart of Norwich's success and longevity. Over the course of the institution's history the alumni have endowed and funded comprehensive campaigns and invested personal time and expertise in preparing students for careers post graduation. It is this bond that causes people to stop each other on the highway and show each other their class rings. A secondary motto - Norwich Forever! - resonates with alumni, and underscores the tremendous pride and spirit that buttresses the organization. When you become part of Norwich University, you become part of something very old, very deep, and very proud. This bond pervades not only the students, but also the faculty and staff. Students recognize the faculty and staff, both anecdotally and quantitatively, as being far above the national average in terms of personal attention, empathy, and advising. Faculty and staff are quick to communicate their deep personal respect and strong feelings for students. Between curriculum and student life, we build in this value and promote its outcome.
Transforming: The rigor and the disciplined lifestyle of the Corps and civilian experience has a transformative effect on students. The Norwich experience adds value to people, helping them to be leaders, helping them to work hard, and helping them to be responsible citizens. We may not always notice it while the student is on campus, but their performance in society speaks of a great transformation beyond that of other college students. Our motto is "I will try", meaning "perseverance in the face of adversity". It provides some insight into the transformation of young students that occurs when they are faced with demanding circumstances. Norwich is a leadership laboratory for these demanding circumstances, and as a result, we attract the most idealistic and energetic students, eager to make a difference in the world. It is of paramount importance that we convey enthusiasm for the process of individual transformation that will occur at NU. Students wanting to be transformed will be attracted and they will be willing to cooperate with the process and to buy into the high ideals of personal excellence in service to others.
Honesty, Ethics: America is great for many reasons, among them is a balanced and lasting form of government and a free economy that has encouraged growth, creativity and innovation. But a lasting government and economic freedom must be built upon a foundation of honesty and integrity. Dishonesty in government or business will ultimately lead to distrust by its citizens, and all will be doomed by heavy regulation, inefficiency, lack of innovation, and ultimately a loss of freedom itself. Norwich plays an important role in society. We reinforce the good in society by placing an emphasis on honesty and ethical behavior. "Moral, patriotic" citizens have an understanding of right and wrong and represent a strong thread which can be interwoven into society's fabric to strengthen and stabilize it. There may not be any other Norwich value that is as important. Between curriculum and student life, we need to build in this value and require it of our students.
Leadership: The many ingredients discussed above frequently form young people of considerable substance. Because of Corps and ROTC activities, leadership opportunities, and civic engagement programs, Norwich is a leadership laboratory, planting the seeds that eventually take root, grow, and bloom into extraordinary leaders in business, government, the military, communities and other spheres. Leadership is not merely a formal position in organized groups, but rather, it occurs whenever a person wholeheartedly pursues excellence and inspires others to do the same. We should understand leadership as occurring whenever a person has a positive influence on others. Leadership will continue to be a very visible aspect of this institution, both in marketing and student outcomes. Between curriculum and student life, we build in the value of leadership and promote, if not demand, its outcome.