Cadet wrestling goes international, with cultural trip to Mongolia this June

This June, a handful of Norwich University wrestlers will head to Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia as part of the “Norwich Wrestling Mongolian Cultural Exchange” to train and compete in freestyle wrestling.

“Throughout my time as a coach at Norwich, we have had wrestlers go to foreign countries to help grow themselves as wrestlers, I am excited to say that this summer we will be doing so once again,” said Alex Whitney, head wresting coach at Norwich University.

“The wrestlers will have the chance to train and compete among 300-400 other wrestlers from all around the world, as well as have the chance to experience a culture far from what they are used to,” Whitney said.

On June 3, five Norwich wrestlers and three coaches, as well as a handful of other coaches and athletes, will embark on what the Norwich Wrestling page describes as “an amazing experience for our student-athletes,” to train and compete at the Mongolian Olympic Training Center. They will be training and competing there until their return to America on June 17.

“For the first few days of the trip we will be traveling and acclimating to the culture around us,” said Ronnie Lee Haze Caudill, a 24-year-old senior from Huber Heights, Ohio. Caudill will be competing at 86kg.

“Once we settle in, we will be competing in a tournament with over 200 teams and many foreign countries represented,” Caudill said. [Read more…]

Major love for Game of Thrones at NU

It’s Sunday evening at Norwich University. While many students are prepping for the week and what’s to come from it, in a lot of rooms folks are prepping for a certain show to come on.

Brittany Fields, a senior psychology major said, “I’ve heard people actually call Sunday Game of Thrones Day in correlation to the show coming on at this time.”

Game of Thrones has developed a huge fandom – 17.4 million viewers across cable, HBO Go, and HBO Now tuned into the Season 8 premiere – and Norwich is no different, with a huge cult following of Game of Thrones.

One of its fans is Jordan Wall. “Although the show has been on for nearly a decade, I barely started watching it last year,” said Wall, a 20-year-old sophomore accounting major from Jacksonville, N.C. “I caught up this past spring break, and here I am now watching the series finale.”
Wall said that all it takes is a mention from his friend that there’s a new episode out, and he will just stop whatever he’s doing and go watch it.

“I’ve only watched it since about the beginning of this year, but I’ve been able to binge since then to catch up to this season,” said Jane Carr, a 22-year-old senior accounting major from Kennebunk, Maine.

People from her company would set up times to see it, so she decided to take the time to watch Game of Thrones, she said. It was a great way to bond. [Read more…]

A momentous milestone for Norwich, and personal milestones as well

The Class of 2019 is getting ready to wrap up their college careers and carry the distinction of being the bicentennial class. This is the most important time for our graduates as they venture out into the world and make their mark in the world. We all are so very proud of your accomplishments and for representing our bicentennial year! This class is so fortunate because when you come back to celebrate your 50th, Norwich will be celebrating its 250th anniversary!

At Norwich, behind only graduation and commissioning ceremonies in terms of milestones, are the Junior Ring ceremonies. As the Class of 2020 is the final class for whom I will have been president for all four of their Norwich years, those ceremonies took on an even more significant meaning to me this year.

In addition, the Class of 2020 was Norwich’s largest incoming class, which inspired me to take my first ever all-class selfie with them when they arrived at Norwich three years ago. I promised them that I would take a final selfie with the entire class at commencement. Next year, I look forward to doing that.

Two really memorable moments happened this year at the Junior Ring ceremonies. The Corps and civilian students have two separate ring ceremonies, so every year I figure out how to attend both!

This year, the cadet class of 2020 honored me by inviting me to their ring unveiling, where they announced they had added two stars to their ring design in my honor. No class has ever done that for me, and for that I am so grateful.

In their ceremony, the civilian Class of 2020 also did something no other class has done: They purchased and presented me with their class ring. I was equally moved. Indeed, the entire Class of 2020 is very special to me.

The entire Class of 2020, both Corps and Civilian who received their rings this spring, is living proof of the value of a diverse and inclusive student body.

I am in a similar position as this class. Next year, when they graduate, I will retire. That makes them my last senior class. So in that sense, we are members of the same class.

To the entire Class of 2020: You are leaders of character and principle, forging your own paths, making contributions to your communities and to the world at large. Thank you for your hard work that has earned you the right to wear your class ring. Wear it with pride; you all deserve it. And thank you for the great distinction you bestowed upon me through your Junior Ring ceremonies; I will never forget it!

SGA: For the students, made up of students

Left to right, SGA secretary and sophomore Madhurane Muthukumaraswany, president and senior Audrey Meakin, and junior Liam Manning..

In the last year, many changes have occurred on Norwich’s campus, from new buildings to new policies. While some of these are credited to the commandants or Norwich administration, there are other groups and organizations that are also working towards positive change for the students and the university.

One of the changes that was made in the 2018-2019 academic year was to appeal a proposal to tighten Norwich’s honors requirements. This action was, in part, due to an increasingly active role being taken by the Norwich University Student Government Association (SGA).

According to Prof. Mike Kelley, the faculty advisor for the SGA, the changes to honors requirements was the “perfect” opportunity for the governing bodies at Norwich to work together to find a solution in a matter that was important to both sectors.

The SGA had been hearing complaints from the current seniors and juniors about a proposal on what qualifies as “cum laude” Latin honors. Norwich SGA for 2018-2019 was under the leadership of Executive Branch President Audrey Meakin and Senate Chairman TJ Carley. With their collaboration they were able to execute changes in the Latin honors designations on behalf of their fellow students.

The honors issue involved a plan to change the grade requirements, which would have impacted a large number of upperclass juniors and seniors.
“Juniors and graduating seniors had worked really hard to get an honor that will go on their resume and on their diploma,” said senior Audrey Meakin, a 22-year-old from Marblehead, Mass. “The way it was implemented was so you could work three years to get cum laude with a 3.0 GPA (grade point average), but then it was changed 3.4 and there was no time consideration or grandfather clause. This is where SGA stepped in.” [Read more…]

Norwich Cadet Cole Nickerson has his own unique spin on life

Yo-yo whiz Cole Nickerson shows off a trick for our Guidon photographer Andrew Thomas. His unusual passion has caught the attention of many classmates.

Norwich University’s Cole Nickerson was once a passionate fan of the art of yo-yoing, but life took him down a different path. Luckily for Nickerson, and many others, that passion was sparked once again.
“I was amazed the first time I saw someone with a yo-yo that didn’t retract immediately. That was in seventh grade. A buddy of mine got me into it, and the passion took me pretty far,” said Nickerson, a 20-year-old junior in the Corps of Cadets from Nashua, N.H.
“I found my old yo-yo from seventh grade while I was cleaning out my bedroom over spring break, and I felt the passion reignite me into the yo-yo life,” said Nickerson.
Nickerson’s re-sparked joy for yo-yoing has gained him a respectable following as a result of his cool tricks, quirky lingo, and approachable demeanor.
Since March 19, when he launched his Instagram page, Nickerson’s following has seen rapid growth racking up a multitude of likes, comments, and views on his pictures and videos using Instagram as his only social media platform. [Read more…]

A painful ruck, a great cause

Skyler Grathwohl and Alexandria Spezia truck up a hill during the Norwegian Ruck March on March 30. Ethan Hagstrom photo

For Alexandria Spezia, helping to organize one of the most intense events at Norwich University was a welcome challenge. Actually doing it was even better.

The Norwegian ruck march is a yearly fundraising tradition to raise money for the Wounded Veteran Retreat Program.
“I helped the organization this year and I was promoting something that I had never done before,” said Spezia, a 21-year-old junior, computer and electrical engineering major from Wyckoff; N.J.

Spezia felt like it was finally time for her to get out there and attempt the daunting ruck march. So on March 30, she joined with lots of cadets who embarked on a march totaling 18.6 miles, not to mention a distance also tallied in blisters and very tired feet and legs.

For those who don’t know, a ruck march involves carrying a pack with a certain amount of weight.. “The average weight for the army is 35 pounds, then they give you a distance, and you run, jog, walk or whatever to get to that distance,” explained Steve Rabbia, 19, a sophomore history major from New Hartford; N.Y.

The designed route for the event took the cadets towards the town of Roxbury down route 12A, past Roxbury, and back to campus.
“The founder created this ruck march for his son who lost both of his legs in Afghanistan,” Spezia said. “All this is for a great cause and it makes it worth it.”

Both civilians and corps are welcome to join for a $15 entrance fee, with all the proceeds destined to support the Wounded Veteran Retreat Program.

“I think it’s a good cause and it’s cool that the event is something physically and mentally challenging,” Rabbia said.
Going through a physically grueling event alone can prove to be quite the challenge. Most participants preferred to face the 18.6 miles-long adventure with a four-people team or less.

Spezia started with a group but, during the event, they got split up. She ended up staying with one team member the whole time, and the two of them endured together.

“I ran it with Skylar Grathwohl. I learned that day that Skylar has really long legs and that I would have to run to keep up with her,” laughed Spezia.
[Read more…]

Norwich mens rugby gains another 7s title

The Norwich Mens rugby team captured another 7s tournament title this year and is now aiming to take the Chris Munn 7s tournament this weekend. NU athletics photo

The Norwich men’s rugby team looks to keep developing and improving during the spring rugby season. After finishing the fall season with a 9-2 record, the team has been working succesfully to carry that success into the spring.

The team won its second straight Rugby Northeast Tournament 7s title and third overall in a row last Saturday afternoon April 13 at UMass Lowell. It stands at 13-4-3 this week, with a five game winning streak as it heads into a Thursday night developmental match at home against Keene State.

The spring season is not played the same as fall. In the spring, rugby is played seven on seven for seven-minute halves. This compares to the fall when it’s 15 against 15 for two 40-minute periods.

The team has accomplished what it set out to do, said Austin Manhey, a senior flanker from Ballston Lake, N.Y. “Goals that we want to accomplish are, for one, win the Rugby Northeast conference championship. Manhey said that has been possible because of the team’s practice goals, getting the team’s tackling and conditioning up and being prepared for tournaments, he explained.

Especially with being confined to the Shapiro field house, it is difficult to hold full-contact practices. “Recently we have been able to be on Sabine which helps us out a lot,” Manhey said.

A big goal for the team for the spring is to win the Chris Munn tournament on April 27. “Nothing really means more to us than showing our support towards ALS and how much Chris means to us,” Manhey said. The Cadets host the sixth annual Chris Munn 7s Tournament on Saturday at 10 a.m. [Read more…]

Thoughts on taking on challenges, and finding resources to succeed

At Norwich, we challenge our students every day in every way possible. We believe that it is through challenge that we find our upper limits and learn to distinguish ourselves. It is only though pushing beyond our limits that we find our true potential.

Spring is a very busy time of year as students wrap up their work for another year. In just the past several weeks, Pegasus Players were busy developing and performing their one-act plays; students are buttoning up undergraduate research to showcase during Student Scholarship Celebration Week April 29 – May 3; ROTC conducted field training exercises; sports teams have been and continue to hustle as much as ever; the David Crawford School of Engineering held its annual end-of-year convocation where students present final projects; and, of course, all students are preparing for final exams and capstone projects, and much more.

It is also a time to celebrate students’ accomplishments through academic showcases, honor society inductions, ROTC’s Tri-Service Awards, commencement and commissioning exercises. This graduating class comprises Norwich’s Bicentennial Class. It is worth noting that when the Class of 2019 celebrates its 50th reunion and enters into the “Old Guard,” Norwich will be celebrating its 250th anniversary!

It is up to each and every one of us to ensure that you as individuals thrive so that as a whole Norwich University can thrive and continue to offer the citizen-soldier model of service to students and to the nation. [Read more…]

In MCW, the bonds make it all worthwhile

Members of the Cold Weather Mountain Team stand atop a frigid peak during a training outing this winter. Photo by Darwin Carozza

“If you pass, you’re in the company.”

“If you fail, you’re out of the company.”

Those are the clear rules, says Allyson Cleary, a senior “black hat” in the Mountain Cold Weather Company.

The Mountain Cold Weather Company has been around since 1947 on the Norwich University campus. To join the ranks of the company, candidates must take on a year of training to prove they have what it takes to uphold everything the Mountain Cold Weather Company stands for.

“Black hat testing is the end of first-year training and to see how (mountaineering) skills have developed over the year,” explained Cleary. At that point a whole year of training can be cut short in an instant by failing to meet the requirements of earning a coveted black hat designation.
[Read more…]