Colby Symposium looks at return from war

At Norwich University world class authors, scientists, economists, inventors and military minds come to campus to share their knowledge and ideas. We are concluding a very successful Spring Todd Lecture Series which featured futurists who enlightened us about potential issues facing our economy, the workforce, society and the environment. In April, the 18th annual William E. Colby Military Writers’ Symposium will be held on campus. The theme for this year’s Colby event is, “Coming Home: The Hopes, Fears, and Challenges of Veterans Returning from War.”

The Colby Symposium was founded in 1996 by Carlo D’Este, W.E.B. Griffin, and Ambassador William E. Colby, and renamed in the latter’s memory in 1997. The Colby Symposium has brought more than 100 military writers, historians, biographers and experts to Norwich for a two-day residency.

In addition to classroom participation by the authors, the symposium will feature live radio interviews in the Sullivan Museum, a Public Session panel discussion in Plumley Armory, a book signing and a Meet the Authors reception and dinner in Milano Ballroom.

Panelists for the Public Session will be James Wright (Those Who Have Borne the Battle: A History of America’s Wars and Those Who Fought Them); Col. David McIntyre, USA (ret.), (Centerline); 1st Lt. Karl Marlantes, USMC (ret.), (Matterhorn and What It’s Like to Go to War), and Col. Jon Coffin, VTARNG (ret.), one of only six psychologists in the country’s National Guard system. The session will be moderated by Col. Stephen Pomeroy, USMC (ret.).

Each year a highlight of the Meet the Authors dinner is when an author is recognized with the Colby Award for a first work of fiction or nonfiction that has made a major contribution to the understanding of military history, intelligence operations or international affairs. This year Lt. Col. Thomas P. McKenna, USA (ret.), will receive the 2013 Colby Award for his book, Kontum: The Battle to Save South Vietnam.  On hand at the dinner will be 2012 Colby Award recipient. Lt. Col. Michael Franzak, USMC (ret.) author of A Nightmare’s Prayer.

Special guests at the symposium will be Carlo D’Este (NU ’58), author and Colby Symposium executive director, and Myke Cole, author of the Shadow Ops series.

The Colby is the only program of its kind in existence at an American university. Over the years it has given Norwich University students the opportunity to meet some of the most prominent military writers and historians of our time, and gain a better understanding of the world through their eyes.

We are fortunate to have the Colby Symposium and the Todd Lecture Series with innovative thinkers and leaders providing forums for the exchange of ideas and scholarly enrichment. This is exactly what I would hope for with a vibrant, intellectual community like Norwich University. I encourage everyone to attend these events and participate in the conversation.

For more information on the 2013 Colby Military Writers’ Symposium go to: Students interested in volunteering for the Colby Symposium can send an email to:

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