The President’s Corner

Certainly by now, most of you reading this have heard of the Colby Military Writers’ Symposium, which takes place each spring on the Norwich campus. Named for former Ambassador and CIA Director William E. Colby, the two-day event exposes students, faculty, alumni, and the public to the works and views of prominent authors, historians, journalists, diplomats, and other national figures. The 2015 symposium will take place on Wednesday, April 8 and Thursday, April 9.

Although Ambassador Colby died shortly after the first symposium in 1996, the topic of this year’s public panel discussion—Cyber Warfare and Privacy: How do we keep the balance between the rights of citizens and the security of the nation?—would have been near and dear to his heart. One would be hard-pressed to find an individual who understands the delicate balance between personal privacy and national security more than a former CIA director. But the topic is relevant to far more than just federal employees: With information technology permeating every aspect of our lives, private citizens need to be duly informed not only about their rights, but also about safety as it pertains to their personal information.
Moderated by our own Col. Stephen Pomeroy, USMC (Ret.), this year’s panel includes some of the foremost minds in the field: Lewis “Bob” Sorley, author and former CIA Chief of Policy and Plans Division; Pulitzer prize–winning journalist and author Philip Caputo; and Norwich alumna Cheri Caddy’90, Director for Cybersecurity Policy Integration and Outreach, National Security Council, the White House. As an NSA-designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education, Norwich University is truly worthy of hosting such an eminent lineup.
In addition to Thursday’s public session, the symposium offers presentations by the authors themselves—including the winner of this year’s prestigious Colby Award, Col. Douglas Mastriano —all of which are open to Norwich students and faculty. There will also be several in-class sessions with the authors, and readings from a newly released collection of military science fiction by Andrew Liptak ’08 & M’10, James L. Cambias, Marko Kloos, and NU English Prof. F. Brett Cox.
Our mission states, in part…to give our youth an education that shall…enable them “to tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them.” Regardless of your academic field, I encourage you to take advantage of this rare opportunity to interact with our distinguished guests. Remember, they are as interested in your views as you are in theirs, so don’t be afraid to broach difficult subjects with them.
And lastly, although “The Colby” is the only program of its kind in existence at an American university, it is not the only symposium coming to the Hill in April. On Tuesday, April 28 and Wednesday, April 29, the 8th Annual CSI Symposium will take place here on campus. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, this symposium should be of great interest to students in just about every academic major. Please plan on taking advantage of both of these exciting opportunities.

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