Be a part of history

It is not every day that you are invited to be a part of history. But on April 25 of this year, you will have the opportunity to do precisely that.
For nearly 200 years, Norwich University has adhered to the founding principles laid down by Captain Alden Partridge. From our mission to train citizen soldiers to our commitment to experiential learning, nearly everything we do here at Norwich can be traced back to our founder’s vision.

One of Partridge’s greatest contributions to our nation is being the undisputed “father” of the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Although ROTC did not acquire its official name until an act of Congress nearly 100 years later, Norwich is universally acknowledged as the “birthplace” of ROTC. The landmark legislation also allowed for the establishment of Junior ROTC in our nation’s high schools.
JROTC is a military-structured high school program, the purpose of which is to educate students in leadership roles while making them aware of the benefits of active citizenship. When Partridge first opened the doors of his American Literary, Scientific, and Military Academy in 1819, his students were 14 to 18 years of age. How appropriate, then, that area JROTC units will be coming to the Norwich University campus on April 25 to mark the 99th anniversary of the program’s founding.
In honor of this milestone, Norwich is hosting a 5K Fun Run/Walk on Saturday, April 25, 2015. Part of a worldwide effort, the event is being monitored by Guinness World Records. The goal is to have 350,000+ participants around the globe start and run (or walk) simultaneously, setting a world record.
To help JROTC reach that goal, Norwich has invited New England JROTC Units, the Norwich University community, and the citizens of Northfield to participate in this world-record attempt. Preregistration is ongoing at, and all members of the Norwich community are encouraged to participate.
Check-in for the 5K Fun Run/Walk will take place from 10:30 to 11:30 Saturday morning at Shapiro Field House. Participants will line up in lanes inside the field house, and at exactly 12:00 EST the 5K will begin at military bases, colleges, universities, and communities around the world.
If you choose to participate and the record is broken, you will not only have contributed to this worldwide effort, but your participation will be included in a two-hour documentary film being made on the history of ROTC and JROTC. The first hour of the film will comprise interviews and video from around the world, while the second hour will contain footage of the 5K. A news team has already come to Norwich to interview former Army Chief of Staff General Gordon R. Sullivan ’59 and several Norwich cadets. The crew will be returning on the 25th to film the 5K. You can learn more about the project at I truly hope you decide to seize this opportunity to carry on the Partridge legacy, and in so doing, help Norwich make history once again.

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