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!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.