The Year of Legacy - 200 Years and Growing

by William Clements, PhD on 10/3/17 12:50 PM

deans-blog-lg.jpgGreetings from our beautiful campus! The fall term is well underway, the leaves are in autumn splendor, and each day moves us a bit closer to Norwich University’s 200th anniversary. The 2017-2018 academic year is one of particular distinction; known as The Year of Legacy, this term marks an important phase in our celebrations preceding Norwich University’s historic milestone. The year 2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of online degree programs at Norwich, an important benchmark in the history of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS). Few colleges in the U.S. are as old or storied as Norwich, with tradition and rich history that you—our alumni, faculty, staff and students—have helped write.

The year 2017 also marks the 20th anniversary of online degree programs at Norwich, an important benchmark in the history of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies

Personally, I am delighted to have been a part of the founding of our online degree programs, and to celebrate my 30th year at Norwich and 12th year as Dean of CGCS. Together, we have built our online programs into a solid foundation upon which Norwich is able to provide its innovative brand of education to students around the world—with an excess of some 8,000 graduates. When the first versions of our current programs launched two decades ago, distance learning technology was still evolving but set the stage for greater access to education, as well as for all the wonderful experiences we have had growing our programs since that time. This technology is a far cry from the computer I was issued in my earliest years at Norwich: an unwieldy beast with an 8088 processor, dual 5 ¼” floppy disk drives, Epson dot matrix printer, and mainframe hosted e-mail!

In retrospect, the past twenty years have been extremely important for Norwich University, and have brought with them many changes as we have grown, learned and helped shape the changing landscape of higher education. The importance of this experience cannot be emphasized enough, as it has positioned the University to continue to grow and adapt to delivering meaningful education to our students on campus and those in our online programs, all in the spirit of building and protecting our nation as envisioned by our founder, Captain Alden Partridge.

As we approach the dawn of our third century as an institution and continue a tradition vital to our community and country, you have the opportunity to be part of an unprecedented era for Norwich University. These are exciting times, so keep an eye out for new programming, the growth of our Leadership and Change Institute, and new ways in which we will serve our students and alumni. Consider helping us do so by contributing to the Forging the Future bicentennial campaign; your participation will help us enhance the already immense value of a Norwich education and ensure affordable access for future students. Thank you for being part of the foundation upon which Norwich will continue to build in order to remain a vibrant part of the higher education landscape in our third century of service!

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This post was written by William Clements, PhD

William “Bill” Clements, PhD, wears several hats at Norwich University. In addition to serving as Dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS), he is the College’s Vice President of Academic Affairs and a professor in the undergraduate criminal justice program. Prior to becoming Dean in 2005, he was the founding director of the Master of Justice Administration program and the executive director of the Vermont Center for Justice Research, an institutional research partner of Norwich University. Dean Clements began his Norwich career in 1987 as a criminal justice professor and was among the first Norwich professors to integrate online instruction and web-based resources into his teaching. In 1999, he piloted a mobile computing initiative with undergraduate criminal justice majors and was subsequently involved in developing the online graduate program model, which today serves several thousand students across 12 master’s degree programs, five bachelor’s degree completion program, and a variety of certificate and enrichment programs.