NORTHFIELD, Vt., Sept. 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Norwich University has raised $55 million towards its newly launched five-year, $100 million comprehensive fundraising campaign known as "Forging the Future." University President Richard W. Schneider made the announcement as he kicked-off the campaign Friday night to 1,200 alumni, donors, trustees, faculty and staff at a gala event in Shapiro Field House.
The five-year campaign is timed to culminate during the university's bicentennial in 2019 and is designed to enhance the university's strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.
The $100 million will fund a new, six-story academic building on campus; significantly renovate Dewey, Webb and Ainsworth Halls; grow scholarship endowments, and modernize the campus library to an epicenter of experiential learning.
"Forging the Future will transform the Norwich educational experience as we know it," Schneider said. "The money raised will be used to enhance the teaching and learning environments on our campus, so that when our graduates leave Norwich, they will be equipped to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
"It is up to us to make sure that the next generation of students continues to innovate, to lead and to advance in a global arena unimagined by university founder Captain Partridge nearly two centuries ago," said campaign co-chair Joel A. Kobert, NU Class of 1965.
Fittingly, the largest campaign in Norwich's history began with its largest-ever donation. In April 2013, Colonel J.N. Pritzker, IL ARNG (Retired), president of the Tawani Foundation, committed $25 million to the Norwich University bicentennial campaign in a challenge match to current and former university board members.
The public face of the campaign launched this weekend during Homecoming, which began Friday, Sept. 19. With events scheduled through Sunday, Sept. 21, the gathering will draw an estimated 3,000 guests, including more than 1,500 alumni, back to campus.
Schneider's announcement officially begins the five-year countdown to Norwich's Bicentennial in 2019, when the university will celebrate 200 years of service to the nation before stepping into its third century. Fittingly, 2014-2015 will be themed the "Year of Service", putting Norwich's guiding value of "service to nation and others before self" at the forefront of a year of activities and events designed to serve local, regional and national entities.
The gala dinner kicked off Homecoming festivities Friday evening in Shapiro Field House with alumni, faculty, staff, family and friends. The evening included an inspiring program to launch the "Forging the Future" campaign featuring Norwich's Shock Platoon drill team, recognition of donors, fireworks and a special musical tribute by country music artist Aaron Tippin.
"As we approach our bicentennial, our goal is to raise $100 million to make Norwich's next 200 years even greater than the last—with cutting-edge majors, world-class facilities and greater opportunities for all through scholarships and affordable tuition," Schneider said. "The Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment to fulfill our mission to train and educate today's students to be tomorrow's leaders."
Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC). www.norwich.edu
In fulfillment of Norwich's mission to train and educate today's students to be tomorrow's global leaders and captains of industry, the Forging the Future campaign is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities. Learn more about the campaign and how to participate in the "Year of Service" here: bicentennial.norwich.edu
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