residency, commencement

Norwich’s online programs celebrate 408 graduates at virtual Residency Conference

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Celebrating under this year’s theme, “Expect Challenge, Achieve Distinction," 408 students representing 13 online graduate programs will spend a week participating in capstone and culminating academic work, conferences and commencement exercises at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) annual Residency Conference June 22-26. For the first time in its over 20-year history, the annual Residency Conference will be held virtually due to pandemic restrictions on in-person gatherings.

In addition, 232 online bachelor’s degree completion students are expected to earn their degree in 2020. Bachelor’s degree completion students are welcome but are not required to partake in the virtual Residency Conference. Ordinarily hosted at the Norwich University campus in the Green Mountains of Northfield, Vermont, Norwich’s 2020 Residency Conference will be hosted completely online so that students, alumni, and friends and family of the graduates can participate in these momentous events while remaining safe.

Students from around the world will become a part of the 201-year Norwich legacy with the culmination of their programs at the virtual Residency experience. The Class of 2020 graduates includes active duty and veteran military personnel, healthcare professionals, law enforcement officers and special agents, entrepreneurs and educators.

2020 Residency by the numbers:

  • 408 graduate students will represent all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico and six international countries: Canada, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Norway, Peru and Ukraine.
  • 51% of the graduating class has served or is currently serving in the military.
  • 20% of students have more than one degree from Norwich University.

Pete Smith, international speaker and coach in the fields of leadership, management, personal growth and development, will deliver this year’s keynote presentation on Wednesday, June 24, as part of Norwich’s Todd Lecture Series. The Norwich community is proud to welcome Smith to the virtual Residency Conference to share his wealth of knowledge in business motivation and self-improvement. The event is free and open to the public. For more information on the keynote speaker, please visit the Residency Website.

To recognize the accomplishments of graduating students, students and their families are invited to participate in a virtual degree conferral ceremony from noon - 1:00 p.m. EST on Thursday, June 25, 2020. Unlike Norwich’s traditional commencement ceremony, the degree conferral ceremony will honor the achievements of the Class of 2020 as a whole and will conclude with a student photo slideshow. Students may attend the rescheduled spring campus graduation or the June 2021 Commencement Ceremony if they are interested in participating in a traditional, in-person Norwich graduation ceremony.

As part of his first Norwich Residency Conference, Norwich University President Col. Mark Anarumo, USAF, (Ret) is this year’s degree conferral speaker, as well as being the Dean’s Welcome guest speaker – a traditional event held by CGCS Dean Bill Clements to gear students up for the Residency Conference. Anarumo took over as 24th president of the university on June 1, 2020. Before Norwich, Anarumo served as director and permanent professor for the Center for Character and Leadership Development at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Anarumo entered the Air Force in 1994 as the Distinguished Graduate of Air Force Reserve Officers' Training Corps at Rutgers University. He earned a Bachelor’s, Master’s and Ph.D. in Criminal Justice from Rutgers University.

In disciplines such as business administration and leadership, students will collaborate and apply concepts learned through analyzing various local Vermont businesses in areas such as project and resource management, marketing, leadership, operations and finance.

To complete their academic experiences and put their skills learned to test, Norwich master’s students in civil engineering, criminal justice, history and military history, information security & assurance and cybersecurity, nursing and public administration will participate in live sessions led by their peers that showcase capstone projects in their unique areas of research. Students in diplomacy and international relations will participate in virtual case studies relevant to their fields.

For more information and ongoing updates on the 2020 Residency Conference, please visit