Vision, Mission, and Guiding Values

Founded in 1819

Norwich University was the first private military college in the United States. Here the idea of the “citizen soldier” developed, a guiding philosophy that later became the impetus for the creation of the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). Norwich was the first private college or university to offer engineering. Norwich was also the first school to offer military training to women, in 1974, preceding the armed service academies by two years.

The Vision for Norwich University

Norwich University will be a learning community, American in character yet global in perspective; engaged in personal and intellectual transformation, and dedicated to knowledge, mutual respect, creativity, and service.

The Mission of Norwich University

First Published in the 1843 Catalog: To give our youth an education that shall be American in its character – to enable them to act as well as to think – to execute as well as to conceive – “to tolerate all opinions when reason is left free to combat them” – to make moral, patriotic, efficient, and useful citizens, and to qualify them for all those high responsibilities resting upon a citizen in this free republic.

The Mission of the College of Graduate and Continuing Studies

Through relevant academic programs, engaged faculty, and a personalized educational experience, Norwich University's College of Graduate and Continuing Studies has created a dynamic learning environment that empowers adult learners to effect positive change in their lives, the organizations in which they work and the communities where they live.

Underlying our mission is a set of shared values and beliefs that both informs our teaching and drives our growth as an institution:

Leadership and service - We believe that positive change begins with those who lead, and to be an effective leader, you must be willing and committed to serve a purpose greater than yourself. All of our programs emphasize the development of core leadership qualities: a strong ethical foundation, a strategic mindset, a global perspective, the ability to communicate with clarity and impact, and an overriding commitment to service.

Thinking and acting - Knowing what to do is important. Knowing how to do it is just as essential. Through a curriculum that balances theoretical knowledge with real-world experience and practice, we help our students become in-depth thinkers and strategic doers who bring tangible value to their workplaces and communities.

Lifelong learning - We believe the pursuit of knowledge should be an ongoing endeavor and offer a wide range of academic programs that meet students at various stages of their careers and lives. Whether students are seeking professional advancement or personal fulfillment (or both), our programs are designed to facilitate lifelong learning and continued self-improvement.

Challenge and support - We believe that most things worth doing require hard work - a belief summed up in our institutional motto: Expect challenge. Achieve distinction. Our goal as a college is to push our students to their personal best while providing them with the support they need to be successful. They will experience this support as a student and beyond as a member of our Norwich alumni community.

Statement of Guiding Values

Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge, US Army, and is the oldest private military college in the country. Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional age students in a Corps of Cadets or as civilians, and adult students. Norwich identifies the following as our guiding values:

  1. We are men and women of honor and integrity. We shall not tolerate those who lie, cheat, or steal.
  2. We are dedicated to learning, emphasizing teamwork, leadership, creativity, and critical thinking.
  3. We accept the right to diverse points of view as a cornerstone of our democracy.
  4. We encourage service to nation and others before self.
  5. We stress being physically fit, and drug-free.
  6. We live the Norwich motto, "I will try!" — meaning perseverance in the face of adversity.
  7. We stress self-discipline, personal responsibility, and respect for law.
  8. We hold in highest esteem our people and reputation.