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Nearly 200 Years—Learn More About Norwich

U.S. Marine and Norwich Trustee General Richard I. Neal

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Author, highly decorated U.S. Marine, and Norwich Trustee, General Richard I. Neal, delivered the university’s 2018 Commencement address to over 500 graduating students on Friday, June 22, 2018.

Born in Hull, Mass., Neal studied history and education at Northeastern University in Boston before commissioning as a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps in 1965. In the ensuing 33 years, Neal commanded at every level within the Marine Corps—battery, battalion, brigade—and was the Commanding General of the Second Marine Division. He served two tours in Vietnam and was twice honored with the United States’ third-highest award for gallantry, the Silver Star Medal. Among his many decorations, Neal has received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal; the Bronze Star (with valor device); the Defense Superior Service Medal (with one oak leaf cluster); and the Purple Heart.

During Operation Desert Storm, Neal served as the deputy director of operations for General Norman Schwarzkopf; in this capacity, Neal was responsible for briefing the international press on the war. He was promoted to four-star rank in 1996 and assumed the duties of assistant commandant of the Marine Corps until his retirement in 1998.

Since retiring from the Marine Corps, Neal has served as the president of three private sector companies that deal in the licensing of intellectual property, as well as chairman of the board for the Military Officers Association of America. Currently, he serves on the board of directors for several organizations to include Humanetics Corporation and Steel Partners Holding, LP; and he serves on the Norwich University board of trustees. Neal was the senior mentor for the United States Marine Corps for five years and is currently a senior fellow for the National Defense University. He recently published a memoir entitled, “What Now, Lieutenant?” lessons from which he will share with graduates at the 2018 commencement ceremony.

The June 22 commencement ceremony is the culmination of the weeklong annual Residency Conference, where over 500 students representing 12 online graduate programs and four bachelor’s degree completion programs at Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies will come together for a week of academic capstone work and conferences. Gathering from across the country and around the globe under the theme of “Build on the Past. Lead into the Future,” these Norwich students will have the opportunity to meet and network with peers, faculty and staff on the Norwich University campus in Northfield, Vt.


Norwich University will celebrate its bicentennial in 2019. In fulfillment of Norwich’s mission to train and educate today’s students to be tomorrow’s global leaders and captains of industry, Norwich launched the Forging the Future campaign in 2014. The five-year campaign, which is timed to culminate in 2019, is committed to creating the best possible learning environment through state-of-the-art academics and world-class facilities and is designed to enhance the university’s strong position as it steps into its third century of service to the nation.

Norwich University’s College of Graduate and Continuing Studies (CGCS) builds upon the institution’s 199-year academic heritage with innovative online programs. CGCS offers master’s degrees in a variety of areas; bachelor’s degree completion programs; a certificate in teaching and learning and continuing education opportunities. The programs are recognized throughout the industry for their rigor, small class size, high student satisfaction and retention.

About Norwich University˜

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).

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