Leadership Defined

Dear Norwich University,

               The beginning was not the end, but the end was certainly the beginning. After landing in Burlington, the scenic Vermont landscape fascinated my mind and I curiously wondered what my visit to Norwich University would be like. You see, I was attending Norwich Universities 2018 Residency which was unchartered territory. Not only did I know very little about Norwich, but I was skeptical that the residency would prove useful. I was not only pleasantly surprised, but the week of festivities continued to captivate my attention spurring a rush of networking on my behalf. Discussions with military generals, the President of the University, the Dean, the Director of Student Success, students, faculty, and staff were enigmatic in the sense that every conversation was motivating and magical. The depth of character in people walking the campus was copious and my soul was replenished with positive, forward thinking, morally stringent support from people who deeply cared about my story but also in giving advice about my career. Norwich University is truly unique in that amazing people are the norm and everyone I met captured my gaze in riveting conversation that seemed to shrink the vast distance of geography with similarities and commonalities of progress and growth for our country. From conversations with General Sullivan who drew down the army in Iraq to a magician named Vinh that was born in the Philippines, I learned about progress and conviction in setting a purpose for your ambitions. From discussing political events and delving into the world of international aid, the topics of motorcycles, the Canadian army, Russia, China, and future threats to our nations national security, my perspective usurped the knowledge of those who stood tall around me. The smell of accomplishment blew in the wind and the taste of success was motivated by thinking about achievement as an absolute value. If there is anything I can say about Norwich it is that the people are a high caliber of intellect, moral perspective, and absolute determination. My only regret was that the week went by quickly and that the conversations I cherished over the last week will continue not face to face, but through the telephone or email. The Norwich motto is, “I will try”. Not only did people try but my motivation to continue improving and being a student for life has once again been hardened into my character and I have Norwich to thank for that. Norwich is unique, exciting, and an environment where success is not an option but rather a way of life. Thank you, Norwich, I hope one day my accomplishments in international relations, leadership, and helping others will live up to the hype of making the word a better place just as Norwich has made me a better person.


Jonathan Graves, MSA, MIR

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