As the nation’s oldest private military college, Norwich University is deeply intertwined with American history, where alumni from the school have helped protect the country in almost every war since the institution was established in 1819. Since its inception, a number of prestigious individuals have been a part of Norwich University and stand out for the numerous sacrifices they made in protecting the United States of America, including the five individuals noted below.
Captain Alden Partridge
Born on February 12, 1785, in Norwich, Vermont, Captain Alden Partridge is the founder of the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy (now known as Norwich University). Partridge started his academic career at Dartmouth College in 1802 and transferred during his senior year to the United States Military Academy at West Point. For fifteen years Captain Partridge served and taught at West Point, earning a number of accolades and ranks such as professor, Captain and eventually University Superintendent. Eventually, Captain Partridge left West Point to establish a military institution that was innovative, enlightening and featured a curriculum balanced on both military and civilian studies. Under these principles, Captain Partridge founded the academy that would soon become Norwich University. Within three years of its founding, the institution had almost 500 students from 21 of the 24 states, marking the early beginning of an institution that has now grown to approximately 3,500 students studying on campus and online.
Lieutenant Colonel William D. Munson
Lieutenant Colonel William D. Munson was born on February 7, 1833, in Colchester, Vermont and is best known for leading the 13th Vermont Infantry Regiment in the Battle of Gettysburg. After graduating from Norwich University, Munson worked as an engineer before organizing and training the 13th Vermont Infantry Regiment for the Civil War. While leading the Regiment, Munson was a part of an administrative team featuring the future vice-president of Norwich University, Francis Randall. Together, Randall and Munson commanded the 13th Vermont Infantry Regiment in overcoming the Confederate Army on Cemetery Hill, which proved to be a major turning point in the Civil War.
Lieutenant General Edward H. Brooks
On April 25, 1893, Lieutenant General Edward H. Brooks was born in Concord, New Hampshire. Lieutenant General Brooks is well-known for leading the legendary 2nd Armored Division, a troop so powerful in combat that it was known colloquially as “Hell on Wheels”, during the invasion of Normandy. Lieutenant General Brooks attended Norwich University where he studied civil engineering. After graduation, Lieutenant General Brooks joined the Army where he fought in three major wars: World War I, World War II and the Korean War. While serving, Lieutenant General Brooks received a number of awards, the most prestigious of which include the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Legion of Merit and the Distinguished Service Medal.
Harold Denny Campbell
Born on March 30, 1895, in Middlesex, Vermont, Harold Denny Campbell is best known for his supreme flying skills, as well as his participation in the historic battle of Belleau Wood. After graduating from Norwich University in 1917, Campbell joined the Marine Corps and fought in World War I. After the war, Campbell became an acclaimed aviator, receiving a number of accolades and awards, one of which includes the prestigious Herbert Schiff Memorial Trophy, which is presented to mark a year of excellent flying by an aviator.
Major General Jonas Mansfield Platt
Major General Jonas Mansfield Platt was born on September 21, 1919, in Brooklyn, New York. Major General Platt is well known for fighting in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal, as well as a number of other battles during World War II and the Korean War. Upon graduating from Norwich University, Major General Platt joined the Marine Corps where he served for 30 years. During this time, he served on the USS Washington during World War II, as well as fought in Vietnam in 1965, where he was designated Chief of Staff of the 3rd Marine Amphibious Force. While serving, Major General Platt received a number of awards, including the Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star and the Purple Heart. After retiring in 1970, Platt continued serving our country within the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Manpower and Reserve Affairs.
Captain Partridge, Lieutenant Colonel Munson, Lieutenant General Brooks, Harold Campbell and Major General Platt all played an integral role in American history, helping to protect America and its citizens. For their excellence and bravery, Norwich University is proud to have these individuals continue to inspire current and future Norwich graduates.
Norwich University is an important part of American history. Established in 1819, Norwich is a nationally recognized institution of higher education, the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC), and the first private military college in the United States.
With Norwich University’s online Master of Arts in History, you can enhance your awareness of differing historical viewpoints while developing the skills needed to refine your research, writing, analysis and presentation skills. The program offers two tracks – American History and World History, allowing you to tailor your studies to your interests and goals.
Harold Denny Campbell, Arlington National Cemetery
Individual Record -- Munson, William Day, Vermont in the Civil War
Norwich Stories from the Battle of Gettysburg, Sullivan Museum Blog
Fast Facts, About Norwich University
Legacy, About Norwich University
Edward Hale Brooks, Arlington National Cemetery