NORTHFIELD, Vt. — Norwich University, the nation’s oldest private military college, named an Air Force colonel as its next president on Tuesday.

Col. Mark Anarumo was introduced to the college community in an auditorium of the Northfield, Vermont, school.

Anarumo comes to Vermont from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he served as director of the Center for Character and Leadership Development.

Anarumo, who will take over June 1, succeeds Richard Schneider, a retired Coast Guard rear admiral who took over at Norwich in 1992. During his years at Norwich, Schneider grew enrollment by more than 70% and expanded the endowment more than five times.

“There is no more healthy university out there,” said Anarumo. “It’s stable, it’s safe, it’s collaborative, they are creating leaders for the 21st century for the world. It’s remarkable.”

Anarumo, 49, a father of four, joined the Air Force in 1994 from the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Prior to being commissioned as an Air Force officer, Anarumo served as a soldier in the Army, where he served under officers who trained at Norwich.

“They were all exceptional,” he said.

Air Force Col. Mark Anarumo

Norwich was founded in Norwich, Vermont, 1819 by Vermont native Alden Partridge, an 1806 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, who had a vision of training civilians as military officers. The school eventually moved to Northfield, where it still commissions military officers.

The idea of civilian schools that train military officers expanded throughout the growing United States. Now about 275 colleges and universities across the country host ROTC programs.

Norwich currently has about 2,500 students in its military wing, known as the corps of cadets, and civilian students.

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