NORTHFIELD, Vermont — Blake DeBolt Bourassa of Bangor, a May 2020 graduate of Norwich University, received a commission into the U.S. Air Force in a ceremony held this month.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, new officers being commissioned from Norwich conducted individual, and in most cases, virtual ceremonies starting on May 3. Each ceremony included the traditional reading of the commission, the officer reciting their commissioning oath, pinning on their 2nd Lt. or Ensign bars and receiving a first salute.
Norwich University’s newly commissioned officers also watched recorded remarks from Norwich’s President Richard W. Schneider RADM, USCGR (Ret.), as well as remarks from a fellow alum, U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Daniel J. MacDonnell, former deputy chief, Central Security Service, National Security Agency and Norwich Class of 1985. RADM MacDonnell’s keynote address highlighted the meaning of the commissioning oath, how to demonstrate good leadership and the importance of family and supporters.
Norwich anticipates commissioning 105 Army officers, 26 Air Force officers, 21 Navy officers and nine Marine officers through the university’s ROTC programs between May and August..
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 Capt. Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States. Norwich is one of our nation’s six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).