Norwich University faculty, staff, and members of the Northfield community came out in force today to participate in a car parade honoring retiring college President Richard W. Schneider and his wife Jaime. Vehicles decorated with an array of balloons, banners, and streamers entered the south side of the campus to drive in procession past Jackman Hall, where President and Mrs. Schneider stood waving and thanking their colleagues and friends. Drivers honked their horns, blasted marching band drumline cadences, and displayed a variety of handmade signs to express appreciation for the couple.
“I really hope someone is counting all of these cars,” said Norwich CFO Lauren Wobby of the seemingly endless procession. “The turnout is simply amazing, it’s unbelievable.”
Schneider, one of the nation’s longest seated university leaders, is scheduled to retire on May 31 after serving for 28 years.
“We’re overwhelmed. I never thought the parade was going to be that long,” Mr. Schneider said of the festive cavalcade. “We’re going to miss it here. It’s been my whole life, social and professional, all rolled up into one.”
Following his retirement, Mr. Schneider said he is working on the governor’s task force to address state university closures caused by the pandemic.
“I’m helping the governor try to figure out how we’re going to open up all the colleges in Vermont because we need these schools open or it’s going to be really terrible,” he said.
Mr. Schneider will deliver the 2020 Commencement address to graduating Norwich seniors on Saturday, Sept. 12. Due to concerns related to COVID-19, the 2020 ceremony was rescheduled from a typical spring ceremony to the fall date.
In January, Norwich named Col. Mark Anarumo, USAF as the university’s 24th president, effective June 1, 2020.