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NORTHFIELD — The country's oldest private military college has inaugurated its new president.

Norwich University held the ceremony on Wednesday for Col. Mark Anarumo. He took over as president in June of last year, replacing Rich Schneider after 28 years. Norwich waited to hold Anarumo’s inauguration until this year’s homecoming so that everyone could properly welcome him to the community, the Times Argus reported.

Anarumo has already impressed some for his response to the coronavirus pandemic. When students were confined to their dormitories last year, Anarumo joined them to better understand their challenges, said Norwich trustee retired Maj. Gen. Martha Rainville. He also made sure the school's mental health services and outreach were enhanced for students on campus and at home.

“A true leader inspires and motivates others. He is that leader. He is the right president for Norwich University as we face future challenges together,” Rainville said.

Anarumo said he owes everything in his life to the military and higher education, and Norwich represents the best of both. He announced that over the next few weeks the school will work on a strategic plan to guide the school over the next decade.

“Through that process, we will explore, discuss and deliberate possibilities and choices together. We’re going to engage alumni, parents, friends and supporters of Norwich, in addition, of course, to our students, our faculty and staff,” he said.

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