One of the most significant landmarks on the Norwich University campus is also among its most humble: a simple set of granite steps at the northeast corner of the Upper Parade ground. These are the Centennial Stairs, built in 1919 to honor 40 individuals that helped define Norwich University during its first 100 years. For nearly a century the stairs have served as a daily reminder of Norwich’s mission “to make moral, patriotic, effective, useful citizens.”
The challenge presented to Shawn Brennan, Class of ‘96, was to design a similar staircase to represent Norwich University’s second century. The new staircase, based on a concept by Don McKnight, is comprised of 78 steps with the names of alumni and friends who made significant contributions to Norwich over the last 100 years.
“Freeman French Freeman designed not only a set of stairs but a piece of art,” says Bizhan Yahyazadeh, Vice President at Norwich. “Now a focal point at the south end of campus, the stairs not only are a tribute to the University’s leaders over the past 100 years, they represent the best in craftsmanship and caring for a job well done.”
Learn more about the heroes honored on the Bicentennial Stairs in the Norwich Record.