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Skull and Swords 2022-2023 Scholarship Recipients

Originally formed in 1921, Skull and Swords, through its generous alumni, remains dedicated towards supporting the traditions and ideals of Norwich University. While no longer active on campus, alumni members carry out this legacy through scholarships to develop the next generation of our nation’s leaders either in the military or in our communities.

Skull and Swords awarded scholarships to six outstanding senior cadets:

Caitlin Burke '23
Caitlin Burke ’23  

Caitlin Burke is from Greenwich, Connecticut. She was a cadet corporal as the HHC company runner and then served as the Staff NCO Admin for HHC. Caitlin is a Business Management Major with a minor in Economics. She has served on the Uniform Committee since her Sophomore year. 

Caitlin is a 4th year Rugby player at Norwich, switching from a Fullback to a Fly Half over the years. She enjoys skiing with her family and if her schedule allows and there is fresh powder, she is off to Stowe or Sugarbush. Caitlyn also enjoys golf in the summer.

After Norwich, Caitlin plans to serve in the Army in Military Intelligence or Transportation.

Being a Norwich cadet means to me, “trained in the armed forces or a young adult being trained in military school.  Norwich University has better prepared me both educationally and structurally for my future endeavors in the Army. A Norwich Cadet means to have the ability to balance the activities and obligations with the Corps as well as keep an eye on your future. Norwich has given me college life and introduced me to the military experience and the availability to play a collegiate sport. I want to thank the classes of '84, '86, and '87 that have been mentors and guides throughout my childhood and these last few years.”

Note: Caitlin’s parents, Walter Burke and Maryanne Burke are NU graduates, class of 1986. 


Trevor Burnside '23
Trevor Burnside ’23  

Cadet Trevor Burnside is from Westerlo, New York. He’s risen the ranks at Norwich from a 1SG for Drill Company his Junior year to a Major on the Regimental Staff as a Senior. He participated in a national drill competition against 30 other Universities at Tulane University, with Norwich finishing second nationally.  He’s served as an Air Force ROTC Squadron Commander for the past 3 semesters and maintains a 3.4 GPA in Mechanical Engineering. 

Trevor is scheduled to receive his commission as an Air Force officer in the Spring and will be assigned to duties in Developmental Mechanical engineering. Trevor looks forward to developing his engineering skills in the Air Force and plans on working as an Engineer in industry after the Air Force.

Being a Norwich cadet means to me, “always looking out for others, seeking challenge and always persevere through it.  Living by the Norwich Honor Code and staying true to yourself and beliefs and doing what is right. Lastly, I believe being a Norwich Cadet means always looking to better yourself in every aspect of life.  I realized at Norwich that people are the most important thing in life, not where you are or what you’re doing but who you’re with. It is much easier to beat challenges together.” 


Patrick Keefe '23
Patrick Keefe ’23  

Patrick Keefe is from Andover, Massachusetts. He is an avid workout enthusiast and plays football at Norwich. Patrick was selected as a team captain during his Senior Year. 

Patrick Keefe '23 - football roster photoPatrick is a Criminal Justice major. He contracted with the Army his freshman year and hopes to serve as an infantry officer upon commissioning. His long-term goal is to own and operate a gym.

Being a Norwich cadet means to me, “A Norwich cadet to me is someone who was looking for a different college experience, one who accepts and looks forward to challenges.”

Note: Patrick’s father, also Patrick, is an NU graduate, class of 1990.

Bradley Smith '23
  Bradley Smith ’23

Bradley Smith is from Danville Vermont. He is in the Norwich Regimental Band, where he plays the Euphonium. Bradley is enlisted in the Air National Guard and holds the rank of Staff Sergeant. 

Bradley’s accomplishments at Norwich revolve around the band. He is a lyre holder and served as the First Sergeant his junior year. He assumed the roles and responsibilities as the Commander, XO, PL, Training OIC, and quasi–Band Director for all of spring semester, while continuing his responsibilities as First Sergeant.

Bradley’s plan is to attend Law School after graduation and hopes to receive a commission as a JAG officer in the Air Force. 

Being a Norwich cadet means to me, “Through my time at Norwich, I have learned many different things about myself, my leadership style, but ultimately about the people I surround myself with every day. I believe that being a Norwich Student means more than simply a college student who is “making it through” simply to get a degree and move on. I see every day the men and women who I work around showing what it means to uphold the honor of being a Norwich Cadet. I see men and women who take the Norwich Creed, and don’t only say the simple words, but live them. To me, what being a Norwich Cadet means is far more than a simple lifestyle for four years, but a steppingstone for greatness. As a ROOK, we were told to recite the Norwich Cadet Creed, but I never knew that I would one day aspire to live up to those values and principles it has taught me. I believe that being a Norwich Cadet shows many qualities, but ultimately it shows character, motivation, and leadership. As a wearer of the ring, when people see it, they instantly know where it is from and know what it means, and I must uphold not only the standards that I the institution has taught me, but the standards that all of my brothers and sisters of the Corps are living every day.”


Dong Son Doan Tran '23
  Dong Son Doan Tran ’23

Dong Son Doan Tran '23Doan Tran is from Binh Duong, Vietnam. He is an Engineering Major with a 3.80 GPA. Doan Tran was selected for both summer research and summer apprentice programs at Norwich.

Doan Tran enjoys boxing, reading, and the musical instrument Kalimba. He hopes to work full-time in the United States in an R&D position for a drone company.

What being a Norwich cadet means to me, “It means to build yourself a great character, strive to achieve great things, while helping others along the way, and to be the great man that I have always wanted to be. My time here has its ups and downs but coming here was probably the best decision I have ever made. This place and the people here changed my life, and I would not be the person that I am now without it. I’m thankful for all that was given to me.”


Drukhshan Farhad '23
  Drukhshan Farhad ’23

Drukhshan Farhad is from Badakhshan, Afghanistan. She serves as 2LT for the International Section in the Corps of Cadets and is the first and only female student from Afghanistan. She is a strong advocate fighting for Afghan Women’s right to education.

Cadet Farhad is actively involved on campus, particularly in assisting international students, serving as President for Intercultural Student Organization (ISO). She is fluent in six languages and achieved tremendous distinction at Norwich. She is a Fellow for the Norwich Humanities Initiative and the 2022 Weintz Research Scholar for Summer Research Fellowship.  Additionally, she’s a noted speaker and has served as a co-moderator for the 2022 Vermont Resilience Conference and the Colby Award winner in the 2022 Military Writer’s symposium.

After Norwich, Cadet Farhad hopes to gain work experience in the fields of peacebuilding, leadership, and history before ultimately pursuing her Ph.D.

What being a Norwich cadet means to me, “Being a Cadet at Norwich for me means an experience that will prepare me for the future where I can have a seat at the table that has the power to make decisions that not only impacts one particular nation or country but the entire world.”

Skull and Swords is extremely proud of Cadets Burke, Burnside, Keefe, Smith, Tran and Farhad. All have expressed sincere thanks and gratitude to the donors who are helping them achieve their goals and dreams through these scholarships. Their futures are bright.