Norwich University | Alumni & Family



Thank You for Supporting the Skull and Swords Scholarship

Skull and Swords Scholarship Donor Spotlight Stories

See the current Skull and Swords  Scholarship Donor Roll here.

Tony Agnitti ’84
Owner/President, Agnitti Insurance

Tony has been a lifetime supporter of Norwich and Skull and Swords. He is presently the Chairman of the overall Board of Fellows, Past Chair of business Board of Fellows, two-time Chair of Boston Alumni and a lifetime general for giving to NU through the Partridge Society. Tony recruits five to ten cadets annually and has sat on several other Norwich committees over the years. In High School at Archbishop Williams, Tony was a three-sport athlete, Captain of the Football team, and was recruited by Norwich. While at Norwich, Tony was the class president for 4 years, on the honor committee for 4 years, 3rd Battalion Commander as a senior, and president of Skulls and Swords. 

“Norwich was great to me; I had a great work study package and held several part-time jobs to make Norwich work for me financially. The Athletic Director, Joe Sabol, allowed me to paint the interior of Plumley Armory so I could afford to buy my class ring and would give me projects for maintenance at Plumley Armory to get by. Professor Isle tied me into professor’s chores around their classrooms for tuition money and payments used for my class books.”

After Graduation, Tony worked for Metropolitan  Insurance, learned the business and with his lovely wife Marietta, opened Agnitti Insurance at the age of 24. Now 36 years later it is a thriving business. For the past 33 years he and his brother Larry developed a Property Portfolio with Agnitti Properties, where they own, manage, and develop commercial and residential propertiers. Brother Rich Leslie at Bay Colony engineering takes care of Engineering and Planning. He is active in business and the community, a founder and director of a publicly traded bank, restaurant owner, an elected official, and he has been on various hospital, bank, and charity boards.

Tony meets with one Norwich student weekly to help them with goal setting and life objectives thus helping foster future leaders. Skull and Swords has been an integral part of his life with the Brothers he has connected with at the cookouts, Christmas parties, and overall friendships. The Skull and Swords class of ’84 gets together every year with their wives for a getaway weekend and the time there is cherished with such busy lifestyles. He feels complete trust with his Skull and Swords Brothers and in a world so turbulent, it is reassuring.

Tony’s wife, Marietta, was his college sweetheart and is a Norwich graduate in the class of ‘84 and is a tremendous friend and wife. Their son, Armando, practiced law in Boston for years, is a part of their business, and is a strong partner. Their second son, Anthony, with a Masters degree in engineering, is the head designer for a Solar Company. Tony and Marietta are looking forward to the birth of their first grandson in September. “I am so blessed for my family, my staff at work, and so many strong friends through Norwich, especially Skull and Swords. I give to the scholarship because of the ideals of a greater Nation, a strong bond, and a true purpose.  All are embodied in the Skull and Swords Brotherhood.”


Ken Leon ’89
Building Management Specialist, WTF123

Ken Leon was born in Spain and grew up in a military family. Moving every two to three years was the norm for him. Prior to entering Norwich University, Alexandria, VA was the first permanent change of station he called home. Early on, he knew that a military college environment would be a good fit to keep him focused academically. After learning about Norwich while visiting family in Boston, he went to the college office at school and found a NU brochure that was about ten years old. Thinking no way in hell the academic standards could still be the same, he wrote and requested an updated brochure and application package. Shocked to learn the standards had not changed, he applied. He received a NU college degree course book in the mail. He did not know what to think since there was nothing else in the envelope. He was about to throw the book in the trash, then decided to flip through the pages and again found nothing. Before throwing the book away, he held it upside down and shook it one more time. Folded in half and shoved inside, out fell his acceptance letter onto the grass. He started out as a Computer Science major while a member of Military Police Company in the fall of ‘85. Sophomore year, he changed his major to Criminal Justice and graduated in ’89.

After graduation, Ken’s desire to serve played out in various ways through his varied professional career over the last thirty-four years. He served nine years with the Diplomatic Security Service, Uniform Division, U.S. Department of State. He then spent years on various state and federal government contracts in construction management. Six years with the Architect of the Capitol as a construction manager specializing in the hardening of government facility perimeters in the metropolitan Washington, DC area, post 9/11. Ken currently is a facility manager for a federal law enforcement agency. He and his wife Carolyn have been married since 2015 and live in Alexandria, VA. Carolyn’s daughter Krista and son James round out the family.

When Ken was first asked to donate to Norwich, his first thought was that he could not afford it financially. After some thought, coupled with his desire to support Norwich, he was able to develop a plan to make it happen. A monthly gift totaling $572 a year, for life. As long as it went to the Skull and Swords Scholarship. No exceptions. Ken began donating to the Skull and Swords scholarship for one reason. Any financial assistance can and does make a difference to a deserving Cadet. He did not come from a lot of money and being able to financially attend Norwich was a challenge for him and his family. For four years, every academic and summer break was spent working to afford the next semester or summer session. For him, paying it forward to those deserving Cadets in need is truly worth it. 

We thank Ken and Carolyn for their generous and continuous commitment to our scholarship!


Philip Marsilius '43 - 100th birthday

  Philip Marsilius '43 - c. 1943-45

Philip R. Marsilius ’43

Philip R. Marsilius (1921–2022) led a life of exemplary service to his country and community and was nationally recognized for his leadership in business. Phil spent his early years in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He was elected President of his class both at Harding High School and Norwich University where he graduated in 1943 as class Valedictorian.

In order to support the ongoing war effort, the senior class graduated early in February 1943 to allow graduates to serve their country. He completed Officer Candidate School training in armor at Fort Knox and was immediately sent to the European theater. Entering through the Normandy beaches three weeks after D-Day, he became part of General Patton’s 3rd Army in Armored Calvary Reconnaissance. When fighting began, Phil’s unit normally covered the flanks for a Division. He commanded six tanks as a 2LT and eventually earned the rank of Captain toward the end of the war. His military decorations include four campaign stars, the Purple Heart and Bronze Star with clusters for subsequent awards, the Belgian Crux de Guerre, Order of the Crown, and the French Crux de Guerre, all with Palms.

Following the war, he earned a Master of Science degree from MIT and later Honorary Doctor of Engineering degrees from Norwich University and the Bridgeport Engineering Institute. He married Esther Harvey and joined his brother in running the family-owned Producto Machine Company in Bridgeport with subsidiaries in Michigan and Canada. During the Korean War, he spent a year in Washington, D.C. as the tool and die specialist with the National Production Authority, which led to his service as President of the National Tooling and Machining Association from 1957-1958. For the next 20 years, he participated in numerous trade missions to Australia and China, served as President of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and Chairman of the National Machine Tool Builders’ Association.  

Phil also found time to lead a variety of diverse institutions and businesses. He was Chairman of the Board of Norwich University from 1970-1987 and Chairman of the Bank Mart Board from 1978-1989. He chaired the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, the Manufacturers Association of Southern Connecticut, and the Business/Industry Council of the Bridgeport Economic Area. In addition to numerous other Trusteeships, he was elected Chairman of the Connecticut Energy Corporation and served as Chairman of the Bridgeport Hospital from 1989-1993.

Following the death of his wife, Esther, Phil married Phyllis Gustafson in 2002. He continued to serve his community—he was elected President of the Brooklawn Country Club, chaired Goodwill Industries and was a Trustee of the United Way of Eastern Fairfield and the Great Bridgeport YMCA.

For over 60 years, Phil spent summers with his family at his home on Lake Kezar in Maine. Phil lived a life of service and chose to contribute to the Skull and Swords scholarship because he was a proud Norwich graduate and former Board Chairman who wished to help deserving students attain the exceptional education that Norwich provides.

All Skull and Swords alumni admire Phil for his steadfast leadership and lifetime dedication to service.

Robert “BA” / “Bubba” Joseph Arnold ’90
CEO & Co-Founder, CEMServices

In 2021, Skull and Swords awarded eight scholarships to deserving cadets in celebration of their 100th anniversary. Since the endowment had sufficient funds to support three scholarships, we needed donors to step up for a one-time donation to bring us to our goal of awarding eight. Robert passed away unexpectedly in 2019 and his wife, Ellen, decided the best way to honor his memory was to donate to the Skull and Swords Scholarship fund. Robert’s love of Norwich and his incredible generosity and willingness to help others made this the perfect spot to keep his spirit alive.

Robert was born in Bellflower, CA, the first in his family to be born in the United States, and grew up in Foxboro, Massachusetts. He was an engineering technology / environmental engineering major and played varsity football for four years, becoming Captain his senior year. In the Corps, Robert served on the Honor Committee for three years, the Ring Committee, and was Class Treasurer his junior year. Senior year he was selected to be a member of Skull and Swords.  

Robert moved back to Foxboro upon graduation, and married Ellen in 1998. He and Ellen were inseparable since that first meeting and loved relaxing at their home on Beaumont’s Pond. They were married for 21 years and had many golden retrievers over the years and named their first one Skully, of course. 
When not working and building a successful business, Robert could be found on the golf course where he was a member of Foxboro County Club and Hampton Hall in Bluffton, South Carolina. He participated in the annual NU Club of Boston’s Golf Scholarship Tournament. He and Ellen enjoyed sports and were season ticket holders for both the Patriots and Red Sox.  

When specifically asked about her generous gifts to the Skull and Swords Scholarship, Ellen wanted to make sure to honor Robert by continuing to help others.  Robert was a gentle giant who made friends wherever he went and considered everyone part of his extended family.  Ellen was touched by hearing so many stories from friends and acquaintances who time and time again said how knowing “Bubba” greatly impacted their lives.  She feels it is now her mission to honor his life and support the Skull and Swords Scholarship for years to come in order to continue his mission of helping others. 


Vincent T. McDermott ’90 (then) Vincent T. McDermott '90 (today)

Vincent T. McDermott ’90
CFO & Sr. VP, Finance,
Newton-Wellesley Hospital & MGB HomeCare

In 2021, Skull and Swords awarded eight scholarships to deserving cadets in celebration of the 100th anniversary. Since our endowment had sufficient funds to support three scholarships, we needed donors to step up for a one-time donation to get us to the goal of eight. Vin McDermott, Skull and Swords, Class of 1990, was one of the first to step up. He and his 1990 Brother, Steve Hunter, both sponsored one of the additional five scholarships to achieve our goal.

Vin grew up in Wareham, Massachusetts and moved to Braintree right before his senior year where he attended Archbishop Williams High School. Vin started his college career at West Point, before transferring to Norwich. He was an accounting major in the business school and played varsity hockey for three years after using a year of eligibility at Army. In the Corps, Vin served on the honor committee for three years and was co-chair of the ring committee his junior year. Senior year he was a member of Skull and Swords and the Chief of Investigations (COI). Between the honor committee, COI and Skull and Swords, if a cadet was having any issues, they were engaging with Vin!
Upon graduation, Vin decided not to pursue a commission and decided to go straight to work. Looking back, Vin says if he has one regret, he wishes he had given the military a shot. In the end it’s all worked out pretty well for Vin. Right after graduation he returned to Boston and started working in the Boston hospital market. Vin noted that estimates are that one in every seven jobs in greater Boston is tied to healthcare so he felt like that was a good industry to be in. He spent six years at Tufts Medical Center and in 1996, the massive merger of Mass General Hospital and Brigham & Women’s occurred, and Vin joined the corporate parent Partners Healthcare, now known as Mass General Brigham (MGB). Since that point in ’96, he’s worked his way up with increasing levels of responsibility across the MGB System having spent time at MGB corporate, North Shore Medical Center, Brigham & Women’s Health and currently Newton Wellesley Hospital and MGB Home Care where he is the Chief Financial Officer of both entities.    
Vin settled in Braintree, and married Tracy, his high school classmate, whom he had  been dating since his freshman year at NU. They have been married 26 years and have two great kids. Sarah is 22 and in nursing school and Myles is 20 and looking to a career in federal law enforcement.  
Vin just completed a six-year term on the NU Board of Fellows for the Business School. He takes great pride in many of the advances for the business school creating a number of internships and full-time positions for students that Vin hopes has a lasting impact on a more robust professional experience for Norwich’s business students. 



Current Academic Year Skull and Swords Scholarship Recipients
See all School Year ’23 Skull and Swords Scholarship Recipients

Prior Academic Years' Skull and Swords Scholarship Recipients
See all NU ’21 and ’22 Skull and Swords Scholarship Recipients

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