NORTHFIELD, Vt. (AP) — Norwich University, the nation’s oldest private military college, welcomed its new president on Monday. Col. Mark Anarumo started in his role as the 24th president of the school in Northfield.

Anarumo came to Vermont from the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, where he served as director of the Center for Character and Leadership Development. At Norwich, Anarumo succeeds Richard Schneider, a retired Coast Guard rear admiral who took over at Norwich in 1992.

Norwich said in a statement that Anarumo's top three priorities for this year are to lead the Norwich through the necessary changes related to the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the health and safety of the campus community; to address the school's academic, operational and financial priorities; and to learn the Norwich culture in order to preserve the 200-year-old tradition of educating citizen soldiers.