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'He Was The Real Deal': Norwich Community Mourns Death Of Lecturer David Orrick

Norwich University, Courtesy
Longtime Norwich University lecturer David Orrick.

The Norwich University community is in mourning over the unexpected death of longtime lecturer David Orrick. He taught at the university for 17 years, retiring after the 2019 spring semester.

Orrick was known for his witty and empathetic personality, according to Nicole DiDomenico, the school's director of civic engagement. She said Orrick will be greatly missed by students and staff.

"He truly cared about all of us, and he stood by us and he was the real deal," she said. "One of the former students [of Orrick] in one of the Facebook posts that I was reading talked about how, you know, he was one-of-a-kind and there's never going to be another like him."

DiDomenico said that some of her favorite accounts and stories came from students who had him in the classroom, and she shared an example of Orrick's memorable approach to teaching his criminal justice courses.

"I often heard from him and students that on the first day of class, he would show up in a truly obnoxious outfit; with a brightly colored pair of socks, a horrific suit and a strange tie," she said. "He then would walk of class and walk back in having changed; giving his class a pop quiz on what he had been wearing. It was their first lesson on eyewitness testimony and how faulty it can be."

Former student Megan Trombley said Orrick was close with students and was committed to their success in and out of the classroom.

"He was incredibly compassionate to his students," Trombley said, "and really driven to provide them not only with, you know, an academic environment, but also one where they were comfortable to really express who they were and to challenge social norms."

He often kept in touch with his former students post-graduation; Trombley and DiDomenico both had plans to meet with Orrick this week for lunch and breakfast, respectively, prior to his death.

Many colleagues and students have shown their respect for the former lecturer through social media posts. A memorial service is planned for Sunday, Nov. 17 at 2 p.m. in the White Memorial Chapel.

Correction 4:05 p.m. : This post has been changed to reflect the correct date and location of the memorial service.

Anthony Rodriguez Jr was VPR Fall intern in 2019 for the newsroom.
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