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Christopher Newport University
Christopher Newport University Logo
Established 1960
Type Public university
President Paul S. Trible, Jr.
Faculty 218
Students 4,793[1]
Undergraduates 4,623
Postgraduates 170
Location Newport News, Virginia, USA
Campus Suburban, 260 acres (1.1 km²)
Colors Royal Blue and Silver          
Nickname Captains
Mascot Captain Chris
Athletics NCAA Division III, USA South Athletic Conference
Affiliations MAISA; AAU

Christopher Newport University, or CNU, is a liberal arts university located in Newport News, Virginia, United States. It was established in 1961 as a two-year school of the College of William and Mary. It became a four-year college in 1971, and a university in 1992. Former United States Senator Paul S. Trible, Jr., became President of CNU in 1996. In recent years, applications have gone up by more than 700 percent, and the students' SAT average has increased by more than 240 points. Nearly 90 percent of CNU's faculty members hold the highest degree in their fields. With a 500 million dollar capital campaign recently completed, another 500 million dollar capital campaign is forthcoming [1]

The institution is named after Christopher Newport, the leader of the expedition that brought the first English settlers to Jamestown.



In 1960 the city of Newport News joined together with the Commonwealth of Virginia to create Christopher Newport College(CNC), which opened its doors in 1961[2] and at the time was located in the old John W. Daniel School building. The college was founded as an extension of the College of William & Mary and offered extension courses that had already been available in the area for some time. In 1964 the college was relocated to its current location, a 75-acre (300,000 m2) tract of land purchased and donated by the city. In this same year, the college's first permanent building was dedicated as Lewis Archer McMurran, Jr. Hall, named after the assemblyman whose sponsored legislation led to the schools establishment.[3] In 1971, CNC became a 4 year college[3] however remained an extension of William & Mary until 1977 when it attained its independence.[4] Finally in 1992, the college received university status under the leadership of then president Anthony R. Santoro who oversaw the building of the first residence hall and the original Captain John Smith Library. Eventually former senator Paul S. Trible replaced Santoro as president of the university, after which the former senator announced his plans for the university's expansion.




Christopher Newport University was ranked #7 nationally as an "Up-and-coming'" liberal arts college in the annual 2009 U.S. News and World Report college rankings, and as a Tier 4 School.[5].

Academic Programs

Christopher Newport University offers a variety of four year bachelors of sciences and bachelors of arts degrees. For a few of these degrees they offer a masters in 5 program which, with an additional year of study, will allow graduation with a masters of science or masters of arts in the selected field. Along with the choice of a major, many students will choose a minor with which to complement their education. They also offer several Pre-professional programs and Certificate programs. The campus academic programs are divided into the Joseph W. Luter III School of Business and the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Each of these departments is broken down further into the academic programs that they offer.

Joseph W. Luter III College of Business and Leadership

The College of Business is located in the Business and Technology Center, locally abbreviated as The BTC Building. Here you will find administrative and faculty offices for the department, as well as classrooms and computer labs. In 2005 the school of business was renamed to the Joseph W. Luter III School of Business. The school was renamed after a 5 million dollar donation from the Smithfield Packing Company. Joseph W. Luter, III, the president and CEO of the company at the time said, "I have always felt strongly about the importance of contributing to the community and to the people with whom we come into contact every day. ..I have always encouraged Smithfield Foods, Inc. and its subsidiaries to focus on helping their local communities in a direct way."[2] in regards to the companies donation. In December the Leadership and American Studies Department merged with the School of Business to create the Joseph W Luter III College of Business and Leadership. The College of Business is accredited by the AACSB and offers bachelors degrees in Accounting, Economics, Finance, Management and Marketing. Worldwide, only one in six business schools has AACSB international accreditation. [3]

College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

The college of Liberal Arts & Sciences is divided into academic departments. Each academic department is primarily associated with a building on campus. Most classes within a department will be located in the associated building as well as faculty offices and other learning resources. The department of Biology, Chemistry & Environmental Science, generally located in the Science Building, offers bachelors degrees in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Ornamental Horticulture however the Ornamental Horticulture program was dropped in 2008. The Physics, Computer Science & Computer Engineering, or PCSE, department offers several bachelors degree as well as a master in 5 program. Undergraduate programs include degrees in Computer Engineering, Applied Physics, Computer Science and Information Science. The Information Science program offers several concentrations which include Networking & Communications, Information Systems, and Business Administration. With an extra year of study, a student can graduate with their bachelors in Computer Science or Physics as well as a masters in Applied Physics and Computer Science. Sharing Gosnold Hall with the PCSE Department is the Mathematics Department which offers a degree in Mathematics.

As of January 2010 the Departments of Communications, English, History, Government, Modern and Classical Languages and Literature as well as the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies are located in Lewis Archer McMurran, Jr. Hall. McMurran is the newest building on campus. The former McMurran Hall has been demolished.[6] The Government department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. The History department offers degrees in History. The English Department offers a lone degree in English. Concentrations include Creative Writing, Journalism, Language Arts, Literature, Technical Writing and Writing. For languages other than English, the Modern & Classical Languages & Literatures department offers degrees in German, French and Spanish. The department of Philosophy and Religious Studies offers a Bachelors of Arts, and includes Religious Studies and Pre-Seminary options for a concentration.

The Psychology and Sociology & Anthropology and Socialwork Departments, offer degrees in Psychology, Social Work and Sociology. The sociology program also offers options for a concentration with include Criminology, Culture/Socialization/Society and General sociology studies.

With the addition of the Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts, the schools Fine and Performing arts programs has been greatly enhanced.

The Department of Fine Art and Art History

The Fine Art Department, located in the back of the Ferguson Center, offers a degree in Fine Arts with concentrations in Art History and Studio Art. However, it should be known that by keeping the department "liberal", concentrations which are available at many other institutions, do not exist at CNU. For instance, as a Fine Arts major, one either chooses Studio Art or Art History. Under the Studio concentration, one will take courses ranging from 2-D and 3-D Design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, pottery, photography, crafts, and/or computer art. There are no concentrations in any particular field which can create some difficulties when transitioning from undergraduate to graduate studies. To make up for the lack of concentrations, students in their senior year are required to take the Senior Seminar course in which they create a large body of work in their own "specialty." The professors are all very approachable, readily available, and for the most part, strive to be a part of each student's creation process.[7]

The Department of Theatre & Dance

The department that, perhaps, gained the most value from the addition of the Ferguson center is the Theatre & Dance Department. The department offers a degree in Theater Arts with concentrations in Acting, Arts Administration, Design/Technology, Directing/Dramatic Literature and Music/Dance.

The Department of Music

Dr. Mark Reimer chairs the Department of Music at CNU. If looking for something other than a science or arts degree, the school also offers a Bachelors of Music degree. This degree can be complemented with concentrations in Jazz Studies, History/Literature, Music Education both Instrumental and Choral, Performance and Theory/Composition.

Jazz Studies

The Jazz Studies program is led by University of North Texas alumnus William Brown. In April 2009 jazz small group 'combo 1' was selected to compete at the North Texas Jazz Festival and was recognized for outstanding musicianship. This group included: Brittany Burrell, vocals; Jason Hammers, tenor saxophone; Matt Stern, piano; Jaison Wynne, bass; and Joe Hamm, drums. Jason Hammers was recognized as an outstanding soloist.

Student profile

  • 44% male, 56% female [8]
  • Students from every region in Virginia and 32 other states as well as several foreign countries. [9]
  • Average High School GPA is a 3.64 for the 2009-2010 Academic Year.
  • Average SAT 1199 [10]
  • Minority Breakdown
7% African American, 2% Asian American or Pacific Islander, 3% Hispanic American, 0.6% Native American
20% of the entering 2009-2010 freshman class are minority students. [11]
  • International Population
0.12% representing 30 other countries [12]


CNU participates in the USA South Athletic Conference and fields a wide variety of college level teams on the Division III level.

CNU sports club programs include ice hockey[13], equestrian, dressage, cycling, fishing, lacrosse, martial arts[4], rock climbing, rugby, scuba diving, silver storm dance, soccer, swimming, table tennis, tennis, ultimate frisbee and volleyball.

Athletic Programs

Baseball The Captains baseball team made it to the NCAA World Series and finished 3rd and 2nd in 2002 and 2003 respectively under the coaching of John Harvell.[5] The CNU baseball team has fielded 6 All American Athletes.[6]


New CNU Captains logo introduced for the 2007 Season

The CNU Men's basketball team holds an impressive .697 percent victory percentage and 13 All-American Athlete honors over its almost 40 years of existence.[7]. CNU has also produced an NBA player in Lamont Strothers. The Women's basketball team, started in 1971 sports a slightly lower overall win percentage at .583 and has fielded 7 All-American Athlete honors.

Cross country The CNU Men's Cross Country team holds an impressive historical roster with over 110 first team All-Dixie/USA South Conference awards and 65 All Mason-Dixon Conference awards.[8] The CNU Women's Cross Country team holds over 50 First team All-Dixie/USA South Conference awards and 42 All Mason-Dixon Conference awards. The men's team has also produced 4 All-American athletes with 1 award each.

Football With most CNU sports having been established for 20 years or more, CNU Football is one of the newest sports. Started in 2001 with Matt Kelchner coaching, the team has made it to the NCAA play-offs 5 out of the last 6 years. The team recently won their NCAA Division III Conference Championship.

Track The CNU track has an impressive historical roster with 62 national championship titles held by 31 different athletes. Also, the track team has received a total of 451 All-American Athlete awards among 89 different athletes.[9]

Men's Tennis The CNU men's tennis team has recently come onto the Division III tennis scene after years in the shadows. The men won the USA South Conference title for the regular season and the Conference Tournament for the first times in almost a decade. The team players had several wins over Division I opponents and sophomore Eddie Glidewell finished in the Top 35 in the Nation. He joined five other players to reach this distinction - Holden Knight, Detlef Schultz, Jason Martin, and Hugh Spain. Coach Rush Cole has also recently set the program's record for most wins and is beginning to make the team a national powerhouse with the help of new assistant coach Worth Richardson.[10]

Field Hockey The women's Field Hockey Team is coached by Carrie Moura. In 2006 the team reached the elite 8 in the NCAA Division III National Tournament, and the Sweet Sixteen in the two years to follow. The team has had four all Americans and numerous all region players.

Other Sports Clubs

The Freeman Center & Trieshmann Pavilion

Ice Hockey

The CNU ice hockey team is a club sport at CNU and is a member of the ACHA and BRHC. The CNU Ice Hockey club was formed in the fall of 2004. The team just completed its fourth season of play, finishing with an overall record of 20-3. The team was ranked #3[11] in the ACHA Division III South Region at the end of the season. See the CNU Men's Ice Hockey website at: [12].

CNU FC Soccer

CNU FC officially became a school-recognized club in 2005. The founding members decided to form the club after they had defeated the CNU Mens Varsity Team when competing in the Williamsburg Indoor Soccer League. It was started by Phill Condrey (President), Steven Mohn (Vice-President), Jason Semko (Secretary), Scott Siclari (Treasurer), and Jeremy Wells. CNU FC

CNU Rugby

The CNU Rugby team was founded as a club sport in the Fall of 2000. They are a member of the Virginia Rugby Union, Division III. And are 2009 DIII State Champs.

Sports buildings

The Freeman Center houses the basketball, volleyball, and indoor track teams, while the lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball, and field hockey teams play at a complex called "Captain's Field." The football and outdoor track teams compete at POMOCO Stadium, named for a local car dealership chain.


Statue of Sir Christopher Newport


The traditional boundaries of the Christopher Newport University campus have been Warwick Boulevard, Shoe Lane, and Prince Drew Road in Newport News. In recent years, however, the University has "jumped" Warwick Boulevard, buying and demolishing properties in the immediate area to expand. The part of campus that is east of Warwick Boulevard is referred to as "East Campus" and is primarily used to house upper-class students.

Residence halls

Residence halls on campus are usually segregated into the class of student living in them. In the recent years, new policies have been enacted that require all freshman and sophomore students to live in an on campus housing facility, unless they live in the commuting zone.

Freshman housing

The oldest housing facility on campus is Santoro Hall which opened in 1994 and was named after Carol and Anthony Santoro. This building is directly adjacent to one of the campus dining facilities, the Hiden-Hussey Commons. Santoro Hall, along with the newer York River Hall, is primarily used for freshman housing. York River Hall was opened for occupancy in 2002. This complex, dived into two buildings (York River East/ York River West), houses over 500 students and is the largest residence hall on campus. Both Santoro and York River Halls are suite-living residence halls. In each building, pairs of neighboring housing units share a common private restroom. Freshman also live in portions of Potomac Hall.

Upperclassmen housing

James River Hall after a January snow

Sophomore housing currently consists of James River Hall, opened in 2000, as well as half of Potomac Hall, opened in 2004.[14] James River Hall boasts a variety of floor plans, including 4,5, and 6-person apartments, 4-person suites, and three 15-person Theme Units. Potomac Hall, like York River Hall, is divided into two buildings (North/ South), and consists of suites of two bedrooms, located around a central living room and bath.

Juniors and Seniors living on campus are relegated to East Campus, the home for all upperclassmen at CNU. Starting in 2009, five sororities and four fraternities live in Barclay Apartments, CNU's temporary Greek Village. Completed in 2002, CNU Apartments is a complex of five buildings of three or four stories, housing up to 355 students. These buildings, named after Virginia-born presidents, include Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Harrison, and Monroe.[15] The CNU Village rose to accompany CNU Apartments in 2005, adding room for an additional 398 students in apartment living.[16] Both the apartments and the Village feature 2 to 4 single bedroom apartments with a common living area (full kitchen, living room/dinette, washer and dryer). Below CNU Village, along Warwick Blvd., are a variety of eating establishments including Panera Bread, Moe's Southwest Grill, Subway, Sushi & Spice, and Schooners, opened by three local restaurateurs who wanted to fill a void left by the lack of a social outlet on campus.

Dining facilities

The campus has 2 major dining facilities.

Hiden-Hussey Commons

The first dining facility on campus was originally named Harbour Lights. This all you can eat cafeteria style facility is decorated internally with nautical memorbalia to go along with its name. In 2005 Harbour Lights was renamed to the Hiden Hussey Commons. Newer students just refer to it as "The Commons." Even with its new name, some students still refer to it as "Harbour."


Regattas Restaurant is the newest addition to the CNU dining facilities. Opened in 2002, it shares a similar format to the Hiden Hussey Commons with the all-you-can-eat cafeteria style but sports a more up-tempo environment with newer chairs and tables and often featuring hand made waffle cones for ice cream and custom made omelettes. It has recently been moved into the new multi-million dollar Student Union.

The David Student Union

The David Student Union
Main Corridor of the "DSU"

The David Student Union, or the DSU as it is sometimes called, is a new, $36 million, 116,000 sq ft (10,800 m2). facility whose construction began in 2003 and opened September 9, 2006. Constructed in a "Neo-Georgian" architectural style, the first floor, the campus Bookstore and Convenience Store parallel the DSU dining facilities: The Discovery Bistro, Sweet Street, Chick-fil-A, Stone Willy's Pizza, and Regatta's. Additionally, Captain's Cards can be received at the Information Desk. All on-campus students receive a mailbox and access to a full-service Post Office located on the second floor of the DSU. Four large conference rooms named for past U.S. Presidents are located around a central lobby area at the top of the steps. The Ballroom is also located on the second floor. The building provides offices for Student Life, The Captain's Log, Multicultural Student Affairs, Career Development, International Studies, Academic Advising, and others. Private desks with computers are provided for students as well as quiet study sections and recreational areas. The building was named in honor of William R. and Goldie R. David.

Academic buildings

For the opening of the Spring 2010 semester, Christopher Newport University opened the newly completed Lewis Archer McMurran, Jr. Hall. This building has combined timeless neo-Georgian architecture with 21st century technology. The largest academic building currently at CNU (85,000 sq. feet), the building will frame the university's emerging Great Lawn on its western side. McMurran Hall houses the Departments of Modern and Classical Languages and Literatures, History, English, and Government. It boasts a 150-person lecture hall, two 50-person lecture halls, and over 25 other state-of-the-art classrooms.

To the north of McMurran Hall is Ratcliffe Hall, the former home of the Departments of English and Government. Once CNU's gymnasium, the building was renovated to include classroom and office space for students and faculty. Other academic buildings on campus include Gosnold Hall (the home of the Mathematics Department; also used for Computer Science), Wingfield Hall (home of the Psychology Dep.), and the Business and Technology Center (BTC Building), located across Prince Drew Lane. The BTC Building is the current home of the Joseph W. Luter School of Business faculty and classrooms. Finally, the Ferguson Center for the Arts is home to the Departments of Music and Theater & Dance.

Slated for eventual demolition, Wingfield Hall and Gosnold Hall will soon be replaced by new academic buildings. Wingfield Hall will be demolished in 2011 to make way for the Joseph W. Luter Hall, home of the school of business as well as computer science. In Christopher Newport University's long term plans, Gosnold Hall will be demolished to make way for an addition science building, accompanying the science building currently being constructed on the north-western side of the Great Lawn.

The Paul and Rosemary Trible Library

The library, renamed for Rosemary and Paul S. Trible, Jr., had a multi-million dollar addition completed in early 2008. The new 110,00sq.ft. facility houses most of its collection in the original section. The new library opened at the start of the Spring 2008 semester, and boasts a new Einstein's Cafe. The library is topped by a 14-story cupola, which is inaccessible. The interior of the cupola is also not visible, as there is a three story dome roof inside the building blocking the view. The building was dedicated on January 24, 2008. In early 2009, the Mariners' Museum Library relocated to the Paul and Rosemary Trible library, providing students and the community with convenient access to the largest maritime history collection in the Western Hemisphere.[13]

Future Construction

Recently, the President's Office released a statement unveiling plans for future construction on the campus. Design work on the science building is underway. This project consists of 114,000 square feet (10,600 m2) of new construction and 46,000 square feet (4,300 m2) of renovation to the existing science building. We are hopeful that construction will begin fall 2009 and the new building will be completed spring 2011 and the renovation of the existing science building will be completed spring 2012. These buildings will house our programs in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science and Psychology and will add approximately 60 faculty offices, 10 classrooms, and about 70 new teaching labs and faculty/student research spaces. This 21st century integrated science center will be located on the Great Lawn, opposite the David Student Union. One million dollars in state funding has allowed our faculty, led by Faculty Senate President Dr. Gary Whiting, to work with the administration and our architectural and engineering team to design an $81 million facility. Governor Kaine has included funding for this significant project in his proposed General Obligation Bond for higher education.

The expansion of the Robert L. Freeman Sports and Convocation Center is also being designed. It is estimated that this building will include 70,000 square feet (6,500 m2) of new construction to include doubling the size of the Trieshmann Health and Fitness Pavilion, providing offices for the Department of Counseling Services and University Health Services, adding an auxiliary gymnasium and constructing a replacement to Gaines Theater with a new, 400 seat auditorium and an array of meeting rooms for student activities. Construction will begin in the next academic year and will be completed summer 2010.

Several years ago, the former Rector of CNU, Dr. Chip Trieshmann, committed $100,000 toward the establishment of a university chapel. The construction of a chapel is several years away and private funds must be raised to build this facility.

A new residential village is also in the very early stages of design. It is envisioned to include a series of houses joined by a colonnade and should accommodate approximately 200 students. The location for this project will be adjacent to the Freeman Center and the Administration Building next to Wise Woods. It is hoped that this new complex can be completed by fall 2010.

Student life

Greek life

Greek life at Christopher Newport has grown in the recent years to include 6 North-American Interfraternity Conference listed fraternities, 5 National Panhellenic Conference listed sororities and 3 NPHC listed Greek organizations.

NIC fraternities

NPC sororities

NPHC listed

  • Alpha Phi Omega
  • Alpha Kappa Psi, Co-ed Professional Business Fraternity
  • Alpha Psi Omega, Co-ed Honorary Theater Fraternity

Notable alumni

The Captain's Log

  • The Captain's Log is the official student newspaper of Christopher Newport University.

Campus ministries

The campus has several religious organizations. These include B'nai B'rith, Intervarsity Fellowship, Young Life, Because Christ Matters, the Baptist Student Union, Catholic campus ministry, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Lutheran Student Fellowship, and The Hampton Roads Church Student Fellowship. And while unrecognized by campus, the International Churches of Christ, has started a discipleship program that operates out of CNU.


WCNU is an online radio network supported by Christopher Newport University.[17]


  • Quarstein, John, V; Rouse, Parke S. Jr. (1996) [1996]. Finneran, Elisa F.. ed. Newport News - A Centennial History. Conner, Edward A. (1st ed.). Newport News, Virginia: City of Newport News. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 96-71877. 


External links

Coordinates: 37°03′50″N 76°29′39″W / 37.06381°N 76.49420°W / 37.06381; -76.49420


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