Christopher Newport University, or CNU, is a liberal arts university located in Newport News, Virginia. 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 400 percent, and the students’ SAT average has increased by more than 200 points. Nearly 90 percent of CNU's faculty members hold the highest degree in their fields. The campus has been transformed by more than $400 million in capital construction. The institution is named after Christopher Newport, the leader of the expedition that brought the first English settlers to the Jamestown.
Shying away from Science and Technology and moving into the arts, the Department of Government is primarily located in Ratcliffe Hall. The department offers a Bachelors of Arts degrees in Political Science. The History department is primarily located in McMurran Hall; offering degrees in History. The English Department is also located in Ratcliff Hall. Offering a lone degree in English, the department offers several concentrations with which to complement your degree. These 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, shares Wingfield Hall with the Psychology Department. A bachelors of Arts is Philosophy is all the department offers in the way of degrees, but offers several options for a concentration. These include Critical Thinking, General Philosophy, Indic Studies, Pre-Seminary Studies and Religious Studies. Between the Psychology and Sociology & Anthropology and Socialwork Departments, they 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 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 your creation process.
CNU sports club programs include ice hockey, equestrian, cycling, lacrosse, soccer, bowling, wrestling, rugby, disc golf, dance sport, fishing, ultimate frisbee, paintball, motorsports, and taekwondo.
Basketball 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. 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. 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.
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.
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 in the ACHA Division III South Region at the end of the season.
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 Sicliari (Treasurer), and Senior Jeremey Wells. CNU FC
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. The name York River Hall can be deceiving as it is actually 2 separate buildings connected only by a decorative brick wall. These separate buildings are called York River East and York River West. On campus, they are referred to as York East and York West. The York River buildings are almost identical mirror images or each other with the major differences being differences in internal color schemes and numbering. The numbering scheme is often confusing with all of the rooms in York River West being odd numbers and all of the rooms in York River East being even numbers. Whether living in York River or Santoro, the rooms are all the same concept. Two rooms, each of which is designed to house two people, are connected by a shared bathroom.
The sophomore and upperclassmen housing includes James River Hall, Potomac River Hall, The CNU Apartments, The CNU Village, The Barclay Apartments and Warwick River. James River Hall is the second oldest residence hall on campus and sports a variety of different room types from apartments with two bedrooms each designed to house 2 people with a shared living room and bathroom to 4 bedroom apartments with three people in a single rooms and two people sharing a room while they all share a bathroom, kitchen and living room. Potomac River, opened in 2004 is usually used to house sophomore but other class levels have been placed there has well. Potomac River is designed similarly to York River with the two sides mirroring each other but the middle is left open making each side a completely separate building. These sides are named Potomac River North and Potomac River south, for their orientation on the campus. Potomac River and James River are the only two upperclassman resident halls that exist on the main campus. A majority of upperclassman make the move across Warwick Boulevard to what is viewed as more elite housing. The newer buildings such as the CNU Apartments and the CNU village feature apartments with anywhere from 2 to 4 single bedrooms connected by a common living area with full kitchen, washer and dryer. Again, the term CNU Apartments can be deceiving as it is not actually a building but 5 completely separate buildings surrounding a grassy common area known as the presidents courtyard. The buildings that make up the CNU Apartments are Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Harrison and Monroe, all named after United States Presidents who were born in Virginia. On August 4, 2006 at about 4:50 pm, a lightning bolt struck the roof of Madison hall, sparking a fire that spread through the top floor. That damage along with water damage from extinguishing efforts has caused the relocation to temporary housing of all residents of the hall. Volunteers sifted through the remains the next day to salvage student belongings. Students were provided with alternate housing for the remainder of the school year. The building re-opened for occupation at the beginning of the 2007-2008 academic year. In 2005 the new building dubbed the, "CNU Village" was opened. The "Village" runs parallel to Warwick Boulevard and the first floor is used restaurant and retail spaces while the other floors are for student housing. Among the restaurants situated on the first floor of the village is a bar/restaurant named Schooners that was opened by three local restaurateurs who wanted to fill a void in the lack of a social outlet on campus. While much of the east campus sports newer housing, there are still less modern buildings in use. These are the Barclay Apartments and Warwick River(an old hotel that the school purchased and refitted for overflow of students).
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, or the DSU as it is sometimes called, is a new, $36 million, . facility whose construction began in 2003 and opened September 9, 2006. On 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.
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 the collection in the original section, but has not acquired new volumes for the new 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.
Recently, the President's Office released a statement unveiling plans for future construction on the campus. Construction of the Lewis Archer McMurran, Jr. Hall has begun with the demolition of the old student center. The project is scheduled to be completed in time for the opening of the fall 2009 semester. This new academic building will house the departments of English, History, Communications, Sociology, Modern and Classical Languages, Philosophy and Religious Studies, Government, the offices for the Masters of Arts in Teaching program and the Dean of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In all, the building will add approximately of new teaching and learning space to the campus to include 30 state-of-the-art classrooms/seminar rooms and 120 faculty offices.
Design work on the science building is underway. This project consists of of new construction and 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 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.