President Trible’s State of the University Address 2019

– Good morning, good morning. (audience applauds) Good morning. – [Audience] Good morning. – And welcome. Today is our Founder’s Day. 58 years ago today, Christopher Newport
welcomed our first students to the John W. Daniels School, an old public school building
in downtown Newport News. So happy birthday, Christopher Newport. (audience applauds) And it’s certainly appropriate
that we would gather on this special occasion to celebrate as a university community. At the outset, I want to say thank you. I want to say thank you to each of you for all that you do every day. There are about 1,100
of us faculty and staff and everyone works so hard
and contributes mightily to our success and our significance. Today I will not name names but I want to express
my profound gratitude to each and every one of you. Now we have a new admissions video and I want everyone to see the faces and hear the voices of our students as they talk about this place and what makes this place so precious. And I want all of you to consider what we have
accomplished together. Two decades ago, we set out to build another
great university for America. And in truth, few schools, if any, have come so far so quickly. We reject the notion of
incremental progress. We’re in the business of
dramatic transformation and everything we do is done at the highest level of excellence. What sets Christopher
Newport apart is this. We care about minds and hearts. We want our students to
live lives of meaning and consequence and purpose. We want them to lead, serve, engage, love, and set the world on fire. At Christopher Newport,
we have a name for that. We call it a life of significance. (dramatic music) – [Man] We’re all Captains,
from academics to athletics. We are a community of leaders. Here, you’re encouraged to grow into the best possible
version of yourself. (calm music) – [Woman] At Christopher
Newport, students come first. The professors are always here for you. With an open-door policy,
you’re welcome to come and talk about homework,
an idea, or just life. You’re not just a spectator,
it’s a place to engage, to be involved, and build
meaningful relationships that will last the rest of your life. There’s a real sense of magic here. – [Man] At Christopher Newport, it’s not just about your life, it’s about the lives of those around you, living in a way that impacts
people in your community, your family, your friends. It’s about service to others, helping them succeed and
pushing them forward. I’ve heard somebody call it
a community of compassion, like this idea that everybody
wants to see you succeed even if they’re not in
your field of interest or field of study. It’s the people that truly
make Christopher Newport. (upbeat music) – [Man] From my first visit
here, I knew this was a place where higher academic achievement occurs. Education not only
encompasses your coursework but also the building of connections with all kinds of people,
people who will challenge you. Challenge you to grow and encourage you to explore your entire
range of possibilities. That’s the beauty of Christopher Newport. – My senior year of high school, I went on a tour in the theater department and students were yelling
“Come to CNU, come to CNU!” And I felt like I was home. I’ve met so many great
people through internships, volunteer work, and my theater department. Now my little brother goes here, we’re actually in a show together, and I’m so excited to go
through this journey with him. I couldn’t think of a better
place to be than at CNU. – [Man] It’s not just the beautiful campus or even the academic rigor, it’s the culture and community
at Christopher Newport. There’s a humble confidence
to everybody here. People are strong in their beliefs but they’re also willing
to help each other out. – [Woman] From the moment
I set foot on this campus, it was so welcoming. There was a true sense of community. You see, we all bring different
experiences to the table. We want to do different
things with our lives but the thing that we share,
that we really stand upon, is being that Captain and
leading a life of significance. (upbeat music) – This place. This opportunity. Are you ready to set the world on fire? – Well, what about it? (audience applauds) You know, never, never has there been a time in the American experience that so demands kindness and compassion. We seem to be divided over everything. The divides used to be simple. Coke or Pepsi. Ford or Chevy. Paper or plastic. Alabama or Auburn. Ohio State or Michigan. Now it seems the divisions
are deeper and more personal. We see it in politics but we also see it in most every aspect of our life. What we buy, what we watch, what we say, even the choice of our friends. Here at Christopher Newport,
we have strong opinions. We differ on many things and in many ways, but we differ without a divide. And there’s a reason for that. Our students in the video said it best. Hear the words of Will
Gibson, and I quote, “It’s not just a beautiful campus “or even the academic rigor, “it’s the culture in the
community at Christopher Newport. “There’s a humble
confidence in everyone here. “People are strong in their beliefs “but they’re willing to help each other.” End of quote. And the words spoken by Sam Radecki. “At Christopher Newport,” he said, “it’s not just about your life. “It’s about the lives of those around you, “living in a way that impacts
people in your community, “your family, your friends. “It’s about service to others, “helping them succeed
and pushing them forward. “I’ve heard someone call it
a community of compassion. “It’s the people who truly
make Christopher Newport.” End of quote. We’re all captains. A community of leadership. A humble confidence. The willingness to help and serve others, to push people forward
and help them succeed. A culture of kindness, a community of compassion. These virtues are the foundation
of this great University and they’re so desperately
needed in America today. And they’re not spontaneously apprehended. They must be taught by
each of us every day, in the classroom and the
lessons that we teach and in the way we live our lives, and it requires leadership. That’s why here we’re passionate
about minds and hearts. We believe real success
is a life well-lived. We want our students to choose
to live lives of meaning, consequence, and purpose. And of course we have a name for that. We call that a life of significance. In a world that seems so
often to be consumed by self, by money, fame, power, and even darkness, our mission to inspire leadership and lives of significance
is more important than ever. And that mission influences
everything that we’ve done and everything that we
will do going forward. Because we care about minds and hearts and lives of significance,
we cherish our curriculum of the liberal arts and sciences. We study and emphasize
leadership and developed a nationally respected
President’s Leadership Program. Our core curriculum is rigorous, cited by the American Council
of Trustees and Alumni as the most rigorous core curriculum of any public college or
university in America. Our students perform thousands of hours of community service. We cherish our speaking
tradition, our honor code, and we built a chapel. We want our students to lead
and serve and love and engage. And as you have heard me say
often, set the world on fire. That’s what makes
Christopher Newport special and that’s what makes Christopher Newport an irresistible force. We have much to celebrate. Our applications have exploded. This year we received
over 7,500 applications. Our goal is a freshman class of 1,225. Today we have 1,237 freshmen. The President’s Leadership
Program welcomed its largest class ever with 435 students. We’ve come a long way
since that first class of 20 students in 1998. The program attracts
our strongest students and has allowed us to
create a marvelous culture of caring and honor and
leadership on this campus. The quality of our students has soared. Listen to this. The average high school GPA
of our freshman class is 3.84. That means almost half of
the entire freshman class earned a high school GPA of more than 4.0. You know, in the old days,
you couldn’t exceed perfect. But in this world, you can. Our students on average and our SAT score critical
reading and math exceeding 1,200. What else? We will continue to add
full-time faculty each year, not to get bigger but to drive
down the size of our classes and increase student success. This year, 61% of our classes
have 19 students or less. That’s smaller than the
classes in the high schools that our students had
before they came here. There are only 29 classes on this campus larger than 50 students. Unlike so many of our sister institutions, at Christopher Newport there
are absolutely no classes with hundreds and hundreds of students. And no teaching assistants. We have real professors
engaging high ability students in small classes. Two decades ago, we had to make it up. Remember, Jay Paul, you were there. We had to make it up. All we could do was paint word pictures. But now the reality of the
excellence of this place is seen and honored throughout the land. Princeton Review, Kiplinger’s, Forbes, US News and World Report have all praised Christopher Newport. Recently US News released
the 2020 rankings. Among the nearly 200
Southern Regional schools, we now stand third among the
public’s and sixth overall. Let me show you how quickly
we moved up the ranks of the best schools in the south. And the south by US News
and World Report is defined as everything from Virginia to Texas. Look at this. This shows where we were
ranked in 2012 through 2020. Look at that progress. Look how far we’ve come in
such a short period of time. It is absolutely remarkable. Most importantly, our
students love this school and bring our campus
alive with their energy and their enthusiasm and their intellect. In the just-released rankings
from Princeton Review, Christopher Newport is ranked as one of the nation’s best 385 colleges and one of the nation’s best values. We’re also ranked among the
nation’s top 20 universities in these categories. In the best college dorms, in the best quality of life, and the happiest students, the most beautiful campus, the best run college, and students most engaged
in community service. Think about that. It is extraordinary. There are thousands and thousands of colleges and universities in America and we rank among the 20
best schools in the country in the quality of life on this campus and having the happiest students and creating the most beautiful campus and leading and serving
the best run college and students most engaged
in community service. All of those rankings
delight us and cheer us but we’re especially
proud of our recognition for community service because service is one of our core values. Now while CNU has made monumental strides in a very short period of time, these achievements represent
only the beginning. We will continue to recruit
the very best faculty, seek the very best students, and create an exceptional experience, emphasizing leadership in
honor and civic engagement. Last fall, we celebrated the completion of the Trible Library, a project that spanned nearly two decades and two phases of construction. A total of 165,000 square feet. The library is open 24 hours
a day, seven days a week. It provides 1,100 seats for our students, a magnificent two-story reading room, and our collection is now
approaching one million holdings. After the classes in
the morning of each day, that library is filled with students. I invite you at any hour to walk into that magnificent
two-story reading room and you will see students everywhere. Students working at every desk. And there’s not a word spoken. There’s absolute silence, which reflects, I believe,
the rigor of our studies, the high expectations that our
students place on themselves, and a reverence for these marvelous spaces that we’ve created. We have done it on purpose. We are unapologetic
about building buildings of civic proportions and
beautiful architecture. Our job is to instruct and inspire and there’s nothing that
does that more powerfully than great art and great architecture. Construction began in February
on the Fine Arts Center. It will be completed by spring 2021. Soon the Ferguson Center and the new Fine Arts Center
will stand side by side and will be connected by an extension of I.M. Pei’s dramatic colonnade. The Fine Arts Center
will bring an explosion of color and creativity to our campus and will contribute powerfully to the cultural and economic success of our community and Commonwealth. Let me show you some pictures. This is the entrance to
the new Fine Arts Center, a free-standing building
that stands side by side with this building but connected
by the I.M. Pei colonnade. Just as there is on the
far end a dramatic tower, glass tower that stands 11 stories high, here there also be a
magnificent glass structure, which will represent I think
to the person when they see it as billowing sails. This is a combination of architecture. Across the face, it’s the architecture of I.M. Pei and Henry Cobb. On this side, it should be neo-Georgian, representing and facing
the rest of the campus. So as you come around the corner, this is what the building will look like. We are going to build a new
administration building. It’s going to be on the
site of the old post office, between the post office and
the CNU SunTrust building, Christopher Newport North. And here are pictures of that building from four different perspectives. As you will see, it will
reflect the architecture of Christopher Newport campus and it will be a more appropriate
professional environment for our colleagues. We hope to begin construction next spring and complete that building in summer 2021. Once our colleagues have moved
into this modern new complex, we will demolish old CNU North and it’ll become a beautiful green space. Now Gosnold has a new look. (audience laughs) (audience applauds) Listen, anytime you want
to break in with applause, will you just go right ahead? It’s amazing the building
not only came down but it seemed within days, it became a beautiful green space. You know, at Christopher Newport, we don’t have the patience
to wait for grass to grow so we roll it out. (audience laughs) But let me tell you why we did that. Eventually, sooner than later we hope, that site will become the third and final phase of Forbes Hall. Forbes Hall is home to
instruction and research in the natural and behavioral sciences, including degrees in biology, chemistry, environmental science,
neuroscience, and psychology. The first two phases of
Forbes provides superb labs and instructional spaces in
support of these programs and the exploding growth
in our STEM majors. The third and final phase of Forbes Hall will provide technology-rich
instructional spaces for computer science,
computer engineering, electrical engineering,
and neuroscience programs. We’re also building a new
residence hall on East Campus across Warwick Boulevard that will house 80 of
our upper-class students. And that will be
available for our students in the next academic year. Finally, this fall we
celebrate the completion of the Jennings Family Stadium, which is a wonderful
addition to our campus. And I’m so thankful to Bruce
Jennings and his wife Laurie and to Kendall and to Kylene, Kylene who is a graduate
of Christopher Newport and who played lacrosse here. And all of our leadership donors who made this stadium a reality. We’re thrilled that our field
hockey and lacrosse programs will now have a facility that
will enhance their experience and empower their success. The Jennings Stadium,
isn’t that beautiful? That’s… (audience applauds) That turf field will be
used by all of our students, night and day, throughout the year. And this facility will
house 1,000 spectators. And there are our students
on the field hockey team that are already making the most of that. Bruce Jennings is here today. Bruce Jennings is a leader
on our Board of Visitors. He and Laurie are extraordinarily
generous in their giving and they give of themselves
as well as their treasure and helping us realize our dreams. And I wanted Bruce to be here
today and I ask him to stand. (audience applauds) You know, apropos the
Jennings Family Stadium, Christopher Newport has the most successful athletic
programs in Virginia. For the past 11 consecutive years, we’ve had the highest winning percentage in all sports of any school in Virginia. Of any school in Virginia. (audience applauds) When I roll that out at admission events, I pause for a moment and say “Eat your heart
out, Hokies and Cavaliers. “The Captains are the most successful.” In the past academic year for example, our women’s soccer team,
our men’s basketball team reached the final four in the nation. There are over 600 teams that play in the Division III of the NCAA and those two teams
reached the final four. And all seven of our teams competed in the postseason championship
rounds of the NCAA. We have 612 student athletes
and they win championships and they also go to
class and they graduate. We don’t pay them to play, they play because they thrive
on athletic competition but they also succeed
gloriously in our classrooms. In this past academic year, 204, over 1/3 of our student
athletes were named to the All Academic Team of the
Capitol Athletic Conference. Well done, well done. (audience applauds) Now let’s talk about the future. At Christopher Newport,
we have a clear sense of who we are and what we value and what we aspire to accomplish in the lives of our students, in the life of this Commonwealth and our nation and the world. And we’ve been consistent
from the very beginning. We want to get better and
better, not bigger and bigger. For us, 5,000 students is the right size. We focus on the liberal arts and sciences and the undergraduate experience. That’s what we’re all about. We emphasize great
teaching and small classes and lots of personal attention. Today we have 287 full-time faculty and will soon reach our goal of 300. That’s the number we’ve
long believed is essential to attaining and sustaining
academic excellence. With more faculty, we’re able
to also enhance study abroad, undergraduate research,
internships, and service. These are the kinds of
experiences that enrich the study of the liberal arts and sciences and that form good citizens and leaders. We’ve all worked so hard to
increase student success. For us, that means improving
retention and graduation rates and reducing the time to graduate. Listen to this. Our freshman to sophomore
retention rate has increased by 13 percentage points
in the last 14 years. And over the last three
years, it has averaged 87%. That puts us among the most
successful schools in America. Our four-year graduation rate, yes. (audience applauds) And everyone here, everyone here is responsible
for this kind of success. The beauty of our campus, the extraordinary condition
of our facilities, the greeting of people
that cross our path, the extraordinary
instruction in the classroom, and the availability of
our faculty to encourage, to be there for our students,
to go the extra mile. Each of us and each of you have played an all important role in that. Our four-year graduation rate
has now increased to 66%. Our six-year graduation rate, 78%. And we are approaching the 80%
graduation rate in six years that has been our goal. But we now have today, one of the highest
four-year graduation rates among all the public four-year colleges and universities in America. Many of you probably
saw recently the article in The Chronicle of Higher Education that listed the colleges with the best four-year
graduation rates in 2017. Let me show you this slide. Christopher Newport
now stands at number 15 out of 105 highly residential colleges. It’s a pretty extraordinary list. Number 15. Two decades ago, our
graduation rate was 9%. Today we stand in the ranks of the finest schools in America. Well done, well done, well done. (audience applauds) We’re also committed to recruiting more
underrepresented students. This is challenging for us because we’re competing for students with the very best schools,
schools that are much older, and schools that possess huge endowments. Let me talk about two important programs, Community Captains and
Captains Connection. Community Captains grants
provisional admission to 75 Newport News High
School sophomores each year. The program is open to 10th graders if they will be first-generation
college students, the first students in their
family to ever go to college, and if they qualify for
free or reduced lunch. To be eligible, these students
must have a high school GPA of at least 3.4 or a PSAT
score of at least 1,150. Now during their junior and
senior high school years, these Community Captains
will come to campus often, we’ll offer an array of
learning opportunities for them, and they’ll be paired with
Christopher Newport students who will act as mentors. As high school seniors, they’ll be able to take a
statistics class for free and earn college credit. College credit that we hope that they will bring
to Christopher Newport, but they can take that credit anywhere. If they maintain a 3.4 GPA, if they fully participate in the program and honor its requirements, they’ll be offered final
acceptance to the University. Now most of these students will qualify for federal assistance, the Pell Grant, and Virginia assistance through the Virginia
Guaranteed Assistance Program. And that will reduce the cost
of their annual education at Christopher Newport to $4,000 if they live at home
and commute to campus. But we and our partners, the Newport News Public
Schools and Achievable Dream, want these students to live on campus and be fully engaged in
the life of this community. That increases the cost to $10,000 a year. So we’ve launched to create a Community
Captain fundraising campaign to help offset the cost
of tuition and fees and room for these students. Christopher Newport will
provide the board, the meals. The response has been
overwhelming positive but the needs are great. But imagine. If we could raise $10,000, these young people will
have the opportunity to attend one of the
finest schools in America for free each year. And what’s so important to me is this. Not only will be enriching
lives, transforming lives, empowering lives, but we’ll
be doing it in this community. And if these young people choose to come and become one of us, a Captain, and spend four years on this campus, I believe they will choose
to remain in this community. And this community desperately needs these extraordinary young people to be good citizens and leaders, to remain in this community. The first class of Community
Captains, all 10th graders, were selected this past spring. They are now beginning their
junior year in high school. We hope that they will become Christopher Newport
freshmen Captains in 2021 and graduate four years later in 2025. We will do everything in our power to help these students
learn, flourish, and grow, while at the same time
we will deepen the bonds between this university and
the city that we call home. I hope that you will help. Let me tell you about Captains Connection. This past spring, Christopher Newport and Thomas Nelson launched
Captains Connection, a very innovative program
to increase the number of job ready graduates in
those high demand fields of technology and engineering. Thomas Nelson students
will have earlier access to Christopher Newport, reducing
the time it will take them to earn a degree in computer engineering, computer science, and information science, and cybersecurity. This program will save
students time and money, promote access and opportunity for hard-working well-qualified
Peninsula students. We’re excited about
strengthening our partnership with Thomas Nelson and
preparing more students with skills that are absolutely
critical to our economy, to our economic well-being. Under the terms of the agreement, students can come to
Christopher Newport early, they can begin their progress toward that baccalaureate degree, and at the same time earn
their associate’s degree at Thomas Nelson by transferring credits back to Thomas Nelson. These students will be
offered academic career and financial aid advising by us and access to all athletic events and renewable $5,000 scholarships to encourage them to come to our campus. How we doing? You still with me? Let’s talk for a moment about STEM. Building on our strength
in the STEM disciplines with over 1/3 of our students now majoring and graduating with a STEM degree, we will be expanding our offerings in science, technology,
engineering, and mathematics. This year, we’ve expanded our
faculty in computer science to meet the increasing demands
of our students and Virginia. We expect to produce over
500 additional degrees in computer science and
computer engineering over the next 20 years. Just recently, our electrical
engineering program was accredited by ABET, the Accreditation Board for
Engineering and Technology. This is a remarkable accomplishment for a program that started in August 2014 with three students. We now have 65 students majoring
in electrical engineering at Christopher Newport University. (audience applauds) This year, we’re introducing
a new major in cybersecurity which will be housed in
the Department of Physics, Computer Science, and Engineering. This major will have a strong
grounding in computer science and information science and will focus on the
protection of computing systems, hardware, software, data, protecting them from digital attacks. We’re also introducing a
new minor in Data Science that will be available to all majors and prepare students for
handling the analysis and the interpretation of large data sets. Finally, spurred by the
arrival of Amazon to Virginia and the Tech Talent Initiative, Christopher Newport and Virginia
Tech have agreed to partner and develop a four plus
one master’s degree in computer science and
computer engineering. Students will be able to
spend four years here. Because we have a master’s
program in these fields, they’ll be able to take
some of the courses here. They go to Northern Virginia to this new billion-dollar
complex that is envisioned and will be soon created to
house the master’s program. And in just a year more, they
will be able to graduate. In five years, earning
a baccalaureate degree and a master’s degree in computer science and computer engineering. We should also celebrate
the remarkable success of the Luter School and our
faculty and students there. The influential business
publication Poets and Quants ranked the Luter School among the top 50 undergraduate
business programs in America. The top 50! (audience applauds) But that’s just the beginning. Listen to this. This spring, Luter’s
182 graduating seniors all took what’s known
as the Major Field Test. Every soon to graduate seniors. We didn’t cherry-pick the
best, they all took the test. This is a national annual exam which measures student learning. It’s taken by over
100,000 graduating seniors from 515 institutions. Our students, CNU Captains,
scored in the 99th percentile, the top 1% of the nation. (audience applauds) These kind of achievements underscore that the quality of instruction, the rigor of our programs, and of course the intellectual
firepower of our students. Listen to this. Students from the Luter
School of Business also won the 2019 Bloomberg Trading Challenge, a national competition that
tested the investment skills of 266 teams from 81 universities, including both graduate
and undergraduate teams. Our students bested teams
from Princeton, from Columbia, and from the full sweep of
the most revered institutions, public and private, in America. And our students won the final competition at Bloomberg’s headquarters
in New York City. (audience applauds) Finally, a new master’s
in financial analysis has been approved to
begin in the fall of 2020 and students are already signing up and already sending their money. It’s a marvelous happening. I also want to offer my congratulations to Christopher Newport’s
Leadership Studies Program. This past summer, our Leadership Program, our Leadership Studies
Program was recognized as the most outstanding program in America by the Association of
Leadership Educators. The most outstanding,
the best, number one. (audience applauds) I also want to applaud and thank our remarkable music program for an extraordinary
performance of our students and faculty at the musical showcase this past weekend, family weekend, and our amazing marching
band that brings so much life and energy, spirit to our campus. Thank you, thank you, thank you. (audience applauds) From cybersecurity to
Captain’s Connection, from academics to athletics to the arts, Christopher Newport is
offering inspiring leadership. Inspiring leadership. Those are the good words
of our friend Judy Wason. Judy serves on our Board of Visitors. Judy and Harry established the Wason Center for Public Policy. Today I’m announcing a major
new two-year initiative that we will call Inspiring Leadership. Thank you, Judy Wason. (audience applauds) Our purpose is to expand
Christopher Newport’s reach and reputation, more powerfully and persuasively share
who we are, our vision, our values, what it means to
lead a life of significance. And we need your support
and your help to succeed. The time is right. On September 18, 2021,
two years from this day, Christopher Newport will be 60 years old. You know, in our 30s and 40s and 50s, we aspired to make our
mark, to influence others. Now as we approach 60,
we have living proof of our success and significance through the lives and good
works of over 25,000 alumni. You see, inspiring
leadership is a proof point that what we say we are and our alumni are actually
living lives of significance, of meaning and consequence and purpose. So here is what I’m asking you to do. First, help us tell the story. We will find and share
stories of our alumni who are leading good
lives, making a difference, making their communities and
this world a better place. These stories will be told by us and also by well-known and respected people and organizations. Those stories will be shared broadly to reach as wide an audience as possible, including those who are unfamiliar with us and with the impact and
excellence of this university and our graduates. Let me give you an example. Maria Booker, class of
2010, was just named by Northern Virginia Magazine as one of six Northern
Virginians of the year. Maria was an English major,
a leadership student, and active in Greek life. Yes, English Department. Well done. (audience applauds) Today, Maria is the executive
director of Chance for Life, a nonprofit raising millions
for pediatric cancer research. Through targeted research and treatment, children are leaving hospice care and enjoying brighter futures because of Maria Booker and her good work. (audience applauds) That’s a life that matters. That’s the story the world should hear and there’s so many others. We need your help to tell those stories. We will all soon receive
an email with instructions on how to suggest individuals
and share stories. And we have a section
of our website dedicated to telling stories about
our amazing Captains and their lives of leadership and service. Next, we will celebrate
important milestones. Here’s a partial list of what will unfold at Christopher Newport
over the next two years. Look at that list. 30th anniversary of LifeLong Learning. There are nearly 700 people involved in the LifeLong Learning Society today. The new turf field, the Jennings
Family Stadium dedication. The naming of the President’s
Room at the Freeman Center. Thank God we will put
somebody’s name on that. That was the first building that we built and it’s taken us two decades
but we have a generous donor. 60th Charter Day, March 3, 2020. 10th anniversary of the Wason Center. New residence hall, Fine
Arts Center opening, band rehearsal hall opening, new CNU North Building opening, 60th anniversary of Christopher Newport, September 18, 2021, 20th anniversary of the Marching Captains. The Marching Captains. When we started football
about 15, 16 years ago, I pulled people together and I said if we’re gonna have a football team, we need to have a marching band and I want a marching band of over 200. The color just drained from their faces. (audience laughs) You know how many are in
the marching band today? 230 strong, the second-largest
marching band in America among Division III schools. (audience applauds) Think of how many students, graduates of this place have been a part of the marching band
experience on this campus. And we need to celebrate with
them the 20th anniversary of the Marching Captains. The first class of Community
Captains will come here in the fall of 2021. The 30th anniversary of TheaterCNU, the 30th anniversary of graduate studies, the fifth anniversary of
the Klich Alumni House, 15th anniversary of the
Center for American Studies, 20th graduating class of PLP, 25th class at PLP will
graduate September 2022. Christopher Newport College became Christopher Newport University. July 1, 2022 will be the anniversary. We would be crazy if we
didn’t seize these moments and celebrate each with joy, to generate energy among those for whom each milestone
has special meaning, but energy across this campus and throughout the
Christopher Newport community. These celebrations will
inspire a deeper appreciation for the mosaic of experiences that inspire us to lead and serve. Third, our university community, our students, our faculty,
our staff, our alumni, must continue to make a
difference and we must do more. As the stories of our graduates are told and our milestones celebrated, I believe our community’s passion for service will be affirmed and enhanced. All of us are involved in some way. So many of you already serve
beyond Christopher Newport. Coaching a Little League team,
working at a food pantry, teaching a Sunday School class. We’re engaged and serving in
so many ways in our community, our Commonwealth, our
country, and our world. So with your help, we
will record those hours so others will see our mighty impact. We will create what’s called
a social impact statement that shows just how much this Christopher Newport
family contributes. Our students in the last year completed over 100,000 hours of service. (audience applauds) Finally, we will ask for treasure. Just as we do on CNU Day, we will lift up specific
projects and programs for support with goals and timelines, while always continuing to invite everyone to support those programs
closest to their hearts. So I ask you to help us identify what those programs and projects should be and then together we will
find the financial support to empower our students and our faculty. If we do all three things, tell our stories,
celebrate our milestones, and make a difference
by serving and giving, here is what we will accomplish. Everyone will better
know the remarkable ways this university and our alumni
are inspiring leadership. New audiences of prospective students and their families, donors, employers, and thought leaders will
know what Captains do. Alumni pride and commitment will soar as we tell these remarkable stories of leadership and service. If we tell those stories,
celebrate our milestones, and make a difference with our lives, we’ll be able to honor
our 60th anniversary two years from this day
with joy and purpose. Joy. Purpose. Compassion. Leadership. Honor. Service. That is who we are. That is what makes
Christopher Newport different, distinctive, and precious, inspiring leadership for 60
years and for the future. Go Captains. (audience applauds) Have a great day and thank you again. I have been so richly blessed in my life with extraordinary opportunities but I’ve never enjoyed anything more and I have never been
about a more important task than leading and serving with each of you in creating a great university for America and instructing and inspiring these extraordinary young women and men that grace this campus on living lives of meaning
and consequence and purpose and having the courage to dream, to dream about how they best
can set this world on fire. Thank you to each of you. (audience applauds)

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