Christopher Newport UniversityMarch 2012  
In This Issue
Commencement Speaker
2011-12 Rankings
Athletics Roundup
Hall of Fame Class of 2012
Choir Performs Across Europe
Linguistics Minor
A True CNU Family
Lincoln Conference
Month in Photos
Ask the President

CNU is a work in progress, and we strive for excellence in all we do.


I welcome your advice, suggestions and questions. Let me know how we can do better or where we fall short of expectations. 

Email your advice and questions to: 


I will include some of your questions and answers in my future messages.  

Important Spring 2012 Dates

April 26-May 1
Final Exams

May 12 Commencement
on the Great Lawn
50th Anniversary Sponsors
Smithfield Logo

TowneBank Logo
WM Jordan Logo

US News Logo #1
US News Logo #2 
US News Logo #3
princetown review seal

I hope everyone has returned from spring break relaxed and re-energized to continue doing great things at CNU. There are many new and exciting developments to share, each a testament to the inspiration and accomplishment of our campus family. 

Gov. McDonnell to Address Class of 2012

Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell will speak at CNU's commencement exercises on Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. This year we will hold the ceremony on the magnificent Great Lawn. Students will hear from the sitting governor as they receive their degrees and complete their academic journey.

Commencement is an exciting and heartfelt time on campus, when we welcome our extended family to celebrate the students' momentous achievements. An entire week of activities is planned to showcase the successes of our graduates. Visit us online for more information and a complete schedule.
Christopher Newport Rankings 2011-2012
Kiplinger's Best Values in Public Colleges
  • CNU is ranked in the top 100 public institutions by Kiplinger's Best Values in Public Colleges. Kiplinger's ratings are based on a combination of academics and affordability. Institutions ranked in Kiplinger's Top 100 Best Values in Public Colleges 2012 are praised for their ability to "deliver a great education at prices that put private schools to shame."
U.S. News and World Report
  • U.S. News and World Report has selected Christopher Newport as one of America's "up and coming schools to watch" for making the "most promising and innovative changes in academics, faculty, student life, campus and facilities." CNU was awarded the following rankings:
    • No. 26 in Regional Universities in the South
    • No. 6 in Up-and-Coming Schools in the South
    • No. 9 in Top Public Schools in the South
Princeton Review
The Best 376 Colleges: 2012 Edition
  • CNU is listed as one of the nation's best institutions for undergraduate education. Only 15% of the colleges in the nation are accorded this distinction.
The Best Value Colleges for 2012
  • The Princeton Review selected 75 public schools and 75 private colleges based on campus culture, facilities, academics, the cost of attending and how much financial aid is provided to students. Only 150 schools in America -- just 5 percent -- are named as a Best Value.

The Princeton Review profile of CNU reads: "There's a palpable excitement for this relatively new school. The teachers take a personal interest in their students and there are many opportunities for students to take the lead on projects, shape their education and become campus and community leaders. Much like the academic buildings, the residence halls and campus are called breathtaking." CNU is also described as having a wonderful sense of community and a family-like atmosphere.


Forbes Magazine
  • Forbes named Christopher Newport one of the top 20 colleges for minorities in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Forbes ranked CNU fourth, calling it one of the institutions "getting it right" -- ahead of MIT and many other great schools.
Captain Crowned National Champion
Junior Richard Roethel is the 2012 NCAA Division III national champion in the heptathlon and was named the national Men's Field Athlete of the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.

Roethel won five of the seven heptathlon events, set personal best marks in the 60-meter dash and high jump, and won All-American honors for the fifth time.

CNU's track and field has enjoyed a remarkable season, winning the Mason-Dixon championship and adding 50 personal-best marks to the record books.

Other Recent Captains Triumphs

Men's basketball won the USA South Conference championship for the 14th time in our history and advanced to the NCAA tournament. It is the first title for coach John Krikorian in only his second year at the helm. bbal champsThe Captains were superlative this year, posting a 12-0 record in the conference, and a 23-5 mark overall, the second most wins in history. Senior Conley Taylor was named USA South Player of the Year, and ends a stellar CNU career with more than 1,800 points.


hockey champThe CNU hockey club won the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference Colonial Division this year for the first time in team history, defeating two-time champs Loyola University Maryland in a thrilling overtime performance to bring home the trophy. Captains forward Bryce Evason earned All-Colonial honors.

Hall of Fame Inductees
2012 HOF
Left to right: Shadi Abi-Saab ('01), Happy Darcus ('05), Jeremy Elliott ('03), Aimee Gibbs ('04), Michelle Kass-Prewitt ('05), Chris Phaup ('03)

Six of Christopher Newport's past champions were inducted into the CNU Athletics Hall of Fame at a recent ceremony held in The Freeman Center. Here are this year's honorees:

  • Chris Phaup and Jeremy Elliott led the baseball team to consecutive NCAA World Series appearances. Phaup is CNU's career leader in slugging percentage and batting average and is second in home runs. Elliott is the single-season record holder for stolen bases and ranks third all-time in career batting average.
  • Michelle Kass-Prewitt, a standout pitcher for CNU softball, is the all-time strikeout leader and ranks second in career earned-run average.
  • Shadi Abi-Saab ranks among the top 10 in career goals, points and assists in men's soccer. He was a key contributor to CNU's 18-3-1 record and first NCAA elite eight appearance.
  • Happy Darcus was a 10-time All-American in track and field. She was No. 2 in the nation at the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 55 meters, and was a three-time Mason-Dixon Conference Champion.
  • Aimee Gibbs ran cross country for the Captains and was a four-time NCAA National Championship qualifier. She holds CNU's fastest 5K time at 18:22.
Music Groups Tour Europe


chamber choir
Photo by Paul Vanden Abeele

The CNU Chamber Choir and String Quartet just returned from a triumphant 10-day concert tour of Europe, where our students performed and studied with local artists in Germany, Belgium and France. 


Highlights of the tour included performances at the D-Day Memorial in Normandy and Madeleine Church in Paris. 


The Chamber Choir and String Quartet also performed at the Basilica of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Belgium (pictured), and the Bayeux Cathedral in Normandy. In Germany, the group worked with professional conductor and Bach specialist Ron-Dirk Entleutner in a joint performance with the VokalEnsemble, a student vocal group from the University of Koblenz.


At CNU we're pleased to offer so many occasions for foreign study and performance. Our students expand their worlds with countless opportunities for academic and cultural enrichment.

New Linguistics Minor

Beginning in fall 2012, CNU students will be able to enroll in a new linguistics minor. Linguistics, the scientific study of language, is a rich field of inquiry within the liberal arts. The minor will deepen students' critical thinking and analytical skills and has application in a wide range of professions, from computer science and speech therapy to sociology and anthropology. 


This interdisciplinary program is open to students in all majors and will be housed in the English department under the direction of Dr. Rebecca Wheeler. It will include coursework in English and foreign languages. Classes in computer science, philosophy and psychology round out the curriculum.

The new minor is a great opportunity for CNU students to immerse themselves in an important field that will make them better citizens of the world and prepare them for success.


One Family's CNU Legacy
In recent years CNU has welcomed an increasing number of brothers and sisters, as well as sons and daughters. David and Lisa Mann have entrusted us with three such students.
Nolan Mann has just been admitted to CNU and will play soccer for the Captains. His brother, Tommy, will graduate in May and sister, Amelia, is in her junior year. 
mann kids
 Three siblings, three Captains for life!  
CAS Lincoln Conference
CAS Lincoln conf.

Christopher Newport's Center for American Studies recently hosted a conference on "Lincoln, the Constitution and the Nation at War." The center is a burgeoning force in the academic world, hosting programs and speakers throughout the year. More than 750 students, faculty and members of the community were in attendance at the Lincoln events. 


The conference included a panel showcasing the outstanding work of five CNU students whose papers were chosen for inclusion by a jury of CNU professors: Franklyn Baxter ('12), Benjamin Coffman ('14), Emily Darugar ('14), Caitlin Jeffery ('14) and Kelly Willett ('14).


Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mark Neely offered commentary on their papers, and each student received a $250 award.


The Center for American Studies continues to excel in educating our students and community about our history and important issues facing our nation.
The Month in Photos
To share our campus spirit with you, each newsletter will include a link to a photo gallery featuring images of exciting events from the past month. Enjoy!