Campus Profile: Christopher Newport University

Eleventh in a series of articles from our visits to colleges and universities that are invited to participate in the 2018 College Film Awards.

Newport News is the site for one of Virginia’s youngest and fast-rising universities, Christopher Newport University. Named after the captain of the Susan Constant and one of the founders of the Virginia colony in 1607, CNU has established itself as the third most difficult college for student admissions in the state.

We were greeted last week by Baxter Vendrick of the CNU Alumni Office, who graciously showed off the beautiful campus. Modeled after Thomas Jefferson’s lawn at the University of Virginia, CNU boasts an “academical village” of sorts with stately brick mansions surrounding a pristine lawn – “longer than UVA’s,” Mr. Vendrick noted.

CNU began in 1957 as an offshoot campus of William and Mary and became an independent university in 1992. Today, Christopher Newport is a four-year public university that enrolls 5,000 students in rigorous and rewarding academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences. According to its website, CNU offers great teaching and small class sizes with an emphasis on leadership, civic engagement and honor.

The University also offers a film studies minor, although the course curriculum is light on film production work. We learned that CNU students have organized the “Full Sail Film Club,” which appears to be geared toward exploration of film themes rather than production of student films. We have reached out to the club to determine whether student films, including documentaries, may be available for the College Film Awards.

With its growing standing in the Commonwealth’s community of universities, we encourage Christopher Newport to participate in our growing College Film Awards event by submitting their best student films to our contest. Go Captains!

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