The annual Candlelight Ceremony is a solemn but celebratory occasion held the night before commencement, right after sundown, to commemorate the transition of the newest graduates to Christopher Newport alumni.

Each student will light a candle from the flame of another to symbolize the knowledge and experience passed between peers, neighbors and friends. “The candlelight ceremony celebrates the many accomplishments of our graduating seniors and marks the beginning of our journey as alumni,” says senior Samantha Gough, President of the 2014 Class Council, who will address the gathering. “My experience here has been one for the books, I have had every opportunity I could have wanted and more. It's bittersweet being at the end of this journey, but I know that this new beginning brings only more adventure and more doors to open.”

Senior Lea Schild, who was chosen from among many who submitted remarks for the occasion, will address the graduates before the president of the Christopher Newport Alumni Society, Richard Charles (’92), leads an induction ceremony, where the newest alumni will receive a commemorative pin. “I am so honored to be able to address my fellow CNU graduates, their guests, CNU alumni, and our faculty and staff.” Schild says. “I am sad to leave, but I am also excited to see what life holds for me next. CNU has given me confidence to face the world head on and I am so thankful for that.” She is reflective about the impact the University has had on her and her peers, an experience that has included not only enlightening classes but also rewarding experiences beyond the classroom, via internships and meaningful community service projects. And, running throughout, lasting friendships. “This ceremony gives us all time to think about the fact that we will always be a part of the Christopher Newport alumni community and even though we may leave, our time here will not leave us. CNU has shaped us tremendously,” says Schild.

At the conclusion of the ceremony the graduates will sing the Christopher Newport alma mater and recite the CNU Alumni Creed (printed below) before celebrating their newfound alumni status at a reception with President and Mrs. Trible.

Knowledge, truth, eternal wisdom,
Alma Mater we adore.
Your sons and daughters walk the pathway
Trod by those who came before.

With passion, loyalty, and courage,
We wave the silver and the blue.
Our Alma Mater shining brightly,
Hail, all hail, to CNU.

Arr. A. R. Forte

CNU Alumni Creed
As an alumnus of Christopher Newport,
I will represent the mission and the spirit of my alma mater.

I will take advantage of every opportunity
to speak on her behalf,
to return to campus often,
to recruit excellent students,
and to give back with my time, talent and treasure.>

I will use the experience and knowledge gained at Christopher Newport
to do work that shapes, defines and enriches the world around me.  
I will represent my alma mater with passion and loyalty,
and I will live a life of significance.

I, {state full name},
am an alumnus of Christopher Newport
and I am a Captain for Life!