From the Chairman

Giving back to the community where I live and work is one of the reasons I agreed to chair CNU’s first comprehensive campaign.

I grew up in Newport News and came back home to this community after college and a brief experience outside the commonwealth. I wanted to invest my life’s work here, to be part of making Hampton Roads stronger and more vibrant — and I was proud to be a partner in the early life of Christopher Newport.

John Lawson

Then in 1996, Paul and Rosemary Trible arrived. Suddenly, CNU was on fire, a force for enormous good. Seemingly overnight, we became a thriving “college town.” In 18 short years, President Trible and the CNU community brought extraordinary growth to Newport News: the magnificent campus; the best in performing arts at the Ferguson Center; exciting Captains athletics; and incredible students who annually provide more than 60,000 service hours throughout Hampton Roads.

I proudly build facilities that improve the quality of life for my neighbors, and the CNU family is an important part of my neighborhood. Buildings without people are merely places. I believe in building community through public service and caring for people — and celebrating those who share this wonderful community we call home.

Joe Frank, longtime Newport News mayor during much of CNU’s expansion, always said, “A great city needs a great university.” Friends, we have one. CNU is not my alma mater, but in so many ways it is my school. It is our university, one whose influence stretches around the globe.

As we begin the public phase of CNU’s first comprehensive campaign, your gift to CNU is an investment in a place that makes dreams come true. Christopher Newport educates and celebrates those who believe it is their privilege and honor to leave the world in better shape than they found it. That is significance. That is community. That is worth investment. That is why I am here.

John Lawson signature

John Lawson
President and CEO
W.M. Jordan Company