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Life as a Captain
Travis Rocha

Steeped in Tradition

by Travis Rocha

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Student Life

Christopher Newport University was founded in 1960. Originally, the college was mostly for commuting students, but as it grew in size and popularity, it became the full-fledged university it is today. Although we are a relatively young college compared to some other Virginia institutions, our educational experience here is deeply rooted in tradition.

You’ll hear all about if you take one of our famous on-campus tours with our student ambassadors. Door-holding is a big one that is emphasized. We care about each other – you’re never too busy to stop for a few seconds and hold a door for someone. It sounds obvious, but after a year and a half of going to Christopher Newport, it’s honestly strange when, off campus, someone doesn’t hold a door for me! We also have our penny and bell traditions. At freshman convocation, you receive a penny that you keep until graduation, which you then toss into a fountain. It’s symbolic of the honor code we live by each and every day as a Captain. Similarly, you ring the Christopher Newport bell after convocation and then again at graduation. These are small things, but, to us, they’re significant. They’re indicative of a higher purpose; we’re not just college students, we’re Christopher Newport students – and that’s special.

I believe the most important tradition we uphold at Christopher Newport is being a community. We’re all in this together, and Christopher Newport isn’t Christopher Newport unless we, as a student body and faculty, all give our 100 percent to one another. We hold doors, we talk in line at the dining hall, we walk to class together; basically, we’re there for each other. I’m so happy to be a part of such a loving, vibrant college and community that is so fulfilling for myself and my peers.

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