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The General Assembly of Virginia established Christopher Newport College as a non-residential branch college of William & Mary in 1960 to serve the citizens of the Peninsula community.

Christopher Newport College was named after Captain Christopher Newport, who led the historic voyage of the Godspeed, Discovery and Susan Constant to Jamestown in 1607. It was authorized by the Board of Visitors of William & Mary to offer a lower-level undergraduate liberal arts curriculum.

In 1969, the Board of Visitors received approval from the General Assembly to add upper-level bachelor's programs and award Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degrees. Christopher Newport College was established as a four-year baccalaureate institution independent of William & Mary in 1976. CNC's first Board of Visitors was appointed by the Governor on July 1, 1977. In 1990, the General Assembly authorized CNC to offer degrees at the master's level.

Christopher Newport College became Christopher Newport University July 1, 1992.

Material in the SCRC

  • The finding aid for the CNU records in the Special Collections Research Center.
  • Some of the publications here in the archives of particular use may be: Announcements (LD962 .C492 A56), Evening college : residence courses (LD962 .C492 E93), and Student handbook (LD961 .C72 A21).
  • Office of the President, Davis Y. Paschall. See the link to the inventory for Acc. 1982.74 under "Board of Visitors" and "Christopher Newport."
  • University Archives Greetings File Collection-1977 resolution from Christopher Newport College, July 1, 1977
  • There are of course other administrative records, such as the BOV.


Want to find out more?

To search for further material, visit the Special Collections Research Center's Search Tool List for other resources to help you find materials of interest.

Questions? Have ideas or updates for articles you'd like to see? Contact the Special Collections Research Center at or 757-221-3090.

A note about the contents of this site

This website contains the best available information from known sources at the time it was written. Unfortunately, many of the early original records of William & Mary were destroyed by fires, military occupation, and the normal effects of time. The information in this website is not complete, and it changes as we continue to research and uncover new sources.