Welcome Class of 2026

Freshmen Enjoy Welcome Week and CNU Traditions


CNU’s newest Captains, the class of 2026, kicked off the Fall semester with Welcome Week before the start of classes. First-year students participated in many CNU traditions that, due to the pandemic, had been limited or canceled in recent years. 

For move-in weekend, volunteer students demonstrated the value of Captain’s helping Captains by assisting students and their families in the unloading and move-in process. 

 Welcome Week is a time just for first-year students to familiarize themselves with campus life before the upperclassmen move-in and classes begin. Freshmen had time to socialize and get to know their peers. In addition, students met in groups with their Crew Leaders from orientation.They attended various presentations meant to help them adjust to campus life with tips and advice for new college students.

Reflecting on her Welcome Week experience, freshman Lauren Wilson said, “It exceeded my expectations! I was able to get closer to people I met at orientation and I made many new friends. I was also able to learn more about the resources available to me at CNU.”

Freshmen received a warm welcome from Chancellor Paul Trible in the Diamonstein Concert Hall before taking part in CNU Engage Day One of Service. Service is one of the university’s core values and Day One of Service marks the first of many in CNU students’ life-long commitment to making meaningful contributions to the surrounding community through volunteer work. 

Josie Brumfield, a freshman, said, “I really enjoyed the first day of service that they did. I liked being able to see the different ways that people can get connected in the community and I think it’s super cool that CNU has that opportunity for students.”

Students went to their assigned service jobs in places throughout Newport News. For example, some CNU students helped set up classrooms and make decor for a local middle school, while others volunteered at The Noland Trail.

The class of 2026 also participated in one of CNU’s biggest traditions, Honors Convocation. Students dressed up in their business attire and gathered in the Diamonstein with faculty members. Everyone read and signed the honor code, and then received their lucky penny, signifying their commitment to being a student of honor and integrity. 

When asked what convocation meant to her, Brumfield said, “I think it meant a lot to be able to actually sign my name with a bunch of other students and get my little lucky penny. And I really liked that they had Trible speak because I know that he’s not the president anymore, but he’s been such a huge part of the university that it’s cool to hear him talk.” 

In addition, CNU hosted an outdoor picnic on The Great Lawn for freshmen to socialize with each other and get to know some of the professors and faculty members. During the picnic, freshmen excitedly lined up to carry out the tradition of ringing the bell in the clock tower.

“Ringing the bell afterwards was huge because it really made me feel like I was a freshman. I know it’s just ringing a bell, but… it symbolized the start of everything to come at CNU,” said Brumfield.

 CNU Captains only have the opportunity to ring the bell twice in their time as students, once as freshmen during Welcome Week and again years later as CNU graduates.

First-year students also have Freshman Desserts to look forward to this week. The Freshman Desserts events are a favorite amongst many CNU students in which they are invited to the home of Paul and Rosemary Trible for an evening of desserts and a chance to formally meet various members of the administration, such as Dean Kevin Hughes and Provost Quentin Kidd.