CNU celebrates newest academic building


Joseph W. Luter addresses the CNU community on Tuesday afternoon.

Joseph W. Luter addresses the CNU community on Tuesday afternoon.

Joseph W. Luter III sang his praises to Christopher Newport University during the dedication of the building that was named after him on Tuesday, Oct. 1.  Held in the main lobby of the largest academic building on campus, he was joined by his wife Karen, President Paul Trible and his wife Rosemary Trible, Delegate Chris Jones and Chief executive officer of Smithfield Foods Larry Pope. After CNU Voices sang the alma mater, President Trible addressed the crowd of students, faculty and respected guests. He expressed his gratitude for the citizens of Virginia, professionals in government and the school’s friends at Smithfield Foods. Trible’s hopes for this building were high as he stated, “Companies will come and go, but this university and this site will be here for generations to come.” The building, which was completed in May 2013, is 136,000 square feet and cost $55 million. Not only does it house the school of business but also the departments of economics, communications, finance, marketing and many others as well as 135 professional offices, 13 classrooms, seven computer rooms, a lecture hall and a trading room.

Delegate Jones spoke of the Smithfield name and how the company has contributed to helping educate the leaders of tomorrow. He then introduced Pope, whose contributions aided in the creation of the Chapel which was completed in the spring of 2013. Pope summarized the life of Joseph W. Luter III and told the story of his journey through the business world after graduating from the business school at Wake Forest. Pope described Luter as a man of his word and pointed out how influential Luter has been and will continue to be in the lives of many through both his story and his donations to scholarships and to CNU.

Finally, the crowd applauded for Luter to speak. Luter stated that he was amazed with the sense of community at CNU and claimed that he felt something special has been created here, “Harvard cannot duplicate the atmosphere that is here.” His hopes for this building were that it did what was intended: create vision and help students achieve their aspirations.

Trible called Luter a man of great dreams, vision, passion, and compassion. He said the hope for the Joseph W. Luter building is that it will help others become very much like him.

According to the President’s Oct. 3 report to the Board of Visitors, Luter Business students are ranked in the top 10% of the nation in the Major Field Test, a comprehensive nationwide assessment that evaluates students’ abilities in their field of study. Approximately 130 students are accepted into the Luter School of Business each year.