By Tim Ryan

On August 1st, as the Rotary Club of Newport News celebrated its 107th birthday, we were honored to mark this momentous occasion with an enlightening talk by Keith Roots, Senior Associate Vice President of University Advancement at Christopher Newport University (CNU).

Roots’ presence on our special day made it even more memorable. At CNU, he plays a crucial role in managing areas such as gift planning, scholarships, and endowment fundraising. His insightful talk mainly focused on the financial status of the Royall Endowed Scholarship, a noble initiative started by our Club in 1979.

Since its inception, we’ve proudly donated over $48,000 to this endowment, directly aiding students with almost an identical sum in scholarships. The astonishing part is that nearly $80K still thrives in the endowment, continuing its mission to support students’ education.

Roots also gave us a broad overview of Royall endowment recipients, highlighting the real-world impact of our collective contributions. Their success stories remind us of the power of unity and philanthropy, central tenets of the Rotary Club.

Moving on to current developments at CNU, we learned that the university’s reputation has been shining brightly. Ranked second among public regional universities in the South and fifth among all regional universities, CNU continues to uphold its commitment to academic excellence.

In the 2023 U.S. News rankings, CNU features in several lists, including Most Innovative Schools, Best Undergraduate Business Program, Best Value Schools, Best Undergraduate Computer Science Programs, and Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs. These achievements underline the quality of education at CNU and, by extension, the significance of our endowed scholarship support.

The Rotary Club of Newport News is proud to contribute to our community in various ways, and we invite those with a passion for community service to join us. As evidenced by our partnership with CNU, our commitment to giving back creates a profound and lasting impact. If you wish to be a part of this difference, consider the Rotary Club of Newport News. Together, we can shape a brighter future.