During my sophomore year, I was working for CNU TV and pitched the idea to film a story on the newest building on campus, Christopher Newport Hall. The building in all its gold dome, marble staircase glory would make a stunning news clip. My videographer was content to take the viewer on a brief tour of the offices, but I wanted to push further. I emailed the vice president of the school, William Brauer, and asked if he would allow us access to film the fifth floor, inside the dome. To our shock and delight he agreed, and even gave us a personal tour.
Talking to him was incredible. He was kind and gentle in nature, asking my videographer and I about our personal CNU stories. He was genuinely interested in hearing our feedback about the school, and his passion about his career sparked something in me. Pride, excitement, whatever it was only grew as we climbed up a winding staircase behind a locked door on the fourth floor. We entered a white spherical room flooded with natural light. Windows panned 360 degrees, showing stretches of sunlit and campus in every direction.
In one direction was the Trible Library and if I turned my head I could see the brick and graceful white columns of the David Student Union. Farther back, I could see the academic halls surrounding the Great Lawn. It was a breathtaking panorama of everything I had come to love about the school, colorful bursts of red brick and emerald grass all bathed in light. As I tried to nonchalantly wipe away tears, muttering lamely about allergies, the vice president met my eyes and smiled kindly. “I agree,” he told me, warmth matching the sun streaming in from the windows. “I agree.”