SJ260: Celebrating the life of Hughes Westcott Cunningham.

Celebrating the life of Hughes Westcott Cunningham.
Agreed to by the Senate, March 6, 2008
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, March 7, 2008

WHEREAS, Hughes Westcott Cunningham of Gloucester, the first president of what is now Christopher Newport University, died on July 24, 2007; and

WHEREAS, a native of New Jersey, where he attended The Pingry School, Hughes Cunningham graduated from The College of William and Mary in 1943 and joined the United States Navy, serving as commander of a patrol torpedo boat in the Southwest Pacific during World War II; and

WHEREAS, Hughes Cunningham returned to William and Mary in 1946, working as secretary to the committee on admissions and as an English instructor and taking graduate courses; in 1951, he was recalled to the Navy and served for two years in the Office of the Secretary of the Navy during the Korean War, retiring as a captain; and

WHEREAS, from 1953 to 1961, Hughes Cunningham was the dean of admissions and student aid for William and Mary, and he was asked to direct a new branch of the college, first conceived of as a junior college, in Newport News; and

WHEREAS, Hughes Cunningham guided the institution that would become Christopher Newport College, and later Christopher Newport University, through the acquisition and construction of its campus and the development of sports and academic programs, and in 1969 he was named president; and

WHEREAS, one year later, Hughes Cunningham decided to return to his high school alma mater to serve as headmaster and later president, shepherding the school through a transition to coeducation and a move to a new campus; in 1983, he rejoined William and Mary as executive vice president of the alumni association, a position he held for five years until retiring; and

WHEREAS, in addition to his career in education, Hughes Cunningham was active in his community, serving on the board of Ware Academy in Gloucester, as president of the Williamsburg Rotary Club, and as an officer of the United Way in Newport News, among other things; he was also a faithful member of Ware Episcopal Church in Gloucester; and

WHEREAS, Hughes Cunningham will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by his wife, Cecil Cary; his daughter, Ann Davis; his son, Todd Cunningham; his five grandchildren; and many other family members and friends; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the General Assembly hereby note with great sadness the loss of Hughes Westcott Cunningham, a devoted educator and a fine Virginian; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate prepare a copy of this resolution for presentation to the family of Hughes Westcott Cunningham as an expression of the General Assembly’s respect for his memory.