Leadership beyond the columns

First Lady of CNU recognized for local and state-wide accomplishments 


Last Monday, the Virginia General Assembly recognized the leadership of Rosemary Trible, the first lady of Christopher Newport University. With 140 delegates on the floor, Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News presented a resolution to Rosemary Trible for her contributions to the Commonwealth. 

This recognition comes following the conclusion of her tenure as founding president of Fear 2 Freedom. An organization that is dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual assault, Fear 2 Freedom was founded in 2011, nearly 40 years after her own sexual assault. This organization has spread to 59 campuses, providing support to sexual assault victims through after-care baskets and encouraging campuses to “Be the Change.” 

“For many years Rosemary has been a foundation of strength and inspiration of both love and healing,” Yancey said. “She has dedicated her life to helping others find happiness and healing.” 

Recognition extended to her work on Governor Terence R. McAuliffe’s Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence. Established in 2014 by an executive order, the collaborative group of state leaders, health and safety experts and representatives from higher education met monthly to formulate recommendations to make Virginia higher education safe living and learning environments. They were tasked with formulating recommendations for prevention of sexual assault on campuses, supporting victims in their reporting of crimes and holding perpetrators accountable among other goals. 

In addition to her work in combating sexual violence, Rosemary Trible was recognized in the resolution for her contributions to designing CNU’s “breathtakingly beautiful campus that will continue to serve Virginia for years to come.” Rosemary Trible brought her expertise to the expansion of CNU’s campus from her work with an interior-design firm in Washington, DC during her husband’s time as state senator. 

The resolution also noted Rosemary Trible’s tradition of hugging every graduate after they receive their diploma, an action of admiration for the students accomplishments and her “appreciation for their lives and rich promise.” 

Family and friends of Rosemary Trible witnessed her recognition on the gallery of the General Assembly. For long-time friend Mari Ann Banks, this supporting Rosemary Trible at the recognition was a privilege. 

“For friends that know and love [Rosemary Trible], we always have been proud of her various reasons, but especially for her bravery and courage to come out with her story and help so many other people who have had similar experiences,” Banks said. “We are so very proud of her.” 

Del. Yancey’s presentation also spoke to his pride for Rosemary Trible’s dedication and compassion. Yancey thanked Rosemary Trible on behalf of Del. Jones and Sen. Mason, as well as the 140 General Assembly members and the over 8 million Virginians they represent. 

“Rosemary Trible offers us an example of moral leadership and courage to empower students and communities to combat sexual violence,” Yancey said. 

For CNU students, this recognition reminds them that the impact of her life’s work stretches far beyond this campus. In her own effort to “Be the Change,” she has empowered survivors across the Commonwealth and the country to stand up to sexual violence, support survivors and restore hope. 

“We want to thank you and thank your dedication and your love for everybody at their hardest moment; you are there in your triumph for them,” Yancey said in his closing remarks. “Rosemary we love you, we thank you and we say God bless you on behalf of all of those we represent.”

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