On Thursday, Oct. 17, the CNU community began mourning the loss of a key founding father figure that was our “most ardent and effective supporter,” according to a statement released by Christopher Newport University the next afternoon.
His name was Alan Diamonstein who was a proud friend of President and First Lady Trible. During his time on earth, he was devoted to making the world a better place. He had a positive impact on every area of his life from his childhood to his death. From serving in the U.S. Air Force, to practicing law, to being part of the UVA Board of Visitors (appointed by Gov. Mark Warner as well as Gov. Tim Kaine), to working as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for 34 years until his retirement in 2001, he was dedicated to bettering others.
While he was in politics, he continued to make a difference through some of his legislation, eventually becoming a trusted advisor and confidant to many governors of our commonwealth from Gov. Charles Robb through the current Gov. Ralph Northam. He also played a major role in representing our commonwealth both statewide and nationally with the modern Democratic party.
In addition to all this, Diamonstein also played a huge role within the CNU community, helping to build it into to what it is today.
There is no more perfect way to end his list of incredible accomplishments but to repeat what President Trible had to say when he was writing his statement to our community: “Christopher Newport and Virginia have lost a great leader this week. Alan Diamonstein died at the age of 88 years old. We will all dearly miss Alan. He was truly one of the founding fathers of the modern Christopher Newport University. As a respected and influential member of the House of Delegates for 34 years and as a friend and enthusiastic supporter of the university, Alan’s contributions are everywhere on our beautiful campus – most especially the Alan and Beverly Diamonstein Concert Hall that so enriches the life of our community and Commonwealth.
“As much as we will miss his support and encouragement we will also miss his kind friendship. A few years ago, Alan was asked his greatest hope and he replied: ‘That people understand each other, appreciate each other and work with each other.’ In every aspect of his long and remarkable life, Alan worked tirelessly to make that wish a reality. Rosemary and I and Christopher Newport have lost a cherished friend and our world has lost a wonderful human being.”
~Josh Grimes, Staff Writer~