Chowan University Hawks president big supporter of teams and CIAA
Published 3:03 pm Thursday, March 5, 2015
By Almeta Davis/Contributing Writer
What better supporter and cheerleader could a team have than to have the president of their university at courtside pulling for them? The Chowan University Lady Hawks and the Men’s team were competing in the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Chowan President Dr. M. Christopher White was spotted at courtside during both teams games.
Chowan University is a four-year co-educational institution. It is the second oldest of North Carolina’s seven Baptist Colleges. Chowan opened its doors in 1848 as a four-year college for women as Chowan Baptist Female Institute. It was renamed Chowan College in 1910, admitted male students in 1931 and established itself as one of the leading junior colleges in the South in 1937. In 1992, the college returned to four-year status when it admitted a junior class. In April of 2006, Chowan’s President Dr. M. Christopher White, who has been at the helm for the past 12 years, announced changing of the institution’s name from Chowan College to Chowan University.
White is excited about the growth in the student population and being part of the CIAA conference. “This is the sixth full year that Chowan University has been a member of the CIAA. It was amazing to be asked to join the CIAA,” he said. “This is the first time in American history that a traditional white school has been asked to join a black conference. Our time with the CIAA has been absolutely wonderful. This is a first-class conference that has been around for over 100 years. The tournament is just the highlight of it, and we have done everything except win this tournament.”
Although other Chowan teams have won championships, tennis, volleyball and baseball in the CIAA, Dr. White added that they would like to win it in basketball, as well. Sadly for this year, the Lady Hawks went down in defeat in the first round of play on Tuesday, Feb. 24 to the Lady Rams of Winston-Salem University 73-58. As for the Men’s team, they were successful in winning their first round game 65-60 against the Falcons of St. Augustine University on Wednesday, Feb. 25, but after advancing to the quarterfinals, the Hawks suffered a 87-64 loss to the Bulldogs of Bowie State University.
White feels that Chowan is improving. He places strong emphases on the fact that the school has the student athletes and the coaching staff to do it. It’s a big stage he added and it is hard to win on it.
“Years ago the university was a Division III school with no scholarships to offer student athletes,” White said. “More money is being offered to get top athletes to come to Chowan.”
The CIAA provides Chowan with $150,000 in scholarship funds.
“The scholarship funding has been very helpful in attracting top students to our athletic programs, these students who are doing well academically and graduating because of the requirements set by the NCAA,” White said. “Overall Chowan is appealing to a wider range of students and the university has so much to offer them.
“Additionally we are very pleased with the new Commissioner of the CIAA Jacqie McWilliams. She is full of energy and ideas and knows a lot about the NCAA. The future looks very bright for this conference and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”