Apr 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Academic Catalog 
2023-2024 Academic Catalog

Student Life


Student activities are an integral part of life outside the classroom. The Hawks Nest Student Center and the Jenkins Center, are major “hubs” on campus for student activities and intramural sports.

Community Service

To complement a well-rounded education, students are strongly encouraged to get involved in any of the numerous off-campus community service opportunities. Student involvement is welcomed by the local community. The Ministers to the University coordinate many of these efforts, others are coordinated through academic departments or student organizations.

Commuter Student Services

A variety of programs are planned throughout the year to meet the unique needs of those who commute to campus each day and to assist them in becoming a part of the total campus community. The campus food service offers a special meal plan for commuting students. Commuting students are encouraged to become involved in all aspects of campus life.


Chowan University has virtual counseling services available for all students.  Use this link to access services: https://www.thevirtualcaregroup.com/chowan/.

International Student Services

The University Registrar assists international students with information related to visas, passports, and the I-20 form. The Director of International Student Services works with student issues ranging from admissions and orientation through graduation.


Student Life coordinates an extensive program of competitive and recreational intramurals which enable students, faculty, and staff to improve and maintain physical well-being; socialize in a recreational atmosphere; develop skills in a variety of sports; learn and practice good sportsmanship; relieve stress; and simply have fun!

Organizations and Clubs

There are more than fifty (50) student organizations and clubs at Chowan University with either an academic, professional, honorary and/or personal interest basis. Student organizations provide opportunities for personal enrichment, professional development, leadership development, community service, and the chance to interact with others of similar interests.


An extensive program of orientation for new students and their families is held in the spring and summer before classes begin in August. Students who participate in the program receive academic advisement and register for their first semester of classes prior to returning home for the summer. The orientation program is designed to inform students and to help them quickly feel “at home.” Residence Life floor meetings are held to acclimate students to college the first weekend students arrive. Information sessions are held for parents/guardians that allow them to meet and interact with various university officials. An abbreviated program is held for students entering in January.

Student Government Association

All students are automatically members of the Student Government Association (SGA). The SGA provides students the opportunity to participate in the operation of the university, to gain experience in democratic procedures, and to become actively involved in the planning and implementation of university-sponsored activities.


There are a number of traditions celebrated at Chowan University, some are once a year activities and others happen throughout the year. Each new academic year begins with a campus-wide worship service to dedicate the year to the Christian values of the university. Academic and Founders’ Day Convocation is a gathering of students, faculty, and staff to celebrate the beginning of the academic year and to reflect on Chowan’s past, present, and future. During the Fall Semester the greatest tradition is Homecoming that includes many activities to include a pep rally and bonfire, homecoming court and of course the annual Homecoming football game.

The story of the Chowan ghost known as the Brown Lady begins around the time of the Civil War. The woman who was a student at the time was engaged to a man who died in battle. When she received the news she either died of a broken heart or jumped to her death. In another version, the Brown Lady hails from an aristocratic farm family in Northampton County. During her sophomore year, she died of fever. Her taste in clothes ran to the earth tones, hence her name. She appears on campus, usually around Halloween, the date of her death, to test the spirit of loyalty of the students and to see if they have fallen away from the lofty ideals of Chowan. To remember her spirit, Chowan holds a Brown Lady academic bowl in her honor. The campus creative writing magazine is titled The Brown Lady. Each year, a representative from the Honors College dresses in Brown Lady garb for Halloween.

Harvest Fest is an annual event hosted by the Student Government Association in collaboration with over twenty-five student clubs and organizations. Chowan students set up booths with activities, food, and candy for local children to enjoy. This safe alternative to trick-or-treating is free to the public. Not only does it offer children a safe, fun time, it also allows them to experience a small taste of college life and interact with current students.

As the university moves into the Spring Semester attention turns increasingly toward graduation. Still, there are a number of traditional activities that take place prior to commencement. These include the Snow Ball, a semi-formal dance, and spring fling, a week of festivities marking the end of winter. With Forty-eight days remaining until graduation, Senior 48 is a party for the senior class. The annual Awards Day Convocation brings together students, faculty, and staff to reaffirm the major purpose of a university—to foster academic excellence—and to honor the achievements of the Chowan University students and faculty. A faculty member serves as the keynote speaker. On the last evening of classes, the Senior Banquet honors graduating students. Following the banquet, the candidates for graduation ring the bell to signify the end of their academic career at Chowan.

Another tradition at Chowan is the Senior Rock. Located just behind Penny Hall, the Senior Rock was requested by the Class of 2003. Officially, members of the senior class have the option to decorate it with approval from the Provost. 

In spring 2022, the students in Honors First-Year Experience researched, compiled, and created The Blue and White: Chowan’s Traditions Book.