Paul Trible

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Paul Trible
5th President of
Christopher Newport University
In office
January 1, 1996 – August 1, 2022[1]
Preceded byAnthony Santoro
Succeeded byAdelia Thompson (interim)
United States Senator
from Virginia
In office
January 3, 1983 – January 3, 1989[2]
Preceded byHarry F. Byrd Jr.
Succeeded byChuck Robb
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 1st district
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 1983[2]
Preceded byThomas N. Downing
Succeeded byHerbert H. Bateman
Member of the Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Training and Standards Commission
In office
Commonwealth Attorney of Essex County
In office
Personal details
Paul Seward Trible Jr.

(1946-12-29) December 29, 1946 (age 76)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
SpouseRosemary D. Trible
EducationHampden–Sydney College (BA)
Washington and Lee University (JD)

Paul Seward Trible Jr. (born December 29, 1946) is an American attorney, politician and academic administrator. Trible was the former president of Christopher Newport University until his retirement in 2021. He was a Republican politician from Virginia, who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for three terms and the U.S. Senate for one term.

Education and early career[edit]

Trible attended Hampden–Sydney College, where he a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor of Arts in history.[3] In 1971, he received a Juris Doctor degree from Washington and Lee University School of Law and was soon after admitted to the Virginia Bar. He served as a law clerk for a federal judge from 1971 to 1972, and then as an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia from 1972 to 1974.[4] Trible was later inducted as an alumnus initiate into Omicron Delta Kappa at Hampden-Sydney College in 1977.

Political career[edit]

In 1973, at age 26, Trible was elected as Commonwealth's Attorney for Essex County, Virginia, serving from 1974 to 1976.[4] He was appointed to the Virginia Law Enforcement Officers Training and Standards Commission in 1976 and at age 29 in November was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, winning reelection in 1978 and 1980.[4] In 1982, the 35-year-old Trible received the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Harry F. Byrd Jr., defeating Lieutenant Governor Dick Davis in the general election.[5] After serving in the U.S. Senate from 1983 to 1989, Trible declined to seek reelection in 1988.[6][7] During the last year of his Senate term, he served simultaneously as a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations. In 1989, Trible was the early favorite to capture the GOP nomination for governor; however, Marshall Coleman narrowly won the nomination and ultimately lost to Democrat Douglas Wilder.[8][9] In 1989, between his retirement from the Senate, and his run for governor, Trible was a teaching fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. After his political career, Trible briefly returned to practicing law with Laxalt, Washington, Perito and Dubuc of Washington, D.C., and Shuttleworth, Ruloff, Giordano and Kahle, P.C. of Virginia Beach, Virginia.


  • 1976: Elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 48.56% of the vote, defeating Robert E. Quinn (D) and Mary B. McClaine (I).
  • 1978: Re-elected with 72.06% of the vote defeating Lewis B. Puller Jr. (D).
  • 1980: Re-elected with 90.48% of the vote defeating Sharon D. Grant (I).
  • 1982: Elected to the U.S. Senate with 51.18% of the vote, defeating Richard J. Davis Jr. (D).

Christopher Newport University[edit]

On January 1, 1996, Trible became the fifth president of Christopher Newport University (CNU).[10] The 35-year-old institution had recently achieved full university status and his arrival came at a time when the school was undergoing many changes as it evolved from a college to a university.

In late 2006, CNU’s Board of Visitors announced that a new library and a merit scholarship with a $500,000 endowment would be named in honor of President Trible and his wife in recognition of their leadership and contributions to the university.[11] Trible also serves on the Council of Presidents of Virginia’s public colleges and universities, as well as Chair of the NCAA Division III President's Council.

On September 24, 2021, Trible announced his intention to complete his time as president of CNU at the end of the 2021–2022 academic year. Shortly after, it was announced that he would temporarily be succeeded by Adelia Thompson, current chief of staff at CNU, as Interim President for the 2022–2023 school year, and his successor would take office in the summer of 2023.[12] After serving as president, Trible became chancellor of CNU.[13]

Personal life[edit]

He is married to Rosemary (Dunaway) Trible and they have two children, Mary Katherine, who is married to Dr. Barrett W. R. Peters; and Paul, CEO and co-founder of Ledbury,[14] who is married to Brittany (Gordon) Trible. His father was Paul Seward Trible, the son of George Meredith and Clara (Seward) Trible. His mother was Katherine (Schilpp) Trible.



  1. ^ "President Trible Announces Retirement". 5 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Trible, Paul S. Jr. "Paul S. Trible Jr". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  3. ^ "Paul Trible '68 Walks the Talk". February 14, 2020. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c Barone, Michael (July 22, 1982). "THE VIRGINIANSPaul Trible". Washington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  5. ^ Sherwood, Tom (March 28, 1985). "Dick Davis' Happiest Hurrah". Washington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  6. ^ Pianin, Eric; Jenkins, Kent Jr. (September 20, 1987). "Trible pulls out of VA. senate race". Washington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  7. ^ "Senator Trible of Virginia Announces Retirement, Citing Frustration". The New York Times. September 20, 1987. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  8. ^ "Coleman topples Trible". June 14, 1989. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  9. ^ Baker, Donald P.; Melton, R. H. (November 8, 1989). "Wilder narrowly defeats Coleman in Virginia to become first elected black U.S. governor". Washington Post. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  10. ^ "Administration". Christopher Newport University. 2021-05-28. Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  11. ^ Forest, Angela (December 9, 2006). "Cnu library named for Tribles". Retrieved June 30, 2021.
  12. ^ "President Trible Announces Retirement - Christopher Newport University". 5 November 2021.
  13. ^ "Who We Are - Administration - Interim President Adelia Thompson, Paul S. Trible, Jr., Chancellor". Christopher Newport University. Retrieved 4 January 2023.
  14. ^ "Meet the founders". Ledbury. Retrieved June 30, 2021.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Title last held by
Ray L. Garland
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from Virginia
(Class 1)

Succeeded by
Maurice A. Dawkins
Academic offices
Preceded by President of Christopher Newport University
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 1) from Virginia
1983 – 1989
Served alongside: John Warner
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Virginia's 1st congressional district

1977 – 1983
Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Senator Order of precedence of the United States Succeeded byas Former US Senator