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Vision Fulfilled 50,000 students online and on campus

NCAA champ lets his legs do the talking

LU acquires shopping center, church and more


Lette r f r o m t h e c h anc e llo r

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e have reached a milestone this semester. As I watched the closing ceremony

of the Winter Olympics in Vancover, the crowd of 60,000 in attendance seemed enormous. It was humbling and inspiring when I was reminded that Liberty University’s current student body is about the same size as the crowd in attendance in Vancouver that night. With more than 60,000 students enrolled at Liberty University in this academic year, one of my father’s dreams for Liberty University has been realized. It’s not the same original vision, though, as there was no way my father nor anyone else in the 1970s could have foreseen how the Internet would change the world and allow students to complete their college education without ever leaving home. But it is evident now, with nearly 12,000 resident students and more than 48,000 online students, that God honored the faith of my father and many longtime Liberty supporters in ways they never could have imagined and much sooner than they ever expected. As you will read in this issue, God is still honoring the faith of many here at Liberty as the enrollment climbs, the campus facilities are continually improved and the academic and spiritual impact on the lives and careers of students is unparalleled in the school’s history. As Vice Chancellor Dr. Ron Godwin said of one of Liberty’s recent acquisitions (Page 10), it’s all “providential.” The changes are dramatic each semester. Ben Stein was our 2009 Commencement speaker. He returned to LU in late February for a visit (Page 23) and commented at how much LU had changed in the less than one year since he had last visited. We do have a committed faculty and staff who are ensuring that this institution stays true to its mission, but there are just some things that — no matter how hard we may all work — can only be attributed to God’s hand at work on our campus. As I see all the growth that is taking place at Liberty, it is comforting to me to know that, unlike so many colleges that were founded as Christian institutions but now go virtually unnoticed for those roots, Liberty University has not strayed from its core principles. I hope you find it comforting, too, that as the world’s largest Christian university, we are not only producing graduates with the knowledge and skills to succeed in their careers, but also with hearts to impact their world for Christ — our original mission. Sincerely,

Jerry Falwell, Jr. Chancellor and President

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Chancellor Falwell appeared on Neal Cavuto’s “The Cost of Freedom” on FOX News on March 27 to discuss Liberty University’s lawsuit against President Obama’s health care reform law. Go to www.liberty.edu/FalwellonFOX to watch the video.

Liberty Journal is an official publication of Liberty University.

P u b li s h e r Jerry Falwell, Jr. E X E C UTIVE E d ito r Ron Brown c h i e f c o py E d ito r David Hylton C O NTRIBUTI N G E d ito r Becki Falwell MANAG I N G DESI G N ER Laura Sipple D es i gnER s Caleb Atkins AJ Chan Josh Rice Carter Wingfield Wr ite r s Mitzi Bible Eric Brown Sarah Deskins Teresa Dunham Sarah Funderburke Elizabeth Mayhew Johnnie Moore Marcelo Quarantotto Kristen Riordan P h oto g r ap h e r s Joel Coleman Les Schofer C i r c u lati o n Alisa Martin B us i n es s & A DVERTISI N G MANAG ER Steve Peterson For the advertising inquiries please call Steve Peterson at (434) 582-2731. If you would like to subscribe to the Liberty Journal for one year, please send a donation of any amount to Liberty Journal, Subscription Department, 1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24502, call (434) 592-6004 or email lj@liberty.edu. Copyright 2010 by Liberty University. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from Liberty University. All pictorial material reproduced in this book, whether in a produced ad or by itself, has been accepted on the condition that it is with the knowledge and prior consent of the photographer or the artist concerned. As such, Liberty University is not responsible for any infringement of copyright or otherwise arising out of publication thereof. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. However, Liberty University makes no warrant to the accuracy or reliability of this information. Opinions expressed in this magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.


Content S 2010 Issu e 1

f eatu r es 6

a d r eam f u lf i lle d

More than 50,000 are taking LU classes 10

p r o m i s i n g f utu r e

Acquisitions allow Liberty to keep growing h itti n g h i s str i d e

16

NCAA champ is not your ordinary runner

s ecti o n s 6

g e n e ral n ews

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Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre adds a slope and sees real snow — 20 Stu d e nt L i f e

30

Group of students spend their winter break in Israel — 32 s p i r itual L i f e

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LU has close ties to earthquake-ravaged Haiti — 37 acad e m i c L i f e

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Lori Provost gives new meaning to movement — 38 g ivi n g bac k 16

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80-year-old Philip Pou is one of LU’s most faithful supporters — 46 alu m n i

48

LU Online graduate creates Bible app for Xbox — 51 s p o rts 38

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Williams Stadium expansion project is in full swing — 54

Check out the Liberty Journal’s website with a fresh, reader-friendly look and compelling Web Exclusives at www.liberty.edu/libertyjournal.

On the C ove r

ed

lfill n Fu Visio 50,0

This is an artist’s depiction of what a stadium would look like on Liberty’s campus if all residential and online students gathered at once.

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LU ac his p lets cham king NCAA the tal legs do

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by Davi d Hylto n C o n t r i b u t i o n s by Sarah Deskins & Elizabeth Mayhew


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he late Dr. Jerry Falwell, co-founder of Liberty University, once said, “We believe that God is going to help us build the greatest Christian school in the world.” Part of that vision was having 50,000 students taking classes through LU. Today that vision has been realized. When the spring semester began in January, more than 50,000 students

were taking classes on LU’s campus in Lynchburg, Va., and throughout the U.S. through Liberty University Online. There are currently nearly 12,000 residential students and more than 48,000 online students – through early March a total of 60,195 students were enrolled making LU the largest non-profit private school in the United States.

I’m praying for the day after the turn of the century [when] we will have 50,000 students [at Liberty] … students who will train to be preachers, missionaries, evangelists … doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians. … We want to train 50,000 a year.

“Dad originally had a goal of 5,000 students,” said Chancellor and President Jerry Falwell, Jr. “Elmer Towns [Liberty co-founder and dean of the School of Religion] has often told the story about how that vision changed almost overnight when my father suddenly declared that Liberty would one day enroll 50,000 students.” In a sermon in 1985 at the old Thomas Road Baptist Church, Falwell, Sr. told the congregation about his dreams for LU. He said that it was time for America to receive a new word from the Lord. “I’m praying for the day after the turn of the century [when] we will have 50,000 students [at Liberty] … students who will train to be preachers, missionaries, evangelists … doctors, lawyers, journalists, politicians. … We want to train 50,000 a year,” he said.

Chancellor Falwell said his father revised the vision slightly over the years due to technological advances in education. “Over the last few years, we have seen online delivery methods become even more popular,” he said. Falwell said that when his father died in May 2007, his vision for LU was to enroll 25,000 online students and 25,000 residential students. Towns said that he and Dr. Falwell talked about building a big university, but “big” 40 years ago was a few thousand students. The original plan was to buy houses near the old Thomas Road Baptist Church and develop a university there. But, Towns said, “All of a sudden one day he said, ‘We’re going to have 50,000 students.’ I laughed. I didn’t believe it. I thought it was unreachable. … Dr. Falwell believed the impossible.”

“When you have faith in God,” Towns said, “you can change the world.” Following the announcement of the 50,000-student milestone at a convocation in February, students around campus expressed their excitement about being a part of fulfilling one of Dr. Falwell’s goals, including painting the Spirit Rock near the Vines Center with the words “50,000 students” and uploading a photo to Facebook with a 50,000 students badge as their profile photos. “I feel blessed to know I am being used by God to fulfill a goal set forth by the late Dr. Falwell,” said senior Shanna Kormanik. “I have such respect for his visions as I believe him to have been a man after God’s own heart.” Senior Dana Chepulis had similar thoughts. pag e 8

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“It is such an overwhelming honor to be a part of something so big,” she said. “Clearly God is at work at Liberty University and Dr. Falwell’s dreams are living on in so many ways, this is just one of many. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a God-centered University with such amazing Christian leaders.” Founded in 1971 as Lynchburg Baptist College by Dr. Falwell and Towns, the school began with 154 students. Classes were originally held in the Thomas Road Baptist Church Sunday

school classrooms. LU has seen steady growth over the years with its student population, but has seen a boom in recent years both on campus and online. LU Online had about 27,000 students enrolled in May 2008 — that number has grown by nearly 20,000 in less than two years. “If our entire student body tried to gather at the Vines Center, we would need a facility seven times that size. We’d have to rent out Dodgers Stadium,” said Chancellor Falwell.

In addition to being the largest nonprofit private school in the U.S. and the world’s largest Christian university, LU is the largest religious-based school in the U.S. and is one of the top 25 largest degree-granting schools. Now that one of Dr. Falwell’s visions has been fulfilled, Falwell, Jr. continues to focus on the future. “We’re now the world’s largest Christian university,” he said. “We’ve been blessed here with so much, and we’re excited about what the future holds.” n

Top 25 Private Schools in the United States

Top 25 Religious-Based Schools in the United States

Liberty University.............................................60,195

Liberty University.............................................60,195

New York University..........................................48,997

Brigham Young University................................42,868

Excelsior College.................................................43,137

Indiana Wesleyan University.............................31,452

Brigham Young University................................42,868

DePaul University..............................................28,967

Boston University...............................................39,982

Columbia College..............................................26,739

Nova Southeastern University...........................37,390

Saint Leo University...........................................22,754

University of Southern California.....................36,936

St. John’s University-New York..........................22,553

Harvard University.............................................34,560

Brigham Young University-Idaho.....................21,064

University of Phoenix-Online Campus..........532,672

Northeastern University.....................................31,577

Georgetown University......................................18,593

Kaplan University...............................................96,166

Indiana Wesleyan University.............................31,452

Saint Louis University-Main Campus..............18,320

Syracuse University.............................................30,241

Loyola University Chicago................................18,094

George Washington University.........................29,601

Fordham University...........................................17,090

DePaul University..............................................28,967

Boston College....................................................16,542

University of Pennsylvania.................................27,135

Baylor University................................................15,709

Columbia College..............................................26,739

Duke University.................................................15,496

National University............................................26,695

Regis University..................................................14,841

Webster University.............................................26,060

Emory University...............................................14,057

Columbia University..........................................25,340

University of Dayton..........................................13,682

Drexel University................................................25,193

American University...........................................13,093

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University............24,726

University of St.Thomas....................................12,667

Sources: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

Johns Hopkins University.................................24,599

University of Notre Dame.................................12,519

(IPEDS), Eduventures and LU Operating data

Park University....................................................24,157

Marquette University.........................................12,406

Note: LU’s enrollment numbers are through early March 2010.

Touro College.....................................................24,029

Southern Methodist University.........................12,389

Other colleges’ numbers are through the 2008-09 academic

Saint Leo University...........................................22,754

Viterbo University..............................................12,346

school year, the latest numbers available through IPEDS.

St. John’s University............................................22,553

Villanova University...........................................11,756

Liberty is Catching Up. Top Degree-Granting 4-Year Institutions in the United States

Miami Dade College.........................................96,123 Ashford University..............................................78,353 Arizona State University.....................................75,341 Strayer University................................................74,713 University of Minnesota-Twin Cities................65,006 Ohio State University-Main Campus..............62,807 Liberty University.............................................60,195

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WELCOME TO YOUR NEW CLASSROOM.

find your future at (866) 418-8738 www.LUONLINE.com/libertyjournal more than 40 degree programs offered


Old Thomas Road Baptist Church

a PROMISING future by Mitzi Bible

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced earlier this year that Liberty University is “finally in a position, after years of pioneering growth and financial struggles, where our management decisions are centered around how to invest for the future.” Since January, this forward thinking has shown in several large off-campus purchases that will support Liberty as it grows and continues to invest in the lives of young Champions for Christ.

sara h offman n

cal e b atk i n s

Recent purchases help grow, secure Liberty’s mission

j os h r i c e

s u bm i tt e d p h oto

Mayflower Drive

Falwell Aviation

Candlers Station shopping center


Can dle r s Station shoppi ng ce nte r On Jan. 27, Chancellor Falwell announced that Liberty is the new owner of Candlers Station shopping center, adjacent to campus. The 270,000-squarefoot property currently includes major retailers such as Staples, Cinemark Movies 10 and T.J. Maxx, among others. Falwell said Liberty’s Board of Directors saw the property as a “golden opportunity.” “We see it as a long-term investment for Liberty University’s endowment,” he said. With a return of between 11 and 14 percent annually on the $16.3 million purchase price, the property could pay for itself in seven to eight years, he said. There are no plans to change the use of the property in the short term, he added, and the university is already talking with two possible tenants to fill some of the 55,000 square feet of available space. “The stores are doing very well; it’s a healthy shopping center,” Falwell said. He said Liberty’s board, which met and approved the decision to purchase the shopping center in November, thought the acquisition “made perfect sense” not only because of the return, but also because of its close proximity to campus, allowing the university, should needs arise, to use that space in the future. “If we happen to lose enough tenants [in the long term], we would convert it to university use in the future — but our hope is that that will not occur until long after we have recouped our investment,” Falwell said. Liberty already owns a commercial lot adjacent to the center (beside Applebee’s), donated to the university by the shopping center’s original developer, Bob Hughes, in 2008. Dr. Ron Godwin, Liberty’s vice chancellor, recalls hearing Liberty founder Dr.

“It was one of his bucket list things. It was a logical direction to go in.” – Dr. Ron Godwin, vice chancellor, referring to Dr. Jerry Falwell’s dream of buying Candlers Station Jerry Falwell talk about one day acquiring the Candlers Station property. “It was one of his bucket list things,” he said, noting that, for Liberty’s future expansion, “it was a logical direction to go in.” He said Falwell had even talked about building a pedestrian tunnel to access the area. But Falwell, Jr. said his father never thought it would be a possibility, at least in the near future, “because it was such a thriving shopping center” — with a price far out of Liberty’s reach. But now, with the economic downturn in retail markets, “it’s miraculous timing,” he said. He learned last spring that the property was to be sold as a package, along with several other shopping centers, by a large real estate investment firm, but at the last minute, the buyer decided to purchase all but one — the Candlers Station center. “That’s providential,” Godwin said. “One property out of this package of shopping centers didn’t sell and so it became available to us.” This is not Liberty’s first real estate investment venture with a shopping center. Liberty became the owner of the 50-year-old Plaza in Lynchburg in 2007 and has spent more than $500,000 in repairs and enhancements there. According to Falwell, the Plaza is generating a large return for the university every month. Falwe ll Aviation The Liberty University School of Aero-

nautics has already soared higher than expectations, growing from four students to more than 200 in the last seven years. The acquisition of a local aviation business is taking the largest flight school in the Commonwealth of Virginia even higher. On Jan. 1 the School of Aeronautics acquired the facilities and equipment of Falwell Aviation, located at Lynchburg Regional Airport. This purchase puts the aeronautics program steps ahead of its already aggressive plans to build a facility of its own at the airport, said Falwell. “The purchase is much more economical for the university than building a facility,” he said. “It will take Liberty University School of Aeronautics in one year to the status it had hoped to attain in the next decade.” The School of Aeronautics had kicked off a $10 million fundraising drive in April 2008 with intentions of financing a new 80,000-square-foot building, airplanes and support facilities. Dave Young, dean of the School of Aeronautics, said acquiring Falwell Aviation is an instant blessing, providing Liberty with a 55,500-square-foot facility consisting of three aircraft maintenance and storage hangars, maintenance workspace, flight operations, classrooms, aircraft dispatch, student study areas and customer service facilities for charter passengers and transient aircraft. It also includes five aircrafts for pag e 12 student pilots. li b e rty j o u r nal

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josh rice josh rice

josh rice

The purchase of Falwell Aviation will help Liberty expand its School of Aeronautics program, which is already the second largest faith-based university level flight school in the U.S. He said acquiring the local aviation business creates a unique organization that rarely exists in a university-level aviation program. “It provides opportunities for our students to practice their aviation skills in a first-class charter flight and maintenance operation while pursuing their education goals,” he said. “They will be well prepared to compete for jobs when they graduate.” Liberty’s School of Aeronautics is already the second largest faith-based university level flight school in the U.S. Young said the new facility is “a very significant stepping stone to achieving our vision of being a program of excellence producing Christian pilots, aircraft mechanics, and graduates who will be

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prepared to be leaders in the aviation industry, commercial airlines, the military and missionary aviation.” Falwell Aviation was founded by Calvin and Lawrence Falwell more than 60 years ago and has provided aviation services including flight training, maintenance, and aircraft charter to individuals and businesses in the Lynchburg area. (While the name is the same, it was never owned by the immediate family of Dr. Jerry Falwell. The owners and founders were cousins of Dr. Falwell.) Young said he is excited to see how the newly acquired facility will enhance aviation services for the region. “I believe Lynchburg Regional Airport’s best days are ahead,” he said.” The synergy created by the melding of Falwell Avi-

ation with the LU School of Aeronautics will be a major contributing factor to the future success of aviation in Lynchburg and the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Liberty University School of Aeronautics is also the only faith-based aviation school to offer helicopter training and is one of only four universities in the U.S. to offer both airplane and helicopter training. For more information, visit www.liberty.edu/aviation. Mayflowe r Dr ive Liberty University has purchased a nearby, off-campus facility at 4000 Mayflower Drive to house the school’s maintenance department and some divisions of field operations, including transportation. Part of the building will also


“In 1989, Dad reached the conclusion that he could have a more permanent impact for Christ on the world by transforming Liberty into a world-class university that would train Champions for Christ long after his life had ended.” – Jerry Falwell, Jr., Liberty University chancellor serve as the temporary home for Liberty’s welding engineering program. Moving the maintenance department and service vehicles to the new location will free up to 26,000 square feet of building space for academic uses and about 200 parking spaces on campus, Falwell said. The 26,500-square-foot facility, formerly owned by Young Moving & Storage, is located less than a mile from campus — closer than River Ridge mall. The new location also puts the department closer to the Annex residence hall (formerly Lynchburg Inn). Comparable in size to Liberty’s Schilling Center (a multi-purpose facility on main campus), the building has been kept in near-mint condition since it was built in the 1970s, Falwell said. It has a fenced-in parking lot with enough space for Liberty’s maintenance and service vehicles. It has been estimated that the parking spots it will free up on campus are worth a total of $250,000 in savings based on what it would have cost to construct new ones. But the acquisition is actually saving Liberty much more money, Falwell said. Liberty already had site and building

plans in place for new construction of a maintenance building on campus. “I am so glad we delayed the construction because the savings to LU by acquiring this building will be in the millions,” Falwell said. “It really excites me to see how God continues to bless LU with unexpected opportunities like this.” The university purchased the property for $880,000 in early March. Old Thomas Road Baptist Ch u rch Liberty University will soon be moving ahead with three purchases from Thomas Road Baptist Church. This includes the old church, some vacant land and the part of Liberty’s Campus North that has been under lease with TRBC. Chancellor Falwell originally announced intentions of establishing a new campus for Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary at the old church, but decisions are still being made as to its best use. The purchase will bring Liberty “full circle,” Falwell said, explaining that the church provided Liberty with a firm foundation to grow from, serving as a “laboratory” for LU students studying to become pastors and church leaders.

Falwell recalls as an 8-year-old hearing his father first announce at the church that he was starting a college. And soon the nation was hearing the news through Thomas Road’s “Old Time Gospel Hour” television broadcast. When Liberty Baptist College was founded in 1971, classes were held in Sunday school buildings at the church and students lived in small houses owned by the church, he said. Within a few years, LU moved to Liberty Mountain, but TRBC remained “the spiritual and theological anchor of the university.” “In 1989, Dad reached the conclusion that he could have a more permanent impact for Christ on the world by transforming Liberty into a world-class university that would train Champions for Christ long after his life had ended,” Chancellor Falwell told students in the Dec. 9 convocation. In that year, Falwell, Sr. moved his offices from TRBC to LU. Even as Liberty became Falwell, Sr.’s primary focus during the last 17 years of his life, Chancellor Falwell said, he never stopped being a pastor at TRBC and it was his goal that TRBC and LU would always remain connected; moving the church next door to Liberty in 2006 was a key part of that plan. And all the while his father juggled both roles — days, nights and weekends. But after his death in May 2007, “neither my brother nor I had any desire to keep up that pace. God had called Jonathan to be a pastor and had prepared me for the role I am serving here,” Chancellor Falwell said. Through this transition, “The relationship between TRBC and LU has remained strong,” he added. “TRBC continues to provide ministry opportunities for LU students and LU sponsors TRBC’s television outreach and provides financial support for TRBC church planting efforts.” li b e rty j o u r nal

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ift HIM up Productions is pleased to announce a night with Dove Award and Grammy Award winner Guy Penrod. With that unmistakable voice and the ability to communicate like few others can, Guy will return to his roots at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Va. Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity April 23, 2010 at 7 p.m. Penrod, who trained at Liberty Baptist College (now Liberty University), graduated in the spring of 1985. During his four years at Liberty, Guy displayed his God-given talents and traveled with the Sounds of Liberty ministry team. He quickly became a favorite of TRBC and Liberty’s student body.

Shortly after graduating, Guy and wife Angie found their way to Nashville. It was there that working as a studio vocalist led to the invitation to become the lead singer for the Gaither Vocal Band. Penrod traveled internationally with the GVB and made his mark inside and outside of the United States. His regular television appearances on “Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Series” has made him a very recognizable figure in the music industry. After a 15-year career with that revered group, the most beloved lead singer in the Vocal Band’s history decided it was time for his gift of ministry to branch out. Now, beginning a solo career with his debut album “Breathe Deep” and

singing favorites from his years with the GVB, April 23, 2010 is sure to be a remarkable event. Make plans to see the man and hear the voice loved by fans around the world as he comes back home. Tickets are available online at www.lifthimupproductions.com or by calling toll-free (888) 338-5338. Links are also available at www.joyfm.org and www.trbc.org. On April 23, 2010 join *JOYfm’s Morning JOYride in Lynchburg as Lift HIM Up Productions and TRBC welcomes home Guy Penrod on his Breathe Deep Tour. Penrod and the Breathe Deep Tour. *JOYfm is a network of 22 radio stations in seven states playing Southern Gospel and Country Gospel music. JOYfm originates from Winston-Salem, N.C., and is heard in Lynchburg, Va. on 103.9 and on 107.1 in Appomattox, Va.


Taking It In Stride

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From Kenya to LU, NCAA Division I champ lets his legs do the talking


by Sar ah F u n d e r b u r k e P h oto g r a p hy by Le s S c h o f e r

Although few people in the realm of college athletics have more to brag about, Liberty University’s Sam Chelanga is a fairly quiet guy. Luckily, after winning the 2009 NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in November, no words were necessary – his smile said it all. The now seven-time All-American finished the 10K race in 28:41, setting a course record by 22 seconds and beating runner-up David McNeill of Northern Arizona by 25 seconds. His finish even got the announcers on ESPN excited as he easily beat the favorites. “Nationals was exciting because no one has done anything like that in a long time,” said Chelanga, a junior. “It feels good.” The accolades he’s received since his win have been almost as impressive, with the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association naming him the 2009 Division I Cross Country Athlete of the Year, and the same organization naming him a potential candidate for the 2010 Bowerman award. While such accomplishments are highly coveted and are awarded to only one talented male runner in the NCAA per year, Chelanga is still a new kid in the world of running. In fact, until he left his home in Kenya and entered the U.S. in 2006, he had never competed in a formal race at all.

“He has not yet run 50 races in his career,” said Brant Tolsma, Liberty’s head cross country and track and field coach. “Some kids run 50 races in their first year of high school if they do cross country and indoor and outdoor track.” Chelanga’s road to the top started in Ngong Hills, Kenya, a suburb of the capital Nairobi, where he grew up as the youngest of 11 brothers and sisters. Although he admits they grew up poor, Chelanga’s childhood does not fit into the stereotypical view of an African lifestyle. Ngong Hills’ close proximity to Nairobi meant that the area was not teeming with lions, giraffes and African elephants; instead the area was largely populated by typical farm animals — cows, goats, and chickens. He did not get his start in cross country by running miles to and from a rural school house every day; instead he was within walking distance of his high school, which had a population of more than 900 students. For his physical education requirement he opted to take pingpong instead of running because it was “easier,” he said. His foray into running only happened after a family member encouraged him to start planning for his future after graduation. “If he wasn’t here running in this country right now he would probably be

farming in Kenya on his brother’s farm,” Tolsma said. “He realizes how close it could have been to not all happening.” Unlike many athletes of his caliber, Chelanga doesn’t pretend he was born with running shoes on – in fact he openly admits that his first distance runs were painful and difficult. “You can’t enjoy it when you are out of shape,” Chelanga said. “But I trained with good runners, and they give you hope.” Those “good runners” were older brother Joshua, a professional runner sponsored by Adidas, two-time Kenyan Olympic medalist Paul Tergat and a large group of other hopeful Kenyan runners. Chelanga trained with this group for more than a year before he was finally able to keep up with the front-runners and garner the interest of Fairleight Dickinson University, an NCAA Division I school in New Jersey that he attended for a year before transferring to LU in 2007. “I don’t call myself a natural runner,” Chelanga said. “I work hard and people have helped me.” A statement like this is hard to believe coming from the NCAA 10,000-meter record holder, however Chelanga believes that his life would have been vastly different had he not been able to run for an American university. li b e rty j o u r nal

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Liberty sets the school apart from other colindoor nationals meet and third in the leges and universities. 10,000 at outdoor nationals. “At Liberty people are more outspoken “Aerobically he is an amazing athlete,” about their faith than in the outside world,” Tolsma said. “When Josh McDougal Chelanga said. “That is a really good thing.” [Liberty’s 2007 national cross country He has almost completed all the credchampion] first met Sam, he made the its needed for a degree in government statement that he is probably the most and a minor in international relations. talented distance runner in college right His background in these two areas has now, because his background is so liminspired him to look for ways to help ited and yet he is doing so well.” improve the economic situation in Kenya Tolsma said Chelanga has three factors and other African nations. that help set him above the competition: “He’s gifted, he’s light and he has a naturally fluid running style that is very efficient.” Chelanga, who weighs in around 120 pounds, does not follow a strict diet or take nutrigifted, he’s light and he has tional supplements a naturally fluid running or scarf down protein shakes. He style that is very efficient. doesn’t have a cer– Brant Tolsma, tain style of running head coach LU cross shoe that he swears country and track & field by, and he doesn’t “The main cause of poverty in Africa claim to have a higher threshold for pain is poor management,” Chelanga said. tolerance than the average individual. He “You can keep feeding the people, but simply trains as his coach tells him to and that doesn’t close the income gap. If we runs as fast as possible in his races. pay more attention to the government “He does not eat, sleep and breathe policies, they could actually improve their running,” Tolsma said. “He’s got lots of economies and it would eventually trickle concerns in his life and other things he down to all the people.” thinks about. Most runners at that level Chelanga believes that better state they just live it, but he kind of assigns it educational policies and a good crimito the time that he has to do it.” nal justice system could drastically Running is not Chelanga’s sole purpose change Kenya’s overall economy for for being at LU, as he appreciates the importhe better. Although he does not have tance of having a diploma in his pocket any interest in becoming a politician, and the cross on his mind. Although he he said he is interested in either creknows many Christian runners in the NCAA, ating a non-profit charitable foundation Chelanga said the spiritual atmosphere at or working with a non-profit charitable foundation to achieve these goals. “He realizes that God has blessed him Follow Chelanga’s quest for another with not only talent but also opportunity,” national title on www.libertyflames.com. Tolsma said.

“When I was in Kenya there were limited opportunities for everything and I didn’t know I could be a good runner,” he said. “I feel like if I didn’t come to America and develop, no one would have ever known I had any talent.” For this reason he is in the process of pursuing citizenship in America and hopes to someday represent the USA in the Olympics. “It’s not good to go somewhere and get good and then leave,” he said, adding that, “I think [Kenya] already has enough runners.” Although his talent became apparent quickly after his debut on the NCAA cross country scene, since winning the national title last year, Chelanga has received corporate attention for his running accomplishments. Many days when he logs into his Facebook account, messages from sports agents sit waiting in his inbox. Although he never responds to these enticements to turn pro, or the emails he also receives from agents, Chelanga does plan to run professionally – after he graduates next year. “There are a few things that Liberty still needs me to do,” Chelanga said. “I feel like if I left this year Liberty would not get the chance to go to [cross country] nationals as a team for a while.” He also has his eye on an individual national title in men’s indoor and outdoor track this spring. Last year he placed second in the 5,000-meter race at the

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He’s


MS-7.09Ad38x10.5.indd 1

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Snowflex adds intermediate slope Real snow adds to the excitement on Liberty Mountain

Les Schofe r

By Sar ah D e s k i n s an d Sar ah F u n d e r b u r k e

Just three months after its grand opening ceremony in August 2009, the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre was expanded to include a new intermediate ski slope. The additional terrain allows skiers and snowboarders to make wide and long turns — adding length to their ride and a more gradual descent down the mountain. The new intermediate slope debuted Dec. 19, 2009, just in time for Central Virginia’s first snowfall of the season. Skiers and snowboarders were able to test the facility on fresh snow. Although Snowflex is a synthetic material that simulates natural snow year-round, the slopes can also be used when there is real snow on the ground. “With the snow, we pretty much turned into a regular ski resort,” said Will Scheren, assistant manager of the Snowflex Centre. “We have received a great response from the public because you can spend the day skiing on fresh powder slopes at a rate more

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affordable than traditional ski resorts.” Snowflex also got a taste of real snow in January and February as two additional snowstorms hit the mid-Atlantic in consecutive weekends. The slope was a big hit for Central Virginia residents. “We get a great response from people who come here when it snows,” said Drew Sherwood, general manager for Snowflex. “It’s close and it’s economically feasible — it’s like paying a fourth of a price of going to a huge ski resort. You get the same experience and it’s a lot less [money] — and it’s right in your back yard.” This is the first expansion of the Snowflex facility since its opening in August, but Sherwood said it will not be the last. “We definitely want to keep on growing,” he said. “But for the time being, we are going to focus on maintaining and improving the operations of our current facility.” Liberty’s facility is the first of its kind in the U.S. and offers slopes ranging from easy to difficult, challenging skiers and snowboarders at any level of expertise. Several jumps

and rails are strategically placed on the advanced slope so boarders and skiers can try out and improve their tricks. The facility offers ski and snowboarding lessons for beginners, and competitions and jam sessions for more competitive boarders. In January, the facility hosted a “Seven Kings” competition in which snowboarders and skiers tested their ability at a variety of tricks, jumps and rail rides. The next competitive event to be held at Snowflex will be the Dew Games on April 10. Sponsored by Mountain Dew, this competition will award large cash prizes to men or women who place in the top three slots of their Big Air and Slope style ski event and the Big Air and Slope style snowboard event, with first place being $750. Prizes will also be given for Best Trick, Biggest Air, Biggest Fall, Best Female, Best Dressed and Most Amplitude off the Quarter Pipe. To register, email snowflex@liberty.edu or call (434) 582-FLEX. Registration is $20 per person, and all participants will need to complete a qualifying run on April 9 or 10.


Mark Simpson may not be able to walk, but he definitely can snowboard. Born in Bombay, India, with deformed legs, Simpson suffered many medical complications before finally having his legs amputated in 2005 at the age of 17. Now in his freshman year at Liberty University, he decided in December to get out of his wheelchair and try snowboarding at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. “My roommate and I had heard about Snowflex and so one Wednesday night we really weren’t doing anything and decided to try it,” Simpson said. “So we came up and went tubing. The first time I went it was really freaky, but then I got the adrenaline rush of being able to go downhill like that.” He spent his first day on the slopes tubing, but set a goal of snowboarding by the end of the Fall 2009 semester. On Dec. 10 he reached that goal after figuring out how to situate himself on the snowboard. He positions himself between the leg bindings on the board and then holds on to those bindings with his hands. “The snowboard is like my skateboard; it’s just balancing your weight and figuring out how to turn and stuff like that,” Simpson said.

K evi n M a n g u i o b

Student takes on snowboarding challenge

Freshman lands snowboarding sponsorship Freshman Myles Stark wants to help the world. He’s been on a missions trip to Guatemala to help build an orphanage and has future plans to help others. That dedication has lead to a longtime dream of his as a snowboarder – sponsorship. “I’ve tried for this for a long time,” said Stark, 19, a Vermont native. “I’m pretty excited about it.” Stark, who is on Liberty University’s snowboarding club team, received a snowboarding sponsorship from Humanity Snowboards, a company dedicated to humanitarian efforts. “They want riders who just love to ride … and I love to ride,” said Stark. “They’re not all about snowboarding. … They want to help people, too.” Stark, who is majoring in Criminal Justice, applied for the sponsorship opportunity through Humanity’s website. The sponsorship allows Stark to show off his skills at event – including those at Snowflex – using Humanity’s equipment.

“When we received his application and resume, he immediately caught our attention,” Matt Lindenmuth, one of the founder’s of Humanity Snowboards, said of Stark. “We get hundreds of these humanitarian applications. Myles set himself apart because he expressed his true humanitarian heart.”

For information about Snowflex, visit www.liberty.edu/snowflex.

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WTLU-TV goes digital, improves coverage

Ca r t e r W i n g f i e l d

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. flips the switch to activate the new digital transmitter for WTLU-TV, which broadcasts the Liberty Channel, on Jan. 8. BY Sar ah D e s k i n s

WTLU-TV, which broadcasts the Liberty Channel from Liberty University’s campus, now has a new digital on-air signal. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in early January marking the change at the station. Since its inception in 1991, WTLU has been committed to providing family-friendly television for the greater Lynchburg area. The Liberty Channel showcases “Live from Liberty,” featuring Liberty University convocations; Pulpit Classics from the library of the “Old Time Gospel Hour”; weekly services preached by Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church; “Gaither Homecoming Tour”; “In Touch

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with Charles Stanley”; and many other family-friendly programs. “Most of the programs that are on secular television and cable stations are not appropriate for the entire family,” said Sandra Wagner, WTLU station manager. “WTLU is really the only family based package in this area.” WTLU originally transmitted from Liberty Mountain for 13 years, but was forced to relocate its facility to neighboring Johnson Mountain in 2004 due to industry digital transmitting requirements. The station’s Johnson Mountain transmission location limited the reach of the Liberty Channel, causing some viewers to lose access. The relocation of the new transmitter site to Monogram Hill on Liberty Mountain, paired with the transition from

analog to digital transmission, enables WTLU to provide an enhanced viewing experience and maintain industry standards in light of the industry-wide conversion to digital television in June 2009. The cost of the entire project was $625,000. “This change brings us up to modern standards,” said Chancellor Falwell. “The entire industry is moving to digital and now we are ready for HDTV.” Now that the station has converted to digital transmission, Falwell said WTLU will continue its goal to extend coverage. “Our goal is to eventually take the signal produced by Liberty Channel and disseminate it wider, maybe even nationally,” he said. “It’s just one more way for people to hear about LU and to spread the Gospel.”


News briefS University Happenings

Ben Stein makes return trip to campus When Ben Stein, well-known economist and actor, visited Liberty University in May 2009 to deliver the Commencement address, he was thoroughly impressed with the student body. “Liberty is the friendliest place I’ve ever been,” he said. “When I came for the Commencement I just fell in love with it.” Stein phoned Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. recently to request a personal question-and-answer session with a small group of Liberty students. Falwell invited several law school students, representatives from Liberty’s Student Government Association and drama students to attend the event on Saturday, Feb. 27, at the Barrick-Falwell Lodge at the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. Falwell introduced Stein to about 50 students, who were appreciative of the opportunity to meet one-on-one with someone as prominent and influential as Stein. “He is a welcomed guest on our campus and a student favorite,” Falwell said. To students, Stein may be more wellknown for his monotone professor role in “Ferris Beuller’s Day Off” or the feature face for the Clear Eyes commercial; but

Winterfest crowd breaks record

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. watches as Ben Stein answers questions from students. what was more prominently discussed at the event were his roles as an economist, lawyer, columnist and political speech writer. Stein, a Jew, discussed a variety of issues, including entertainment, science, abortion and public service. Yet the idea that God should be at the center of students’ lives was consistent throughout. “If you are educated to the idea that two plus two equals four, those are fine facts to know, but a much better fact to know is that God is up there to guide you,” Stein said. “If you pick that up and apply it to your life, life just makes sense.”

More than 8,000 people closed out 2009 at Liberty University’s Winterfest, shattering a record for the eight-year-old event. The two-day festival, which combines a host of acclaimed Christian musical artists, speakers and entertainers, drew 8,035 people on Dec. 30-31, surpassing the previous record of 6,759 in 2006. “One thing that will never change at Liberty is reaching young people for Christ through music,” said Luke Enns, with Enrollment Management at LU. Musical guests included Skillet, MercyMe, Barlow Girl and Thousand Foot Krutch. Speakers were Matt Pitt, David Nasser and Clayton King. Enns said 615 students trusted Christ as their personal savior. Liberty personally contacted and counseled 443 of these students. All 615 received a packet including publications by Dr. Jerry Falwell, a Jesus First pen and a daily devotional Bible.

British advisor speaks on climate change

Lord Christopher Monckton encouraged students to look at the facts concerning climate change.

Lord Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, spoke at Liberty University’s convocation on March 10 about the issue of global climate change. Currently, Monckton is chief policy advisor to the Science and Public Policy Institute, and served as an advisor to former Prime Minister Margret Thatcher’s policy unit. Monckton spoke to students about

popular ideas concerning climate change, and expressed reasons for why they are not to be taken as fact. Specifically, he described Al Gore’s Documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” as a “mawkish, sci-fi comedy horror movie dreamt up by a PR guy.” He exhorted students to challenge popular opinion and ideologies, to review the issues for themselves with real facts, not just what the media presents them. li b e rty j o u r nal

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National Civil War Chaplains Museum opens The National Civil War Chaplains Museum held a grand opening ceremony on the Liberty University campus on Saturday, Jan. 23. A valued addition to Liberty’s exceptional educational resources, the museum is the only one of its kind dedicated to the role of chaplains, priests, rabbis and religious organizations who ministered to the common soldier during the Civil War. It features treasured artifacts from the CivilWar era as well as testimonies and historical facts from a unique perspective. Originally housed in DeMoss Learning Center — Liberty’s main academic building — the museum relocated next to Doc’s Diner on Campus East last fall. The Jan. 23 ceremony included a ribbon-cutting by Liberty administrators, professors and museum board members, including Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. Representatives from eight different Civil War groups celebrated the event with an honor guard salute, and re-enactors attended in proper Civil War attire. Visitors then toured the museum, which features a number of exhibits including original soldier’s uniforms, life-size wax statues of chaplains, accessories from the war and murals of war scenes by university artist Paul Dinwiddie. Following the tour, guests were treated to a luncheon in the executive dining room at Liberty’s Reber-Thomas Dining Hall, where they heard from leaders of Civil War-related groups in the community. Dr. Kenny Rowlette, director of the National Civil War Chaplains Research Center and Museum Foundation and associate professor of English at LU, said the museum will benefit the region by adding yet another quality Civil War attraction to boost tourism. “Lynchburg’s rich Civil War heritage —

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The Battle of Lynchburg, Lynchburg as a hospital center during the war, Lynchburg as a prisoner of war center and the legendary CSA units from the city (the 11th VA, Company G and the 2nd VA Cavalry) — make it a ‘must-see’ destination for any Civil War enthusiasts who are on their way to or from either Appomattox or Richmond,” he said. Liberty University will also benefit, as history students will have a convenient way to be immersed in Civil-War era relics, he said. The museum was of particular interest to participants at this year’s Civil War Seminar, March 26-28, on the LU campus. Hosted by LU’s Department of History, the Department of English and Modern Languages, the seminar draws hundreds of people from all over the United States to take part in reenactments and educational lectures about the time period. For information on the seminar, go to www.liberty.edu/civilwar.

Centra Health operates campus medical service On Jan. 1, Centra Health began operating Liberty University Student Health Services on campus. Centra Health is a regional not-for-profit healthcare system comprised of Lynchburg General, Virginia Baptist, and Southside Community Hospitals, the Centra Medical Group and several other health care facilities that employ more than 4,000 workers. Liberty University Student Health Services replaces Light Medical, which has provided medical service for students, faculty and staff at Liberty since 1990. Lee Beaumont, LU’s director of Auxiliary Services, said the change was made in the best interest of Liberty students. “Everything we’re doing is to enhance current services and offer new services to the students,” he said. That includes extending hours of operation and adding staff to better accommodate the growing student body. He said Centra is hoping to add more medical services in the future, such as X-rays, so students do not have to go off campus to receive special services. Current staff will remain in place. The change should help to better coordinate care between Liberty’s clinic and other Centra Health facilities nearby. Light Medical will still operate its offcampus practice at Linkhorne Drive.


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Anne Graham Lotz speaks at convocation

Michael W. Smith visits the Center for Worship Contemporary Christian musician Michael W. Smith visited Liberty University’s Center for Worship in the fall 2009 semester just hours before his A New Hallelujah World Tour concert at Thomas Road Baptist Church. Smith, a Grammy and Dove awardwinning artist, met with aspiring musicians and worship leaders in a casual question-and-answer session kicked off by a performance of some impromptu songs requested by students. A 200-member choir from the Center for Worship also rehearsed with Smith later that day to join him on the TRBC stage that night. Students asked him about everything from when he was asked to perform at the White House (Smith said he was friends with President Bush’s family and had been there a few times, even having a hotdog lunch in the Oval Office), to how he goes about writing songs to when he felt called to perform music as a ministry. Smith, who has had a successful traveling artist career (with 28 number one songs and career sales over 10 million), has also

served as a worship leader at his church near Nashville, Tenn. He told students who wanted to be recording artists that “it’s all about the song. You get a song that can change the world, that people will sing, that’s key. [And] the big one is accountability — surround yourself with great people, ‘cause this business will take you down. You just have to raise the bar.” He advised students to learn to “disappear” when they’re leading worship, to let God be at the center and to do it all “with humility.” Smith was last at Liberty University the weekend before its founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, passed away. He has had ties with Liberty for a long time, though. “I love it. I have a lot of friends who went to school here. It’s kind of good to come to a place where [you hear] it’s probably the most talked-about campus, really. And I work with a lot of those people, which is great.” Class of 2005 alumnus Meredith Andrews is now on tour with Smith and spoke with students at the Center for Worship’s ministry convocation that week.

Anne Graham Lotz, the second daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham, made her first visit to Liberty University on Dec. 2 as guest speaker at convocation. For the last 30 years, Lotz has traveled the world teaching the Bible in arenas, prison cells, stadiums, sanctuaries, seminaries and even the United Nations. She hosts a radio program that is heard on more than 700 outlets worldwide. Although this was Lotz’s first time on campus, her family has had many ties with Liberty and the Falwell family over the years. Her brother Franklin Graham spoke at Baccalaureate in 1996. Billy Graham gave Liberty’s Commencement address in 1997. Five of his grandchildren and three great-grandchildren have attended Liberty, and another grandchild, Basyle J. Tchividjian, is a professor at Liberty University School of Law. Graham is a best-selling author of 10 books, including her signature book, “Just Give Me Jesus.” She will be returning to Liberty in April to film video curriculum to accompany her recent release, “The Magnificent Obsession.” She said the video will include interactive sessions that Liberty University students will participate in.

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Students show warm hearts during snowstorm

Hockey team practices at Chancellor Falwell’s farm On Jan. 12, Liberty University’s men’s hockey team vacated the LaHaye Ice Center on campus in favor of an unusual practice arena. Head coach Kirk Handy surprised the entire team by holding practice at a lake on Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s Bedford County, Va., farm. “Our players loved it,” Handy said. “It made you feel like a little kid again.” The players and coaching staff were excited for the opportunity to skate outside, he said. “We kept it as a surprise for the team and had them change at the ice center and ride out in LU vans to the farm.” Canadian senior Dave Semenya said it was a very unexpected surprise for the entire team. “I never thought it would be possible in Virginia,” Semenya said. “The ice was surprisingly smooth.” Liberty’s men’s hockey team finished the regular season with a 29-3 record and made its fourth consecutive appearance in the men’s Division 1 National Championships in March.

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A Jan. 30 snowfall, which blanketed campus with about 10 inches, caused some services to be scaled back — but that didn’t stop students’ volunteer efforts. At Reber-Thomas Dining Hall — the main campus dining hall — a group of 12 students saw that Liberty University Dining Services was understaffed due to poor road conditions, so they decided to stay after their meal and assist with cleanup and dishes. Doug Pugh, general manager, said he was overcome “with admiration and gratitude.” In a letter he wrote to the students Monday morning, he said he was reminded that “Liberty University students are not your ‘typical’ college kids.” He also announced that Liberty University

[

Dining Services would be adding $25 in meal plan points to each of the volunteer students’ meal plans. When Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. caught wind of the news, he told Pugh that “LU kids never cease to amaze me with their acts of kindness and positive outlook on life. I hear comments from local folks all the time about how they can tell which waiters and waitresses are LU kids when they go out to eat just by how friendly they are. This is the best way to witness for Christ — by example.” Liberty University Dining Services is operated by Sodexo, which provides food services and facilities management at more than 400 colleges and universities.

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Liberty celebrates Black History Month In celebration of the accomplishments of African Americans to our country, Liberty University’s Center for Multicultural Enrichment (Center4ME) held a series of events throughout the month of February. The highlight was a Feb. 13 lecture by John Stokes, a national figure in the legendary Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court trial. The lecture was based on his well-known book titled, “Students on Strike: Jim Crow, Civil Rights, Brown and Me.” Stokes was one of the original litigants in the case on May 17, 1954, when the U.S. Supreme Court announced its decision that, “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” The decision effectively denied the legal basis for segregation in Kansas and 20 other states with segregated classrooms. His presentation was filled with stories from his experiences surrounding the case. He signed copies of his book at the Liberty University Barnes and Noble Bookstore following his lecture. Stokes’ visit was only one of 10 unique events sponsored by the Center4ME, including a Harlem Nights Ball, a “Being Black in 2010” discussion, a gospel concert and many more.

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Students address Council on polling place issue About 200 Liberty students boarded buses to attend a Lynchburg City Council public hearing on Feb. 23 to voice concerns about moving the Ward III polling place at Heritage Elementary School, where thousands of students turned out to vote in previous elections. Council decided to keep the polling place at the school, but not before about 30 LU students spoke, many expressing that the alternative site – Lynchburg First Church of the Nazarene on Wards Ferry Road – was unsafe and would inhibit their access to polls on Election Day. The university had earlier offered two of its properties — Candlers Sta-

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tion shopping center and Thomas Road Baptist Church — as alternative sites, but those options were dismissed. Student turnout for the hearing, held at City Hall, was so large that many attendees were directed upstairs to the “overflow room.” Even Sparky, the Liberty Flames’ mascot, joined the crowd. On May 4, when Lynchburg holds City Council elections, it will be the first time students on campus can vote in this type of election. Students have previously voted in the 2008 presidential election and in Virginia’s 2009 elections. “I think one of the best things that happened tonight is that the city of Lynchburg got to see you as individuals,” City Councilman Turner Perrow Jr. told the students.

Student running for Lynchburg City Council Liberty junior Brent Robertson is running as an independent in the Lynchburg City Council Election on May 4. Robertson was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, but Lynchburg has become his new home. Uniting Liberty students with city constituents is one of Robertson’s priorities. “I have made it clear I’m not running for Liberty University by any means,” he said. “If Liberty, Lynchburg College and Central Virginia Community College students are able to look at my candidacy and say, ‘He stands for things I stand for,’ as well as the people of Lynchburg, maybe we are not enemies after all.”


?

Who are

for

Your

Partners Your

Health Care

What partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? What fellowship has light with darkness? What portion does a believer share with an unbeliever? –from II Corinthians 6: 14-15

Liberty assists local church in building project At the Feb. 17 convocation, held during Liberty’s Missions Emphasis Week, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., reminded students that reaching the world for Christ “begins at home.” Specifically, Falwell was referring to Poplar Spring Baptist Church of Bedford, Va. The church had raised almost $100,000 for a building addition. After the 20 years it took to amass the funds, a local accountant stole the funds, and there was no way of getting the money back, Falwell said. The chancellor wanted LU to help, but did not know how it could afford to solve the problem. “The numbers were just too big,” he said. After further research, however, Vice President of Field Operations Scott Starnes reported back to Falwell that nearly every contractor used by Liberty had agreed to donate the necessary labor and materials to revive the project. “We just believe that this is our Jerusalem and this is where missions begins,” said Falwell. The Rev. Dr. Herman Robertson, pastor of Poplar Spring, was a guest at convocation. When Falwell announced the news, Robertson thanked the chancellor, Liberty and God “for making this possible.”

Whether you realize it or not, when you participate in a health insurance plan, you are agreeing that the premiums for your policy can be used to pay for anything your insurance company covers in any of their polices. Health insurance can actually support the opponents of Jesus Christ. You may be working and praying for abortion to end, but supporting abortions and the use of abortifacient drugs by helping pay for them with your health insurance premiums. You may be encouraging others to trust in Jesus Christ and turn away from the dangers of living in disobedience to Him. At the same time, the policies offered by your health insurance may be encouraging disobedience to Jesus Christ by agreeing, in advance, to cover the consequences of sexual promiscuity, drug or alcohol abuse, or other unbliblical practices.. We should not confuse health insurance with charitable giving. Charity is a compassionate, precise response to existing needs. Health insurance is a business agreement that indiscriminately agrees to cover things before they even happen. Members of Samaritan Ministries share one another’s medical needs through a simple, Biblical approach that doesn’t involve health insurance. They have agreed not to share in medical needs for unbiblical practices, and the monthly share for a family of any size has never exceeded $285*, even less for couples, singles, and single-parent families. Come experience the blessings, and the savings, that result when members of the body of Jesus Christ partner with one another instead of joining in partnerships that support the works of darkness.

To learn more about our Biblical, non-insurance ministry call us toll-free at 1.888.2.OTHERS (1.888.268.4377). *as of December 2008

Mention you saw us in the Liberty Journal.

Faith in God applied to health care

www.samaritanministries.org

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Stu d e nt Li f e

Winning in the game of life Senior Andy Smallwood overcomes obstacles to coach basketball BY m itz i b i b le

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j o r da n c r o s s i n g h a m

Sometimes we’re given a talent that holds a promising future in our hands. Then sometimes God takes that talent and we find out He has other plans. Senior Andy Smallwood, a sport management major originally from Orlando, Fla., came to Liberty in the fall of 2005 on a scholarship from LU founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, who had hoped he would play basketball for LU. But Smallwood, who had excelled in basketball since childhood, had to deny the offer to play. He had been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis two years before and the medication he needed to make it through practices and games was taking a toll. “It wears on your body, it wears on your liver, and I said I wasn’t going to do that to myself for the next four years,” he said. “I said, ‘I’ll trust God with what He’s given me and what He’s going to do — and the playing part is over.’” But Smallwood soon found himself back on the court — those who learned of his passion for basketball found a spot for him as an assistant manager of the men’s basketball team. Later on he helped to form the LUnatics club, a spirited group of student fans. And for the last two years he has coached rising high school junior and senior girls for the Amateur Athletics Union’s summer tournament teams. “When I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to play in college, I decided I wanted to coach,” he said. “I prayed about it and got a clear answer on that. That’s just been my focus — to get better at that and to sharpen my brain.” Apparently Smallwood’s focus was right where it should have been this past summer. As an AAU coach, he took his girls team (which included the best players in the region) to the national championships — and beat out 190 teams from across the country

to take the title. They competed with players committed to playing basketball in the ACC, the Big 12 and the Big East conferences. As a 23-year-old coach, the youngest among his competition, he was proud to see all his young players gain national recognition and earn college scholarships as a result. When he graduates in May, he plans to pursue coaching and has even received some preliminary offers at the highest level. Wherever Smallwood ends up, he said he will leave Liberty with everything he needs to succeed. “We’ve got a group of professors very passionate about sports, very passionate about us succeeding; being here, working here, and [AAU] has prepared me more than anything else would. … I’ve been in athletic departments other places [and] I’ve seen the kids that come out of sport management programs — what they teach here is relevant to now, not 1960.” And if he were here today, Dr. Jerry Falwell would be one of Smallwood’s greatest fans. Smallwood, now among one of the

last students on campus to have known the popular chancellor personally, said “Doc” had an influence on his life from the beginning, when he offered him a scholarship. “For me to be able to sit down and talk with Dr. Falwell — he was a big athletics guy, too — and to be able to have any kind of relationship with him is special,” he said. Smallwood remembers the kid punches he received from Falwell whenever they saw one another on campus, and the time Falwell called him at home following a car accident where Smallwood ended up with a concussion. “He had a group of guys going to the chapel to pray for me — he took it as if I was one of his kids.” Knowing the health battles Smallwood faced daily, Falwell played his own role as Smallwood’s coach. “He said, ‘I’m praying for you, but don’t quit, keep your head up, fight through, you’re going make it.’ … He made me want to change … to be the best at what I’m doing.” Now it’s Smallwood’s turn to influence young people in much the same way.


Brittney Campbell played with AAU and saw Smallwood in action. Now a member of the Lady Flames, she has experienced her own share of setbacks, in the form of injuries that have halted her play. “Andy was always encouraging,” she said. “He was like, ‘Just be strong;’ he tells me, ‘I respect you for your faith, just keep your faith and you’ll get through it.’” And also like Falwell, in an ironic twist Smallwood is helping young athletes secure scholarships. “The greatest part about [coaching in AAU] is seeing these kids get college scholarships — the greatest opportunity is to give other people opportunities, and I’ve tried to do my best at doing that.” Each day still carries some pain for Smallwood (daily pills and twice-a-week shots are

“There’s nothing that’s going to keep me from what I have to do — I just thank God for the strength to get out of bed.” – Andy Smallwood a must to keep the debilitating disease at bay), but that’s when he finds himself taking his own advice. “I can be active [with medication]. It still hurts, but I can do it. There’s nothing that’s going to keep me from what I have to do — I just thank God for the strength to get out of bed.” And the opportunities before him give him hope and joy — signs he is carrying out God’s plans for his life.

“I’m around the game that I love … and there’s a lot of times I really want to play, but sometimes when I coach it’s just as good; I can’t put a jersey on for the kids, I can’t put shoes on and go out there and play for them, but being able to explain to them what I’ve been through — in whatever they’re going through, to be able to coach them in that way — does fill that void.” Eric Brown contributed to this story.

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A journey through biblical landscapes Students spend winter break in Israel

a l l s u b m i t t e d p h oto s

LU junior Kathryn Lewellyn captured this photo of a girl in Bethlehem carrying a sheep. LU’s vice president of Spiritual Development Dwayne Carson (below right) speaks at the Mount of Beatitudes on a trip to Israel over winter break. by Mar c e lo A . Q uar antotto

While many Liberty students traveled home to spend time with their families for the Christmas break, a group of students and some family members (48 in all) decided upon a different destination — Israel. The trip proved to take its travelers to more than just new geographic locations. For Kathryn Lewellyn, a junior voice performance major, the journey began during a fall convocation where Campus Pastor Johnnie Moore (also LU’s vice president of Executive Projects and Media Relations) announced the trip to be lead by himself and Campus Pastor Dwayne Carson (also LU’s vice president of Spiritual Development).

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Lewellyn had been waiting for the day when suitable scheduling and a trustworthy organization would accompany the opportunity to see the Holy Land. With everything but her finances in place, she committed to go. “After much prayer and God’s unbelievable provision,” said Lewellyn, “this possibility became a reality and literally a dream come true.” At the onset, she thought of the trip as a “privilege” and made it her goal not to “miss anything or any bit of information … soaking up every single part of the experience.” Moore confirmed the sentiment: “When you travel to Israel, every rock means something. It’s like the land is a text. Every place


you go is infused with meaning.” From Dec. 27 to Jan. 6, the group visited dozens of sites known for their biblical, historical and cultural significance. They started at the region of Galilee. A boat took them out onto sea where Moore preached about Peter’s life and faith. When dark clouds came rolling in, Carson said he and the others thought of the scene of Jesus and Peter walking on water in Matthew 14. “The Scriptures were being painted in a whole new light for me,” said Lewellyn. “They were in color, instead of black and white and the occasional red, and took on sort of a different texture … God’s word is very much alive.” Some of the other places they visited were the Dead Sea (where, of course, they floated), the Mount of Beatitudes, Yad Veshem (the national holocaust museum), Caesarea Philippi, the Valley of Armageddon, and what is believed to be the Upper Room, where Carson taught about the Lord’s Supper. While at the Mount of Olives, Lewellyn said they “sat staring at the scene of redemption. There was an attitude of reverence and worship that seemed to come over the group. This is where it took place! This is where we as believers were set free from the bondage of sin and death.” Their last experience in Israel was receiving communion in the Garden tomb. “Standing in the empty tomb of Jesus is just a staggering experience,” said Moore. Carson, Moore and Lewellyn all agreed that by the end, lives were changed. People built new relationships and affirmed old ones. Moore stated that the trip was especially meaningful for those who went with their loved ones. His wife Andrea (they married last year) traveled with him. “Hearts were changed and eyes were opened,” said Lewellyn. “It is one of those experiences that I will look back on and make the statement: ‘That changed my life.’”

LU students Kathryn Lewellyn (left) and Ana Kempner show off their muddied faces after taking a dive in the Dead Sea.

Kathryn Lewellyn and Dwayne Carson take a break at Bet She’an.

A group of LU students test out the waters of the Dead Sea.

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Perseverance in the midst of trials Now a single mother, Julia Anderson is back at LU

joe l cole man

While not in classes at LU, Julia Anderson is a full-time mother of four in Lynchburg. BY sar ah d es k i n s

Julia Anderson knows suffering and has faced her fair share of challenges. She has also, however, experienced God’s provision and faithfulness. In March 2007, she lost her unborn daughter, which would have been her fifth child. While devastating and lifechanging, little did Anderson know that a mere seven months later her husband of 10 years, Ryan, would take his own life while serving in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Sterett. For Anderson, the moment she was notified of her husband’s death drastically altered her life and the life of her four children — but she never questioned God’s plan. Saved at a young age, Anderson’s faith was resilient as she faced the

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challenges of beginning life as a single parent while mourning the loss of her spouse, because she recognized the many ways the Lord had prepared her life for dramatic changes. “I can’t say enough about what God did for me — the things He brought me through. I’ve gotten to experience that peace that passes all understanding,” said Anderson. Prior to facing tragedy and while living in San Diego, Anderson and her family began attending a local church where the pastor invited her to a ladies Bible study. Anderson recalls learning that the topic of the Bible study was faith and her response being, “I guess I could always use a little more faith!” She had no idea how much she would soon need to rely on her faith in the Lord.

Following the loss of her unborn child, Anderson moved across the country to Virginia to be near family. It was during the time of recovery that she began to establish the strong network that would eventually transition to support her after she lost her husband. When she became a military widow, the U.S. Navy offered Anderson and her family extensive provisions as she transitioned into her life as a single parent. Anderson recalls the day she learned that she was entitled to education benefits. “Coming here was no question,” she said of choosing Liberty University last year. “It was immediate. I knew I was moving to Lynchburg and attending Liberty. I thought, ‘Watch out Liberty! Here I come and I am bringing my four kids!’” Anderson had previously attended LU


in the late 1990s, but put her education on hold to get married and start a family. More than a decade later, Anderson is back at Liberty — a place she remembered fondly — and has resumed her education as a Kinesiology major. For Anderson, returning to Liberty to complete her degree was made possible through military benefits and the Liberty University Heroes Fund Scholarship. The scholarship is offered to service members who were injured during the Gulf Wars or to the spouses of those who died during that time and is funded through private donations. “The Heroes Fund Scholarship is sustained through the donations of those who choose to give back to service members and veterans through education in Liberty University’s Residential and Online programs,” said Emily Foutz, LU’s director of Military Affairs. Having the opportunity to complete her degree was a blessing to Anderson in the wake of grave trials. “The knowledge that I would receive college benefits was a big sigh of relief,” she said. Much different than her early days as an undergraduate student living on campus, Anderson now strives to balance excelling in her classes and raising her four children: Payton, 10; Bailey, 8; Gavin, 5; and Lisette, 4. “I know that if I don’t do my homework, I am going to fail [my classes], but if I don’t take care of my kids I am going to fail as a parent,” Anderson said. “A lot of times I feel overwhelmed, but I also know that beyond a shadow of doubt, I am supposed to be at Liberty finishing my degree.” Anderson looks forward to the future as she continues to raise a godly family, anticipates graduation and strives to impact the lives of others through sharing her story and the message of God’s faithfulness. li b e rty j o u r nal

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s p i r itual Li f e

A taste of Liberty in China Dr. Elmer Towns visits Fudan University to discuss exchange possibilities As the giant Boeing airliner made its approach to the Shanghai International Airport in Shanghai, China, an unusual event was about to take place. Dr. Elmer Towns, Liberty University co-founder and dean of the School of Religion, was on board this particular aircraft in October as he had been invited by the Chinese government to present lectures on the prestigious campus of Fudan University. Fudan University, located in Shanghai, was established in 1905. With an enrollment approaching 50,000 students — similar to that of Liberty’s resident and online numbers — it is ranked as one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Nearly 3,000 foreign students attend on a regular basis. The university has established relationships with some 200 universities and institutions in 30 countries. Fudan has also graduated some of the world’s leading executives and government figures. The reason for the visit between Towns

and Fudan professors was to discuss ideas on how to best allow for student exchanges between the two universities, as well as visits from professors. Towns said he met for two hours with professors and other faculty to discuss the potential relationship. “It was a very open and harmonious discussion,” he said. Towns also had an opportunity to present a lecture to the students titled, “The Church, the Body of Christ.” “It was an extraordinary visit because a Communist nation invited an evangelical Christian to speak in a state-controlled university,” Towns said. Fudan University comprises 17 fulltime schools, 69 departments with 73 bachelor’s degrees, 22 disciplines and 134 sub-disciplines authorized to confer Ph.D. degrees. Article and photographs courtesy of Sail of Hope International with the assistance of LU student Benjamin Taylor.

Top right: Fudan University in Shanghai, China, is ranked as one of the top universities in the world. LU is currently working with Fudan to develop an exchange program. Bottom right: Dr. Elmer Towns meets with Chinese students at Fudan University in October. Below: Students at Fudan University listen to Towns deliver a lecture.

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Haiti tragedy reaches LU

f i le p h oto

LU has had a long relationship with Haiti. Here, Liberty Founder Dr. Jerry Falwell holds a Haitian child in the 1970s. by j o h n n i e m o o r e

students traveled to Haiti on a twin-engine Convair aircraft that had been graciously donated to LU. Students would travel from Lynchburg on the 35-seat plane and spend a week building schools and churches. When a severe famine crippled Haiti in the late 1970s, Liberty sent a 200-foot grain ship to the nation. Fifty students waited in Port-au-Prince to receive and unload it. The food was gifted to local Haitian pastors who used it to help their communities. After the earthquake in January the only surviving hospital in Haiti was one built by LU students during that time. Most recently, in the spring of 2007, I led a team of women’s ministry majors in a project to assist an orphanage and mission hospital in the area. I remember interacting with many joyful people who, unfortunately, were already fighting against poverty and disease. Liberty University has long cared for the people of Haiti and it will not orphan her in her time of greatest need. Of course, the university cannot rebuild the nation, but it has decided to help rebuild many broken lives. Johnnie Moore is campus pastor and vice president for Executive Projects and Media Relations at Liberty.

s u b m it t e d

Three Liberty University students witnessed the devastation of their homeland when a horrific earthquake beset Haiti this January. Like their nation, their lives will never be the same. Thankfully, all three survived. Sadly, some of their loved ones did not. For these students, Jan. 12, 2010 is their day of infamy. Fewer than 900 Haitian students are studying on student visas in the United States — 3 percent of those are getting their degrees from Liberty University. All of them were directly affected by the 7.0 earthquake that shattered their nation. Several lost loved ones, others their family businesses and all of them were deeply traumatized by the apocalyptic scenes. Wislaine Dormay is a Haitian graduate student with an undergraduate degree from Liberty. During the first earthquake, her family lost their business. In a 6.1 aftershock she lost her aunt. Melinda Zosh, a writer for the Liberty Champion, LU’s student newspaper, asked Dormay about the tragedy. “I knew the Lord [had] a reason. I had to

trust him no matter what,” she said. Within hours of the tragedy, Liberty began exhaustive efforts to locate the Haitian community within the student body to better understand how we could care for those students affected by the recent events. The university responded with more than $30,000 of unbudgeted emergency aid, excused small balances from the previous semester and provided commuters with meal points that could be used in the Sodexo dining facilities. Liberty also donated a tractor-trailer load of bedding to an aid organization in Haiti and the university’s Campus Church underwrote a year’s worth of expenses for 15 Haitian orphans. The first convocation of the spring semester began with a time of corporate intercession for the Haitian people and a call to make generous donations to faith-based, disaster recovery organizations, like Samaritan’s Purse and WorldHelp. Later this year, the university’s Center for Global Ministries will adopt a particular project and put a team of faculty, staff and students on the ground to make a difference. Liberty University has a long history in Haiti. In its earliest years, each student was require d to spend at least one week a semester in missionary service. Many

Vernon Brewer, an LU alumnus and president of the nonprofit organization WorldHelp, visited Haiti in January after the earthquake struck. li b e rty j o u r nal

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A Moving Way to Worship Lori Provost teaches movement as a way to glorify God

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by T e r esa D u n ham

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training for a career in acting, choreography or dance. Some of her beginner students come into the class nervous or intimidated, but she encourages them to surrender their inhibitions. She said she will never forget one student who started the class with a poor body image and, with encouragement, began to see the beauty of Christ moving

j o r da n c r o s s i n g ham

For Liberty University alumna Lori Provost, dancing is not just movement. It’s a form of worship. That spirit of adoration is palpable when Provost, an adjunct professor of stage movement at Liberty University, teaches her Theatre Arts students the fundamentals of ballet, modern, jazz, tap, stage movement and improvisation. “We’ve got some very gifted dancers in our department. I really try to steer them not so much via the world’s way of teaching dance — but to recognize this art form as a tool to worship God,” she said. Though Provost acknowledges that some forms of dance can be a detriment to the Christian walk, she believes the type of movement her students are learning can glorify God in a powerful way. Movement is not a major or minor at Liberty, but Stage Movement I and II is

offered for Theatre Arts majors. One of the ways Provost encourages her students to worship is with an exercise that turns their movements into a prayer. She plays worship music, and students silently think about what they want to lift up to God, expressing those needs, praises, desires and thoughts through independent movement. When everyone sits down, that’s the class’s collective “Amen.” In another exercise, she asks her students to write their personal testimonies and choreograph them. As they act out their conversion, Provost said, not only does it become a great learning tool, but it also becomes a cathartic release for many of the students. “It’s very humbling because I think God really does all the work,” she said. Besides encouraging students to strengthen their faith through movement, Provost, 31, is also giving them practical


through her. That same student received the highest grade in the class. “In acting technique, you’re taught to work from the inside out, to find motivation for every movement you see on stage,” she said. “Being able to find that motivation of Christ within you [makes movement] very powerful.”

Putti ng away th e Toe Shoes Provost didn’t argue with her parents because she realized they were right. “This was my first opportunity to really learn about the Bible and the Christian walk,” she said. “When I stepped foot on campus [in 1996], I purposely left my dance shoes behind, so that I could focus solely on God.” The longer she was at LU, the more

Letti ng G od move h e r After her sophomore year, Provost left LU to pursue a dance major at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss., where she performed with Ballet Magnificat — the only Christian professional dance company in the nation. Eventually, she returned to LU to complete a degree in English and began working as a newspaper reporter. Life soon took her to Regent University, where she earned a master’s degree in communications, focusing on theater and ministry. After that, she worked as a reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network’s “The 700 Club.” That’s where she interviewed her future husband, Larry Provost, now Liberty University’s director of commuter affairs. After they were married, Larry was offered a job at Liberty. On the same day he got the call, Theatre Arts Department chair Linda Nell Cooper called Lori to ask if she’d like to teach at LU. “We just knew God wanted us here,” Provost said. Recently, LU added a studio with mirrors and a sprung floor in the Schilling Center. “I believe the Lord has been drawing gifted dancers here. There is no better, more nurturing environment for young Christian dancers to train,” said Provost, who also teaches classes in church drama and writing for church drama and directs the Theatre Arts Department’s new ministry club, Transformation Theatre Club. For Provost, this is all a dream come true. “Whatever God has, step by step, I’m following him.” j o r dan c r o s s i n g h am

j o r dan c r o s s i n g h am

A G od-g ive n passion God has given Provost a passion for dance since she was young. Movement was her way of expressing her deepest longings and creating beauty. When she slipped on her pointe shoes, life seemed bigger. Her parents enrolled her in dance classes at age 4 — and by the time she was in high school, she was dancing with a preprofessional company. In her words, “I sold my soul to ballet.” The company told her she couldn’t get a tan, cut her hair or attend church; it monitored how many hours she could spend on schoolwork and virtually telling her how to live. Acceptances and scholarships from prestigious dance schools such as SUNY Purchase and Julliard in New York City came her way. But the summer she graduated from high school, an ankle injury kept her on the couch. She was a new Christian then. “That summer was very pivotal because my parents gave me some hard doses of reality, and they said, ‘We really see that you are becoming very unhealthy,’” she said. Physically and emotionally, dance had been consuming her — and for that reason, Provost’s parents didn’t want

her to continue dancing in college or professionally. “They drove me to Liberty University that summer,” she said.

her body seemed to regain strength. She didn’t mind giving up ballet to learn what God had to teach her — but after two years at LU, she began to sense that God might not want her to give up dancing after all. “I would go to the prayer chapel and I would pray, ‘God please bring dancing here to Liberty,’” she said. Sometimes she would sneak into her dorm room, turn on worship music and let herself worship Him through dance. Back then, LU didn’t even have a Theatre Arts Department.

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aculty focuS Dr. Ed Hindson, School of Religion

career

Associate dean, professor of Religion at LU from 1974-86 Visiting lecturer of Pastoral Counseling at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Mo., 1986-88 Vice president and distinguished professor of Religion at Missouri Baptist University, St. Louis, Mo., 1988-92 Associate pastor and minister of Biblical Studies at Rehoboth Baptist Church, Atlanta, Ga., 1992-2000 Assistant to the chancellor and distinguished professor of Religion at LU since 2000 e d u c at i o n

B.A., William Tyndale College M.A., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School Th.M., Grace Theological Seminary Th.D., Trinity Graduate School of Theology le s s c h o f e r

awa r d s

The Gold Medallion Book Award for “Knowing Jesus Study Bible” The Angel Award for his international telecast, “The King is Coming” International Who’s Who of Intellectuals Who’s Who in Religion and Education Life Fellow of International Biographical Association (Cambridge, England)

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p u b l i c at i o n s

Author, co-author and editor of more than 40 books since the early 1970s, including “Philistines and the Old Testament,” “Isaiah’s Immanuel,” “Angels of Deceit,” “Approaching Armageddon,” “Antichrist Rising,” “The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy,” “The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics,” and the 16-volume “Twenty-First Century Bible Commentary.”

D.Min., Westminster Theological Seminary D.Phil., University of South Africa

personal

Dr. Ed Hindson and his wife, Donna, are natives of Detroit, Mich. They live in Forest, Va., and are very active members of their community. They have been married for 43 years and have three married children — Linda, Christy and Jonathan — and five grandchildren. Dr. Hindson was ordained in 1966 in Baptist ministry. He is currently the featured professor and dean for the Institute of Biblical Studies.


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Academic

briefS

News and Notes on Programs, Faculty and Students

Seminary forges partnership with Kenya university Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary has forged its first international partnership. On Nov. 20, seminary president Ergun Caner visited Kenya to sign a memorandum of understanding with Kabarak University that will provide unique opportunities to students of both schools. “It enables our faculty to teach there, and their students to enroll in Liberty University Online’s Master of Arts in Theological Studies,” Caner said. LU students will also have the opportunity to study at Kabarack for a semester or for a shorter intensive course while working toward their LUO or residential degree. Kabarack lies a mere 10 miles south of the equator in the town of Nakuru. The country’s second president, Daniel T. Moi, founded the school in 2000 to provide Kenyan students with an academically excellent and biblically sound college education. The partnership between Kabarack and LU started at the suggestion of Dr. Jones Kaleli, an associate professor of intercultural studies at LU. Kaleli is a native of Kenya.

Liberty receives top level of accreditation Liberty University received Level VI accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) in December 2009. This is the highest classification from SACS and is reserved for colleges and universities that offer four or more doctoral degrees. “Our accreditation is now at the same level as Harvard’s and Yale’s,” said Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. Liberty University was first accredited by SACS in 1980. The university currently offers a Doctor of Education, a Ph.D. in Counseling and two doctoral degrees through Liberty Baptist Theological

Seminary: the Doctor of Ministry and the new Ph.D. in Theology and Apologetics, the latter of which underwent a review in March by a committee appointed by the Commission on Colleges of SACS. Dr. Boyd Rist, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, said during the on-campus review in the spring, the team examined all aspects of the new Ph.D. program and also reviewed assessment and research components of other university graduate programs. He said SACS representatives “complimented Liberty University on establishing the program and for the quality of the Ph.D. faculty.”

Liberty’s 2009-10 Quiz Bowl team was recognized at the Feb. 10 convocation. Top row, from left: Coach Jim Nutter, Corbin Payne and Jeremy Peterson. Bottom row, from left: Jake Rogers, Eddie Brown (captain), Tyler Flynn and Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr.

Quiz bowl team wins conference championship

Dr. Ergun Caner, president of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, signs an agreement with members of Karabuk University administration at the school’s commencement in November 2009.

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Liberty University’s Quiz Bowl team took first place in the Big South Conference Quiz Bowl Tournament held at LU on Jan. 30. This is Liberty’s fourth conference championship win in five years. Other teams competing were GardnerWebb, Coastal Carolina and Winthrop universities. Liberty finished the tournament with

a 5-1 record. At LU, Quiz Bowl has been called the “varsity sport of the mind.” Teams play games consisting of two, nine-minute halves by answering a variety of questions on literature, history, geography, government, the sciences, math, art, popular culture and sports. Liberty’s team consists entirely of Honors Program students.


Fed Challenge team finalist in economics competition

Wong

Jacobs

Advertising, PR students recognized nationally Christopher Wong, a senior advertising major, was awarded one of the American Advertising Federation’s (AAF) 2010 Most Promising Minority Student Awards in December. The honor entitled Wong to free travel and accommodations to New York City on Feb. 2-4 for the AAF national conference, where he was presented with the award, participated in special seminars and had the opportunity to interview with top agencies and media outlets. In the Public Relations department, December 2009 graduate Danielle Jacobs was one of five finalists chosen for the PR Week 2010 Student of the Year award. PR Week is a leading industry publication with print and online editions. As a finalist, Jacobs received an allexpense-paid trip to New York City for the Jan. 25 competition. As part of her Communication Campaign course, Jacobs conducted research and devised a strategic PR plan for Mazda. Her project was submitted to PR Week to compete against other students from colleges throughout the country. At the New York competition, Jacobs pitched her plan to a panel of PR experts and responded to a crisis communication scenario. Public Relations and Advertising are just two of the concentrations offered to students in LU’s School of Communications.

Liberty University’s College Fed Challenge team was a finalist in a regional competition held at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Va., on Oct. 26. The Richmond Federal Reserve Bank sponsors the academic competition to encourage better understanding of the nation’s central bank, the forces influencing economic conditions in the United States and abroad, and the ways the economy affects everyone. The competition consisted of 20-minute presentations on Fed Open Market Committee monetary policy and Q&A’s with a panel of judges made up of experts in the field of economics. Liberty was one of just three teams from

the field of 12 to advance to the second portion of the competition. “This marks the third time that Liberty University teams have reached the finals of the Richmond competition, including 2002, 2007 and 2009,” said Scott P. Ehrhorn, LU assistant professor of Finance. Other schools competing were James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University Bridgewater College, Christopher Newport University, Lynchburg College, Old Dominion University, Roanoke College, University of Richmond, University of Mary Washington, Virginia Union University and Marshall University of Huntington, W.Va.

From left, Elisha Distler, Zac Bauman, Julie Schmidt, Drew Lewis, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Professor Scott Ehrhorn, Tyler Harris, Jeremy White, Jacob Childers, Juan Reyes and Tom Brown.

Sport Management adds new master’s degree The Department of Sport Management started a new graduate program for Spring 2010. The 36-credit-hour Master of Science program comprises a set of core courses with two specializations: Sport Administration or Outdoor Recreation Management. The program design began three

years ago and received SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) approval to officially begin the program this spring. Receiving a Sport Management master’s degree could lead to careers including collegiate athletic administration, resort management and front office positions with professional teams. li b e rty j o u r nal

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Tower Theater takes center stage New performing arts theater set to open this summer

JOE L COLE MAN

Construction on the new Tower Theater in Campus North has continued throughout the spring semester. by m itz i b i b le

For about six years, the tallest, most visible spot on the Liberty University campus was silent. But in fall 2009, the tower at Campus North became a buzz of activity as construction began on a new 600plus seat theater. In late 2008, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. tagged the tower area as the last undeveloped portion of the 1 millionsquare-foot Campus North building (originally a cell phone plant) — and he spotted an opportunity he couldn’t resist. After watching award-winning theater students perform in a renovated lecture hall to a crowded audience of 250 (with many more being turned away for sellout shows), and with academic improvements at the top of his list, building a new theater became a priority. After consulting with architects, it turned out the tower space was a perfect fit and Falwell announced in March 2009 that a theater would be built there, and a

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fundraising campaign was launched. “Pray for that fundraising effort,” he told students in convocation. “It’s long overdue.” The Tower Theater will make its debut with a grand opening in August, at the start of the Fall 2010 semester. Linda Nell Cooper, head of the Theatre Arts Department, said the excitement of a new theater is spreading through the campus and the region. She said news of the new theater is already helping recruiting efforts. To parents, “it says professionalism,” she said. With experience in helping build a professional theater in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Cooper, along with a team of planners from Liberty and an outside firm, have designed a top-notch facility that should position it among the best in the state. Charles Spence, director of planning and new construction at Liberty, said the theater, which stands at eight-and-a-half stories high, is a “massive project” that’s taken “a ton of coordination.” Estimated

at $6.5 million, the contemporary-style theater will consist of balcony seating, an orchestra pit, catwalks, a fly tower (an intricate system of ropes and pulleys that can move Broadway-size sets and scenery), a box office and 12,000 square feet of support area that includes dressing rooms, a theater practice room, offices, costume shop, prop room and woodworking and scene shops. Future plans call for a separate black box theater to seat 150 people and more lab and studio space. “This makes a real statement about the university when you have your own performing arts theater — and with the quality this one’s going to be,” Spence said. “It’s all going to be state of the art, — the best sound, the best lighting, the best fly rig you can buy.” Cooper said donations are coming in, but many naming opportunities are still available. A popular part of the fundraising campaign is the name-a-seat project. By giv-


ing $1,000, donors can name a theater seat in honor of a family member, loved one, friend or business. Naming opportunities still exist for everything from the theater itself to the main lobby, acting studio, orchestra pit and support rooms backstage. “I personally would like to thank every person who has given anywhere from $10 to $20,000 toward the new Tower Theater,” Cooper said. “You may never realize what a blessing you have been to this department, our students and our future students.” JOE L COLE MAN

For more information on giving to Liberty’s Performing Arts Theater Capital Campaign, call (800) 368-3801 or visit www.liberty.edu/giving.

This artist’s rendering shows the new Tower Theater scheduled to open in August.

www.dodsonbros.com li b e rty j o u r nal

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g ivi n g bac k

S.C. man contributes to Liberty’s mission by m itz i b i b le

Philip Pou of Saluda, S.C., has supported Liberty University and its affiliated ministries for almost half his life. He celebrated his 80th birthday in August. “As a longtime member of LU’s Board of Regents and the Jerry Falwell Legacy Society, Pou has had a chance to visit the campus over the years. He always loved the part of the annual Board of Regents weekends where students meet with members and talk about all the new facilities and academic improvements on campus. He would talk with staff from Liberty’s Planned Giving Department for hours about how he loved the fact that Liberty was growing and doing well and how excited he was to see the Lord’s

blessings on Liberty. It seemed every visit to Lynchburg energized Pou and led him to support the school even more. But there’s one memory of Liberty that he will forever hold dear. While he was in the hospital a few years ago, he received a visit from Tom Arnold, director of Liberty’s Planned Giving Department. Arnold said he enjoyed the visit, and when he returned to Liberty, he told Dr. Jerry Falwell, Liberty University’s founder and then-chancellor, about his friend in South Carolina. Falwell immediately called Pou in the hospital. “That call cemented him into the heart of this school,” Arnold said. Pou was indeed encouraged by the personal call and, when released from

I Received High Fixed Payments With A Gift Annuity From

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“I heard that a person could receive a very good return with a gift annuity. After contacting the Liberty University Planned Giving Department, I sent $10,000 for a 7.1% annuity. In addition to these fixed payments for life and benefiting Liberty University, I benefit from a large tax savings this year. Best of all, a large part of each payment is tax-free!”

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the hospital, was already making plans to continue to support the school any way he could. Through Liberty’s Planned Giving Department, Pou has purchased nine charitable gift annuities, made numerous other donations and included Liberty in his will. But he hasn’t stopped there. Pou has encouraged others to support Liberty, including his sister, who he has to thank for investing in his own college education. Pou believes in the value of higher education. He received an undergraduate degree from Furman University and a master’s in economics from Baylor University. He served in the U.S. Air Force and worked as a salesman for Ford Motor Company for more than 20 years. His sales awards cover an entire wall in his home. But it’s clear he isn’t seeking any type of award for his contribution to the Lord’s work at Liberty. “I have a lot of good times of fellowship when I visit Philip Pou,” said Planned Giving Officer Everett Foutz. “He’s one of our most loyal, faithful supporters.”

Read more donor testimonials on Liberty’s Planned Giving website, www.lugiving.com.


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Alumni Snapshot Name: Kathryn Spurgeon Graduating class: 1993 Residence: Brooklyn, N.Y. CHILDREN: Elizabeth, a current LU student, and Charles Occupation: Audit manager with Pinpoint Profit Recovery Services Hobbies: Exploring New York City, baking, reading Affiliations: Brooklyn Tabernacle member Education: A.S. in Accounting, 1982 Madison Business College; B.A. in Business Administration and Human Resources, 1993 Liberty University Kathryn is a direct descendant of Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a highly influential preacher in the 1800s who was known as the “Prince of Preachers.” One of the buildings at the old Thomas Road Baptist Church was named after Charles. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO ATTEND LIBERTY UNIVERSITY? It was just in my heart to go to Liberty. I had known of university since the 1970s and I wanted to go when I was graduating from high school, but it wasn’t possible at that time. A few years after my husband died in 1985 I moved my kids to Lynchburg and they went to Liberty Christian Academy and I went to Liberty. WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST MEMORY OF LIBERTY? I was in the Living Christmas Tree program at Thomas Road Baptist Church for three years and I loved that. Because I was a single parent I couldn’t do as many extracurricular activities, but I worked at the bookstore and that was a blast. It was a behind-the-scenes job in the warehouse, and I really enjoyed it a lot. We would set up for all the book sales and buybacks. The warehouse was in the first dorm past the Vines Center on the left at that time.

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HOW DID ATTENDING LIBERTY PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR LIFE AFTER GRADUATION? I use what I learned in organizational behavior and management every day. When I’m consulting with my clients on recovery work I am literally going back into the organization structure, and I’m thinking about what their human resource needs are. As a Christian we should always be lifting others up and thinking of ourselves as an ambassador of sorts. You garner a lot more support when you behave that way. WHAT WOUD PEOPLE BE SURPRISED TO KNOW ABOUT YOU? I love to bake. To me baking is a creative outlet. I also used to travel all the time as an auditor with my job. One year I slept in hotels for 300 nights.

Spurgeon is heading the New York City area LU alumni chapter that is being launched this spring in the Big Apple. Contact the Liberty University Alumni Relations Office at alumni@liberty. edu or (800) 628- 7973 for more information on this and other chapter launches.


C lass

note S

Alumni Update

C las s o f 19 8 4 Jack Jordan, who received his Bachelor of Science degree from Liberty, is running for the U.S. House of Representatives for District 2 in Indiana. From 1988 to 2004, Jordan embarked on a successful career at Eli Lilly and Company in Indiana, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies. He began as a sales representative and after holding various positions, worked his way up to Brand Teams Director and Subsidiary CEO. Since 2006, Jordan has been on faculty with Indiana University of South Bend, teaching in the School of Business and Economics. He attained a Master of Science in Management degree from Purdue University in 1988. Jordan and his wife live in Bremen, a small town in northern Indiana, with their two children. He is active in the community, serving as president of Bremen School Board and is involved in various missions efforts in Romania, where he and his wife travel frequently, addressing needs for orphanages and church planting.

Vocal Band for 15 years. His latest work is a solo album titled “Breathe Deep.” Tickets for his April 23 concert are available at www.trbc.org. Penrod met his wife, Angie, at LU. They have eight children — seven boys and a girl.

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S

’84 C las s o f 19 85 Guy Penrod is launching a solo career and returning home for a concert at Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg at 7 p.m., April 23. As a former member of Sounds of Liberty, Penrod became popular among the students and TRBC. Penrod was a member of the Gaither

C las s o f 19 8 8 Susan Wise Bower is the author of several books, including “The Well-Educated Mind,” on classical self-education, “The History of the Ancient World” and “The History of the Medieval World.” The latter two books are planned to be a four-

’88

o when are you coming back

to explore the secrets of an historic city and learn about the fascinating people and events that helped shape Lynchburg and Central Virginia? Visit the Lynchburg Museum and Point of Honor—two timeless artifacts brimming with treasures and stories both past and present. Include a visit to our Gift Shop at Point of Honor to commemorate your visit. Offering customized group tours and discounted tickets. Mon.~Sat., 10 a.m.~4 p.m. Sun., 12 p.m.~4 p.m.

(434) 455-6226 Lynchburg Museum

Point of Honor

www.lynchburgmuseum.org

www.pointof honor.org

901 Court Street

112 Cabell Street

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volume, world history series. She holds a B.A. in English. Susan and her husband live in Charles City, Va., where Peter serves as the minister of a nondenominational church. They have three sons and one daughter. Penny Young Nance is the chief executive officer of Concerned Women for America, the national’s largest conservative women’s organization. CWA was founded by Beverly LaHaye, who, with her husband Tim, serve on Liberty’s Board of Trustees and are longtime LU supporters, having donated funds to open the LaHaye Ice Center on campus. Nance holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications with a journalism/public relations emphasis from Liberty. She has previously served on CWA’s board and staff. She has also served as special advisor on family policy to former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and is the former president of Nance and Associates.

Stone received her master’s degree in counseling from Liberty. C las s o f 19 9 6 Linda Conner (Flecke) is the author of “The Adventures of Molly Dolly: the Lost Smile,” a children’s book. “Molly Dolly” is the story of a doll that when handled too roughly does not know how to feel. After some advice from her unconventional friends she learns not to be a victim of her circumstances. Conner graduated from LU with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communication. Conner said the idea for the book came from a desire to help children rise above a difficult childhood and not play the victim. Conner’s next adventure in writing is another children’s book titled “Super Teacher,” which is based on her experiences as a teacher.

’96 ’88 C las s o f 19 95 Beverly Gilbert Stone is the director of Expanding Opportunities, a 501(c)3 organization in the U.S. and a registered nongovernment organization in Kenya. The organization has several ongoing projects to help children around the world. Visit www.exop.org for more information.

C las s o f 200 6 Ruth Ann Adams was named Teacher of the Year at Faith Christian Academy in Altavista, Va. She splits her time teaching music, art and computer, and supervises the yearbook staff and the online Spanish I and II classes. Adams earned a bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Science in 2006 and an associate’s degree in General Studies in 2004. She was born and

raised in Rochester, Minn. Adams and her husband Alan have three children, Allison, 19; Jason, 13; and Benjamin, 8. C l as s o f 2 0 07 Nick Dimondi, a 2007 graduate of Liberty’s School of Communication with a specialization in broadcast and video, produced a commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLIV on Feb. 7. Dimondi founded the North Carolina-based advertising agency, Five Point Productions. With Dimondi as producer, he and his coworkers submitted two commercials for Frito-Lay’s “Crash the Super Bowl” commercial contest, landing as two of the six finalists out of more than 4,000 entries from around the country. The public cast its votes online and the top three commercials were played during the Super Bowl, including Dimondi’s “Underdog,” which shows a dog taking revenge on a young man to win a bag of Doritos. As one of the finalists, Frito-Lay has already paid Dimondi’s crew $25,000 for each video and flew them to Florida for a private Super Bowl party hosted by Doritos. An added bonus came after the Super Bowl when the commercial ranked No. 2 on the USA Today “ad meter,” earning them an extra $600,000.

’07

attention alumni: send us your submissions email: dmhylton@liberty.edu

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mail: 1971 University Blvd., Lynchburg, VA 24502


LU Online grad creates a Bible for the Xbox For years, Liberty University Online graduate Aaron Linne dreamed of a way to get the Bible on the Xbox. In January, his dream came true as his company released “Bible Navigator X.” Linne, who graduated from LU Online in 2008 with a Master’s in Business Administration, is the executive producer of digital marketing for Broadman & Holman Publishing Group. “Bible Navigator X” features the complete Holman Christian Standard Bible, which can be downloaded through the “Indie Games” channel of Xbox.com. The application will “bring the Bible into people’s living rooms and onto their

FEBRUARY 19 at Kennesaw State 20 at Kennesaw State 21 at Kennesaw State 23 at VCU Hughes Brothers Challenge 26 vs. Morehead State 27 vs. Lehigh 28 vs. UNC Wilmington MARCH 2 VCU 5 DELAWARE STATE 6 DELAWARE STATE 7 DELAWARE STATE 9 OLD DOMINION 12 ST. JOHN’S 13 ST. JOHN’S 14 ST. JOHN’S 16 at James Madison 17 at Duke 19 MANHATTAN 20 MANHATTAN 21 MANHATTAN 23 at Virginia Tech 26 at UNC Asheville * 27 at UNC Asheville * 28 at UNC Asheville * 30 GEORGE MASON APRIL 2 HIGH POINT * 3 HIGH POINT * (DH) 5 at Old Dominion 9 at Radford * 10 at Radford * 11 at Radford * 13 ELON 16 VMI * 17 VMI *

Kennesaw, Ga. Kennesaw, Ga. Kennesaw, Ga. Richmond, Va.

4 p.m. 1 p.m. 1 p.m. 3 p.m.

Wilmington, N.C. 12:30 p.m. Wilmington, N.C. 10 a.m. Wilmington, N.C. 1:30 p.m. LYNCHBURG, VA. 3 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 3 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 2 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 1 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 3 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 3 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 2 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 1 P.M. Harrisonburg, Va. 4 p.m. Durham, N.C. 3 p.m. LYNCHBURG, VA. 3 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 2 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. 1 P.M. Blacksburg, Va. 5:30 p.m. Asheville, N.C. 3 p.m. Asheville, N.C. 2 p.m. Asheville, N.C. 1 p.m. LYNCHBURG, VA. 3 P.M. LYNCHBURG, VA. LYNCHBURG, VA. Norfolk, Va. Radford, Va. Radford, Va. Radford, Va. LYNCHBURG, VA. LYNCHBURG, VA. LYNCHBURG, VA.

7 P.M. 1 P.M. 5 P.M. 3 p.m. 2 p.m. 1 p.m. 6 P.M. 7 P.M. 4 P.M.

televisions in a completely new and innovative way,” said Linne. “We can gather our small groups around our HDTVs and scroll through the Word quickly and easily. We can enjoy the greatest story ever told on the screen where so many other mediums have reigned for so long.” Linne credits his LU Online degree with helping him reach his goals. “My degree complimented my learning goals and lifestyle in a way that no other program could,” he said. “I’m proud to be an alumnus. Being able to get a quality, respected education without having to move across the country – or even really change your personal life’s schedule – is simply an amazing opportunity.” Linne hopes “Bible Navigator X” challenges publishers to release different

18 VMI * LYNCHBURG, VA. 20 DUKE LYNCHBURG, VA. 21 JAMES MADISON LYNCHBURG, VA. 23 at Presbyterian * Clinton, S.C. 24 at Presbyterian * Clinton, S.C. 25 at Presbyterian * Clinton, S.C. 27 at Elon Elon, N.C. 30 GARDNER-WEBB * LYNCHBURG, VA. MAY 1 GARDNER-WEBB * LYNCHBURG, VA. 2 GARDNER-WEBB * LYNCHBURG, VA. 4 at George Mason Fairfax, Va. 5 MARYLAND LYNCHBURG, VA. 7 at Charleston Southern * Charleston, S.C. 8 at Charleston Southern * Charleston, S.C. 9 at Charleston Southern * Charleston, S.C. 14 COASTAL CAROLINA * LYNCHBURG, VA. 15 COASTAL CAROLINA * LYNCHBURG, VA. 16 COASTAL CAROLINA * LYNCHBURG, VA. 20 at Winthrop * Rock Hill, S.C. 21 at Winthrop * Rock Hill, S.C. 22 at Winthrop * Rock Hill, S.C. 25-29 Big South Championship Rock Hill, S.C. JUNE 4-7 NCAA Regionals 11-14 NCAA Super Regionals 19-30 College World Series Omaha, Neb. HOME GAMES IN BOLD * - Big South Conference game • DH - Doubleheader All times are Eastern and subject to change

translations of the Bible for the Xbox and develop other innovative ways to share the Gospel. “We really hope that this gets people thinking about the Bible in new, fresh ways,” he said. “Bible Navigator X” consists of the complete Old and New Testaments, as well as a basic search function that operates much like a concordance, a bookmarking function that allows for marking passages and reorganizing bookmarks into an order appropriate for teaching or study, and a presentation mode that features a larger display suitable for projecting content on a screen. David Hylton and Paul McLinden contributed to this article.

1 P.M. 6 P.M. 3 P.M. 3 p.m. 2 p.m. 1 p.m. 7 p.m. 7 PM. 4 P.M. 1 P.M. 3 p.m. 3 P.M. 2 p.m. 3 p.m. 2 p.m. 7 P.M. 7 P.M. 1 P.M. 6 p.m. 6 p.m. 2 p.m.

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spo rts

S ports

roundu P

Flames see big success this winter

LES SCHOFE R

By Sar ah F u n d e r b u r k e P h otos by Le s S c h o f e r

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.” Isaiah 40:31 Liberty’s athletic teams focused on Isaiah 40:31 this past winter, and proved their strength in a variety of important contests. Despite unusually heavy snowfall and cold temperatures in Central Virginia, the Flames charged full speed ahead toward Big South Conference titles and NCAA tournament bids. BASKETBALL March Madness was infused with Flames flavor this year, as the women’s basketball team won the Big South Conference tournament and with it a bid to the NCAA Division I Championships. Liberty entered the championships as a No. 13 seed with a 27-5 season record, and

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faced off against No. 4 seed University of Kentucky (25-7) on March 20. The Liberty women led for part of the game before narrowly losing 83-77. This was the Flames 13th trip to the NCAA Championships in the last 14 years, and the fifth time as the No. 13 seed. Four freshmen players on the team received Big South honors this season. Devon Brown and Avery Warley both were twice named the Big South Player of the Week. Freshman of the Week honors went to Jelena Antic three times and LaKendra Washington once. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams have young squads this year, but the men also have one of the youngest squads in the nation with six freshmen and five sophomores. The men finished the season with a 10-8 Big South conference record, and two of the team’s freshmen, Antwan Burrus and Evan Gordon, received Big South Freshman of the Week Honors this winter.

INDOOR TRACK The highly successful men’s and women’s indoor track teams once again turned out a refined group of runners, jumpers, vaulters and throwers who are raising Liberty’s profile on the NCAA Division I athletic scene. Cross country national champion Sam Chelanga captured another All-American title on March 12 when he placed second in the men’s 5K at the NCAA Division I track and field championship meet in Fayetteville, Ark. Chelanga ran 13:37, one second behind Northern Arizona’s David McNeill, and is now a seven-time All-American, three of which have been in the 5K. On the women’s side, redshirt senior Jamie Watson made her debut at nationals in the 800-meter dash after qualifying with an impressive 2:06.15 in this event at the Tyson Invitational in Fayetteville, Ark., on Feb. 13. Watson placed 15th overall at nationals and set school and Big South records in the 800-meter dash.


WRESTLING The wrestling squad won several important match-ups during the 2009-10 season, including the NCAA East Regional Championships on March 6. This was the team’s fourth straight title at this event. The Flames had six individual weight class champions at the event, Jonathan Childress (125 weight class), Joe Pantaleo (133 weight class) Scott Clymer (141 weight class), Frank Geyeski (149 weight class), Chad Porter (165 weight class) and Nick Knowles (184 weight class), all of whom also competed at the national championships March18-20. Of the six wrestlers, Clymer was successful at win-

ning his first match, a 3-2 upset against Adin Duenas of California State University, Fullerton. He just missed advancing to the NCAA round of 16, as he lost his second and third matches on day two of the tournament. The Flames won the Keystone Classic on Nov. 22 in Philadelphia, beating out nine other schools, and finishing with 128 points total at the classic, while runner up American University had 110.5 points. On Jan. 27 the squad also topped rival Virginia Military Institute for the fourth straight year, finishing 29-7 overall at the matchup. FOOTBALL The Flames football squad has signed 18 newcomers for the 2010-11 season, including Scott Hyland and Desmond Rice of Liberty Christian Academy. They will have the blessing of being led by successful head coach Danny Rocco, who recently signed a contract extension through 2014. Since Rocco took over the program in 2006 the Flames have amassed a 3213 overall record. CLUB HOCKEY Although hockey is categorized as a club sport at Liberty, the continual dominance of the men’s division I team drew record crowds to the LaHaye Ice Center this season, with a sold-out house at both of Liberty’s final home games against Oakland University on Feb. 19 and 20. Head coach Kirk Handy called the atmosphere inside the LaHaye Ice Center on both nights “electric.” “It was the best I’ve ever seen it,” he said. “We appreciate all the fan support we had.” The Flames won both matches against Oakland and went into the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I tournament in March ranked No. 6. The

LES SC H O F ER

L ES SC H O F ER

She was named the Big South Athlete of the Week four times during the season. The Flames captured both the men’s and women’s Big South Championship titles on Feb. 28., and went home with individual champions in 11 different events. The Liberty men scored 192 points total to runner up Charleston Southern University’s 122, while the Liberty women score 182.5 points total to second place Coastal Carolina University’s 145. Chelanga and three other men’s track and field standouts received Big South Athlete of the Week honors this season. Clarence Powell set a school record in the triple jump at the Hokie Invitational, propelling himself 50.6 feet. Junior pole vaulter Kolby Shepherd vaulted a personal best of 16 feet 8.75 inches on Feb. 12 at the Liberty Quad meet. The women’s 4x8 team (Rebekah Ricksecker, Meghan Burggraf, Rod’Esther Castor and Watson) also set a school record this winter when they ran 9:15.21 at the Hokie Invitational on Jan. 22. Sprinter Chenoa Freeman set yet another school record when she eclipsed her own school record in the 400 by running 55.64 at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup.

Flames finished 10th overall with a 29-3 record. The team graduates seven players this year, three of whom were ranked at the top of the ACHA in total points scored for the season. Kyle Dodgson finished second overall with 71 points and Dave Semenya was ranked third with 66 points. Freshman Brent Boschman finished fourth with 65 total points. The women’s hockey team also won a bid to Division I Nationals and entered the tournament as the No. 5 seed. The lady Flames finished the season ranked seventh nationally and with an overall 16-8 record. SPRING SPORTS Liberty’s winter sports teams have passed the athletic baton over to the outdoor spring sports teams, including baseball, which opened the season winning 13 of its first 18 games. The Flames’ women’s lacrosse made its NCAA debut, picking up its first win against Howard two games into the season. For Li b e rty U n ive r sity SPRING SPORTS U PDATES visit www. libertyflames.com.

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s po rts

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

A J C HA N

Facilities make room for thousands of fans

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By S a r a h F u n d e r b u r k e

soccer and track operations center is being completed next to the outdoor track. Construction crews have already excavated an area for the facility and are in the process of putting up the first walls. When completed, this structure will be 5,000 square-feet, three stories tall and will house offices for the track team and the men’s and women’s soccer programs. This new facility will complete renovations that began this fall with the installation of a new, 1,000-seat grandstand dubbed Osborne Stadium in honor of alumnus Richard Osborne (’80) and wife Karin who donated the lead gift for this new facility. For daily updates, pictures and interviews on the Williams Stadium renovations and pictures of the partiallycompleted track and soccer complex go to www.libertyflames.com.

LES SCHOFE R

If you drive by Williams Stadium this spring you will notice that a prominent part of the football team’s home is missing — the two-story press and announcers box that once housed food vendors, media members and public restrooms. A closer look would reveal that several sections of bleachers, all the field’s light poles and large portions of the paved blacktop have also been removed. To the elation of everyone on campus, the missing stadium features will soon be replaced with an estimated $22 million in renovations that will bring the stadium’s seating capacity from 12,000 to 30,000. Although the stadium renovations are scheduled to take place in three phases over the next five years, the first phase is on target to be completed by Liberty’s

2010 season opener on Sept. 4, despite weather conditions that dumped several feet of snow, sleet and rain on Lynchburg this winter. The Roanoke, Va. based construction company Branch & Associates Inc. has already made progress on the foundation for the new Jeffersonian-style press box and 6,600 new seats that will be installed on the west side of the facility. Since Jan. 4, the foundation’s for about 400 piers (holes extending nine to 19 feet) have been dug in the ground where the press box and bleachers will be built. These piers are filled with crushed stone in order to provide adequate support for the future structures. The site has also been leveled and graded, and a temporary road has been constructed to provide adequate access for construction crews. Behind the football stadium, a new

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Liberty Journal Issue 1 2010  

Liberty Journal Issue 1 2010

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