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Nation’s first Snowflex park opens on Liberty Mountain

Student body growth spurs new campuswide development

Get to know some of Liberty’s Champions for Christ

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Liberty Journal is an official bimonthly publication of Liberty University.

f you have stepped on campus this fall, you have seen school spirit running in high gear. From the first day of classes on Aug. 24, to the grand opening of Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre on Aug. 29, the opening football game on Sept. 5 — where we surprised the largest crowd to ever attend a LU Flames football game by giving powerhouse West Virginia University a real scare — to the record crowd that attended our first home game on Sept. 12, the school year kicked off with much excitement. We have much to be thankful for — and to look forward to — as the Fall 2009 semester is well under way. I always aim to keep our students informed of the changes taking place on their campus. That is why I chose the first official convocation of the year to announce the planned expansions of Williams Stadium and the Vines Center. As reported in the special edition of the Liberty Journal last month, those plans will greatly impact Liberty’s landscape and the scope of our athletics program. But, as I told our students on Aug. 28, the biggest expansions we’ve made and where we have spent the most money has been for academic improvements. Though less visible to the public’s eye than a stadium or a snowless ski slope, our academic offerings and facility upgrades have been enhanced to the tune of $62 million in the past two years. If you choose to walk on this campus, sit in classrooms, speak with professors and use our vast learning resources today, you will find out this money has been well spent — and you will see that Liberty’s focus remains on offering a quality education comparable with the top schools in the country. Earlier this year, I spent a few days with reporter John W. Kennedy from “Christianity Today” (see Page 28), showing him around campus and talking about Liberty’s growth in its short 39-year history. He was interested to find out Liberty’s “unbound” secrets to success and was impressed by the caliber of students here. I received several emails and phone calls from Christian leaders all over the country when the five-page article in the September issue hit the shelves. Many were unaware that the school had grown to more than 11,800 residential students and more than 37,000 online. This is evidence that people around the country — and the world — are beginning to recognize what God is really doing here. As my wife, Becki, and I treated our new students — more than 4,000 of them — to a Chancellor’s Cookout to kick off their first week at college, we thanked God for parents, church leaders and other influential people in those students’ lives who have given us an important role to play in their children’s futures. As I told 300 of our “pioneers” — our earliest graduates who visited the campus from all over the world for the Youth Aflame Reunion on Sept. 11 — in the midst of all the new projects and opportunities here, we want to remain true to the mission of producing graduates whose primary calling will be to take their Christian worldview into every profession. Please pray with me that the school spirit here continues in overdrive and that the excitement of what God is doing here never stalls. Sincerely,

Jerry Falwell, Jr.


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P u b li s h e r Jerry Falwell, Jr. E X E C UT IVE E d ito r Ron Brown Manag i n g E d i to r Tara Maxwell C ON T RIBUT ING E d ito r Becki Falwell ART DIRECTOR Krista Freeman M ANAGING DESIGNER Laura Sipple D es i g n ER s Caleb Atkins Carter Wingfield Wr i te r s Mitzi Bible Eric Brown Ron Brown Teresa Dunham Carmen Fleischauer Sarah Funderburke Tara Maxwell Johnnie Moore Todd Wetmore Branson Woodard P h oto g r a p h e r s Jordan Crossingham Joel Coleman Les Schofer Jerome Sturm C i r c u lati o n Sharon Gainer B us i n es s & ADV ER TISING MANAGER Steve Peterson December/January Advertising Deadline Please call Steve Peterson at (434) 582-2731 for information. 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) 592-3100 or e-mail Copyright 2007 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 O cTO B E R / N OV E M B E R 2 0 0 9

f eatu res R E C R EATI O N R EVO LUTI O N


Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre brings big thrills Te STI M O NY I N TEAC H I N G


History professor travels long road on path to calling F I n d ing S p irituality in a secular arena


Alumni use publication to highlight Christian athletes s ecti on s general ne ws 6


University invests in construction, renovations and upgrades — 18 Stu d ent Li f e


Student travels the world, gains broader view — 36 s p iritual Li f e


Student missionaries serve in 22 countries over summer — 38 acad emic Li f e


Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary gets down to business, but not ‘as usual’ — 45 18 giving bac k


Florida couple keeps Liberty close to their hearts — 52 alumni


Alumni network continues to grow as new chapters launch — 62 s p orts



Flames induct members into the Hall of Fame — 64

Check out the Liberty Journal’s website with a fresh, reader-friendly look and compelling Web Exclusives at

On the Cover Photograph by Becki Falwell of Liberty University student Luke Fosse

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Universities worldwide lay claim to some of the most innovative indoor and outdoor recreational facilities. Liberty University’s latest attraction is more than just innovative — it is unprecedented. Located atop LU’s pristine mountain property, the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre is the first snowless ski park of its kind in North America. Defying seasonal change, this modern-day marvel offers skiing, snowboarding and tubing year-round. Since debuting in August, LMSC has garnered attention from national media, including The Discovery Channel and ABC News, creating a huge buzz within the snow sports industry. Comprised of two 500-foot runs, advanced freestyle features, a beginner’s slope and a full-service rental lodge, the high-tech facility ultimately gives LU students a more well-rounded college experience. The idea of bringing year-round snow sports to Liberty originated four years ago when university officials began looking at ways to utilize one specific God-given asset. “A lot of universities have golf courses and other elaborate

recreational facilities, but we are unique in that we have a mountain on campus,” said Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. “And so we looked for ways to use the mountain that would enhance the educational experience with a park-like facility providing everything from a quiet retreat overlooking the city to a wide variety of outdoor recreation.” Falwell, Jr. said one of the purposes of building the LMSC was to help incorporate the mountain into the campus. “Even for non-skiers, the mountain offers unparalleled views of the city and Blue Ridge Mountains during the day and the city lights at night,” he said. “The LMSC, including the lodge, is intended to be a retreat for students where they can enjoy the beautiful views that our campus offers.” Upon determining that a ski slope with natural or even artificial snow would only be used for 40 to 50 days per year due to Lynchburg’s warm climate, the university explored the option of synthetic surfaces. After an extensive search, Lee Beaumont, LU’s director of auxiliary services, came across a groundbreaking terrain technology that was safe and efficient. “We wanted something that the general rider and families could use,” Beaumont said. “Snowflex seemed to fit the bill.”

freestyle features

Cornice drop Starting at the top of the main slope, the cornice drop gives riders the sensation of leaping off the side of a snow-capped mountain. Here, skiers and snowboarders are able to obtain the initial burst of speed needed to catch big air on the slope’s kickers.


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Jumps Freestylers can choose their level of hang time wisely with LMSC’s trio of kickers. The slope’s rollover tabletop allows riders to start small, before executing tail grabs and spin tricks on the 3-foot kicker. A freestyler’s best friend, the 6-foot jump is perfect for landing more complex maneuvers such as front flips, rodeo fives and 720s.

Quarter pipe The excitement doesn’t end with the landing. LMSC’s 11-foot-high quarter pipe is the ultimate freestyle finale, allowing riders to cap their run off with an alley oop, mctwist or big frontside air.

Grind rails Taking a ride on the intermediate side? Spice up the run with a tailpress or boardslide on LMSC’s grind rails.

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Based out of the U.K., Snowflex is a multi-layer material designed to simulate the slip and grip effects of snow. Invented in 1993 by Briton Engineering’s Brian Thomas, Snowflex is coupled with a patented misting system, giving riders maximum speed and edge control for turning. The surface’s synthetic properties never change shape, making it easier for aspiring freestylers to sharpen their techniques at a faster rate. After nearly 20 years of seeing his fellow countrymen injured on other synthetic surfaces, Thomas, a mechanical engineer, felt led to develop a technology that would reduce injuries and provide riders with an exhilarating experience. “I thought either I’ve got to get out of this industry or try and solve the problem,” he said. “And like a sucker, I went for it.” Thomas certainly has no regrets now. Since inventing Snowflex, Briton Engineering has designed and built approximately 30 facilities in England, Hong Kong, Spain, Scotland, France, Lebanon and Denmark. Building upon the knowledge gained from constructing slopes in Europe and Asia, Thomas and his team have designed a facility at Liberty that is being labeled by some within the snow sports industry as the best yet. “This Snowflex centre here is incredible,” said James Woods, a professional skier from Britain. “I have been to so many Snowflex centres before, and this one I would say is definitely the best.” “The features are really good,” added Jamie Nicholls, a pro snowboarder sponsored by Red Bull, Salomon and Quiksilver. “I think if

what is Snowflex? The physical properties of Snowflex combined 3 with its misting system are what give this technology the slip 4and grip effects of snow. Its multiple layers provide cushioning for 5 snow, the soft landings and protect riders during falls. Unlike synthetic surface does not melt or change shape. 6

1 2 3 4 5 6 1

Snowflex® composite, sliding component - slick, springy, hard wearing monofilament.


2” - 5cm shock absorbing layer


impervious membrane


Snowflex® composite, sliding component - slick, springy, hard wearing monofilament.


2” - 5cm shock absorbing layer


impervious membrane


geotextile separating layer


carefully selected gravel layer


sculpted sub-soil layer

geotextile layer it would go really far in the U.S.” 4 every one was builtseparating like this The5 features Nicholls of include a cornice drop at the carefully selected gravelspeaks layer top of6the main slope, three big-air jumps, two grind rails and an sculpted sub-soil layer 11-foot-high quarter pipe. While these elements are designed for expert riders, beginners can become acquainted with the surface by visiting the beginner’s slope first. After mastering turns and basic maneuvers, they can transition to the intermediate run. “[Riders] can start from the very beginning with no experience whatsoever, and in a year or two, they can become experts,” said Thomas. “And that’s no exaggeration.” LMSC’s current layout is only a portion of the finished pag e 27

Completed phase — aug. 09 phase two (completion date Oct. 15, 2009) lodge rails

Intermediate Slope

Expert Slope

Beginner’s Slope li b e rty j o u r nal


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The Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre made its official public debut on Saturday, Aug. 29, at a grand opening ceremony. About 3,000 members of the Liberty community and general public, as well as local and national media, gathered to witness this unprecedented attraction. The dedication began with an opening prayer from Christian Snowboarder JJ Johnson and remarks from Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Brian Thomas of Briton Engineering, the inventor of Snowflex. Falwell, Jr. noted that the project was the last major building announcement made by LU’s founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. Falwell, Jr. and Lee Beaumont, Director of Auxiliary Services at LU, had introduced the Snowflex concept to Falwell, Sr. in 2004 and had been encouraging him to move forward with the project. Falwell, Sr. often stated that he believed in using every available means to reach every available person and was known for using out of the ordinary techniques to attract students to LU. Falwell, Sr. had embraced the Snowflex idea by 2007. “A day before he died, we rode up here, and I asked him, ‘Are you sure you want to build this ski slope?’ He said, ‘Absolutely. Look at how these kids are enjoying this mountain. That’s what we should be using it for,’” Falwell, Jr. recalled. The chancellor also introduced two important donors: Jay Stein, the Arizona businessman whose contributions to LU helped make the Snowflex park a reality, and Dr. Al Barrick, a longtime Liberty supporter and friend of Falwell, Sr. who donated his wildlife trophy collection to Liberty, now displayed in the new Barrick-Falwell Lodge at LMSC. State and city officials were also on hand, including Sen. Steve Newman, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, Tamra Talmadge-Anderson of the Virginia Tourism Authority and Lynchburg mayor Joan Foster. “This is a great day for Virginia, and it’s a great day for Liberty,” Bolling said. “The Snowflex Centre will undoubtedly pag e 47


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, hours rding a g e ed r k n tly as informatio to frequen e r x. For mo wers owfle nd ans du/sn a .e y g t n r libe prici ns, visit questio Barrick-Falwell Lodge When not on the slopes, visitors to LMSC can relax inside the BarrickFalwell Lodge. Named in honor of longtime Liberty supporter Dr. Al Barrick (pictured below with wife Fran) and Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., the lodge exudes the look and feel of a mountain chalet. A full-service rental shop operates on the lower level, while the upstairs is decorated with beautiful wildlife trophies hunted by Barrick during his 50-plus years of big-game expeditions. Approximately 2,500 square feet of decking surrounds the lodge, giving visitors a scenic, panoramic view of Liberty’s campus and the Blue Ridge Mountains. The lodge is also equipped with wireless Internet, enabling students to stay connected. “Dr. Barrick’s family asked that we name the lodge not just in his honor, but also in honor of my father,” Chancellor Falwell said. “He and Dr. Barrick were close friends and they believed in the vision of Liberty University and training Champions for Christ.” “It couldn’t be a better venue for displaying my wildlife collection,” Barrick said. “I’ve been blessed over the years, so now I hope that this would bless people in a certain way.”

Ski and Snowboard Club The emergence of the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre has led to the start of a new skiing and snowboarding club at LU. Members will compete in the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association’s Southeast conference against the likes of Duke University, the University of North Carolina, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. With the opening of LMSC, this year will mark the first season the conference has had a freestyle division. “This is a wonderful opportunity for our athletes,” said Laura Sullivan, USCSA’s executive director. “For LU to be able to [build the Snowflex Centre], I think that is really amazing. We’d be fools not to look at this.” LU’s club consists of beginners and experienced athletes with about 10-15 of the best riders comprising a competition team. Competitions will be held at Virginia resorts, such as Massanutten and Wintergreen, with two of the biggest events slated to take place at LMSC. Eric Hegreness, the club’s coach, expressed excitement for the upcoming season: “I have seen some pro-level tricks on the slopes, and I am very excited to see what is going to come out of the Liberty woodwork and out into the spotlight as [students] compete for the university.” Kristen Riordan contributed to this story.

245 Alumni Initiative A special group of people were the first to ski, snowboard and tube on Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre before it opened to the public. As part of the 245 Initiative, which kicked off the Lynchburg Alumni Chapter, more than 2,000 Central Virginia alumni returned to LU on Aug. 1 to enjoy a free day of fun at on-campus recreational facilities. Alumni and their families toured the campus and experienced LMSC firsthand. The event was hosted by LU’s Office of Alumni Relations. “It’s really great to just come connect [with LU alumni] around a great facility,” said Leslie Hoglund, a 1999 graduate. “To be offered the first-time use of it as an alum is a nice treat from the university.” li b e rty j o u r nal



in Teaching

History professor travels long road on path to calling

BY Te r esa D u n ham p h oto g r ap hy by J o r da n C r os s i n g ham


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Long before Liberty University history professor Donna Davis Donald caught a glimpse of God’s plan for her life, He was working through her parents to bring her to LU.

“When I was 14, the only thing that brought us to this town was the ministry. My parents just believed that this was the place that we were supposed to be, so they sacrificed everything,” she said. Hard-working people who placed a high value on Christian education, her parents often watched the Old Time Gospel Hour and listened to the solid preaching of LU founder Dr. Jerry Falwell. Eventually, they felt led to send their children to Liberty Christian Academy. “My dad gave up all his seniority at his job [in North Carolina], put in for a transfer, sold the house and moved to Lynchburg,” she said. “I was very resentful because this meant I had to leave all my friends and my school and everything else, but it turns out it was the most selfless, sacrificial decision they could’ve ever made.” Looking back, Donald said, she might not be a professor at LU today if it weren’t for her parents’ act of faith.

in Christian homes, I think we both had a sense that we’d missed something somehow, which, of course, is not true.” It took the birth of her son, Tommy, now 22, for Donald to rethink her values. Gazing at her little boy, she could only think about bringing him up in an atmosphere of goodness and truth. “So I began to ask questions about my faith and to really explore it for myself, and when I did, of course I turned to the Scriptures,” said Donald. “I had this incredible desire to know God, and I couldn’t get enough of the Word. I just read it and read it several times through.” Soon she started memorizing Scriptures, attending church regularly and being active in the local congregation. The more she read God’s word, the more passionate she became about doing something for Him. As a stay-at-home mom and “church lady” who had stints as a railroad worker and J. Crew phone representative, she wasn’t sure what she could offer, but she surrendered herself to His will.

“She is a woman of great strength and tenacity, and I admire her greatly.” — Katie Towns, student

SEARCH I NG FOR TH E TR UTH At LCA, Donald received a strong Christian education and also met her husband of 28 years, Mike. “We dated all through high school and then got married after my first year at Liberty,” said Donald, 46, who graduated from LCA in 1980. Current LU Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. was in her graduating class. Naturally, Donald enrolled in classes at Liberty University — but she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. She kept switching majors, ultimately deciding to quit school and get married. “For several years, we sort of walked away from God,” she said. “Growing up

An incre di b le calling Not long after that, in 1995, she decided to return to Liberty. “I always loved to learn. I never stopped reading books. I was always educating myself,” she said. She hadn’t chosen a major before she went back, but the Western Civilization class she took during her first semester gave her the answer. As someone who loved supporting missionaries, the cross-cultural aspect of history appealed to Donald. “It just set off a spark in me,” she said. She decided to major in pag e 12

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“Training Champions for Christ is helping young people identify their gifts and their abilities, to develop them and then send them out into whatever field it is — and we should have representatives in every field to be salt and light.” — Donna Donald

history, but she thought God wanted her to do something even bigger. “It became so clear to me through that semester that God was calling me to teach, and He was calling me to be a college professor,” she said. “I was like Sarah [from the Bible]. When I first had that thought, it made me laugh out loud. It seemed so out of the realm, so ridiculous to me that I could be a college professor.” After all, she was 32 and just starting college. She was embarrassed to tell anyone what she was thinking — but when she did, no one laughed. Affirmed by her husband, parents and friends, she began working toward her goal while balancing her roles as a wife and mother. With plenty of encouragement, she finished her studies at LU in 1998 and then commuted to the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, completing her master’s degree in 2001. She started at Liberty as an adjunct history instructor not long after that, working her way up to full time. In 2006, she earned the title of Assistant Professor. Now in her eighth year at LU, teaching Western Civilization and an upperlevel class on the Renaissance and Reformation, Donald is also the faculty advisor of LU’s Phi Alpha Theta history honor society. A constant testi mony While teaching at LU, Donald started commuting to George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., to pursue her Ph.D. in


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Early Modern European History. Juggling her own studies with her duties at LU sometimes meant waking up early and getting home very late, but now she has advanced to Ph.D. candidacy and completed all of the requirements except her dissertation. “I tell my story at the beginning of every semester to all of my classes,” Donald said. “It’s not because of anything I’ve done, but it’s because of God’s grace and my willingness to surrender that he’s placed me in the position where I can have complete and total fulfillment and joy in what I do every day. And I think that’s available for anybody who’s following the Lord if they make themselves open to that.” These days, she remains passionate about teaching at LU. She is proud to offer strong academic classes in a Christian setting, and she’s committed to furthering LU’s mission. Along the way, she has impressed her colleagues and inspired her students. “She opened my eyes to see that history is a testament to the greatness of God in glorifying himself through the actions of human beings,” said Jordan Jones, a former student. “In her classes I sat not only at her feet, but also at the feet of many great men and women whose wisdom cries out to be heard by the world of believers today. If Professor Donald had not exposed me to Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, Erasmus, Luther, Calvin, Queen Elizabeth I, and many others, I would not have graduated with quite the accurate and biblical view of the world that I am now privileged to have.”

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Spirituality in a Secular Arena Alumni use publication to highlight Christ-centered athletes BY E r i c B r own p h oto g r ap hy by j e r o m e stu r m


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With the deadline for his quarterly publication rapidly approaching, Liberty University alumnus Robert Walker needed to act fast.

As publisher of “Sports Spectrum,” the country’s No. 1 Christian sports magazine, he was in search of a managing editor. Wanting to relocate the publication from Grand Rapids, Mich., to his sports agency office in Indian Trail, N.C., Walker prayed earnestly for God to send the right person for the job. Less than 20 miles away, Brett Honeycutt, a Liberty alumnus and sports writer for the “Charlotte Observer,” was praying for a change — not the political or social sort, but a change that would allow him to truly influence the hearts of others. The prayers of these two men collided in spring 2008. Thinking of those he had met over the years with publication experience, Walker had one name in mind that stood out. “It was like a light went off — Brett Honeycutt,” Walker recalled. Although they did not cross paths at Liberty, they met when Walker was athletic director of Charlotte Christian School and Honeycutt was working at the “Charlotte Observer.” Walker remembered Honeycutt as having impeccable character and offered him the position; Honeycutt accepted. Together, the tandem seeks to motivate, encourage and inspire people in their faith through the exciting world of sports. Highlighting some of the biggest names in athletics, from 2007 Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow to Super Bowl quarterback Kurt Warner, “Sports Spectrum” focuses on more than records and stats.

When searching for stories, Honeycutt and his writers begin by talking to team chaplains, asking them about players whose lives are Christ-centered. “A story in a secular newspaper might more or less say [Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher] Brad Lidge is a committed Christian or he is a devout Christian and leave it at that,” Honeycutt noted. “Here, you’re directly asking [athletes] about their faith. They actually get to expound on who they are as a Christian.” Honeycutt came to Liberty from Charlotte in 1988 and earned a degree in sport management in 1992. At LU, he ran track and cross country under Coach Brant Tolsma, competing in the Penn Relays every season. Immediately following graduation, Honeycutt journeyed to Czechoslovakia with Athletes in Action, where he was able to run and to share his faith. The experience opened his eyes to God’s plan for his life. “I wanted to do something where I was helping people or making an impact in some way,” he said. Honeycutt began influencing young people as a high school coach. In his spare time, he freelanced for the “Charlotte Observer” before landing a full-time position in 1998. Meanwhile, God gradually prepared his heart for his current gig. Now, he combines his love for sports with his desire to reach others for Christ. “I feel a big responsibility to make sure we’re highlighting athletes who pag e 16

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“Dr. Falwell used to say … Liberty would produce graduates who would influence people for Christ in all sectors of life and at all levels, public and private. God has and is continuing to do that.” —Brett Honeycutt

have a story that is going to impact people — whether it’s a believer to encourage them or a non-believer to reach out to them and tell them who Christ is,” he stated. Walker shares that same responsibility. Since taking ownership of “Sports Spectrum” five years ago, he has expanded the magazine’s content and added evangelistic products, such as sports devotionals, Gospel tracts with NFL schedules and Super Bowl halftime DVDs. With each issue, subscribers also receive a three-month daily devotional. Graduating from Liberty in 1985 with a physical education degree, Walker went on to earn his master’s in sport management at United States Sports Academy. While serving at Charlotte Christian as an AD from 1988-1994, he also coached basketball alongside former NBA all-star Bobby Jones, guiding the Knights to two state titles. Jones approached Walker one day, asking the young AD to assist him with various speaking engagements and endorsements. He soon became Jones’ agent. “I’ve been doing his business now for 20 years,” Walker said. Jones recommended Walker to fourtime NBA all-star and Basketball Hall of Famer David Thompson, who Walker has represented since. In 1994, his part-time work as a sports agent blossomed into a full-time operation known as US Sports. As President and CEO, he primarily represents collegiate football players looking to sign with an NFL team. Recently, Walker completed his fifth NFL draft, representing 14 pro prospects, including Liberty’s Dominic Bolden, Ryan Greiser and Kent Hicks. “He’s a great Christian guy,” Greiser said

of Walker. “That’s really what I was looking for — a guy that was going to be honest with me, help me out and work for me.” In the four years prior to the 2009 draft, Walker helped 14 collegiate athletes reach the pros. He also played an instrumental role in signing undrafted free agent Samkon Gado with the Green Bay Packers, a move that allowed the former Liberty rusher to become a feel-good story during the 2005 NFL season. “Some people do have the appearance that a sports agent has to lie or has to be deceitful to get the best deal, and that’s not true,” Walker said. “We’re going to work hard and get the best contract for our client, but we’re going to do it the right way. I feel like we have a huge advantage because we pray about our contracts and for our players.” Walker now houses US Sports and his publishing company, The Core Media Group, under one roof. In addition to his dual role, he organizes golf charity events and is involved in the With Open Eyes Foundation, providing relief, hope and change to victims of the Sudanese genocide. “We want to be impacting peoples’ lives for Christ and doing something for the Kingdom,” Walker said. “Everything we do on the ‘Sports Spectrum’ side is about that and everything we do on the sport management side is about that.” Fresh out of college, Walker and Honeycutt never saw themselves managing a national sports publication. However, when God drew up a bigger play for their lives, they chose to run His pass route instead of their own. Years later, the duo still follows the Heavenly Father’s playbook — using their gifts to glorify His kingdom.

For more information, visit To subscribe to “Sports Spectrum,” go to or call 1 (866) 821-2971. Be sure to ask about the LU discount.


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Changing face of Liberty University invests in new construction, renovations and upgrades

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BY E r i c b r own an d t e r esa d u n ham

Liberty University has undergone many transformations since its founding in 1971 as enrollment has increased, all the while remaining true to its mission of Training Champions for Christ. In the past year, a steady stream of projects has dramatically changed the look and feel of LU’s campus, including an array of academic and facility upgrades. “In recent years, Liberty has increased its spending on academic improvements far more than we have increased our tuition,” Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. told students in an August convocation. “Much of what we did spend on athletic


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and recreational facilities has been covered by donations. Liberty is proud that we have spent so much on academics and other items that are essential to the learning experience and the everyday life of students on campus.” Liberty University has spent more than $70 million on facility improvements in the past two years. Nearly 90 percent of those improvements were intended to enhance the university’s learning atmosphere. Specifically, about $62 million was spent between July 2007 and August 2009 to upgrade classrooms, labs, campus infrastructure, academic support facilities, dining halls and ww. During the same period, LU spent

about $7.9 million to upgrade its athletics and recreational facilities. “We have not borrowed a penny to make these campus improvements,” Falwell said. “God is truly blessing this university.” The figures, contained in a recent report by the university’s financial planning and budgeting office, include only capital improvements and do not include operational costs such as the university’s new bus service or the annual faculty compensation increases that have occurred over the last eight years. LU began the academic year with 11,773 residential students. For the past two years, LU has had to cut off resident enrollment when it met a predetermined

goal. Enrollment management personnel are developing strategies to keep enrollment around the 11,800 mark this year, while requiring higher applicant GPAs and performance on SATs. “Higher academic standards help to create a better learning environment for all students,” Falwell said. “That has to translate into a better education. It will result in graduates who have less trouble finding employment and are more likely to support the university when they leave. There will be a lot of benefits to Liberty University down the road.” Liberty University Online enrollment is expected to top 50,000 students this academic year. Falwell said LU was performing well financially even before the school’s online program grew so large, generating revenue surpluses in both the online and residential programs. “One of our biggest goals two years ago was to begin building endowment at Liberty,” he said. “As a result of generous contributions and the efficient operation of

both the residential and online programs, that endeavor has been hugely successful above and beyond our highest hopes.” But when the stock market crashed and the economy soured, LU’s Board of Trustees decided it would be prudent for Liberty to invest a portion of the new endowment in itself. Those investments continue. In addition to the $70 million spent on capital projects over the last two years, the university announced plans for a new performing arts theater, now under construction at Campus North, and a new stadium for Liberty’s soccer and track and field programs inside the MatthesHopkins Track Complex. In addition to the Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre (See Page 6), the projects outlined here have been on LU’s radar in the past six months. Several are now finished, and a few, such as the Performing Arts Center, are in the beginning stages. Each of these upgrades gives prospective students one more reason to choose LU.

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER Theatre Arts students will soon have the spotlight they deserve. Construction of a new 600-seat theater is under way in the tower portion of Campus North, replacing the current theater that only seats 250. The expected completion date is April 2, 2010. Linda Nell Cooper, Theatre Arts director, said this year’s seniors are expecting to perform their last show in the new theater before they graduate. Meanwhile, fundraising efforts are in high gear, with many naming opportunities for donors. To help make the project a reality, consider donating to the theater by calling 1 (866) 602-7983.

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VCAR EXPANSION Liberty University’s Spiritual Life & Academic Building (SLAB) had extensive renovations this summer to accommodate the growth of the Visual Communication Arts (VCAR) program. The program, which offers specializations in graphic design, studio art and art education licensure, started three years ago with 150 students. Now there are close to 400 declared VCAR majors. A spacious sculpture studio will permit students to undertake larger projects with a variety of materials, such as metal, clay, plaster and wood. Another studio will be used for ceramics classes where students can throw, glaze and fire pottery on wheels and kilns. Additional classrooms will allow VCAR to expand the new art education licensure specialization, where future art teachers can practice techniques and skills they will use in K-12 educational settings. Workers also created a 30-by-38-foot gallery with 13-foot ceilings, track lighting and professional hanging system for student, faculty and professional art shows, such as the third annual artist series coming this fall. A grand opening took place on Sept. 24. The new art gallery will help Liberty’s li b e rty j o u r nal


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VCAR program develop an art collection and enhance its on-campus, regional and national presence. SEMINARY EXPANSION Renovations in Campus North recently freed up 3,000 square feet for the rapidly growing Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, according to Laverne Smith, assistant to LBTS President Dr. Ergun Caner. The seminary gained study areas, faculty offices and storage.

RESIDENCE HALL UPGRADES Amid larger projects like Snowflex and the new bookstore, LU has not forgotten the details of daily life on campus. LU spent an estimated $1.4 million to renovate residence halls this summer. Workers replaced carpeting with vinyl flooring, added new windows in the Circle residence halls on Main Campus and did extensive bathroom renovations. Upgrades were made to windows, closets and bathroom flooring in halls on the Hill residences, and the Quads residence halls now have carpeting. Safety features such as sprinkler systems and fire alarms were upgraded in most halls. Additionally, many residence halls now have “peep holes” so that students can see who is outside before opening the door to a visitor.


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LIBERTY UNIVERSITY BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSTORE The new Liberty University Barnes & Noble Bookstore across from Williams Stadium opened April 18. The two-story bookstore, at about 40,000 square feet, now holds 13,000 new general reading and reference titles, as well as a full service café that seats up to 65, with additional seating on an outdoor patio on the upstairs level. Downstairs, there is a special entrance where students can order and pick up textbooks. Liberty alumni receive discounts in the new store, which also accepts the Reader’s Advantage discount cards.

THIRD FLOOR OF DEMOSS Improvements continued on the third floor of DeMoss Hall this summer, including a new 1,800-square-foot networking lab, a high-tech software engineering lab, a smart classroom and a redesigned faculty research lab for the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences. CAREER CENTER The Liberty University Career Center has a more front-and-center profile at its new location on the first floor of the Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center. The center moved in July to the former campus bookstore space. The area includes a receptionist section, conference rooms, furniture build by Dave Morgan in LU’s cabinet shop, office space and a computer les schofer

LAW SCHOOL UPGRADES The latest round of renovations at Liberty University School of Law included a café and lounge area for students, several study rooms and office space. Spanning two floors at Campus North, it improved about 9,000 square feet of the building. A previous renovation phase this summer created a network of offices for the law school’s Center for Career and Professional Development, its Externship Office as well as courtrooms and classrooms.

This safety feature was requested by students at a forum.

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lounge, lab and library section, according to planning coordinator Bill Maitland. The Career Center offers numerous services to students, including internship access, career counseling, mock interviews, Washington, D.C. semesters, workshops and more. By Oct. 1, crews expect to have a new elevator installed next to the Career Center entrance. WILLIAMS STADIUM Williams Stadium, home to Liberty Flames football and host to the school’s graduation ceremonies, will be expanded from 12,000 to 30,000 seats over the next five years in a multiphase plan. Phase One will include the addition of 6,000 new seats and construction of a 34,000 square-foot brick- and glassencased Jeffersonian-style tower on the west side of the stadium. The three-story press box building will include club seating and room for qualified Flames Club


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donors, 16 permanent luxury suites, a banquet room for up to 800 people, classroom space for up to 1,000, a high quality Division 1 press box and new elevators. Phase Two and Three will add a new 4,000-seat mid-deck for the east side of the stadium and 6,400 seats in a horseshoe-shaped area, in the end zone, surrounding the visitor’s locker room and the south end zone. The renovated facility will ready the stadium for construction of upper decks on both the west and east sides in the future. The long-range vision is to expand the stadium to hold 60,000 fans. Construction is slated to begin immediately after the conclusion of the 2009 home football season. A new state-of-the-art HD scoreboard was installed this summer with a 24-foot tall high-definition video screen that can be also used for student activities, such as movie nights. The board’s video screen,

at 88 feet wide, featuring a traditional scoreboard and tri-vision sponsorship panels, is more than twice the size of the previous video board rented by the university each season. VINES CENTER The Vines Center, home to the men’s and women’s basketball programs and volleyball, will be expanded from 8,000 seats to 11,000 for athletic contests and 12,000 for convocation. Plans call for the addition of columns and a brick façade, along with a 3,000-seat balcony when the renovation is complete in five to 10 years. “The Vines Center upgrade is another step in a tremendous commitment by Liberty University to its athletics department. Once completed, the Vines Center will become one of the better buildings around the country for basketball,” said Men’s Basketball Head Coach Dale Layer.

OSBORNE STADIUM Fans of Liberty track and field and men’s and women’s soccer can expect big changes this fall. The Matthes-Hopkins Track Complex, which also houses the Liberty Soccer Field, is receiving new stadium seating. Named in honor of two of the donors, graduate Richard Osborne and his wife, Karin, the stadium will seat 868 Flames fans for future NCAA men’s and women’s soccer games and track meets. Surrounded by brick and wroughtiron fencing, Osborne Stadium will also

feature a new scoreboard, as well as a two-story, 5,000-square-foot operations center with coaching staff offices, locker rooms, a training room and a team room. THOMAS INDOOR SOCCER CENTER Completed last spring, LU’s Thomas Indoor Soccer Center is comprised of two turf fields surrounded by protective walls and netting. Part of Campus North’s LaHaye Student Union, the facility, donated by alumni Glen and Teresa Thomas also features a spectator section, sound system, multiple televisions and wireless capability. Throughout the year, the TISC will offer a variety of intramural sports as well as open recreational times. When not being used by LU students, the center will be open for adult and youth leagues in the community.

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TENNIS COURTS Six new NCAA-regulation tennis courts have been completed at Campus North. An additional six courts will be completed before the start of the 2010 tennis season. In addition to hosting men’s and women’s collegiate

matches and championship tournaments, the complex will also be open for intramural use. COMMUNICATIONS TOWER ON LIBERTY MOUNTAIN Workers installed conduit for a new communications tower on Monogram Hill in July. Beaumont said the tower should be finished in the next three months. It will facilitate the conversion of LU’s WTLU-TV from analog to digital format and it could serve radio, television and even cell carriers. LAHAYE RECREATION AND FITNESS CENTER As physical fitness continues to be an important aspect of campus life, LU has met the increased demand by expanding its weight room and supplying additional squat racks, deadlift and bench press stations and free weights to the LaHaye Recreation and Fitness Center. The facility also upgraded its equipment in the cardio room and upstairs loft, replacing 15 treadmills, six elliptical machines and adding six new treadmills with built-in televisions. When walking

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into the Student Union lobby, students will notice a new aerobics room, complete with a rubberized floor, punching bags and free weights. The entire fitness center also features an indoor NCAA regulation-sized pool, two hot tubs, dual sound systems as well as a facility-wide PA system.


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LIBERTY MOUNTAIN With over 65 miles of man-made and natural trails along Liberty Mountain, the university made even more improvements to its extensive trail system this summer. Crews carved out about five miles of new trails and touched up existing pathways. More than 100 emergency signs were also

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LAHAYE ICE CENTER The second floor of the LaHaye Ice Center underwent renovations this summer to accommodate the continued growth of LU’s club sports. LU Radiance, the university’s synchronized skating team, now has a locker room to call its own. The new addition gives the team adequate space for storage and preparation before Ice Center performances. Members of LU’s 20 club teams now have a meeting place with the completion of the club sports conference center. Equipped with a motorized projection screen, this smart classroom is available seven days a week and can be used to host a variety of functions. Adjacent to the conference center, the club sports workout room gives team members a chance to enhance

their cardio and better their game-day performance. Complete with a rubberized floor and plasma TVs, the workout room will be available from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily, with team workouts scheduled for 5-9 p.m.

placed along the trail system to assist runners, hikers and bikers who may venture off course. In the case of an emergency, individuals needing directional or medical assistance can provide the Liberty University Police Department with their exact location thanks to a designated number found on each marker. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a while because our system is so vast and you can get turned around out there,” said Lee Beaumont, LU’s director of auxiliary services. SCHOOL OF AERONAUTICS/ SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING Business executives, government officials and university administrators met in September to learn more about the building campaigns of two of Liberty University’s fastest growing academic programs. Gen. David Young, Dean of the School of Aeronautics (SOA), and Dr. Ron Sones, Dean of the School of Engineering and Computational Sciences (SECS), shared the vision and needs of each school. With enrollment in the SOA and the SECS continuing to rise, both schools are making plans for future growth and development, including new facilities and programs. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. discussed how enhancing these academic programs furthers the university’s goals to improve the overall educational experience offered at LU. “These schools are taking us beyond

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what a liberal arts college usually offers — to research and technical training that we’ve never had before, and we’re excited about it,” Falwell said. As the university continues to grow, the addition of research and technical degrees are rounding out the academic programs, truly making Liberty University the top evangelical university in the nation. EQUESTRIAN OFFERINGS In addition to the recent establishment of LU’s equestrian club team, students who enjoy horseback riding will soon have even more room to roam. Liberty is converting about 160 acres of its Jack Mountain property into equestrian pastures. The land will primarily be used for grazing, hay production and trail rides. While there are no plans as of now to turn the property into an equine facility, LU is currently utilizing Serene Creek Run Riding Center in Forest, Va., as the official home of the equestrian team.

CAMPUS EAST In June, Liberty purchased 19 residence halls, a clubhouse and gym on Campus East for $20.5 million. Liberty originally sold the 26-acre tract to Bostic Development in 2003, with a contract to build residence halls and lease the units to the university. The term of the lease was 40 years, but LU had the option to purchase the property after five. According to Chancellor Jerry

ENERGY SAVINGS More energy-efficient lighting has been installed throughout Campus North, including the Tolsma Indoor Track, as well as at the Schilling Center on Main Campus. Many hallways are on energy management controls now, and occupancy sensors may eventually be installed in restrooms and classrooms. These measures are already cutting Liberty University’s electrical bill by thousands, said Maintenance Manager Scott Starnes.

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TURNING LANE BY DOC’S DINER In order to enhance safety for student pedestrians, LU has constructed a new turning lane at Doc’s Diner. After the turning lane is finished, the Virginia Department of Transportation will add a sidewalk and a fence onto the bridge crossing U.S. 460, as well as a sidewalk

along the new turning lane going toward Campus East. VDOT is expected to finish its portion of the work later this year.

Falwell, Jr., at the time Bostic was one of the largest developers of residential properties for colleges nationwide. The Campus East Phase 1 purchase will save the university more than $2.5 million per year in lease payments and taxes, Falwell said. Charles Spence, LU’s director of planning and construction, said owning the property made sense, with the tract surrounded by property already owned by Liberty. There are 30 buildings on Campus East; Liberty already owned 11, built in 2005 and 2006. “We really needed that property to make our property continuous,” he said. In addition, workers are grading eight acres above the Liberty Godparent Home. LU has not yet determined how it will use the new site.

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Ron Brown, Angelica Atkins and Mitzi Bible contributed to this story.

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IVY LAKE Students visiting Liberty’s Ivy Lake just outside of Lynchburg can now have fun in the sun on the lake’s new 6,000-square foot beach. LU Auxiliary Services has also built a 40-foot dock addition and plans to build a shelter to store the boats piloted by the university’s men’s and women’s crew teams. Ivy Lake, located about 17 minutes from Liberty’s campus in Forest, Va., spans 112 acres. It is available for a variety of activities for Liberty University students, faculty and staff, including fishing, canoeing and picnicking. LU’s Biology department also uses the lake for research and other projects. Ivy Lake was donated by 1979 alumnus Tom DeWitt and two other local businessmen in 2008.

ACADEMIC IMPROVEMENTS Academic Support Total: $8,075,025.68 (Post Office at Campus North, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Liberty OneCard Office Relocation, WiMAX, new bridge to Campus East, road improvements across from Lynchburg Regional Airport, etc.)

Campus Infrastructure Total: $7,733,078.57 (Perimeter road, new parking lots, extensive campus road repaving, sidewalk repair and construction, antenna system replacement, etc.)

Classrooms and Labs Total: $18,065,365.42 (Towns/Alumni smart classroom, School of Engineering labs and classrooms, School of Law upgrades, new classrooms at Campus North, DeMoss Third Floor, Molecular Biology Labs, design of performing arts theater, etc.)

Dining Total: $5,484,864.69 (Reber-Thomas expansion, Doc’s Diner, Campus North food court, Sub Connection expansion, Hangar renovation, etc.)

Residence Hall Improvements Total: $22,412,227.37 (Dorm 7 repair, Liberty Inn renovations, renovations of all residence hall bathrooms and rooms, Campus East dorm purchase, etc.)

TOTAL: $61,770,561.73 ATHLETICS AND RECREATION Athletics Total: $2,738,027.30 (Indoor soccer arena, Vines Center seat replacement, Tolsma Track and baseball field lighting, etc.)

Recreation Total: $7,035,669.98

(Snowflex, trail system, paintball course, ice rink renovations, equestrian pastures, Ivy Lake upgrades, etc.)

TOTAL: $9,773,697.28 TOTAL: $9,773,697.28


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product. Within the next month or so, the facility will increase its skiable area by 30,000 square feet and feature two tubing runs leading into a quarter pipe, a magic carpet lift and a rail park. An outdoor amphitheater with an incredible view of the region and a capacity of 400 to 500 people, adjacent to the beginner slope, is also available for outdoor dramas, concerts, classes and student gatherings. “We’re proud to be the only university in the world with its own Snowflex ski slope,” Falwell said. “Snowflex is good, clean fun — an appropriate recreational alternative for Christian young people. We’re happy for what it will do for Liberty University and the whole community.” f r o m pag e 7

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News brief S University Happenings

Liberty highlighted in ‘Christianity Today’ The growth and success of Liberty University is highlighted in the September issue of “Christianity Today.” The article titled “Liberty Unbound: How Jerry Falwell’s ambitious sons have led the Lynchburg university to financial success and a burgeoning student body,” tells how the 39-year-old school is on firm financial ground despite financial struggles in the past and how new amenities and academic improvements are bolstering enrollment. The article credits Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., now chancellor, and his “head for business”: “A University of Virginia law school graduate, Jerry Jr. is foremost a fiscal manager intent on recruiting quality students to the 39-year-old school that has the largest student body among

Recruiters get the word out at summer music festivals Throughout the summer, teams of LU national recruiters attended Christian music festivals across the country, looking for future LU students. Summerfest 2009 teams were at Sonfest and Christian Music Day in Charlotte, N.C.; Creation East in Pennsylvania; KingsFest in Richmond, Va.; Spirit Song and Alive Festival in Ohio; Creation West in George, Wash.; Atlanta Fest in Georgia; Awakening in Northern Virginia; and Rock the River in Missouri, Minnesota and Iowa. Assistant director Danny Corprew loosely describes the music festivals as


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evangelical colleges.” The article also highlights Liberty’s affordable tuition, its generous scholarships and highly respected faculty, along with the success of its young law school. Falwell said he has received emails and calls from Christian leaders all over country who have read the article. “Apparently many of them were unaware of how God is blessing this school. … I guess it was more of a secret than we thought it was,” he said. To read the full article, visit september/22.40.html. To read Ben Stein’s musings on his visit to Liberty University in May, visit

a “Woodstock for Christian kids.” He said the festivals allow recruiters to reach the target market of high school students en masse and draw a variety of people, including students who may not have had Liberty as one of their top choices. At the overnight festivals, recruiters often work 12-hour days, operating an information booth and giving 90-second plugs for Liberty on stage between acts. Would-be students who visit the Liberty booth and fill out applications are entered into drawings for a guitar, Nintendo Wii and a Liberty scholarship. Thousands of students applied to Liberty as a result of this summer recruiting effort.

News brief S Ted Kennedy: A friend of the family

Sen. Ted Kennedy speaks at Liberty Baptist College on Oct. 4, 1983 as Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Sr. watches on the right. Jonathan Falwell and his wife, Shari, pose with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-6th District) and LU students and alumni who are serving as interns or full-time staffers on Capitol Hill.

Jonathan Falwell delivers prayer for lawmakers The Rev. Jonathan Falwell, senior pastor of Thomas Road Baptist Church, said the opening prayer at the U.S. House of Representatives on July 29. Falwell was welcomed as the guest chaplain by Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-6th District. “It was such an honor,” Falwell said. “I spent a great deal of time praying about the words I would use in my congressional prayer because, above all else, I wanted Christ to be magnified in that place. I prayed that God would direct the steps of the men and women who serve in Congress. I also focused on the admonition from Scripture that ‘righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people’ and asked forgiveness for our sins as a nation.” After the prayer and Pledge of Allegiance, Goodlatte took the floor and introduced Falwell as the senior pastor of TRBC, “one of the largest churches in America which has a tremendous outreach to the commu-

nity in Lynchburg, across Virginia, across the nation and indeed across the world, helping people in need.” He also explained Falwell’s role as Vice Chancellor for Spiritual Affairs at Liberty University, “the world’s largest evangelical Christian university with over 40,000 students both on campus and online.” Goodlatte said he was honored to call Falwell “a constituent and, most importantly, a dear friend.” He welcomed Falwell’s wife, Shari, their four children and his mother, Macel Falwell. Falwell said Goodlatte took them on a “behind the scenes” tour of the Capitol, including climbing to the top of the Capitol dome. They also visited with several lawmakers. In the afternoon, they met about 25 Liberty students and alumni who are either serving as interns or full-time staffers on Capitol Hill. “I was greatly encouraged to hear from these young men and women about how God is using them as ‘Young Champions for Christ’ in our nation’s capital,” he said.

The Liberty University community rememberd the Ted Kennedy family in prayer last month. Kennedy, a friend of Liberty University’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, and his family, died Aug. 25 at his home in Hyannis Port, Mass., after a long battle with brain cancer. Kennedy, 77, had spoken at Liberty and conversed with Falwell, Sr. on many occasions. Jerry Falwell, Jr. wrote about Kennedy’s relationship with his father in the July/ August “Liberty Journal:” “I hope that our generation can learn from the relationship between my father and Senator Kennedy. Both of these men understood that they could disagree without being disagreeable. They were both lightning rods for their respective causes, but they treated each other with civility and respect.”

Liberty working to bring WiMAX to local area Liberty University is taking the lead in an effort to bring the latest wireless data technology to the Lynchburg community — WiMAX. pag e 3 0 li b e rty j o u r nal


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News brief S University Happenings

This wireless wide area network technology will deliver broadband Internet access with faster speeds at greater distances than the latest wireless networks can provide. Through a partnership with the Virginia School of the Arts in Lynchburg, Liberty has created the Lynchburg Educational Broadband Joint Venture, making it possible for major communications companies to bid on leasing license channels — now owned separately by LU and VSA — and provide WiMAX service to users. After making appeals to the FCC for two years, Liberty received the green light this summer to operate on a frequency that would make this venture possible. Liberty administrators say the venture will have wide-ranging effects on the Central Virginia region and its educational institutions. In early 2008, Appomattox became the first town in Virginia to implement WiMAX and remains the only town with the technology in Central Virginia.

DeMoss donors honored with wall of names

The names of thousands of donors were permanently memorialized in a new display on the first floor of the Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center, near the entrance to Pierre A. Guillermin Library. The display honors the more than 5,000 donors who supported the expansion of DeMoss to a four-story building, completed in 2000. A fountain was also installed last summer in front of DeMoss to honor the donors.


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Student’s song climbs Billboard chart

Travis Doucette is working on his M.A. in Music and Worship studies at Liberty.

Two years ago, LU student Travis Doucette composed a song that is now impacting people across the nation. “God of the Ages” is the title track on the CD that was released Aug. 25 by Charles Billingsley, worship leader at Thomas Road Baptist Church. The song recently hit No. 14 on Billboard’s Christian Inspirational chart. The song debuted in the spring of 2008 when Exodus, the ministry team Doucette served on, presented it in the school’s weekly convocation with LU Praise. In February 2009, almost a full year after “God of the Ages” was first heard at Liberty, Billingsley decided to make it the title track of his new album.

Freshmen flock to Chancellor’s Cookout Liberty University kicked off the 2009-10 academic year with a bang on Aug. 20. Chancellor Jerry Fallwell, Jr. and wife, Becki, hosted the largest Liberty freshman class on record at Williams Stadium for the annual Chancellor’s Cookout. After treating the new students to dinner at the stadium, Chancellor Falwell officially welcomed them to Liberty. The students were on campus the past week for Freshman Orientation, prior to the beginning of classes on Aug. 24. Liberty University Director of Athletics Jeff Barber also welcomed the students and introduced them to the history of Liberty Athletics. Near the end of the festivities, head football coach Danny Rocco thanked the crowd for their support and introduced them to the football team’s freshmen players. Then came a taste of game day as the football team entered the field from the Liberty Flames tunnel to the cheers of the crowd. The Flames took to the field for their final scrimmage of training camp.

LU Dining introduces web-based ordering system

a percentage of tuition and fees are covered by Veterans Affairs, based on the amount of time served, up to the highest in-state tuition rate. (Veterans must have served at least 90 days of active duty after Sept. 10, 2001 with an honorable discharge.) Liberty has agreed to split any costs that remain after GI Bill benefits 50/50 with the VA for

those who qualify for the maximum benefit. Under the Post-9/11 GI Bill, qualified residential students receive a basic allowance for housing and a book stipend for up to $1,000 per year. There are currently 349 LU students using the Post-9/11 GI Bill. Liberty has awarded 25 students the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship for fall 2009.

Video production team wins Telly Awards

Liberty University Dining Services is now offering meals at the touch of a screen. Complete with card readers and receipt printers, Webfood® kiosks at Sub Connection and The Hangar on main campus and at Founders Food Court on Campus North, take orders and act as cashiers, which is helping to decrease lines. Students can also use the Webfood® system to view nutritional information, meal deals and favorite orders. LU Dining administrators can use it to edit menu items and prices and to track statistics and customer feedback. Eventually, the kiosks will be integrated into an online ordering service. Students will be able to order and purchase meals from any computer with Internet access, then pick up their orders without having to wait in checkout lines.

Three Liberty University video productions have been recognized at the 30th Annual Telly Awards for excellence and creativity. Liberty University’s Center for Advanced Media Productions was awarded three Bronze Telly Awards. “Through the Decades: The Miracle of Liberty University,” a presentation of LU’s history available through the Alumni Relations Office, won second place in the History/Biography category for film and video. “Discover Your Life,” a video that promotes Liberty to potential students, placed second in the Recruitment category. “Fire in the Furnace,” featuring the Liberty Flames men’s basketball team, was runner-up in the Sports category. View these videos online at and Founded in 1979, the prestigious Telly Awards receives thousands of entries each year from around the world. Pieces are judged by the Silver Telly Council, a panel of 350 top production and advertisement professionals and past Telly Award winners. Previous winners in the film and video category include ESPN, Warner Bros. and PBS.

Liberty joins VA’s Yellow Ribbon Program Veterans who qualify to receive the maximum educational benefits under the new Post-9/11 GI Bill can now attend Liberty University tuition-free, thanks to the new Yellow Ribbon Program. Under the bill, which took effect Aug. 1,

The winning production team from Liberty University’s Center for Advanced Media Productions are, from left to right, Ena Inoshita Klous, Matt Ritchey, Erick Petersen, Hannah Gilman and Michael Musgrave. Not pictured: James Banks.

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News brief S University Happenings

Chaplains Museum relocates to Campus East

For more information, visit

The National Civil War Chaplains Museum at Liberty University recently moved from its temporary site in DeMoss Hall to the former East Side Market on Campus East beside Doc’s Diner, a restaurant that pays tribute to the school’s founder, Dr. Jerry Falwell. The museum exists to educate the public on the role of chaplains, priests, rabbis and religious organizations in the Civil War, as well as to provide a research facility for those studying Civil War chaplaincy. Artifacts include items from both Confederate and Union chaplains. A grand opening is planned for Dec. 1.

LU photographer wins UPAA honors Senior photographer Les Schofer captures extraordinary sights around campus yearround. Now some of his shots are being recognized by the University Photographers’ Association of America, an international organization of 272 professional photographers from 180 colleges. In the UPAA’s 2009 competition, Schofer placed first in the Personal Vision category for “Snowscape IV;” “Helicopter over Monogram” took honorable mention. Liberty’s 2009 Football media guide, a collaborative effort by Schofer and senior staff designer Brian Wallace, placed third in the Publication Covers division.

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Commuter Affairs Office caters to increasing number of off-campus students

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Commuter Affairs Director Larry Provost and staff member Melissa Keiser work together at the Commuter Affairs Office in Campus North. BY Te r esa D u n ham

When undergraduate students choose Liberty University, they typically come for more than the degree. They’re looking for the entire Liberty experience — great recreational facilities, concerts, guest speakers and the kind of Christian bonding that comes with living in the dorms. They get a high-quality education, but the memories are just as important. For commuter students, making those memories and staying connected can require a little more effort, but the Commuter Affairs Office is here to help.


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Re-established last August, the office sends out a weekly e-newsletter to update commuters on campus events that are announced to residential students in hall meetings. It also prepares students for off-campus living through a commuter orientation program, helps students find housing, coordinates campus bulletin board messages and helps commuters meet other students and spiritual mentors. The office can even connect carpoolers. “Liberty does a wonderful job at making the connection still available to commuters,” said senior Matthew Mihelic. “I didn’t feel any less connected by living off-campus

in this past year.” In Mihelic’s view, Liberty’s goal is not to have all the students living on campus; rather, LU seeks to have a unified student body that continues to glorify Christ in the community. “It’s very important, with a large percentage of our students living off campus, that somebody advocate on their behalf and remind the administration that commuters have a different set of needs than on-campus [students],”said Director Larry Provost. Approximately 4,937 students are commuting to LU this fall, and some have traveled from as far as Richmond in past years. Those students are looking for optimal parking, quiet study areas, ways to socialize with other students and spiritual support. “They need connection with people who are good, Bible-believing Christians, whether [they’re] from Liberty or not. That can be a connection that I think many students could lose. In the dorms, it’s given to you, and you can almost take it for granted,” said Provost, who is working with Liberty’s Spiritual Life leaders to create voluntary small groups and other spiritual initiatives for commuters. The semester before students begin commuting, the office arms them with information through a prerequisite “real world” seminar. Over 700 students attended the seminar last semester. Focusing on basic knowledge for living independently, as well as ways to stay involved on campus and reminders to keep up their Christian testimony, students leave the seminar with some solid guidance about the responsibility of living off-campus. “It’s always good when you hear people in the community say, ‘We can tell a Liberty student apart by their countenance or the way they’re acting.’ We do not ever want to see that change,” Provost said.

Instead of one large required Commuter Seminar at the end of each semester for students who want to move off campus, several smaller Commuter Orientations are now being offered throughout the year to highlight valuable information, from community relations to renter’s insurance facts. A unique spring commuter convocation will also give students a final send-off into the community. Provost describes the convocation as “a formal charge to go off and do great things for God in the local community.” Besides equipping students with the knowledge to succeed off campus, Commuter Affairs also hosts apartment fairs to connect students with more than a dozen local landlords of large housing areas. Approximately 1,500 students participated in an apartment fair last semester, and many of them signed a lease that day. A few students commented that the fair

“I can actually see how much effort they’re trying to put into reaching the commuter students to keep them involved. … From the weekly emails that Mr. Provost sends out, as well as the flyers that go up around campus, it really helps us stay informed.” — Garrett Rockafellow, 22, senior literally saved them three weeks of work. For those who want to simplify the apartment search this fall, another fair is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 2, from 11 to 3 p.m. Students may also access an online Apartment Finder by visiting the Commuter Affairs website. “We wish more students knew about the service because when they come to us and say they need a place to live, we

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say, ‘Have you checked the LU Apartment Finder?’ A lot of them have never heard of it before,” said Melissa Keiser, administrative assistant. The Apartment Finder, developed by Liberty’s IT department, allows students to search for local apartments based on factors such as price range, pet-friendly status, number of bedrooms and basic amenities. Eventually, Keiser said, the site could even include photos and online maps to the apartments. Constantly finding ways to support LU in general, the Commuter Affairs Office also drew a lot of attention during the last election season for registering students to vote. Besides signing up thousands on campus, the office encouraged approximately 1,500 commuters to register for the first time. “We always need to be doing more to connect the commuter with the campus and the community in a non-intrusive way,” Provost said.

Ke e pi ng Com m ute rs C o n n ecte d • • (434) 592-3067 • Office on campus north Commuter students thrive in their apartment near Liberty’s campus. Nearly 5,000 students are commuting to LU this fall, and some have traveled from as far as Richmond in past years.

inside the Tilley student Center; second floor

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A broader view Liberty student learns hands-on lessons while traveling the world

Liberty University student Josh Brewer visited the Monument of Halabja Martyrs in Iraq with his father, LU alumnus Vernon Brewer. BY Car m e n P. F le i s c hau e r

At first glance, Josh Brewer looks like a typical Liberty University student — loving campus life, enjoying school and having fun. But talk to him for a short time and you will discover that he is a well-seasoned traveler who has visited nearly 30 countries. He is the son of Vernon Brewer, president and founder of World Help, the Forest, Va., based nonprofit Christian organization that


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was founded to meet the spiritual and physical needs of hurting people around the world. In a society where traditional family structure has suffered many blows, Josh counts his father as a role model. Vernon was Liberty University’s first graduate, taught at LU for many years and directed the student missions program there. “I get to tag along with my dad a lot … I always tell people that he is my role model;

the biggest influence in my life. He’s definitely shown me the world and it’s changed my life.” Josh’s most recent travels took him to Iraq during Liberty University’s spring break, March 9-13. The goal of the trip was two-fold — to dedicate an Iraqi church established by World Help through the help of Thomas Road Baptist Church, and to identify orphans for sponsorship. Along with child advocacy and church planting,

World Help provides Bible distribution and humanitarian aid. The trip began in Erbil, Iraq, in the heart of Kurdistan. Although geographically a part of Iraq, Kurdistan separated from Iraq politically following Saddam Hussein’s reign and maintains its own government and borders. Its population is largely Christian, making it safer than other parts of Iraq. Josh said he was “honored” to give the dedication prayer at the church there. This is not a typical church by American standards — members must meet in a house for safety reasons, he said. Even though it is located in a “Christian section” of the country, the church would be a target for bombings without a house as its disguise. Neither disguise nor the threat of bombs can stop this church from worshiping.

“I’m hoping that wherever I go … that I can do the work of God, to bring glory to God.” According to Josh, the 60-plus members of the church worship frequently. “They had a praise band, and the pastor is a phenomenal guy — he spoke the word. And they meet every day.” The trip allowed Josh to experience daily life in Erbil and to visit various parts of the region. He visited Halabja and spent time at the memorial, Monument of Halabja Martyrs. In March of 1988, the Iraqi government dropped chemical weapons on Halabja, killing more than 5,000 Kurdish men, women and children, and injuring nearly 10,000 more. The memorial holds gravestones with the names of each person who died.

Josh, is a sophomore studying criminal justice and strategic intelligence, plans to return to Iraq next spring break. He says he loves to help his father. “Satisfaction from doing that type of work is just beyond imagination. I’m hoping that wherever I go … that I can do the work of God, to bring glory to God.” Not only does Josh enjoy going on trips himself, but he also encourages Liberty students to get involved in any way they can. “To all students, I highly encourage it; you will be changed. Don’t be intimidated — the Lord will lead you … and protect you. Even if you can’t go on the mission field, support somebody who does.”

For more information about World Help, visit li b e rty j o u r nal


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World of change Student missionaries serve in 22 countries during the summer

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LU student David Kephart and alumnus Kata McLaren assist at a medical clinic on a previous Light Ministries trip to the Amazon. by j o h n n i e m o o r e


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Rhea Dunkelbarger, 22, had graduated just before boarding an intercontinental flight with more than a dozen of her Liberty University peers for a week of service in Nepal — a nation with an evangelical population somewhere under .9 percent. After a few weeks, Dunkelbarger’s team had served orphans and hosted children’s programs, built a security wall around and painted the inside of a Bible college, and had even taught English to a community of monks. Along the way, the students were sharing the Gospel. Having moved from “student” to

Liberty students pose with villagers in Nepal during their summer missions trip.

“alumnus” status only hours before leaving for Nepal, this was Dunkelbarger’s last experience with Liberty University. When asked if it was a good decision for her to immediately trade her cap and gown for missionary service, she didn’t hesitate to respond: “It was the best decision I have made in my life.” Her experience is typical of the students at Liberty University. In May, more than 140 students and 16 mission leaders departed for 22 nations to participate in LU-sponsored missions. Long before it was popular to protest the atrocities in Darfur, or to pray for the ending of child exploitation, or to live a lifestyle consumed with helping to lift the developing nations from their malaise, Liberty University students were taking the Gospel on the back of tangible compassion to the ends of the Earth. LU students have distributed more than 6,000 pieces of Christian literature to Muslim immigrants in France and facilitated medical clinics in Senegal and along the Amazon River. They have shared Christ as they hiked through the Himalayas and Andes Mountains, held Christian programs in Brazilian public schools and put brand-new shoes on orphans in India.

CHAMPIONS FOR CHRIST IN THE MIDDLE EAST Even Liberty University’s men’s soccer team got in on the missionary action this summer. Sixteen team members, along with Assistant Coach Dean Short, spent two weeks competing in a Middle Eastern nation populated almost entirely by Muslims. Between soccer matches the team distributed Bibles, prayed through differpag e 4 0 ent parts of their city, and


Brazil: “My dream is to do dental missions, and when I heard about this trip I knew I couldn’t pass it up … when I pulled my first tooth, I almost cried.” — Laura Gravitte, 20, North Carolina, Biology/Pre-med France/N. Africa: “When I was told there were less than 500 believers out of the 10 million North Africans living in this region, I teared up.” —Seth Grutz, 20, Arkansas, Biblical Studies France: “God opened my eyes and heart to how content I was to be a Sunday Morning Christian … through this trip God opened my heart to a people I now love.”— Jonathan Allen, 23, Religion Nepal: “My heart is even more burdened for the Nepali people … God has taught me to love and pray for Nepal and the world no matter what. Through this trip, God has strengthened me to live for him without fear.” — Maya Shrestha, 23, Nursing Europe: “We passed through town after town where there was no Gospel presence — meaning the people in those towns couldn’t hear the Gospel even if they wanted to.”— Matt Rawlings, director of LU Abroad, trip leader “This trip has completely changed the way that I view dependence upon God.” “The most powerful moment for me came when we overlooked the city of Budapest at night.” — Bradley A. Milks, 22, New York, Church Planting

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A BABY NAMED “JESUS” IN AFRICA Angelica Atkins, 20, worked in a medical clinic in the West African nation of Senegal. The Senegal mission was a perfect fit for this Canadian pre-med major who took French in high school. On the final day of assisting at the clinic, Atkins was able to help deliver a baby. As the baby was being delivered, Atkins and her teammates held the woman’s hand and prayed for the mother’s strength, physically and spiritually. Later, as evidence that their message went through clearly, the Liberty team

learned that the new mother had chosen to name her child (the Islamic name for) Jesus. Now, Atkins hopes to use her education to “alleviate suffering and reach people in tangible ways in service to God’s kingdom.” One day, she believes, “God has a place for me in medical missions sometime, somehow, somewhere.”

Sierra Leone: “There was a young woman who lived in a tin shack next door to us that we had been trying to reach the whole time I was there … [after I left] I found out that she attended our church the following Sunday, accepted Christ as her Savior, and was baptized the next week.” — Heather Waggoner, 21, Intercultural Studies

Recent Liberty University graduate Rhea Dunkelbarger, 22, spent a week in Nepal this summer participating in mission service. li b e rty j o u r nal


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Liberty students trek through the streets of a town in Peru.

FOCUSING ON THE UNREACHED The majority of the nations targeted by Liberty University’s summer missions campaigns are considered “least reached.” One LU team travelled through four


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eastern European countries in a single day and were shocked to learn that there were fewer evangelical Christians in three of those countries combined than there will be students at Liberty this fall. Jonathan Allen, who ministered with Light Ministries in northern Africa, was deeply affected by a personal visit to an unreached people group. One day his team attended a performance with 3,000 people. Soon he realized that the 16 team members were probably the only ones there who had ever heard the Gospel. “It is a sobering experience to go from a majority to a minority. That was an experience I still have not been able to move past,” said Allen. Now, he and his wife plan on going back to serve full time. Kaitlin Sones, 19, who said her group treated 459 people and pulled around 40 teeth in medical clinics, had a similar experience in Brazil. “It is difficult to return to normal, everyday life knowing this fact [that many people have not heard the Gospel], especially after meeting the people, and being able to put faces to numbers,” she said.

For more information on Liberty University missions trips visit

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presented the Gospel to their opponents over dinner. Soccer itself became the team’s greatest tool for ministry. Liberty’s players proved to be as tenacious on the field as they were in their faith by soundly defeating two of the nation’s all-star teams and capturing the first-place prize in a national tournament. Surprisingly, many dignitaries were present for the concluding match, including the nation’s Prime Minister. After their final victory, the team found itself in the presence of the Prime Minister of this Islamic nation to receive its award. Chris Phillips signed up for the trip because he wanted to “use soccer as a platform to share the Gospel.” He never imagined that soccer alone would give him face time with the leader of a Muslim nation.

THE GOSPEL TO EVERY NATION In the last five years, over 70 missions campaigns have taken Liberty students to more than 45 nations. Each Christmas, spring and summer break, students leave campus to take the Gospel around the world. Meanwhile, enrollment in Liberty University’s missions classes has skyrocketed, with a 61 percent increase over the previous year. Missions agencies around the world are taking notice. Three agencies have stationed full-time personnel in Lynchburg to recruit future missionaries while 56 missionary sending agencies travelled to campus last year for Missions Emphasis Week. Atkins, the Canadian student who helped deliver a baby in Senegal, said it well, “[Missions] rips off cultural blinders and opens your eyes to a world of diversity and need. Your heart will be broken for what breaks God’s heart.” Liberty University’s missionary agenda is simple: do everything possible to give the Gospel to every person on planet Earth.

Children play a game with Liberty students in Peru.

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Serving spiritual needs Student worked in Prayer Room all four years of college

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Vastille Edma holds a framed mustard seed, which decorated Liberty’s Prayer Room where she served as manager. by Te r esa D u n ham

Vastille Edma prayed for a job when she first came to Liberty University from Haiti in 2005 — but she never could have imagined that she would spend the next four years praying on the job as an LU Prayer Room manager. She heard about the position the first week of her freshman year, and she was a student worker and prayer warrior for Liberty until she graduated. In May, Edma turned her tassel as a business management graduate, but before she left she wanted to encourage everyone in the LU family to take advantage of the Prayer Room, which is now located in Dorm 13. “The Prayer Room is open to everybody. It’s a quiet room where people can


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come and read their Bibles and pray,” said Edma, the daughter of missionaries who ran an orphanage in Haiti. “I really like the atmosphere of the prayer room because you get to pray and spend time in the Word.” Her role as one of several Prayer Room managers was to pray through a list of everyone at LU — from students to university employees — until every person at LU had been lifted in prayer at least once by the end of the year. Based on verses from Colossians 1:9-11, her prayers sought God’s will and wisdom for each person’s life. When she finished praying, she emailed those she’d prayed for that day. She also brought prayer requests before God that individuals emailed to the Prayer Room.

“Sometimes they email us back and say, ‘Thank you. It was the right time to email me. I was going through something, and God sent your email my way,’” she said. For Edma, whose mother and aunt both died in Haiti in the past year, the Prayer Room was a refuge and a place of encouragement. “That really helped me rely on my faith,” said Edma. “I really enjoyed working there.” Now that she has graduated, she hopes to work locally for at least a year because her younger brothers are at LU, and her sister is attending high school locally. Visit studentaffairs/studentcare for more information.

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God Spots and the Human Mind

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man brain thinks about Him? While we look for more explanations from science, we should be sure that our worship involves our minds, not just our voices. Prayer, songs and sermons are crucial; so are reading, memorization and studying the Bible. In fact, one section in the greatest commandment of all, to love God with all of our being, refers to the mind specifically (Matt. 22.37). We may not all be physicists, but we can and should be thinking people if we love the Lord above all. Seeing how spiritual thought can trigger a flurry of mental activity, one might suppose that mental activity is part spiritual.” Thinking and learning — the pursuit of education — must be grounded in God’s revelations of Himself: in nature and in the Bible and Jesus Christ. Therefore, with good reason, a school or university curriculum should include the Old and New Testaments and biblical theology. This integrated curriculum is the DNA of Christian education. Dr. Woodard is a professor of English at Liberty University.

Sources: Biello, David. “Searching for God in the Brain.” Scientific American (Oct. 2007) Dayton, Leigh. “Our Brains Are Wired up for God.” The Australian (10 March 2009) Grafman, Jordan and Dimitrios Kapogiannis, Aron K. Barbey, Michael Su, Giovanna Zamboni, Frank Krueger. “Cognitive and Neural Foundations of Religious Belief.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (March 2009): 4876-4881. “Results Of Brain Scan Show No Single ‘God Spot’ In The Brains Of Nuns.” Medical News Today (31 August 2006). j o r da n c r o s s i n g h a m

Although spirituality and science are usually not viewed as common partners, in two recent lab studies, neuroscientists have been exploring what happens in the human brain when people interact with God. According to the findings, different areas of the brain, commonly called “God spots,” become noticeably active during religious experiences. The subjects in the experiments are ordinary men and women, mentally healthy and free from personality disorders and similar problems. Even a glance at this research gives us much to consider about our faith and the God who makes it possible. Last March, an Australian newspaper highlighted a project at the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda, Maryland. The researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to observe the brain activity of 26 American volunteers while they examined statements of religious belief. The conclusions? Religious thinking occurs within networks dealing primarily with social communication, analytical reasoning and language. Indeed,

religious belief may assume the character of any of three categories: knowledge or doctrine, God’s emotion and God’s association with the world (Grafman et al.). Three years earlier, two Canadians were studying brain functions and religious experiences. Brain scans, again, were used to indicate the cognitive activities of 15 Carmelite nuns as they sought to relive deeply personal encounters with God. Researchers Mario Beauregard and Vincent Paquette (Center for Research in the Neurological Sciences, University of Montreal) found that as many as 12 areas and structures of the brain were engaged in the mystical experience (Biello, “Results”). As most of us are not trained neuroscientists, why should we reflect on these findings? To begin with, God has revealed Himself in the natural world that He created; oceans, rainbows, mountains and fog show God’s divine nature and power (Rom. 1.20). What, therefore, is more reasonable than to look at how the hu-

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aculty focuS Dr. Ergun Caner, Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary president


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Dr. Ergun Caner has lectured and given academic addresses all over the world, more recently delivering a Global Apologetics Series, and has also published numerous articles for academic journals and magazines. books published

“Holier Than Thou” Nashville, TN: Abingdon, 2009.

“Sacred Trust: Sketches of the SBC Presidents” Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2003.

“Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics” Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 2008.

“Voices Behind the Veil: Women in Islam” Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003. Several foreign translations

“Why Churches Die: Lethal Poisons in the Body of Christ” Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2005. “When Worldviews Collide: Christianity against Religion” Nashville: LifeWay, 2005. “Christian Jihad: When Christians Kill” Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2005. Also had a Spanish translation. “Sacred Desk: Addresses of the SBC Presidents” Nashville: Broadman and Holman, 2004.


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“Out of the Crescent Shadows” Birmingham: New Hope, 2003. “More Than a Prophet: Islamic Objections to Christianity” Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2003. Several foreign translations “Unveiling Islam: Insider’s Look at Muslim Life” Grand Rapids: Kregel, 2002. Gold Medallion Award winner (ECPA) Several foreign translations “Hills and Hearts of Gold” Atlanta: Brentwood, 1995.

Age: 42 Born in Sweden to Turkish parents and raised a Sunni Muslim Saved shortly before entering college Enjoys hanging out with his wife, Jill, and two children, Braxton and Drake Desire: To write a Christian commentary on the entire Quran with his younger brother Life verse: Romans 9:1-3 (When he reads this verse, he thinks of the Muslim world.) Work philosophy: Never be caught behind an office desk. (He prefers teaching and being an active leader.) Website: a c a d e m i c v i ta e

DOCTOR OF THEOLOGY (2001) University of South Africa Pretoria, South Africa MASTER OF THEOLOGY (1995) Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, N.C. MASTER OF DIVINITY (1994) Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary Wake Forest, N.C. MASTER OF ARTS IN HISTORY (1992) The Criswell College (Dallas, Texas) Oral Exam Record: Double Superior in Languages, History and Theology BACHELOR OF ARTS IN BIBLICAL STUDIES (1989) University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, Ky. p ro f e s s i o n a l s o c i e t i e s

International Society of Christian Apologists Southern Baptist Historical Society North American Patristics Society Evangelical Theological Society ministerial exerience

Since 1985, Caner has served at eight churches, including Thomas Road Baptist Church (2002-present). The churches were located in Kentucky, Indiana, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado and Virginia.

‘Not Seminary as Usual’ LBTS trains effective ministry leaders

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Members of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary gathered together for a friendly game of football against Liberty’s Law School. by t e r esa d u n ham

Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary students don’t show up for class wearing three-piece suits and somber expressions. “We’ve got punk rockers, goth musicians, academics, guys in suits,” said LBTS President Ergun Caner. “And they’re all welcome here. I tell the faculty our dress code is that you dress like a church planter.” For most Seminary students, that means looking like the people they plan on reaching. They are in touch with current culture and with God. That’s not the only way Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary stands out from other seminaries across the nation. LBTS emphatically teaches General Atonement — meaning Christ died for every person — and it is Pre-millennial and Pre-tribulational in its view of the end times. Students believe Christ is going to return soon, and they are pro-Israel.

“There are fewer and fewer schools every day that hold this [solid view of the scriptures]. They’ve bought into all kinds of fads,” Caner said. Students in the Seminary are pursuing their master’s degrees, the ministryminded M.Div., doctorates of ministry and even their Ph.D.’s for a career in academia. Taught by some of the leading biblical scholars and evangelists in the world, such as Gary Habermas and Ed Hindson, LBTS students know their Scriptures and can give a strong defense of their faith. “I think our seminary has always had one foot in academics and the other foot in the real world of ministry. We want to be aggressively reaching people for Christ,” said Dr. Daniel Mitchell, academic dean of the Seminary. With three Korean professors, the Seminary draws many students from abroad. As the LBTS motto says, it’s “Not Seminary as Usual.”

“I think there’s a relaxed environment here,” said student Ryan Jones, 31. “It’s just very practical.” PUSH FOR CH U RCH PLANTI NG Church planting is the new vision of LBTS. Rather than stepping into an alreadyestablished pulpit, church planters start from scratch and raise a new congregation. “In America, there are more churches closing every year than there are being started,” said Dave Earley, Chairman of the Department of Pastoral Leadership and Church Planting. That’s why LBTS is so fervent about church planting. Thomas Road Baptist Church Senior Pastor Jonathan Falwell has set a goal of planting 500 churches — and it is the Seminary’s natural duty to train enough people to fulfill that vision. Earley, a 1985 Seminary graduate, planted a large church in Ohio and has pag e 4 6 returned to LBTS to teach li b e rty j o u r nal


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“We need a place where we train Green Berets. Seminary is not for everybody. Seminary is for those who are completely, totally abandoned to the will of God and are willing to pay the price to possess that power of being whatever God wants you to be.” —Ergun Caner, LBTS president others how to plant churches. Since 2006, Liberty University’s entities have successfully started more than 70 churches. Classes teach future church planters how to communicate a vision, gather followers, train leaders, fulfill their goals and combat spiritual warfare. The students have an entrepreneurial spirit, and their faith is strong enough that they can take risks. As their churches grow, they can train people who can plant more churches. Recent graduate Gabriel Turner, 30, wants to plant a church in Charlottesville, Va., and the Seminary has put him in contact with people who can help him. “Life runs on relational tracks, and the beautiful thing about church planting is that you have the opportunity to do life and do ministry with people that you enjoy being with,” he said.


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VISION FOR TH E FUTU R E Moving forward, LBTS would like to be in its own 100,000 square-foot building in five years. This shift would help accommodate growth, a necessary move because LBTS is quickly becoming one of the largest seminaries in America. About 600 students are expected this fall, and 5,000 will study online. The Seminary’s goal for the next few years is 1,000 residential students and 10,000 online. For students who want to become the next generation of college professors, the Seminary now offers a new Ph.D. in Theology and Apologetics. The program started with 10 students, and LBTS plans to accept 15 more each year.

The Seminary hopes to add additional Ph.D. programs, and leaders are currently in discussions with the law school to offer a four-year joint degree (Juris Doctorate and M.A. in Ministry). Caner also hopes for a Women’s Ministry Ph.D. someday. Dr. Carl Deimer, who has taught at LBTS since the beginning, remembers when the Seminary used to meet downtown in the 1970s. “I see God’s hand from the beginning to the present,” he said. “God is faithful, and as we have been faithful to Him, He has rewarded us with success.” Visit for more information about the dozens of degree programs and concentrations offered at LBTS. To find out how God can use women who attend the Seminary, check out our Web Exclusive at

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SPR EADI NG TH E WOR D The Seminary is focused on producing hands-on leaders. “You can’t teach evangelism in the classroom,” said Dr. David Wheeler, who primarily instructs on evangelism. He has helped LBTS organize block parties and sports evangelism events, as well as more unconventional outreach methods such as a “gas buy-down” at a local filling station. For two hours, students bought a quarter off every gallon that patrons purchased. They also pumped gas, washed windows, prayed for people and told them about Jesus. “Evangelism is not something you do. It’s

who you are,” Wheeler said. “I don’t want my students to say, ‘Let’s meet and go out.’ I want my students just to go.”

Rock Clim Rock Clim


attract winter sports enthusiasts from around the country to Lynchburg and Liberty University, and I am honored to be a part of the dedication of this wonderful facility.” As university officials and distinguished guests cut the ceremonial ribbon, skydiver Jim McCormick kicked off the snow sports action as he leapt from an airplane onto the main slope and skied downhill. Twenty-four pro skiers and snowboarders from the U.S. and U.K. put on an amazing aerial display, wowing the crowd with big-air stunts and high-flying maneuvers. Following the freestyle frenzy, the slope opened to students and the public. f r o m pag e 8

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News and Notes on Programs, Faculty and Students

Trafficking,” and hosted a panel discussion. The paper focuses on U.S. policy and ties in the idea of what one man of faith can do. Rickert is now considering turning her paper into a seminar class that Liberty students of any major could take. The class would raise awareness about trafficking and other forms of modern day slavery. “There’s hardly any awareness in the United States at all,” Rickert said. “It doesn’t matter what you’re involved in, it would still be good if you are well-versed in justice and law.”

Law school externship includes tour of D.C. sites Liberty University School of Law students who participated in a summer externship program with Liberty Counsel toured Washington, D.C., including a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court. The students visited the Supreme Court on June 30, the last day it was in session for the term. Students also received a private tour and a lecture by General William Suter, the Clerk of the Supreme Court. “Visiting the United States Supreme Court is an awesome experience,” said Mat Staver, dean of Liberty University School of Law. “The Court’s chambers are spectacular. Liberty University School of Law has the only replica in the nation of the actual nine-member courtroom of the High Court, which we call The Supreme Courtroom. Those who have visited the law school immediately see the similarity between the two courtrooms.” Following the Supreme Court tour, the students were led on a private tour of the Library of Congress by James Hutson, a distinguished scholar and historian who is chief of the Library’s Manuscript Division. The tour included the Reading


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Liberty educators get a lesson in Army life Room, with a large, towering statue of Moses holding the Ten Commandments. Students also viewed many ancient manuscripts, including the original diary of George Washington.

Professor travels to Oxford Round Table George Buzzy, Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University, rappelling at the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course at Fort Knox, Ky.

Dr. Michelle Crawford Rickert, a professor at Liberty’s Helms School of Government, travelled to Oxford University in England on July 15 for the Summer 2009 Oxford Round Table. The conference invites 25-40 distinguished scholars from around the world to present papers and discuss a designated topic; the summer session focused on human rights. Rickert presented her paper, “Wilberforce’s Work is Not Done: Dealing with Modern Day Slavery And Human

Two Liberty University administrators and one staff member traded classrooms and offices for camouflage and combat boots this summer as they took part in the Army ROTC Leader’s Training Course (LTC) at Fort Knox, Ky. LTC, a program aimed at motivating and qualifying college students for entry into the Senior ROTC program, hosts a five-day tour for college educators each summer. Liberty’s participants were: Dr. George Buzzy, Dean of the Helms School of Government at Liberty University; Dr. Stephen Parke, Associate Dean for the Helms School and a retired lieutenant colo-

A SECRET homosexual lifestyle left him dying of AIDS, but a MIRACLE came when he fixed his eyes on God. LU alumnus Jonathan Ervin releases “My Secret Place,” with Mitzi Bible; foreword by Jonathan Falwell

Proceeds will benefit liberty University’s new Performing arts center. nel with the U.S. Army; and Jose Mercado from LU’s CASAS (Center for Academic Support and Advising Services). Conference leaders included LU Eagle Battalion cadre/ professors of Military Science. The LTC’s commanding officer, Col. Chester F. Dymek III, served as senior officer of the LU/UVA ROTC cadre until recently. Participants observed the newly minted second lieutenants in action, who in turn trained the group of educators in rappelling, river crossing and the high ropes course. The schedule also included a banquet and a combat platoon demonstration, where they were given the opportunity to fire blank rounds from a variety of weapons.

“As fellow students at Liberty University many years ago, I remember Jonathan Ervin as the friendly kid who always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone he encountered. That genuine joy and love for people has endured in Jonathan’s life to this day despite circumstances that would have made most people bitter. Mitzi Bible has done a superb job of revealing Christ as the source of Jonathan’s positive outlook in the face of incredible adversity. Jonathan’s story will be sure to bring you encouragement and inspiration.” Jerry falwell, Jr.   chancellor and President, liberty University Available at and other online retailers, as well as bookstores near you. Published by Liberty University Books.

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E u r o p e a n U n i o n S t u dy To u r

SPRING BREAK 2010 Travel to Germany, France, Luxembourg and Belgium. University credit available (Grad & Undergrad). Non-students also welcome!

For more information, please email tour host Dr. Stephen Preacher,

Professor of International Business at Liberty University

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A heritage of learning Popular 1970s administrator was crucial to LU’s academic success by m itz i b i b le


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Dr. J. Gordon (Jim) Henry, former teacher, Academic Dean and later Vice President of Academic Affairs at Liberty University, visited campus in June, presenting Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. with several items for the school archives. Henry was at Liberty from 1972-78 and was instrumental in attaining Liberty’s accreditation through the Southern Association of Schools and Universities (SACS), which was received in 1980. “He was the guy who gave Liberty University academic credibility early on,” Falwell said. “He led Liberty to accreditation in record time.” Chancellor Falwell said his father, Liberty University founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. was “committed to academic excellence from the beginning” and brought Henry on to carry out the task. “[Dad] wasn’t just interested in being another unaccredited Bible school,” he said. Henry presented Chancellor Falwell with the school’s first purpose and mission statement (which he helped write), a personal letter of “Memories of Dr. Jerry Falwell & Liberty University,” the text of his academic dean addresses and his portrait that was used at another institution where he had served. In the letter, he talked about the first time he met Jerry Falwell, Sr. and Liberty co-founder Elmer Towns. From his office at a college in Kentucky, “The Holy Spirit brought forth an idea that I should learn more about the new college in Virginia,” he writes. “I felt that I should visit Lynchburg and see for myself what God was doing. I attended a Wednesday evening service and met Dr. Elmer Towns. He said that I was the very person that LBC needed to help develop the program. “Before leaving Lynchburg, Dr. Falwell urged me to join hands with him. I asked

Dr. J. Gordon (Jim) Henry is shown in his office at Liberty Baptist College in the 1970s. Gordon served as Academic Dean and later Vice President for Academic Affairs.

two questions: first, ‘Do you intend to develop a “real” college?’ and ‘Will the college attack other believers?’ His answers were direct. He said he wanted to be a quality academic program and become known as the ‘Harvard’ of the evangelical Christian world. He invited me to listen to tapes of his radio/television programs and see for myself that he did not attack other believers. “I left with a contract that included primary duties to help develop the academic program that would merit accredited recognition of (SACS) and, especially a teacher education program so that our graduates would be certified to teach in Virginia. Incidentally, Dr. Falwell told

me that my salary would be higher than his salary. He meant business in getting experienced administrators.” Mark Hine, Liberty’s current Vice President for Student Affairs, was a student under Henry’s leadership. He recalls how Henry would go out of the way to meet students’ academic needs. “He would say in convocations, if we had issues or questions with transcripts, classes for graduation, that he was in his office at 6 a.m. every day and we could go meet with him. I went early one morning. He took my status sheet and looked it over, and was able to help me graduate.” Watching the 2009 Commencement from his Lynchburg home, Henry said he


Who are

was reminded of Liberty’s early graduations; the first four were at Thomas Road Baptist Church, but the fifth was held outside on Liberty Mountain, the future site of the new campus. He writes: “As we sat there on the platform that beautiful May Sunday afternoon, Dr. Falwell reached over and took my work copy of the Graduation Bulletin in which I had made my organizational notes. He proceeded to write something in my bulletin and handed it back.” Henry presented that bulletin to the chancellor at his June visit. It reads: “To Dr. and Mrs. Jim Henry, Your contribution has helped, probably more than any other single family, to make LBC a college. I shall be forever grateful. And Sue—your care for Mom will never be forgotten. —Jerry Falwell” (Henry’s wife, Sue, took care of Falwell Sr.’s mother as a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit at Virginia Baptist Hospital). Henry said Falwell, Sr. had wanted him to accept the position of Executive Vice President when it was created, but Henry declined due to his pastorate at a Lynchburg church. But Henry suggested Pierre Guillermin and the choice was made. Henry left Liberty in 1978 to become president of Northeastern Bible College in New Jersey.



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 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

Dr. J. Gordon Henry (center) presented his portrait to Chancellor Jerry L. Falwell, Jr. (right) and Provost Dr. Boyd Rist on June 15.

Mention you saw us in the Liberty Journal.

Faith in God applied to health care

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Lasting love story Florida couple keeps Liberty close to their hearts

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Bill and Sylvia Stevens pose with LU Planned Giving Officer Earl Sargeant in their Pompano Beach, Fla., home. by m itz i b i b le

The Rev. Bill Stevens, 88, and his wife Sylvia, 84, are part of this country’s active senior population. They volunteer in their Pompano Beach, Fla., retirement community and faithfully attend Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (founded by Dr. D. James Kennedy), where they still sing in the choir and serve with various ministries. “We used to do more music, but now Bill says we just make a joyful noise,” Sylvia says jokingly. Bill, an evangelist who worked with Youth for Christ for many years, married Sylvia on June 24, 1945. On the 24th of every month since, they have celebrated their “monthiversary,” as they call it. They started out giving gifts at first


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(“That lasted about three months; we had no money and it was too expensive,” Sylvia says.) Now they play a game to see who can tell each other “Happy Monthiversary” first and they eat a special meal together. In August, they celebrated 66 years — “That’s 770 monthiversaries,” Sylvia says. Their commitment to each other is obvious — and so is their commitment to the Lord’s work. “We have worked together practically all of our married life,” Bill says. “First, in evangelism we travelled a good part of the Eastern United States, and then in our work for Youth for Christ. Then, as the Lord opened the door and led us, we spent 24 years in the Christian bookstore business and that in itself was a fantastic ministry.”

“It’s not only because we believe in Liberty, but our work with Youth for Christ has made us interested in young people ... that’s why we wanted to support Liberty ... .” —Sylvia Stevens

The Stevenses owned and operated three Bible Bookshops in the Charleston, W.Va., area. They never had children of their own, but their work with teenagers and young adults over the years has given them “a lot of spiritual children,” as Sylvia puts it. And that love for young people and the desire to see them grow up to serve the Lord themselves was what made them decide to include Liberty University in their estate plans. “It’s not only because we believe in Liberty, but our work with Youth for Christ has made us interested in young people … that’s why we wanted to support Liberty, and maybe our support will give them a scholarship to help them,” Sylvia says. The couple first contacted Liberty’s Planned Giving Department after seeing an advertisement for charitable gift annuities. That’s when they met Earl Sargeant, the planned giving officer who has travelled to their home several times and eventually helped them update their estate plans to include Liberty in their living trust. “Our first connection was we bought an annuity, then we knew we needed to update our estate plans; we weren’t happy with the way it was,” Sylvia says. After working with other organizations in the past, the Stevenses say Sargeant made the process “so much easier.” “He has made it so it’s been an enjoyable thing and a blessing,” Sylvia says. Bill adds: “The thing that impressed me so much is his spirituality; he wasn’t just interested in seeing how much money he could get out of us; it was the touch of the Lord upon his life … he’s a great man of God; he’s enjoyable … we’ve had wonderful fellowship.” On his visits, Sargeant gives the Stevenses updates on Liberty, which they

have visited only once; in the early 1970s, they became members of Dr. Jerry Falwell’s Founders Club and were invited for a visit to the newly organized school. They still cherish a photo they had taken with Falwell on that trip. Now, through the living trust, the couple is excited about the way God will use their contributions in the future to help train more Champions for Christ at Liberty. That’s what their lives are all about, they say. With many “monthiversaries” behind them and looking forward to more to come, Sylvia says they have learned two things about themselves that can sum up their lives: “Number one, we love the Lord, and number two, we love people.”

Bill and Sylvia Stevens were traveling evangelists for several years; they have worked together their entire married life.

Picture & Quote: Mrs. Ruth Dunlap

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Planning for the future Arkansas couple supports Liberty University as it grows

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by m itz i b i b le

Back in their traveling days, when their motorhome took them on many crosscountry adventures, Mary and Robert Maier of Little Rock, Ark., made a stop in Lynchburg. They still remember what they saw here in the 1980s. “We got up on Liberty Mountain when they were first starting the construction of dorms. Everything was red clay,” Mary said. Mary, 85, and Robert, 87, haven’t been here since and are uncertain they will get the chance to return. But one thing is certain — their support of Liberty University will continue. “I think Christian education for young people is the most vital thing today because there’s so many things out there to turn them away from God,” said Mary, a faithful Sunday School teacher who is a longtime supporter of the late Dr. Jerry Falwell. “I was not able to have a college education,” Mary added, “but I know today … a college education is necessary. (But)


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so many college educations now teach young people anything but religious thoughts — if they have any religious beliefs, by the time they get through with that college, they’re so confused and everything (else) is nullified. Liberty is one of the things I want to support because of what they do.” On June 21, the couple celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. They met through mutual church friends in a camping group. At the time, they had both experienced the loss of a spouse — both having been married for 35 years. They quickly discovered they shared a love for camping and animals — Robert’s dog and Mary’s cat quickly became traveling companions. The couple married nearly two years later. Keeping their estates separate, Mary decided to include Liberty in her estate plans and, about 15 years ago, purchased charitable gift annuities. “I started out small. Then I grew … along with the college,” she said, laughing. The charitable gift annuities are “ab-

solutely ideal for us,” she added. “I just wish that more people in our situation would investigate and invest in charitable gift annuities because it’s the best thing you can do.” In 2004 she made a $100,000 donation to Liberty, establishing the Mary P. Slimer Maier Memorial Scholarship Fund. Her trust will include “a sizable donation” to add to the fund, she said. Robert, a retired rice and soybean farmer who enjoys woodworking, eventually decided to follow her lead and purchase charitable gift annuities. “I talked him into it,” Mary said. “I said, ‘Why should we wait until we die to give what we have away?’ We could give it now and see what benefit is being derived from it and have a good income, too. He finally saw what I was talking about and he’s gung-ho for it now.” The couple, who have no children, enjoy regular visits from Liberty Planned Giving Officer Everett Foutz. “It’s really important to us because he keeps us in touch with what’s going on and helps us realize that from time to time we can add to our charitable gifts,” Mary said. She has “every confidence” in Foutz: “He’s just like a member of the family to us — he’s such a sweet person.” And that’s important in a world where there is “so much corruption going on in big organizations [and] people have gotten to the point where they don’t know who to trust,” she said. “I have full faith and confidence that the money we’ve invested in Liberty is as good as we can do.” To fi n d out how Plan n e d G ivi ng office r s at Li b e rty U n ive r sity can h e lp you plan for th e futu r e, call (800) 543-5309 or visit www. lug ivi ng .com.

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Alumni Snapshot NAME: Ben Arment GRADUATING CLASS: Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, December 2000 RESIDENCE: Virginia Beach, VA FAMILY: Wife, Ainsley, and three sons: Wyatt (5), Dylan (3) and Cody (newborn) OCCUPATION: Event producer HOBBIES: Running, writing and reading EDUCATION: B.A., English, Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio and M.A.R., Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary

Why did you choose to attend Liberty University? My grandmother in Ohio was one of the early supporters of Dr. Falwell before Liberty owned the entire mountain. She had a piggybank with a picture of Liberty Mountain and the phrase “I want that mountain!” on it. I learned about the great things God was doing at Liberty from a pretty early age. So when it was time for me to go to seminary, there was no other choice. What is your fondest memory of Liberty? I’ll never forget seeing Dr. Falwell drive around in his big, black Suburban, waving to students and making us feel like we were his best friends. How did attending Liberty prepare you for your life after graduation? Liberty prepared me to be audacious about vision. I learned to dream bigger than I’d ever dreamed before, to go after the impossible feats that God laid before me. Nobody dreams bigger than Liberty students. That’s one of the tremendous legacies Dr. Falwell left.


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What would people be surprised to know about you? In 2001, when Ainsley and I were newly married, we moved to Reston, Virginia, to plant a church. For seven years, we built a congregation and raised up a team to lead the ministries. We saw many people give their lives to Christ and go on to serve God faithfully. Reston Community Church is still thriving today. I’ve written a book about church planting called “Church in the Making,” which will be published by Broadman & Holman in April 2010. But in 2008, I moved on to work at Catalyst Conference in Atlanta, where I helped launch the first West Coast event. I’m now producing ministry events and conferences from Virginia Beach.

Ben Arment is producing an event for church leaders in Chicago this month called STORY. It will be held on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2009, at the Paramount Theater in Aurora, Ill. More than 1,500 church leaders, pastors, teachers, artists and authors are expected. Speakers include best-selling author Donald Miller; Nancy Beach of Willow Creek; Dave Gibbons of the NewSong Global Alliance; Stacy Spencer of New Direction Christian Church in Memphis; Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas; Mike Foster of Ethur; and Chris Seay of Ecclesia Houston. For more information visit

register online today!

DemanD the eviDence a c r e at io n a p ol o g e t ic s c o n f e r e n c e

OctOber 9-10 First baptist church JacksOnville, Fl

OctOber 23-24 Grace cOmmunity church sun valley, ca

nOvember 13-14 First baptist church Dallas, tX

s p e a K e r s

Dr. John MacArthur

Dr. Henry Morris III

i n c l U D e

Dr. John Morris

Dr. Randy Guliuzza

To register online or for more information, visit To bring an ICR Conference to your city, please contact or call 800.337.0375.

Dr. Gary Parker

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Updates from LU alumni

C las s o f 19 8 4 Brian Overcast, and his wife, Mireya, have directed the New Opportunities in Education (NOE) Center in Morelia, Mexico, since its inception in 1992. The community outreach center offers English, homework help, art, music and computer instruction to the surrounding lower-income neighborhoods, with 500 young people and adults involved in programs each week.

’84 C las s o f 19 91 Gregory A. Petroff has joined the firm of Stevens & Lee as a shareholder in the Princeton office. A member of the New Jersey Bar, Petroff served judicial law clerkships with the Hon. John A. Ricciardi, P.J.Cr. and the Hon. John P. Arnone, J.S.C., as well as the Hon. Paul F. Chaiet, J.S.C., in Monmouth County

’91 58

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Superior Court, Freehold, N.J. Petroff received an LL.M. in Corporate Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center (1998), a J.D. from the New England School of Law (1996), a B.S. from Liberty University (1991) and also studied at Oxford University. He has been named a New Jersey Rising Star in “New Jersey Monthly Magazine” and “Law & Politics Magazine” from 2007-09. Dr. Freddy Cardoza, a Liberty B.S. (Church Ministries/Youth) graduate, has taken the position of Department Chair of Christian Ministries/Associate Professor of Christian Education at Biola University/Talbot School of Theology. Freddy has been married to Kristin Post (Cardoza) for 16 years. The couple has two children, Dakota and Christian.

’92 Dr. Adel E. Horan is married to Samira Horan. The couple, who live in Phoenix, Ariz., has one child and two grandchildren. Horan is a professor of psychology, professor of humanities and fine art and is active with evaluating and assessing inmates for Supreme Court cases. In her spare time, Horan is an accomplished, professional painter. Dr. Tom Howe, Professor of Bible and Biblical Languages at Southern Evangelical Seminary, wrote “Daniel in the Preterists’ Den” (Wipf & Stock, Eugene, Ore., 2008). The work is a commentary on the book of Daniel and provides a critique of Preterist interpretations.

’91 C las s o f 19 92 Debra Dickens Prince married Melvin Prince, Jr. and resides in Emporia, Va. The couple has two children, Haley and Wil. Debra is a homemaker and periodically teaches at a community college. Melvin’s father, Melvin Prince, Sr. graduated from Liberty in Liberty Baptist College’s first graduating class. Debra’s brother, Elton Dickens, is also a Liberty graduate.

C las s o f 19 9 6 Esther Mills graduated from Liberty in 1993 with a bachelor’s in Psychology and then in 1996 with a master’s in Counseling. She was on the track and field and cross country teams from 1989-94. Mills is the host of Talk2Me with Esther Mills on Princeton Community Television (Princeton TV30). She has hosted and produced over 200 shows. Some of her guests have included Steve Forbes (CEO of Forbes, Inc.), Carol Feuerman, Ben Hawkins, Barb Jungr and Bobby Schindler (Terri Schiavo’s brother). Mills recently

hosted Joe Franklin’s biography, (Joe Franklin: “Regular Joe” to Broadcasting Legend) which is now available on DVD at Ron Cohen and Ethan Lefkowitz are co-producers with Mills.

collection and use of Pittman Robertson federal excise taxes that fund wildlife conservation efforts.

’97 ’96 C l as s o f 1 9 97 Benjamin Summers (B.S. Religion), Director of Operations for T.R.U. Ball and AXCEL Archery Products, manufactured by S&S Machine, Inc. in Madison Heights, Va., has been re-elected to a second three-year term on the Board of Directors of the Archery Trade Association (ATA), voted on by 450 international archery manufacturing companies. In his first three years, Benjamin served as Chairman of the Community Archery Program (CAP) Committee and the International Outreach Committee. He has represented the archery industry at several events in Washington, D.C., including the signing of the Sportsman’s Access to Federal Public Lands Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the 100th anniversary celebration of the National Wildlife Refuge System at the Department of the Interior. He has worked with members of the IRS, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and State Wildlife agencies to ensure the proper

C las s o f 200 6 Dr. Philip A. Watkins is Coordinator of Student Support Services and Lecturer III in Social and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Maine at Augusta (UMA). A veteran of the U.S. Army and Marine Corps, Watkins is co-chair of the UMA’s Military and Veteran Affairs Task Force. He is proud to be part of UMA’s proactive outreach initiatives to serve military personnel in every branch and service category. He also is a member of the Liberty University Board of Regents.

C las s o f 2000 Sarah Huddleston Kretowicz (Maddox), M.A. in Counseling, lives in North Carolina and works in the Wounded Warriors Battalion at Camp Lejeune, N.C. (with the Military Order of the Purple Heart). C las s o f 2001 Tim Holland serves as Secondary Principal and Head Boy’s Basketball Coach at his alma mater, Jupiter Christian School in Jupiter, Fla., with an enrollment of about 600 students. Holland is currently pursuing his Master of Education from Liberty, to complement his bachelor’s degree. He is married to Liz and has a son, Parker, who is 1 year old.


’06 Pastor Brad Strand, a Liberty University M.Ed. and master’s of art in religion graduate, has written the “The Strand Study Bible.” Strand, the pastor of Harvest Bible Church in Cash, Texas, labored on the project since the fall of 1977. Strand wrote it with all denominations in mind and with the purpose of helping the reader understand God, why He created us and what He expects from our lives. Dwayne Hamlette accepted the head football coach position for the William Campbell Generals in April. Hamlette has also served as in-school suspension teacher, spring weight room coordinator and coach of the JV football team at

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William Campbell High/Middle School in Naruna, Va. Hamlette, 30, graduated from Liberty with a degree in physical education and kinesiology. C las s o f 200 8 Jerry Carroll, of Bowie, Md., authored a 30-day prayer journal published by Xulon press in March. Carroll and his wife are full-time missionaries to at-risk children and their families in the DC/MD metro area and members of Woodstream Church in Mitchellville, Md. Miscellaneous An n o u n c e m e nts Chariss K. Walker, who attended Liberty from 2006-08, recently received an


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award for her book, “Make a Joyful Noise: Searching for a Spiritual Path in a Material World.” The Mom’s Choice Awards honored Walker’s work as the “Most Inspirational/Motivational Book of the Year” in 2009. LU ‘pioneers’ return for reunion About 300 alumni who were involved in youth ministry-related programs at Liberty, such as Youth Aflame, Youth Quest and Center for Youth Ministry, attended a reunion luncheon Friday, Sept. 11 at the new Barrick-Falwell Lodge at Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. Some traveled from as far as France, Russia and Australia and some were from Liberty’s first graduating class. A luncheon with Chancellor Jerry

Falwell, Jr., and his wife, Becki, was one of the featured events during the four-day reunion that includes a tour of campus, convocation, a banquet in Campus North and Liberty’s first home football game of the season. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., recognized these “pioneers” of Liberty at convocation. He introduced Gordon Luff (pictured at right), who created the youth department at Liberty and the popular Youth Aflame ministry, which had singing, evangelism and missions teams that travelled across the country and eventually the world. The group was also instrumental in recruiting students and raising funds for the young college. “Without these pioneering students ... and the sacrifices they were willing to

make, I’m not sure it would have been possible to build a university like this from scratch,” Falwell said. “The university owes a great debt of gratitude ... for the investment they made in the lives of students in the 1970s. They represent one of the most critical and important chapters in the rich history of this institution.” Seeking Christian attorneys: Liberty University School of Law is seeking to locate all Liberty alumni attorneys. School of Law alumni will prove our program of legal education to be stellar as they become professional, hardworking, and well-versed attorneys, but it will take several years for the ripple effect of their work to be felt en masse. The Center for Career & Professional

Development prepares law students for their futures through one-on-one meetings, document review, workshops, mock interview and guest speaker programs, resume collections, job fair attendance and marketing initiatives. So how can you help? If you are an attorney, judge, or employer, consider offering an internship to current students. If you can’t afford to pay a student, offer an unpaid position; students can receive academic credit for their work. Let our office post a job opening for your firm. Perhaps you can mentor a recent graduate as he enters the legal community. Contact us via email at or by phone at (434) 592-5300.

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Alumni network continues to grow Liberty launches Louisville chapter at Southern Baptist Convention J o e l C o le man

BY Sar ah F u n d e r b u r k e

Louisville, Ky., is the home of Slugger baseball bats, the Kentucky Derby, and now one of the newest chapters of the Liberty University Alumni Association. The Louisville Alumni Chapter kicked off at a reception during the Southern Baptist Convention in the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center on June 23. Over southern-style appetizers, iced tea and lemonade, 140 alumni, friends, family and current students swapped stories about their time at Liberty and heard from university representatives.


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“Starting all these alumni chapters is right at the heart of Dr. Jerry Falwell, who never forgot anyone,” Dr. Ergun Caner, President of Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, told the reception crowd. Since Jan. 2009, new alumni chapters have been launched in Knoxville, Winston-Salem, Nashville, Orlando, Lynchburg, Myrtle Beach, Detroit, Louisville, Uniontown, Pa., Richmond, Va., Greenville, N.C., Dallas and even abroad in Korea, with many other cities slated to join this list by the end of the year. These launches have been led by Alumni Director Melissa Small in an effort

to reconnect with the 125,000 LU alumni who span the globe. “We’ve opened up a lot of opportunities recently for you as alumni, and we are excited that so many of you have been stepping up and wanting to be involved,” Small told the Louisville crowd. Many alumni and students at the reception took courses through Liberty University Online. Pastor Brent Lee of Hazel Baptist Church in Hazel, Ky., said LU Online has allowed him to pursue his master’s while continuing to lead a church. “For years I have really appreciated the [conservative theological] stand that

J o e l C o le man Joe l Cole man

Liberty has taken, and I wanted to get my master’s degree through a school that had that view. But I’m already pastoring full time, and it wasn’t really in the cards for me to pick up and move,” Lee said. He plans to complete his master’s in Church Leadership in 2010. Alumni who, like Lee, live far from Liberty’s campus can still be part of the LU community through alumni chapters and by assisting with student recruitment. Many students become interested in Liberty after hearing about the unique college experiences that alumni had on campus or online. “Don’t just send your kids to Liberty; get involved and come back to visit,” Caner said. “Help us train the students up.” Lynn Brady, an ’87 alumnus and Liberty’s Director of Recruitment, said joining an alumni chapter is an opportunity for people to share what they experienced at Liberty. “For me, it was phenomenal,” she said. “I can tell you that, because of the vision of Dr. Jerry Falwell, my life has changed. My possibilities have been changed. I’ve been successful in my career; I’ve been successful in my family.” Other alumni at the convention echoed Brady’s sentiments. Meredith Floyd (Bone), who graduated from LU in 2005, said she loved her time at Liberty, and even met her husband, Nick, while she was there. “The Women’s Ministries program under [Dr.] Monica Rose changed my life,” Floyd said. “It was invaluable to me.” On top of sharing their experiences with prospective students, all Liberty alumni have the option to present a $2,000 alumni scholarship to an incoming residential LU student of their choice. This free, alumni benefit is a blessing for many alumni who want to support a friend or family member’s college education but do not have the financial means to do so.

I f yo u w o u ld li k e to j o i n a n a lu m n i c h a p te r, g o to w w w. lualu m n i. COM o r e m ai l A lu m n i R e l at i o n s o f f i c e r M a r k Wat k i n s at m a n wat k i @ li b e r t y. e d u . A lu m n i ca n a ls o k e e p u p wit h cam p us h a p p e n i n g s by g o i n g to Li b e r t y ’ s N e w s & E v e n ts we b s i te, w w w. li b e rty . e d u / n e w s , o r by f i n d i n g Li b e r t y U n i ve r s i ty o n Tw i tt e r a n d Fac e b o o k . To r e c e i v e a n A lu m n i S c h o lar s h i p C e r t i f i cat e a n d ot h e r r e c r u it m e n t m at e r i als , c o ntact Ly n n B r a dy at n lb r a dy @ li b e r t y. e d u .

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Flames induct Hall of Fame members

BY To d d Wet m o r e

Liberty Athletics is in the midst of one of its most dominant stretches in department history. Last year, the Flames captured the Big South’s Sasser Cup for the secondstraight season and seventh time in program history. The award is given annually to the top athletics department among the league’s membership. Jump-starting what Liberty hopes to be a Big South Sasser Cup “Three-Peat” will be the Flames fall athletics programs. Last year, the football team soared to new heights, posting the program’s first 10-win season, second-straight Big South title and finishing the year ranked No. 14 nationally among the nation’s best NCAA FCS programs. The Flames kicked off their 2009 campaign on Sept. 5 against Big East and BCS powerhouse West Virginia University. Playing in front of its largest crowd in program history, Liberty refused to back down, as it tallied 20 points on the visitor side of the scoreboard. The Flames’ valiant on-field effort also garnered attention from West Virginia governor Joe Manchin, III and university president Dr. James Clements, who were both impressed with the team’s performance. On Sept. 12, the Williams Stadium crowd welcomed the Flames home as they defeated the North Carolina Central Eagles, 35-10. The crowd of 16,112 was the largest in school history, besting the previous record


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set in 2006 by nearly 500 spectators. Following up the action on the gridiron is Liberty’s volleyball team, which posted another 20-win season and the second straight (fifth overall) Big South title in its storied history last year. The volleyball team followed the action on the gridiron, posting another 20-win season and the second straight (fifth overall) Big South title in its storied history. Both programs are favored to repeat their performance, as predicted in the Big South annual pre-season polls. The Flames’ final competitors might provide Liberty with its best chance for national notoriety. The cross-country programs are coming off of a season where rising junior Sam Chelanga was the men’s NCAA national cross-country runner-up. While the future continues to look bright for Liberty’s current student-athletes, another level of excitement is abuzz within the Athletics Department regarding its former stars. Last April, Liberty Athletics announced that it would be starting a Hall of Fame, giving the department a platform to honor its best. On Sept. 26, 2009, Liberty’s football program welcomed in-state foe James Madison, who was ranked No. 1 nationally for 10 straight weeks in 2008, to Williams Stadium for Hall of Fame Weekend. During the festive weekend, Liberty Athletics officially inducted seven members into its inaugural Hall of Fame class. Below is a brief glimpse into the heralded seven-member class, and how they helped make Liberty Athletics what it is today. Dr. Jerry Falwell will long be remembered as Liberty’s No. 1 fan, as the sports fanatic had a vision of Liberty Athletics competing alongside the nation’s best from the day he opened the doors at then-Lynchburg Baptist College. Falwell’s presence at athletics events often spurred Liberty student-athletes to victory over the years, as the founder rarely missed a home event. He also traveled the country cheering Liberty’s best until he passed away on May 15,

Arthur L. Williams (right) attends a ceremony in 2006 at Williams Stadium along with Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr., his wife, Macel.

2007. At his home-going celebration, 10 Liberty student-athletes served as honorary pallbearers, exhibiting Falwell’s passion for athletics. Arthur L. Williams, the founder of Primerica Financial Services, has long been one of Liberty Athletics’ strongest supporters since he was first introduced to the program by Dr. Jerry Falwell during the mid-1980s. Williams’ financial generosity over the years helped a small NCCAA program quickly transition to the NCAA Division I level. Several athletics facilities around the campus still bear his name, including Williams Stadium and the Williams Football Operations Center, home to Liberty’s two-time defending Big South championship football program. Sid Bream was one of Liberty’s first true athletic stars, earning NAIA and NABC All-America honors during his time at first base for the baseball program. He still holds seven different baseball program records, including the career mark for

both batting average (.435) and slugging percentage (.830). Bream was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second round of the 1981 MLB Draft. As a 12-year major leaguer and the 1990 Hutch Award winner, Bream helped the Pittsburgh Pirates to the National League Championship Series in 1990 and the Atlanta Braves to win back-to-back World Series appearances in 1991 and 1992. Kelvin Edwards helped the athletics department’s flagship program make the move to the NCAA ranks, as the wide receiver shined for the football program during a spectacular four-year career. A 1985 Associated Press Little All-America first-team honoree and BlueGray Football Game participant, Edwards still holds the program records for career-receiving yards (2,546) and careerreceiving touchdowns (24).

Upon graduating from Liberty, Edwards became Liberty’s second-highest NFL draft pick, when he was selected in the fourth round of the 1984 draft by the New Orleans Saints. His three-year professional football career was spotlighted when he was a starting wide-out for the Dallas Cowboys. Along with Sid Bream, Karl Hess helped put Liberty Athletics on the national scene. He became the men’s basketball program’s all-time leading scorer with 2,373 points and dazzled fans on the hardwood. Hess capped off his four-year career at Liberty by leading the Flames to a 28-11 season and an NCCAA national championship in 1980, earning tournament MVP honors during the event. The CoSIDA Academic All-America firstteam honoree still holds 12 program records, including six career standards. Still active in

ing the career mark for points scored (2,154) and minutes played (3,860). During the 1997-98 season, Bengds helped the Lady Flames enter the 1998 NCAA Tournament with an unblemished 28-0 record, where they faced eventual national champion Tennessee in the only NCAA Tournament matchup of two unbeaten programs in women’s basketball history.

the game, Hess is now considered to be one of the nation’s top referees, primarily officiating ACC, BIG EAST and SEC men’s basketball games. In 2007, he served as the crew chief for the national championship game between Florida and Ohio State. Elena (Kisseleva) Bengds helped turn a fledgling women’s basketball program into one of the Big South Conference’s longestrunning dynasties. During her magnificent four-year career, the Moscow, Russia, native led the Lady Flames to four straight league titles and the first four of 10-straight NCAA Tournament berths. The two-time Big South Player of the Year still lays claim to 12 program records, includ-

Bob Bonheim orchestrated the first true national powerhouse at Liberty, guiding the Flames’ wrestling program to five straight NCCAA national championships (1977-1981). The two-time NCCAA National Coach of the Year (1976 and 1981) finished his days roaming the mats with a 118-31 dual meet record, winning at an impressive 79.2-percent clip. A 2003 inductee into the Central Virginia Sports Hall of Fame, Bonheim coached 35 All-Americans, including eight at the NCAA level. Twenty-one of his grapplers went on to win NCCAA national titles. Bonheim, who also served four years as a defensive line coach for the football program, helped wrestling move from NCCAA to NCAA Division II, finishing fifth nationally during his final season as head coach in the Flames’ third year at the new level. Todd Wetmore is Liberty University’s Assistant AD for Communications. FOR LIBERTY UNIVERSITY ATHELTIC NEWS AND SCHEDULE VISIT WWW.LIBERTYFLAMES.COM.

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