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Baseball earns sixth-straight sweep

Candidates field questions for elections on May 6


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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today: Rain/Thunder 67/31 Tomorrow: Sunny 56/33 Liberty University


Volume 31 • Issue 22

Lynchburg, Va.

the final stretch

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

GRADUATION — With commencement only days away, students celebrate the end of their college days.

Film students see success

Jindal to speak to graduates

Cinematic Arts graduates first class Josh Janney

Louisiana Governor chosen as 41st Commencement speaker Greg Leasure

Liberty University officials announced today that Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal will speak at the school’s 41st Commencement Saturday, May 10, and author Eric Metaxas will speak at the Baccalaureate service Friday, May 9. Now in his second term as governor, Jindal has worked since his 2008 inauguration to improve his state’s economy, health care and employment record, among other things. “Governor Bobby

Jindal has lived the American dream, rising from humble beginnings to become one of the rising stars on the national political scene — and his rise has not yet waned,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell said. “Many believe he could hold the highest office in the land someday. I believe he will be an inspiration to our graduates, not only because of his life’s story, but because he shares many of the conservative and Christian values that Liberty University graduates hold dear.” Metaxas, author of New York Times bestsell-

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KEYNOTE — Gov. Bobby Jindal was selected to address graduates. er, “Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” has previously spoken at Liberty Convocation. “Liberty University is proud to welcome Eric Metaxas to address our 2014 graduating class,” Falwell said. “He will continue the long tradition of distinguished evangelical leaders who have participated in Lib-

erty’s graduation ceremonies.” Commencement will take place in Williams Stadium at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 10, and the Baccalaureate service will be held in the Vines Center at 6 p.m. Friday, May 9.

A landmark in Liberty University’s history will be made this May as 32 students will graduate as the first class of the Cinematic Arts department. The program has come a long way since it launched in the fall of 2012. According to Stephen Schultze, executive director for the Cinematic Arts Zaki Gordon Center, the program was initially intended to be a one-year program applied at a community-college level. It is now being applied as a bachelor’s program. “What has evolved is an awareness of the film program and the integration of the program into the film industry,” Schultze said. “Many of our students are getting placed in jobs when they graduate.” According to Schultze,

the Cinematic Arts program has a “learn by doing” philosophy. During the first semester of their senior year, students must write and direct their own short film. Other assignments included in the program are writing a fulllength screenplay and working on one of the school’s feature films. One of the aspects the students had to learn was how to adapt to difficult circumstances that would alter the film schedule. “Sometimes on the day of a film shoot you will not have a location. You will not have an actor. You will not have food and stuff for the crew,” senior Sharon Chimere-Dan said. “So you just have to quickly make due with something else and solve that problem somehow.”

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APRIL 29, 2014

Glenn Beck inspires at Convocation Former Fox News talk show host challenges students to find their purpose and keep faith as their foundation Greg Leasure

Liberty University students are normally greeted at Convocation by things like the sound of worship music or the aroma of the occasional student bake sale to fund a mission trip. Instead, each student who attended the final Convocation of the semester Friday, April 25 in anticipation of hearing popular media personality Glenn Beck was greeted with a free $20 bill. Although Beck was the main speaker for the morning’s event, businessman Bo Pilgrim, founder of Pilgrim’s, the secondlargest chicken producer in the world, was also in attendance to present Liberty President Jerry Falwell with the American Bible Society’s (ABS) 2014 Pilgrim Award for Workplace Evangelism, named for Pilgrim. Pilgrim and ABS

Vice President Charlie Krueger also announced that ABS would be donating $10,000 to Liberty. The award was not the only thing Pilgrim gave out on Friday. Pilgrim also brought enough copies of a small book containing passages from the Bible that detail the gospel message, called “Good News for Modern Man,” for every student in attendance. Inside the back cover of each copy of the book was $20. These books were distributed to every student in attendance, totaling more than $200,000. Beck later announced that Mercury One, an organization he founded, would also be donating $50,000 to the university. As students’ focus shifted to normal Convocation activities, Falwell gave Beck a glowing introduction. “He spoke here for our Commencement in 2010, … (and) at that time I told

the crowd at Commencement, ‘Glenn Beck has risen to influence American culture at a pivotal time in our history. His message has engaged millions of Americans in a struggle to preserve their nation’s founding ideals…’ That is even more true today than it was four years ago.” Falwell also shared some of Beck’s accomplishments, which has helped him rise to national prominence. “While Beck’s television show sets record ratings, his books reach the top of bestselling lists and his speaking tours play to sold-out audiences, Beck is best known for his message more than his medium,” Falwell said. Beck then took the stage and spoke to students about the importance of faith in a country founded on freedom. “The times are changing, and if we are going

CINEMA continued from A1 Marissa Scalzo, a senior cinematography student, felt that the rough schedules helped her with flexibility and prepared her for her eventual career. “I started to realize this is the industry, and this is how the industry works,” Scalzo said. “Getting to experience that in college before I graduated is so helpful. Now when I go onto film sets and the schedule comes out the next day (and) it’s completeCourtney Russo | Liberty Champion ly changed from yesterday, ACTION — Students set up equipment for filming. I’m not freaking out. It is just another day.”

to rebuild our nation and keep people free, then we have to look at the source,” Beck said. “You can’t say, ‘I want to be a French chef ’ and know nothing about how to make a sauce. You have to know what the blueprint is. And the blueprint for freedom, the blueprint of the Western world, is the scripture.” Beck encouraged students to find God’s purpose for their lives. He also noted that, like everything else in life, the students in attendance are attending Liberty for a reason. “(God) brought us all here for a reason,” Beck said. “… Are you actively searching for your reason? Because you’re here for a reason. … I hope that every single person hears the message that you were born at this time in this country. You are at this university for a reason.” Beck concluded his message by emphasizing God’s

According to Schultze, the Cinematic Arts program’s goal is to reach the standards of a studio lot. Already, the school has produced two feature films. “The intention for this program is to design it in a way that mirrors a production studio in terms of how the student enters the process, goes through a development process and, at the other end, knows how to make movies and be the storytellers of the future,” Schultze said. According to Seth Houser, a graduating senior who specifically came to Liberty for the Cinematic Arts Pro-

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

FIRM FOOTING —Glenn Beck inspires audience. faithfulness through good times and bad times. “It is through humility that gives you power, because you realize God is the only one that can help you,” Beck said. “God gives you everything, even gram, the school continues to improve as it grows. “It is definitely something that all of us together as a big group have been figuring out as we go on,” Houser said. “Throughout these first few years, our professors have found out what works and what doesn’t work. We are just now getting these facilities up and running and getting to use all of the cool toys that were only talked about the first year.” The department has expanded its classrooms, filming and editing equipment and increased its students over the past two years.

the troubles in your Give him praise for troubles in your life, cause they are just as portant.” LEASURE is the editor-in-chief.

“I think the greatest achievement is to see the students go from not knowing that much to seeing them being able to make movies and short films and to watch them seamlessly be able to integrate when they get out of here, “ Schultze said. “That is the thing that moves me and the thing that excites me and makes me and the faculty work long hours into the night to help them and support them in their process, because they are the success story.” JANNEY is an asst. news editor.




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APRIL 29, 2014

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Aeronautics allies with Cessna

Liberty partners with subsidiary of Textron to open up more opportunities for pilots both near and far David Van Dyk

When the Liberty Aviation program was launched on the growing campus of Liberty University in 2002, less than 10 students dared to take to the skies within the very new course of study. Now, more than 250 students are learning to fly with more than 800 enrolled in Liberty School of Aeronautics’ various programs making it the leading faith-based aviation program in North America. With this rapid growth, Liberty reached out to Cessna in an agreement that makes it possible for beginners in Cessna’s flight training program to enter into Liberty’s degree program. Now when a student enrolls to earn an FAA certification through Cessna, they may also enroll in Liberty’s School of Aeronautics to obtain a degree in aviation, namely a Bachelor of Science in aeronautics. According to a report from the Liberty News Service, the first flight affiliate training program was propelled into action at Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport. After one month, more than 50 students had enrolled, which was over and above what Liberty had expected, according to the report. According to the School of Aeronautics, the site was chosen primarily because eight military bases were within 50 miles of the airport. According to Dave Young, dean of the School of Aeronautics, the program has become a way to integrate students both near and far. “The Flight Training Affiliate (FTA) can function as a pipeline to LU’s main campus,” Young said. “This is similar to a community college, allowing both high school students and beginning college students the ability to live at home and train locally. The students are able to transfer into LU’s main campus with a head start on their degree and flight training.” Young expressed his desire to see the aviation program grow beyond the tarmac of Lynchburg Regional Airport, expanding across Virginia and eventually the nation. “The initial reviews are very positive,”

Hannah Lipscomb | Liberty Champion

FLY HIGHER — Pilots trained with School of Aeronautics throughout Virginia thanks to deal with Cessna. Young said. “We are about to open four affiliates in Northern Virginia and this will give us a better indication of the growth potential. The next step is to open affiliates in other states, hopefully leading to further growth and expansion.” According to the Liberty News Service report, Liberty partnered with Cessna, part of Textron Aviation, because of the rapid growth seen in this rising aviation corporation. With 150 Cessna Pilot Centers across the nation and more than 120,000 pilots trained in a Cessna aircraft in the past decade, Liberty has high hopes that this agreement will take off firing on all cylinders. “I believe this agreement is providing the opportunity for us to expand our offerings and LU’s presence outside the

Lynchburg campus,” Young said. “Additionally, it strengthens our partnership with Cessna, an organization that is also expanding and growing. I am optimistic that the FTA initiative will lead to further relationship-building endeavors for both entities.” As Liberty looks to build beyond the Blue Ridge Mountains, flight schools are becoming more and more interested in what this budding school is doing. Young spoke of the excitement flight schools expressed when they had the chance to hear of Liberty’s offering, especially because of the win-win scenario for all parties involved. According to Young, no other program existed like Liberty’s concerning flight training schools offering a package deal

to students with quality flight training, academic courses and the availability of financial aid. With the Liberty School of Aeronautics expanding as it is, Young alluded to the fact that Liberty University will continue to explore opportunities for increasing the availability of aviation training to students across the country and forming additional partnerships. In the meantime, Young has expressed his desire that the Lynchburg Liberty University Airport Campus will be a “renowned Aviation University,” training champions for Christ amidst the clouds.

VAN DYK is a news editor.

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APRIL 29, 2014

Teenage girl taken from family Liberty Counsel fights to return Justina Pelletier to her parents after she was taken by Massachusetts DCF Mark Tait

“I feel like a prisoner. Why can’t I go home with my parents?” These were the words of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier to her parents Lou and Linda Pelletier, according to the family’s attorney Mathew Staver, president of Liberty Counsel and dean of the Liberty University School of Law. She was taken out of her parents’ custody and placed in the care of the Massachusetts Department of Children & Families (DCF) Feb. 14, 2013. Justina Pelletier was attending a private school and was a competitive figure skater 14 months ago, according to Staver. After becoming ill with the flu, the Connecticut teenager had gastrointestinal distress. Dr. Mark Korson, her treating physician for mitochondrial disease and the Chief of Metabolic Services at Tufts Medical Center, referred her to a gastroenterologist at Boston Children’s Hospital. Upon arrival at the hospital, a new doctor seven-months out of medical school and a psychologist, instead of the doctor she was referred to, saw Justina Pelletier, according to Staver. After a 25-minute interview, and without consultation with her treating physician, he changed her diagnosis to somatoform disorder, meaning they assumed her physical complaints were all in her mind. “The parents were presented with a one-page treatment plan, and that treatment plan included discontinuing all medications and all medical interventions,” Staver said. “The new treatment proposal also forbade the parents from speaking about medical in the presence of their daughter

forbade the parents from seeking a second opinion.” According to Staver, when Lou and Linda Pelletier said they would like to check their daughter out of the hospital and return to their treating physician at Tufts Medical Center, the Boston Children’s Hospital called Massachusetts DCF. Staver said DCF prevented the Pelletiers from discharging their daughter, siding with the psychologist over the experts at Tufts Medical Center, and claiming that providing medical treatment was “abuse.” According to Staver, DCF took custody of the child. Lou and Linda Pelletier were told to leave the hospital without their daughter and to not return, or they would be arrested for trespassing. “The family was not even able to say goodbye to Justina,” Staver said. Justina Pelletier has remained under the custody of Massachusetts DCF for the past 14 months, according to Staver. Her deteriorating health has resulted in her hairline receding, and she is now confined to a wheel chair. “For 14 months, they’ve gone down this road of psychological experimentation,” Staver said. “In 14 months, she’s gone from being a competitive figure skater to being in dire physical condition. The experiment they tried hasn’t worked. … It’s bringing Justina to the point of even death.” Staver said a lack of medical treatment is not the only thing he believes may be harming Justina Pelletier physically. The 15-yearold girl has sent her parents cards with secret compartments containing messages about abuse under the care of DCF. “It’s almost like something

you’d read from a POW,” Staver said. “I’ve read those cards, and I’ve read what she has told her mom and dad. … You can’t imagine the turmoil that mom and dad and the other three sisters are going through, because they see Justina continually declining physically, and they’re helpless to do anything to help her because DCF won’t allow them to do so.” According to the Boston Children Hospital’s Clinical Investigations Policy and Procedure Manual, Justina Pelletier is subject to experimentation under the custody of DCF. “Children who are wards of the state may be included in research that presents minimal risk … or greater than minimal risk with a prospect of direct benefit,” the manual states. Staver said he believes this policy may have influenced the decision to diagnose Justina Pelletier with a psychological disorder and keep her at the hospital under the custody of DCF. He noted that the psychologist who gave the diagnosis had received a federal grant to research somatoform disorder and had coauthored a paper stating that 50 percent of all minors complaining about physical symptoms actually have nothing wrong with them physically. “This person believes that one out of every two children who present with a physical complaint is not physical but mental,” Staver said. “It’s all a product of their mind according to this psychologist. It is unbelievable.” Throughout Justina Pelletier’s time in the custody of DCF, she has not been able to attend school and is not permitted to receive visits from clergy, according to Staver. “It’s hard for me to say this,

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SEPARATION — Justina’s parents may only visit one hour a week. but a terrorist (the Boston bomber) is getting better treatment in Massachusetts right now than a sick teenager who’s done nothing wrong,” Lou Pelletier said in an interview with the Boston Herald. Justina Pelletier’s parents are allowed to speak with their daughter through a 20-minute phone call each Tuesday and a one-hour visit at 1 p.m. each Friday, according to Staver. All conversations are supervised by a DCF official and taking photos or talking about medical matters is prohibited. “They don’t want the public to see her deteriorating condition,” Staver said. “There’s no other reason why the would prevent the family from taking a photograph of her.” In addition to visitation restrictions, Justina Pelletier’s family has also been unable to access some information regarding their daughter’s current

treatment. “Recently, Justina was taken to the University of Massachusetts emergency room by DCF,” Staver said. “To this day, her parents don’t know why, and when they have a conversation with her, they can’t ask her, because DCF will stop the communication and will stop the visit or the phone call.” According to Staver, Liberty Counsel is filing several lawsuits in an effort to return Justina Pelletier to her parents’ custody. “We want to get Justina home to her family as soon as possible, and we want to make sure this never happens again,” Staver said. The Massachusetts DCF did not respond when asked for comments.

TAIT is an asst. news editor.

New app, ‘Liberty Today,’ will help students Liberty develops first mobile tool that will include announcements, maps and degree completion plans James Ebrahim

Liberty University is currently developing its first mobile application as an institution, according to Matthew Zealand, chief information officer. The new application will have a homescreen with different cards for each module available, according to Edgard Luz, manager of software engineering at Liberty. Modules that will eventually be able to be accessed by users will include degree completion plans, announcements, indoor and outdoor maps, and news, among many others. Liberty currently has two apps, Liberty Today and MyLibertyU, but neither were built by Liberty. The new app will be a fusion of the two apps with increased functionality, according to Zealand. The new app will retain the name, Liberty Today, and will, according to Zealand, be launched by August. “I think it can be a good tool if we get the right information and people can engage with it over and over,” Ron Kennedy, senior vice president of Marketing, said.

Liberty Today will be tailored specifically to students to keep them coming back for more, according to Luz. “Our new strategy is to create modules that are specific to the student experience,” Zealand said. “As we launch the modules, they will be able to provide specific information for each student.” One such module is the Library module, which will send students push notifications when their library books are due or when a book they want from the library is available. “It’s the strategy of the university to have a single official app and then have all the information that is pertinent on it,” Luz said. “So you only download one app whether you are a student, faculty or parents.” Despite the reduction of the number of apps, Kennedy says that all of the information that people need will be present. “We’re trying to come up with a solution to limit the number of mobile apps but find ways to make sure all the information is in there and covers everybody’s needs,” Kennedy said. According to Zealand, there will be a

We honestly believe that what we have so far ... is going to make it the best app for any university that’s out there. — EDGARD LUZ

soft launch of the new application at the end of June. This launch will not introduce new features but merely replace the minimal functionality of MyLibertyU. “People loved it when it first came out, but now it’s antiquated,” Zealand said. “People expect more. They expect a customized personal experience and that is what we hear on a regular basis.” The soft launch will give IT the opportunity to perfect the app before the real launch in August or September. “It’s a complex system, and it takes time to make it just right,” Luz said. “We are doing to our best to come up with the best product at the beginning.” Challenges that the development team are facing at this stage include fitting all

the information into the app without a huge file size and cross-compatibility. “We honestly believe that what we have so far that we have planned and designed is going to make it the best app for any university that’s out there,” Luz said. According to Zealand, IT sends out surveys to allow students to drive product direction. These were the whole reason for the development of the new app. “As you see those, participate, because the voice is there,” Zealand said. “We listen.” EBRAHIM is a news reporter.

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APRIL 29, 2014

Josh Janney

Jesse Spradlin

As the spring semester draws to a close, Liberty University’s construction team is increasing its workload in an attempt to finish the various campus construction projects on time. One of the most significant projects nearing completion is the vehicular tunnel that will provide a new route for transportation from Liberty’s campus to Wards Road. According to Charles Spence, senior vice president for Construction Planning, the tunnel should be operational and open for traffic by Commencement, May 10. “The head walls on the east side of the tunnel are in place,” Spence said. “The head walls are under construction over the next week or so on the west side of the tunnel, the Wards Road side. As soon as they are in place, we can start building the actual roadway through the tunnels, hoping to have the tunnels open for traffic by graduation day.”


Another major project is the new Center for Music and the Worship Arts facility, which broke ground April 11. The new facility will be a 144,500-square-foot structure that includes a 1,600-seat auditorium, 50 classrooms and 40 teaching studios. In addition, the new building will feature two student recital halls and various lab rooms. “When you build something like this, it makes a statement across the entire country of the commitment that Liberty University has to engaging people in the culture with arts,” Associate Dean for Center for Music and Performing Arts John Kinchen said. Spence said the educational wing will be completed first, followed by a performance auditorium, which will be finished in January 2016. “The most complicated piece is going to be that performance hall,” Spence said. “One of the unique things about Liberty and this particular facility is the transition of different styles of music. We’ve got to make our space very transitional.” While the facility is being built, the School of Music will hold classes in the

dormitories, which will be renovated into classrooms, according to Kinchen. Kinchen said that while in the dormitories, the School of Music plans to hang pictures of the new building in strategic places to remind people that the transition is only temporary. “When we walk into those (temporary) facilities, we can continue to say, ‘Hey guys, remember where we’re going,’” Kinchen said. Some of the setbacks to Liberty’s construction were caused by the frequent snowstorms that have hit Lynchburg the past few months. “(Until recently) the weather has been the most devastating factor that has caused any type of time delay,” Spence said. “Just every time we get to the point where we can start to work, it has just been unbelievable cold weather, unbelievable snow and unbelievable rain. It’s a bad time of year to be doing that kind of work.” One of the projects that has been affected by the weather is the construction of the Main Campus new dorms, which are currently a few weeks behind schedule. According to Spence, the setback

Liberty Champion/A5

was anticipated. “These setbacks will happen in wintertime when you are at that phase in the project,” he said. “We hope to see a really great spring. We are going to be working much longer days. It may very soon be going toward working 24 hours a day on the dorms to complete the task and be ready for the fall because, as (Jerry Falwell) said the other day, ‘Charles, we have no other option. When we talk about (having) 1,200 kids, there are not hotels available for them.’ So we have to have this dorm ready.” Despite the bad weather, most of the projects remain on schedule, including the 140,000-square-foot science building, which is expected to open in January of 2015, and the expansion to the new LaHaye Student Union, which is scheduled to open for the fall 2014 semester. In the case of the new parking garage, construction is ahead of schedule and will be completed by August. JANNEY is an asst. news editor. SPRADLIN is a news reporter.

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

OVERHAUL — 1. This building will be the school’s first high-rise dormitory. 2. The first of four dormitories will replace the old dorms and will be complete by the fall semester. 3. The new LaHaye Student Union is currently undergoing a 67,000-square-foot expansion. 4. The new Science Hall will more than triple the size of the university’s current science facilities. 5. The Center for Music and the Worship Arts will be the new academic building for the seventh-largest music school in the nation.


A6/Liberty Champion

Keith Anderson, a 15year U.S. Army veteran, former Lynchburg City School Board member and current dean of students at Liberty University, announced his bid to run as an independent for Lynchburg City Council Tuesday, Feb. 25. In his position as a dean, Anderson currently provides oversight to Student Care, Student Conduct, Commuter Services and the Campus Pastors Office. In addition to these roles, Anderson also serves as the chief judicial officer and director of Counseling and Spiritual Support Offices. Anderson graduated from public school in Memphis, Tenn., and went on to pursue his bachelor’s degree at the University of Memphis. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in biblical studies from Andersonville Theological Seminary in Camilla, Ga. He continued his education at Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary, where he graduated with a master of arts in religion and a master’s in religious education. In addition to his career as a military officer, Anderson also served as the senior pastor of Eighth Street Baptist Church and as the founder and CEO of HiliFavrd Ministries, a

Hunsdon Cary, III, also known as H. Cary, is running in hopes of securing a second term as a Lynchburg City Council representative. Cary, originally from Sandusky, Ohio, served as a captain in the Medical Service Corps of the U.S. Air Force from 1971 to 1975. He later moved to Lynchburg and began working for Westminster Canterbury in 1976. Cary assumed the position of president and CEO in 1985 and held the title until retiring in 2010, when he successfully ran for Lynchburg City Council. According to Cary, his experience in the military and business realms has prepared him well to serve as a City Council representative. In addition to his time at Westminster Canterbury, Cary has also worked for a proprietary hospital corporation and served on the boards of various local nonprofit organizations. Some of his goals include reducing the Lynchburg meals tax and promoting participation in Lynchburg’s volunteer programs. According to Cary, communication between Lynchburg City Council and local colleges such as Liberty University has grown since his 2010 election. If re-elected, he hopes to continue that trend. “As long as the city continues to view colleges as a resource rather than a

APRIL 29, 2014

nonprofit mission organization. According to his campaign website, Anderson has been married for 23 years, and the couple’s son, Nicholas, is 16 years old. Anderson, 43, recently announced his enthusiasm for continuing to serve the Lynchburg community. After losing his 17-yearold daughter Stacia in a car accident in 2012, Anderson now recognizes the impact the community had on his family throughout their highs and lows. “I arrived here in 2003 and have fallen in love with this city and with the people,” Anderson said in an interview with News & Advance. “I’ve had some very difficult times with the tragic death of my daughter two years ago, but … the city has wrapped its arms around me. In return, I want to continue to love it back and to serve.”

burden, there is no limit to what the two can accomplish,” Cary said. Cary also encouraged students who attend college in Lynchburg to get involved in the political process, even if they are not originally from the city. “For some college students, it may feel like embracing your college town means rejecting your hometown,” Cary said. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We are glad you have chosen Lynchburg as your home for four years, and we hope you decide to stay.”

Q: How would you define the relationship between the city and the local colleges? A: Any good relationship takes work. We’ve been working on ours since I joined City Council four years ago. In 2011, representatives from the city and its local colleges began holding regular Town and Gown sessions to share thoughts and concerns about the future. “Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another,” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Our communication has improved markedly. More importantly, we have seen results. The city recently approved institutional zoning for Liberty. The new designation means your school can continue to grow responsibility without spending time and resources lobbying City Council for permission to realize your potential. Now, Liberty only needs city approval for new construction that will impact traffic off campus. It was the right decision, and I supported it. As long as the city continues to view colleges as a resource rather than a burden, there is no limit to what the two can accomplish. Q: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? A: Lynchburg’s meals tax is one of the highest in Virginia. If re-elected, I will focus on reducing that tax. Our neighbors should be excited to visit Lynchburg’s great local restaurants! I think we can improve their bottom line and make the dining experience more affordable. I also think it is important that we get to know our neighbors. That means encouraging opportunities that bring students and long-time residents together. In the next four years, I’ll be pushing for greater involvement in the kind of volunteer programs that bring us all together, like Friday Cheers at Riverfront Park. Q: Why is it important for students to vote locally, rather than focus on voting in their hometown? A: For some college students, it may feel like embracing your college town means rejecting your hometown. Nothing could be further from the truth. We are glad you have chosen Lynchburg as your home for four years, and we hope you decide to stay. If you are heart-set on returning to your hometown,

we understand that, too. Here is the bottom line: not all college students reside in Lynchburg year-round, but they are here for at least nine months of the year. If you complete school in four years, you will be here for 36 of 48 months. It is so easy to change your registration now. It just makes sense. You can always change back later. I think it is important for students to be engaged in local affairs. It gives a perspective you may not have otherwise. Hopefully your involvement will carry over to your next hometown whether that’s Lynchburg or not. You get out of life what you put into it, and civic involvement is an essential part of the democratic process! Q: What role do you believe the city government should play in our city? A: City Council has a comprehensive plan that outlines the goals and objectives for Lynchburg for the next 20 years. You can view it on the city website: Local government should see to it that citizens are safe (police and fire), have access to proper utilities, have roads and streets that are well maintained and can rely on necessary capital improvements. Q: How do you plan to evenly allocate the annual budget in order to best serve the city? A: The proposed city budget for FY2015 is also available on the city website. City services are funded and available to all citizens/property owners in an equitable manner. No area or neighborhood is favored over another and that is how it should stay. Q: Why should a college student vote for you? A: More specifically, why should a Liberty student vote for me? I championed the pedestrian bridge over Wards Road when the City wanted an “at grade crossing” and I supported the Institutional Zoning change (discussed above) that has allowed Liberty to initiate so many projects on campus without having to jump through unnecessary hoops with the city. Q: What has prepared you to be on the City Council? A: In addition to my last four years as a member of City Council, I served my country as a captain in the United States Air Force Medical Service Corps during the Vietnam era and worked for a proprietary hospital corporation before becoming president and CEO of Westminster Canterbury, a 500-resident, continuing-retirement community with a $25 million budget. My business experience and service on a variety of local non profit boards prepared me well for becoming a member of City Council in 2010, and it continues to serve me well today.


APRIL 29, 2014


These three pages carry short biographies and question-and-answer articles for six candidates running for Lynchburg City Council. The candidates are vying for three spots as at-large representatives. The biographies for the candidates were written from their campaign websites. All six candidates were

provided the same questions and were given a word count of 750 words, and answers were only edited by the Liberty Champion staff for grammar and Associated Press Style. The candidates are in alphabetical order by last name beginning on page A6.


Joan Foster, the first female mayor of the City of Lynchburg from 20062012, currently serves on the Lynchburg City Council as an at-large member and is running for re-election May 6. “There’s just, I feel, some unfinished business yet,” Foster said at an event where she announced her run for re-election. “So, I want to be part of that momentum that continues to propel Lynchburg forward.” Foster is a supporter of Lynchburg’s Economic Development Authority, whose goal is to create more jobs in Lynchburg, according to her website. She values investment in downtown Lynchburg and the businesses that create jobs for Lynchburg. During her term as mayor, Foster began the Mayor’s Book Club, a program focused on helping get books to children who cannot afford them. She is currently the director of development for Lynchburg Beacon of Hope, an organization that strives to inspire public school children to obtain a postsecondary education, the City of Lynchburg’s website states. According to her website, Foster is known as a

Q: How would you define the relationship between the city and the local colleges? A: In 2010, as mayor of the City of Lynchburg, I recognized that there was a need to build stronger relationships with the area colleges and universities. In response to this need, Councilman Randy Nelson and I began the Town and Gown initiative. Throughout the year, city officials and presidents from all six area colleges meet quarterly to discuss achievements, challenges and upcoming projects. “bridge builder” for her efforts to build relationships between Lynchburg citizens. She is known for creating open dialogues for citizens to learn how to cultivate relationships and reduce racism within Central Virginia, according to her website. A graduate of Lynchburg College with three degrees in elementary and early childhood education and special education, Foster has lived in Lynchburg with her husband for 13 years, according to her website. She and her husband have three children and three grandchildren. She attends St. John’s Episcopal Church and is a part of the outreach and newcomers committee. During her free time, she enjoys antiquing and spending time traveling with her family.

Q: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? A: If elected, I plan to continue to focus on the necessary infrastructure and capital projects currently underway in the city. We have a new Heritage High School to build that has a total cost of approximately $80 million, as well as a renovation project to the football facilities at City Stadium that will cost $7 million. We can do both projects without raising taxes. We have more work to do downtown, including Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) projects and the completion of the Lower Bluffwalk project. Q: Why is it important for students to vote locally, rather than focus on voting in their hometown? A: I support whatever the student decides is best for them. They have two choices: one, they can register and vote locally or two, they may continue to vote in their hometown through absentee ballot while they are in college. The important factor is that an individual should become an informed voter and vote at the local, state and national levels. Q: What role do you believe the city government should play in our city? A: As your at-large representative, my priorities are to advocate for excellence in education for all our children, to create an environment where businesses will grow and prosper and to champion a superior quality of life where our citizens feel safe and respected while having an enjoyable place to live and raise a family.


Randy Nelson is running for re-election to the Lynchburg City Council. Nelson was appointed to the Lynchburg City Council in January 2010 and was elected to a full term as an at-large member in May of the same year. Nelson has been a resident of Lynchburg for 62 years and is a graduate of E.C. Glass High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree from RandolphMacon College and holds a law degree from the T.C. Williams School of Law at the University of Richmond, according to his campaign website. According to Nelson’s website, he is a member of both the Lynchburg and Virginia State Bar Associations and has been practicing law for 38 years. During his law career, Randy Nelson served as legal counsel to (several) of the area colleges, representing the interests of individual students, faculty and administrators. He was also recognized by the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court and the Virginia State Bar for “extraordinary public service” to the court and citizens of Virginia in 2005. In addition to his experience with the city council and his work as a lawyer, Nelson has been involved in several civic organizations in the area, including Lynchburg Life Saving Crew, Lynchburg Historical Foundation, Interfaith Outreach and Lynchburg

Community Loan Fund, according to his website. “(My) experiences enable me to appreciate the concerns of Central Virginia and make decisions through patient listening, careful observation, critical analysis and objective decision-making,” he said. Nelson is married to Karen Nelson, an elementary school principal at a city School, and they have four grown children. For more information on Randy Nelson, visit

Q: How would you define the relationship between the city and the local colleges? A: Council member Foster and I organized the Town and Gown Committee in November 2010 in order to develop more collaborative and open relationships between and among the six area college presidents, all council members and city and school division leaders. For the past three years, we have regularly met over breakfast or lunch on each of the six college campuses and in City Hall to share concerns and successes. Consequently, collegiality is excellent. Q: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? A: Capital projects will focus on constructing Heritage High School, the Odd Fellows Road intersection with Rt.29/460/Liberty University’s connector roads, completion of the Downtown Pedestrian/Retail corridor above the Riverfront Park, the CrossTown Connector, the first phase of the City Stadium renovations, Ward’s Ferry Road and Harvard Street renovations and finalizing installation of utility lines and facilities along Fifth Street. Q: Why is it important for students to vote locally, rather than focus on voting in their hometown? A: Students’ priorities will differ. Those intending to return to their former home may prefer to maintain ties to their home community to enhance their post-graduation opportunities and qualities of life. Those intending to remain and settle in Central Virginia have good reasons to be involved in issues affecting their post-graduate community in Central Virginia. Q: What role do you believe the city government should play in our city? A: The city has the constitutional responsibility to implement and fulfill the state’s laws and policies to provide services to the citizens within the city. The city has no authority except that authorized and enabled by the laws of Virginia. Q: How do you plan to evenly allocate the annual budget in order to best serve the city? A: Budgets do not allocate assets evenly. General taxes generate revenues that pay for basic services as required by state law. User fees, such as water, storm-water, utility, lodging, trash, airport, etc., are

Liberty Champion/A7 Lynchburg City Council elections will be held Tuesday, May 6. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information on polling places, visit​.

Q: How do you plan to evenly allocate the annual budget in order to best serve the city? A: Each year from March until May, council members, along with the city manager and the city’s leadership team, review the city’s budget to ensure that we maintain an appropriate balance of funds so that we can continue to provide excellent core services to our citizens. Some of the services that are funded by general revenue dollars are public safety, public works, health and welfare, parks and recreation and community development. We have other funds that we review annually, like water, sewer, storm water, fleet and capital. We also offer citizen engagement sessions and a public hearing to receive citizen feedback on the proposed budget. My decisions are guided by the feedback from our citizens and our city’s foundational principal: “Good Governance and Fiscal Responsibility are the foundation to achieving Council’s vision of making Lynchburg ‘A Great Place to Live, Work, And Play.’” Q: Why should a college student vote for you? A: As your at-large City Council member, I will be available and open to all citizens that I represent in our city, including our local colleges and universities. I have great respect for the students, staff, faculty and administrators of our local colleges and universities. They are a vital part of our community. I look forward to continuing to work alongside our college population to move Lynchburg forward in the next four years. Q: What has prepared you to be on the City Council? A: In 2002, I was elected by Lynchburg voters to serve as their at-large representative on council and I am in my 12th year of service.. I served as vicemayor for two years, and in 2006 I was appointed mayor of Lynchburg and served six years in this office. During my time on council, I supported or began the following initiatives: Talks on Race and Racism, The Amazing Books Race and the Mayor’s Reading Club, and Random Acts of Kindness. In February of 2012, I challenged the community to lose 12 tons in 2012 through the City’s Live Healthy Lynchburg challenge. I am happy to report that the residents of Central Virginia shed 12 tons in just six months.

applied to finance the specific activity that generates that fee, and those fees are not mixed with the general tax revenues. Capital projects are generally funded by revenues from the sale of municipal bonds, and those bond revenues cannot be used for operational purposes and only for a capital project for which the bond is issued. Grant funding is received and only used for the specific purpose of the grant. Rigid accounting guidelines are followed to ensure these procedures are followed, and Lynchburg maintains a AA+ bond rating and ranks as one of the best-run cities in this nation. Q: Why should a college student vote for you? A: I have served as legal counsel for several of the six city colleges, instructed college courses in three of our city’s colleges, served as legal counsel for the interests of individual students, faculty and administrators from all six city colleges, including Liberty, and been head coach of a Division I varsity college soccer program, my father was a college professor for 42 years, all four of my children are college graduates, and I work closely with our city’s college administrators. I am a board member of my own college’s alumni society and I am a newly appointed member of the Board of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), which is the organization that measures accreditation of colleges in the south, including all accredited colleges in Virginia. For these and other reasons, I think I understand the needs and concerns of college students, the faculty and administrators of our city’s colleges. Q: What has prepared you to be on the City Council? A: I have been a resident of Lynchburg for 62 years, practiced law in Lynchburg for 38 years, represented persons and businesses from every Lynchburg neighborhood and demographic group, appeared before every court and governmental body in Central Virginia, worked closely with city departments and staff for 38 years, voluntarily served as a leader of a multitude of civic and nonprofit organizations, have been recognized by the Supreme Court of Virginia, Virginia State Bar, Virginia Legal Aid Society and City of Lynchburg for exceptional service to that court, to the Virginia State Bar, to the Commonwealth and to this city. I was a police officer, coached and officiated college and high-schoolage soccer teams for more than 30 years, and served as a special justice presiding over judicial commitment hearings for 28 years. These experiences enable me to appreciate the concerns of Central Virginia and make decisions through patient listening, careful observation, critical analysis and objective decision-making.


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APRIL 29, 2014

from the private sector. After 43 years in business, Rhonnie Smith is making his first run for elected office. He and his wife of more than 50 years, Doris Smith, moved to Lynchburg in 2002, and Smith served as president of B&W’s Technical Services Division before retiring seven years ago, according to his website. Throughout his retirement, Smith spent more than 10 percent of his time consulting local businesses in an effort to improve their effectiveness and efficiency, according to his website. He and his wife have also volunteered in local campaigns and have been active members of local political organizations. In addition to assisting local businesses and remaining politically active throughout his retirement, Smith has helped organizations that reach the less fortunate, according to his website. He and his wife are involved in several local outreach programs. Among various acts of philanthropy, Rhonnie and Doris Smith host an Easter party for inner-city children through All Nations Church, hand out

Treney Tweedy is running for a seat in the Lynchburg City Council, and according to her campaign website, if elected, she will be the fourth woman and first black woman to serve on the council. Tweedy, a Lynchburg native, attended E.C. Glass High School before becoming a journalist for the U.S. Navy. When she returned to Lynchburg, she enrolled in Lynchburg College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in English. Since then, Tweedy has become increasingly involved with the City of Lynchburg. According to her website, she holds a position as community development manager with Goodwill Industries of the Valleys and has represented District 3 on the Lynchburg City School Board since 2008. She has also served as the vice chairman of the Lynchburg City School Board for two years. “I have sat through a total of 15 years of city and school division budget cycles either as a Lynchburg City School employee or as a member of the Lynchburg City School Board,” Tweedy stated on her website. “I understand the impact of maintaining a strong and viable public education system, which impacts economic development.” Tweedy said she has a strong Baptist faith and because of this has dedicated her life to helping others. Tweedy also explained that she believes Lynch-

Christmas presents in the community and help local Delegate T. Scott Garrett collect school supplies. According to his website, if elected to City Council, Smith hopes to use his experience in business to develop a better environment for job creation and to increase opportunities for businesses and families. Rhonnie and Doris Smith’s move to Lynchburg was the 18th move of their marriage. The two decided that Central Virginia was the place to spend the next chapter of their lives, according to his website. For more information about Smith, visit

Q: How would you define the relationship between the city and the local colleges? A: I believe that the relationship between the city and local colleges is improving but is not as good as it could be. As a member of City Council, I will work directly with the student population at local colleges and universities by encouraging student involvement in the city of Lynchburg. I believe that the colleges and universities right here in Lynchburg are some of the finest in the country, and it is imperative that Lynchburg City Council recognizes this and supports these schools by having a strong, direct relationship with students who belong to the college communities. Q: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? A: Economic Development to grow jobs here in Lynchburg as well as more activities for our younger population. Question Three: Why is it important for students to vote locally, rather than focus on voting in their hometown? A: While students are living here in Lynchburg, they are directly affected by Lynchburg’s statutes and taxes. The Lynchburg City Council sets the local taxes in Lynchburg, such as the meals tax. This has an impact on students’ bank accounts every time they eat out. It is important for them to be aware of local issues like this because their vote can make a difference in whether or not taxes are raised or lowered. Even better, it’s very easy to change your registration. Q: What role do you believe the city government should play in our city? A: Quite simply, I believe that, as in any government, local government’s role should be as small as possible so as to allow for more growth

Q: How would you define the relationship between the city and the local colleges? A: The city initiated successful Town and Gown meetings with presidents of the local colleges. When elected, I am committed to expanding that initiative. City and college leadership working armin-arm ensure high schools are preparing students for college-level work and ensure we have jobs for students working through college and for their careers following graduation. burg is a city of opportunity and creativity. “I believe Lynchburg has an awesome ‘Quality of Life,’ unparalleled in our region, because of the great recreational and artistic opportunities available in our city,” Tweedy wrote. Tweedy is a member of Lynchburg Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serves on the Step with Links Board. According to her website, Tweedy has three children and one grandson and has resided in Lynchburg for the past 23 years.

Q: What key city projects do you plan to focus on if elected? A: As vice chairman of the Lynchburg City School Board, I will focus on the Heritage High School Project to its completion, the resurgence of Historic Downtown Lynchburg, the Academy of Fine Arts and the Riverfront projects. Finally, my prioritized goal is to make Lynchburg a home to the creative class of young entrepreneurs. We want you to start businesses here and start your careers in Lynchburg. That requires opportunity, and, when elected, my job would be to work with you to make that happen. Q: Why is it important for students to vote locally, rather than focus on voting in their hometown? A: Local government is the closest level of government to the people. You have the choice. If your hometown is another city and you plan to return after graduation, hometown voting might make sense. However, if Lynchburg is your home for the next four years (hopefully more), I am happy to work with you and for you as your council member. It is important that we protect the rights of all voters to participate in the election process. More importantly, vote where you can talk to your elected officials and have a dialogue. I am asking for your vote. Q: What role do you believe the city government should play in our city? A: City government should be a major player. City government is true government for the people, by the people. The city educates, protects and serves. City government has less-exciting obligations to meet, like collecting trash, fixing roads and providing water/sewer services, but they are needed services. Our city must play an active role in protecting and improving the quality of life so it is attractive to businesses that hire people of creative backgrounds — the job creators of tomorrow.

Q: How do you plan to evenly allocate the annual budget in order to best serve the city? A: The city manager puts the annual budget together. The City Council then approves the budget. When I am on City Council, I will make sure that the city budget is financially feasible and responsible so as to not force a higher tax burden on the population of Lynchburg. Q: Why should a college student vote for you? A: I have always been a strong champion of college students. They hold a very special place in my heart. In fact, I mentor quite a few of them right here in Lynchburg. College students should vote for me because I know how hard it is for them to live in Lynchburg’s stagnant economy. I believe the meals tax here in Lynchburg is far too high at 11.8 percent. When I am elected to City Council, I will focus on the meals tax and help make it more reasonable for students to eat out in Lynchburg. Students need to understand that I am deeply invested in their lives, and I promise to help make Lynchburg a better place for them to live, work and play. Q: What has prepared you to be on the City Council? A: My 43 years of business experience has prepared me to be on the Lynchburg City Council. I have served on multiple boards that have budgets that are much greater than that of the City of Lynchburg. I know how to allocate money and keep a balanced budget. Lynchburg desperately needs the perspective of a business executive on City Council. When I am elected to Lynchburg City Council, I will bring my experience as a business executive to City Council to better serve the City of Lynchburg.

Q: How do you plan to evenly allocate the annual budget in order to best serve the city? A: In an ideal world, city departments would be treated equally/fairly, but in the real world, resources are scarce. Prioritizing is key. My priorities are public safety, public education and maintaining an adequate infrastructure road/highway system. These, along with an active economic development plan and job creation, should get top priority in any budget. In traditional city government, evenly allocating is a zero-sum budget. It is not the best of all worlds. A zero-sum budget means that in order for someone to gain, someone else loses. Different parts of the city conflict with others and no one walks away happy. Managing things that way, we have failed. Budgeting should not be zero-sum, but win-win. Through effective economic development and fiscal responsibility, we grow all parts of the budget and positively impact all parts of the city together. Q: Why should a college student vote for you? A: When elected, my primary focus and campaign goal is to help you graduate into a good paying job or to help you create your own business. I will be your partner for progress. Together, we can ensure Lynchburg has the employers, the jobs and the assistance to make sure your transition from student to professional is a smooth one. The unemployment rate for college graduates is three times the unemployment rate for others. Among those who find jobs, the number of college graduates working minimum wage jobs is at record levels — 71 percent higher than a decade ago. Meanwhile, graduates have a record amount of student loan debt, nationally totaling more than $1 trillion. My commitment — to make your dreams come true in my hometown. Q: What has prepared you to be on the City Council? A: My life and career is a picture of servitude to my city and my country. I grew up here, graduated from E. C. Glass High School, served in the U. S. Navy, and then graduated from Lynchburg College. My sorority, Delta Sigma Theta, is built on a foundation of public service. I’m in my sixth year of service on the Lynchburg City School Board and second year as vice chairman. My Baptist faith calls me to help others. I’m the community development manager with Goodwill Industries and I serve on the Step with Links Board. I served on the Hill City Youth Football and Cheerleading Board, rebuilding a youth football and cheerleading team. Public Service is an important part of my life and I will continue my service as a Lynchburg City councilwoman. Please visit


APRIL 29, 2014

Two years ago when I was facing graduation, a new marriage and looking toward graduate school, I remember sitting down to write my “goodbye.” I remember thinking about the transition that lay ahead of me, excited, nervous and intimidated by the large shoes I had to learn to fill. Transitioning from MCALPIN the editor-in-chief to the graduate assistant was definitely not seamless — but it was not a goodbye. Goodbye is so permanent. After five years of laughter, frustration, memories and friendship, I cannot imagine saying goodbye. Ending a chapter in life is always bittersweet. A new job, a new house and a new city are all waiting just a page away, but my greatest mentor, good friends and lessons learned make turning that page more difficult than I anticipated. After much prayer, thought and a couple of tears shed, I know that my time here was great, but it was just for a season. Proverbs 19:21 says, “Many are the plans of a man’s heart, but it is the

Lord’s purpose that prevails.” Lynchburg has served me well. It was here that I found my reality in Christ, my husband and my passion. Leaving this place is like leaving a part of my history, my identity. So before the inevitable turn of the page, close of the chapter and period at the end of the sentence, I have a few people who deserve my everlasting thanks. To Mrs. Huff, the huffernickle, huffernuff, thank you. Thank you for being my leader, mentor and friend. You have taught me more about journalism — and life — than I ever could have anticipated. You helped me learn to lead with grace, accept my shortcomings and fight for what I believe in. Your legacy will forever live on in my life, as well as all of the lives you touch at the Champion daily. To my colleagues, classmates, students and friends, thank you for your patience, laughter and commitment. Without each one of you, I would not be who I am today. Five years has flown by, but I would not change one minute of it. As the page turns I know that the best is yet to come. Until next time, goodbye my friends.

As graduation edges closer, I am finding myself being faced with questions about why I chose to attend graduate school in the first place. Was the program superior to others? Was I scared about my future? Was I simply feeling unprepared and desired a couple more years of education before I could face JENNINGS the work world? Looking back, it was all of these things, and yet, at the same time, none of them. I saw an open door to more education, with the opportunity to train up younger students in the skills I had already acquired. I walked through that door and into the pathway of papers, presentations and more pressure than ever before. Although the road was sometimes shadowed, hazy and daunting, I am glad I took it. Working with the Liberty Champion and journalism students as a graduate assistant has blessed me in many unexpected ways. It has been four years

In almost three years with the Champion, I have had the opportunity to write for every section of the paper. I have covered everything from breaking news to opinion, features and sports. I even took a photograph or two along the way. At the start of my Champion career, I never anticipated straying from the sports page. But as I look back, the chal- LEASURE lenges and benefits of writing for other sections have allowed me to improve my skills and gain experience in ways I would not have expected. I can still vividly remember my first Champion interview. I sat in my East Campus quad, my heart racing as I waited for what turned out to be an awkward but successful speakerphone interaction with Liberty golf Coach Jeff Thomas. Now, just two short years later, I have found a home on the baseball beat, in addition to serving as the edi-

tor-in-chief of Central Virginia’s largest weekly paper. In addition to taking constant guidance from Champion Advisor Deborah Huff, I have had the chance to learn from people who, I believe, are some of the most talented collegiate writers and photographers in the country. I feel extremely fortunate to have made so many close friendships with these people, and I cannot wait to watch them make an impact in whichever field they pursue. Aside from those friendships, I think what I will remember most about my time at the Champion are the people I have met and the stories I have told. It seemed like every week in the Champion newsroom brought another opportunity to share an amazing story with our readers. So to those who were kind enough to share their story with me and to those who took the time to read, thank you. Although my path after graduation is still unclear, I know I will look back on this as the most important experience of my college career.

For me, the hardest goodbyes are the ones I have always seen coming but never thought I would actually have to face. As I sit down to write this, I am at a complete and utter loss for words. How do I start to say goodbye? How do I finish my time here at Liberty? College passes by so quickly. Yesterday, I was walking on campus for the first time, and in the blink of an eye, I am HAHN walking across the stage to receive my diploma. Senior year is a time for lasts — my last undergrad classes, my last time parking in the wrong zone, my last spring to get a ring, my last time in the news editor’s chair. But more importantly, it will be my last time in the Champion office working with some of the most amazing and talented people I will ever meet. Even though I am focused on all my lasts, graduation will open a door to

With only finals left to conquer in what has turned out to be the craziest semester of my college career, I cannot help but breathe a sigh of relief. Between all the late nights and early mornings finishing up assignments and countless hours spent in the Liberty

Champion office, 2014 has been a year of busyness, to say the least. But even in the midst of the organized chaos that has been the story of my semester, I also find myself surprised by how quickly this year that I once could not wait to be done with has passed. Now, with my junior year nearly behind me, I wish I could do the 20132014 school year all over again. Sure, I could do without some of the homework and stress, but without the experiences of this year, I would definitely not be the same person. Without this year, my mind would be void of all the knowledge I gained as a journalism student and copy editor with the Liberty Champion. Without this

year, my portfolio would be significantly thinner, and I would be confined to my comfortable area of sports writing. But, most importantly, without this year, I would not have all the relationships I built with my Champion staff family. Although most of my relationships with my newsroom friends will undoubtedly change as they graduate, this year I have spent with them has definitely been the best in all three of my years at Liberty. Without these relationships, I would never have experienced all the laughs and fun, and I would not have grown in the ways I have as a journalist. They, along with our advisor, Mrs. Huff, have helped to shape me into a better writer and have helped to prepare me to


now that I have worked with the Liberty Champion. The current staff has been wonderful to work with. Mixing fun with journalistic excellence, each member has exemplified how to enjoy what you do and do it well. As a mentor to the students of Mrs. Huff ’s journalism classes, I have seen good writers become great and timid ones find their voice. I have used my experience to benefit others and felt their encouragement uplift me. I am so thankful for both the staff and students I have worked alongside and the ways I have grown because of them. Taking this path was not easy, but the journey was worth it. On May 10, I will cross the graduation stage for my second time. I know I will be faced with more questions: What next? Where will you work? What will you do now? I choose to face these questions with a smile, knowing God is in control. He will provide another door, and lead me through it, once again.

many firsts. I know this is not actually a time for goodbyes. Yes, I am leaving Liberty and I will not see my best friends half as often as I once did, but now should be a time for hellos, a time for new beginnings and a time to look forward to what my future holds. So in these bittersweet moments I relish the past, remembering the beaten path I traveled to stand where I am today, knowing that my journey is not close to over but, in fact, has just begun. I will always look back fondly at the years I spent here at Liberty as well as the beginnings of the many lifelong friendships I have made. “To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under the heaven,” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

move out of my copy editing mode and into this new position as editor-in-chief. As I prepare to take on this new challenge and role, I can only hope that our new staff can continue to serve our readers as well as this year’s staff has. While I know there will definitely be bumps along the road and that it takes a ton of hard work and dedication to produce the best newspaper possible, as I have already begun to learn, I am so excited to see what God has in store for next year. I cannot wait to step into this new opportunity for even more growth, and I cannot wait to work together with a capable new staff to produce the best version of the Liberty Champion we


A10/Liberty Champion

APRIL 29, 2014

As I look back at my year on the Champion staff, I realize that I have been blessed with an incredible experience, and I could not be more thankful for the countless number of people who made that experience possible. A newspaper cannot exist without articles, and I am thankful for all of the reporters in the news section who worked TAIT hard and turned in articles every week for their one-credithour practicum course. Articles cannot exist without sources, and I also appreciate the many people who spared even a few seconds of their time to get reporters or editors the information they needed. My experience at the Champion would not have been possible without reporters and sources working hard outside of our office, but I could not be more thankful for everyone I had

the privilege of working with on the Champion staff. Mrs. Huff, our faculty advisor, worked hard to train me as both a Champion editor and a future journalist. I am thankful for her continual support and willingness to help with anything I have ever needed. I am thankful for the opportunity I had to work with friends, who united around a common cause and always approached negative situations with a positive attitude and good sense of humor. To the reporters and sources, who made the news section’s content possible, to Mrs. Huff, who trained me to be a better journalist, and to my fellow staff members, who gave me memories that will last a lifetime, thank you.

If I have had the privilege of meeting you in my three years here at Liberty University, you probably recognize me as the shy, quiet girl with an abundance of pink accessories and a new pair of shoes for each day. Introverted by nature, I never could have imagined that my college years would find me sitting behind the most controversial desk FULLER of a newspaper that is read by thousands weekly. Serving as the opinion editor for the Liberty Champion, I have both witnessed and participated in my fair share of debates, arguments and impassioned procon pieces. As an editor, there has been no greater joy than to lead and encourage my section each semester. I have proudly watched as the oftentimes sobering world news presented my writers with the opportunity to grow into men and women of faith who boldly and unashamedly proclaim truth. As a writer, the position personally challenged me to search the scriptures as I wrestled to form opinions on heartbreaking tragedies and difficult controversies.

Through it all, I leave the experience feeling immensely blessed at having had the opportunity to live and experience the words of Proverbs 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I owe each and every member of my staff and of my section a sincere thankyou. For a year we were each other’s iron, and I know that I leave the opinion desk a sharper, stronger Christian and a deeper, more skillful writer. Thank you to the friends, family members and professors who encouraged my pursuit of writing and helped shape me into the person I am today. To the future writers and editors of the Champion: remember that every word you write is written first and foremost for the glory of God. Never underestimate the tremendous opportunity you have to impact the lives of your readers. Cliché as it may sound, I will always remember my time working at the Liberty Champion with fondness and with gratitude. So much more than the overwhelming feeling of pride that comes with seeing your name and writing in print, I leave forever thankful for the people I met and the relationships I built.

There was once a 17-year-old boy who started his first semester at Liberty University in search of somewhere he could share his love for sports writing. During his first week on campus, he ran into Professor Deborah Huff at a meet-and-greet session for those interested in communications. After talking with her for five or six BATTLE minutes, this boy went back to his dorm enthused at a chance to write for the Liberty Champion. After a year of volunteer writing, Huff offered him a chance to be the assistant sports editor on staff. Shocked, he gladly accepted the opportunity. The next fall, he began learning how a newspaper operates, how to assign stories, create layouts and edit papers. In the midst of all this, he also learned an important lesson from Huff, who became a mother figure to him while he was away from family. She knew him to be a better leader than

he believed himself to be. Now, that 17-year-old boy is a 21-year-old man, just days away from his graduation. Words cannot explain how thankful I am for Professor Huff giving me an opportunity to write sports, as well as other stories, for the Liberty Champion. Through the ups and downs while I was there, Professor Huff and those on staff always supported me, and I could not be more thankful. Lastly, covering Liberty sports alone has been a great experience full of traveling with the teams and interviewing athletes. Although this last year with the Liberty Champion has been bittersweet, it has also been the best year I had on staff. The friendships that were built during this past year have been wonderful, and I hope that we stay in contact in the future. While this chapter of writing for Liberty University is closing, new doors are opening, and it is now time to take my talents to the next place life leads.

My four years at Liberty have absolutely been a gift from God. I’ve made friends that will last a lifetime and learned more than I thought possible during my time here. As much as I enjoyed my first three years on campus, none have compared to my senior year as part of the Liberty Champion staff. At first I was reluctant to write for the paper, let FOOTE alone apply for the position of assistant sports editor. However, I eventually succumbed to both. Little did I realize how being a part of the Liberty Champion would be one of the best decisions of my life. Having the opportunity to cover sports has been an incredible blessing, and I could not thank Mrs. Huff enough for giving me this opportunity and helping guide my career as an aspiring journalist. The biggest blessing during my yearlong stint with the Champion has undoubtedly been the friends that made my senior year better than I could have ever hoped.

The little office tucked away in the corner of the first floor of DeMoss became a second home, and, more importantly, the friends created while working for the Champion became a family. Walking into the office and seeing the doppelgangers and the sticky notes plastered throughout the room or the quote board will always be great memories. However, seeing any of those will never compare to the joy that calling each and every person from the office my friend will bring me. With this chapter of our lives coming to a close, I know God is writing amazing new chapters for each of us, and I look forward to seeing what those chapters have in store. As Lloyd Christmas once said, “I hate goodbyes,” and I could not agree more with that statement. Saying goodbye is a bittersweet feeling — especially when it involves some of the best friends anyone could ever ask for. So instead of saying goodbye to my friends, I want to say thank you, because I will never be able to truly say goodbye to them and the unforgettable memories they have created for me.

At the start, graduation seems like a lifetime away, but it comes faster than expected. Now that it is actually here, I have to say goodbye to the place I have called home for the past three years. I say goodbye to the classes and the professors that have prepared me and encouraged me to succeed in STEENBURGH a career that I love. I say goodbye to my classmates. We have learned together, shared in the struggles of reaching the end and rejoiced and laughed through each other’s triumphs. We have ultimately succeeded together. I say goodbye to the Champion, a family that kept every day new and exciting, and a learning experience that I will never forget. I am grateful to have been a part of the team and to have

learned a different side of writing. While the goodbyes are hard, I value the memories that have come from my time at Liberty. I value the hard work required of me and the experiences that convinced me to stick with my major, even when the to-do list was longer than anything I could imagine pulling off. I have grown to love writing and the satisfaction of hard work. I have learned disappointment and elation. I have learned how to push myself, learned the boundaries of taking on too much and the value of good teamwork. These are the memories, friendships and lessons that will go with me after graduation and into a new adventure. And on the days that I feel unprepared, I can rest assured knowing that God has brought me this far and given me this time to learn, and I know he will bring me safely into the next place.

It has been said that life is like a book. As one chapter ends, another begins. My life at Liberty University has been filled with multiple chapters. This story contains chapters with some poor decisions made by an 18-year-old freshman. It has chapters filled with tears from the deaths of family members and friends. Some chapters hold an WEBSTER adventurous tale or two, and there are a few paragraphs on studying tips and toilsome note taking. The craziest chapter would have to be this last one. The year-long chapter as a Liberty Champion copy editor quickly filled with edits, articles and interviews. Some pages showed orange edit marks scribbled throughout, and all had the initials ESW written across the top. While I could quote many inspirational people I have crossed paths with, there is one person in particular who left me with a simple yet powerful statement. These words did not come from interviews with

actor Kirk Cameron, producer Roma Downey or Virginia Sen. Steve Newman. Instead, they came from an older gentleman whose name I do not even remember. He approached me at an event at a time when I was about to interview Virginia senators and delegates. My nervous smile was plastered across my face as I confided in him that I felt I should take a backseat to the professional reporters who were currently interviewing the politicians. “Never think of yourself as less than who you are,” he told me. As this chapter ends and I enter into a world filled with people who have more experience, knowledge and connections than I have, I remember his words. I should never think of myself as less than who God has made me, less than who my professors have taught me, less than who my family and friends have guided me to become. And so, despite the bittersweet and nervous feelings that accompany the ending of this chapter, excitement takes hold as I turn the page to find out what happens next.


Greg Leasure

Shelanne Jennings

Derrick Battle

Emily Webster







Alex Tichenor

Olivia Brown

Breann Black








Dave Van Dyk




Mark Tait




Tré Goins-Phillips OPINION EDITOR

Nicole Steenburgh FEATURE EDITOR






Courtney Russo

Josh Goordan



The Champion encourages community members to submit letters to the editor on any subject. Letters should not exceed 400 words and must be typed and signed. The deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Letters and columns that appear are the opinion of the author solely, not the Champion editorial board or Liberty University.






All material submitted becomes property of the Champion. The Champion reserves the right to accept, reject or edit any letter received—according to the Champion stylebook, taste and the Liberty University mission statement. Send letters to: Liberty Champion Liberty University, Box 2000, Lynchburg, VA 24515 or drop off in DeMoss Hall 1035.

APRIL 29, 2014


Liberty Champion/A11

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WARFARE — General Dwight D. Eisenhower met with Allied troops before battle on what would become one of the most remembered days in American history.

D-Day inspires today’s uniformed heroes June 6 marks the 70th anniversary of the day 160,000 troops redefined what it meant to be courageous Emily Brown

When walking into any quick-service restaurant during lunch hour on any given day in Fayetteville or Fort Bragg, N.C., seas of camouflage will immediately stand out — and no, it is not because of the pervading Duck Dynasty theme of recent months. The camouflage belongs to the men and women who courageously serve as members of the U.S. Army. Fort Bragg, which is adjacent to Fayetteville, is home to the 82nd Airborne Division and XVIII Airborne Corps. More than 57,000 military personnel are currently stationed at Fort Bragg, making it one of the largest military complexes by population in the world, according to the base’s official website. Because I have lived in Fayetteville my entire life, seeing men and women in army combat uniforms around town is not an odd occurrence. For as long as I can remember, many of my classmates had parents, siblings, cousins, aunts or uncles in the military, and a number of those family members have endured multiple deployments. In Fayetteville, when past and present military members are honored at special events such as ballgames or school productions, it is safe to say that at least 70 percent of the audience stands to receive recognition for their sacrifices. My friend’s father is currently one of the highest-ranking soldiers in the nation as a four-star commanding general at Fort

Bragg. He has done his fair share to earn his title and accolades, but much more lies beneath the surface of the title. What many do not see are the sacrifices and trials he has had to endure as a soldier. Among many other duties, he has put himself in harm’s way and left his wife, daughter and son at home as he was deployed to other nations. During his decades of services, he has been deployed six different times to locations such as Egypt, Panama, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan, according to Above many other factors, it is his unwavering commitment to protecting the freedom of the U.S. that has helped my friend’s father, Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, to earn his current four-star rank and position of commanding general of Forces Command at Fort Bragg. Although Allyn may currently be one of the most decorated soldiers in the country, his commitment and sacrifices are not characteristics and actions portrayed exclusively by him. They are displayed by each and every military member. These ideals were displayed by soldiers on one day more acutely, perhaps, than any other day in history. It is a day that has shaped the past and the present and has since been remembered most for soldiers who showed no hesitation, only valor. That day is June 6, 1944 — D-Day. On that day 160,000 Allied troops, led by the U.S., landed on the beaches of Normandy, France, during World War II in an attempt to liberate Europe from Nazi rule, according to But this was no

normal military operation. On this day, thousands of soldiers went into the operation without pause. Despite knowing they may not make it through the assault, DDay soldiers gallantly entered this part of the war in order to bring peace and justice to the world. Some soldiers jumped behind enemy lines to secure surrounding areas, while some went into combat against a strong entrenched German army, according to No matter their particular jobs, though, all of the soldiers involved in D-Day displayed amazing courage. Not knowing what exactly they would encounter and facing the possibility of death, the soldiers became the epitome of sacrifice as they went to battle for the sake of others. Although the cost was high, with thousands of deaths among Allied soldiers, the attack gave the Allies a foothold in Nazi-controlled Europe. While there were several divisions involved in the D-Day operation, I am drawn in most by the story of the soldiers of Fort Bragg’s 82nd Airborne Division. According to, the division was one of two U.S. airborne divisions to take part in the assault, and paratroopers sacrificed themselves by jumping behind enemy lines to secure Utah Beach. Allyn, who has served two tours of duty with the 82nd as a paratrooper and was previously the commanding general of Fort Bragg and the XVIII Airborne Corps, explained that the actions of the 82nd on that day have lasting implications and significance.

“I think for anyone that’s been a paratrooper, that’s where we proved the airborne concept with the operations in World War II, and we have continued to leverage that capability in multiple conflicts,” Allyn said. “We understand that we owe a great (debt to) … the soldiers that fought in World War II. And we continue to live up to that lineage and continue to honor those that have fought before us.” With the 70th anniversary of D-Day less than two months away, Allyn said that June 6, 2014, is a particularly important day of remembrance for soldiers, both past and present. “I think for the entire division, each anniversary of D-Day reminds (us) of our roots,” Allyn said. “… I think all of us veterans recognize the significance of enabling the country to pay honor to our World War II veterans, and the 70th anniversary provides a great opportunity for that.” For me, as a product of Fayetteville and because of the army contingent of my area, as the 70th anniversary draws near, I am reminded of the bravery, courage, loyalty and commitment of each and every military member. I remember and appreciate the major sacrifices military members have made, are currently making or will make, whether on D-Day, or six months ago as they left for Afghanistan or tomorrow. BROWN is the editor-in-chief.


A12/Liberty Champion

What if Jesus did have a wife? Scholars say strip of papyrus may hold untold truth of Jesus’ romance

APRIL 29, 2014


Tyler Beaston

Jesus has been placed in the spotlight recently, thanks to more controversy surrounding a strip of papyrus that alleges he had a wife. Studies were done on the papyrus that contained the text in question, and scholars determined that the writing is similar to the styles found in the fourth and eighth century, according to a Christianity Today article by Kevin Emmert. The Harvard Theology Review released the studies Thursday, April 10. Before anyone gets unnecessarily distressed, I must say that I doubt these studies are meant to be a smear campaign against Christianity and Jesus. From what I read, none of the scholars seem outright hostile toward the Bible. That being said, I think it could easily be interpreted as an attempt to undermine the Christian faith. If believers are wrong about Jesus, then they could be wrong about their whole religion. “The more you can find stuff out of left field that doesn’t fit our picture of Jesus as we know it, the more you can make a case that today Christians have got it wrong,” Nicholas Perrin, a professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College, said in an interview with Christianity Today. The controversial text says, “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife … she is able to be my disciple,’” according to a National Geographic article by Dan Vergano.

It matters

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ANCIENT — Authenticity of papyrus called into question by scholars and theologians. Not surprisingly, when the papyrus was first released in 2012, many people called it a forgery. Then the recent study was completed, and experts concluded that the ink and papyrus are ancient. People are still skeptical, and scientists said the study does not prove the words are not forged, according to Vergano’s article. Some scholars believe the text is forged from the Gospel of Thomas, Vergano wrote. Perrin said he believes it bears greater resemblance to the Gospel of Philip. Neither of these gospels fit with the standard Bible that most Christians read. So the papyrus, regardless of its age, should be of no concern to believers. Rather, they must adhere to the Bible’s infallibility and not be deceived by controversy. The Bible does not say

Jesus was not married, which could tempt people into thinking that he was. But it seems very unlikely to me that the gospels — Matthew, Mark, Luke or John — would simply exclude any romantic relationships that Jesus had. In his interview, Perrin said the Bible would mention something as significant as Jesus’ wife. “Ancient biographies, just like modern ones, will mention the spouse of a subject, whether it’s Alexander the Great or Julius Caesar,” Perrin said. “The gospels are types of biographies. I assume that if Jesus was married, they would’ve mentioned it.” The whole issue boils down to this: even if the papyrus is ancient and genuine, it does not parallel the Bible’s teaching. If anything, it associates only

with the Gospels of Thomas or Philip, which are not legitimate scripture. “The Wife of Jesus fragment should not be at all unsettling for the Christian faith,” Perrin concluded. “It reflects the belief of someone who was writing between the fifth and ninth century. That belief might go earlier, but when we know that there were all kinds of heretical beliefs cropping up around the end of the first century, so we also know this is nothing new.” BEASTON is an opinion writer.

“American youth attributes much more importance to arriving at driver’s license age than at voting age,” philosopher Marshall McLuhan said. McLuhan may have a point when it comes to the majority of youth in the Western world. However, the Liberty University community is different. As a Christian society, voting matters. Christianity calls upon the faithful to engage in and change the culture in which they are immersed. “A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user,” President Theodore Roosevelt said. This is the power of a vote: the power to change, to influence, to inspire. As Americans, we have a right. As Christians, we have an obligation — an obligation to fire the rifle. When election season rolls around, all too often we get bogged down with the bipartisan chatter and forget the blessing that comes with the freedom to talk, think, learn and vote: the power to influence. The United States has a rich history of freedom. Our freedom has not always come swiftly or as easily as it should have, but it has been realized nonetheless. It is in our continuing resolve to shape our nation that freedom will continue to flourish. Every vote matters, and every election counts. These freedoms shape the culture, society — and, ultimately, world — in which we live. On May 6, we have the opportunity to help shape Lynchburg. For most registered voters at Liberty, you can cast your ballot at the Vines Center. Prove McLuhan wrong. Fire the rifle.


APRIL 29, 2014


Liberty 7

Presb. 5


Liberty 6

Presb. 4

W. Lacrosse

Longwood 12

Liberty 11


M. Lacrosse VT 13

walk-off winners

Liberty 9





Hole in one Golf reclaims conference title with Big South tourney win Jacob Tellers

Courtney Russo| Liberty Champion

ARMED — Blake Fulghum’s strong day Saturday helped the Flames improve to 19-1 in the Big South.

Sweating out wins Baseball pulls out three comeback wins to sweep UNC-Asheville Greg Leasure

Tom Foote

The Liberty Flames baseball team (35-10, 19-1 Big South) completed a three-game sweep against the University of North Carolina at Asheville Bulldogs (12-32, 4-16 Big South) April 25-27. The Bulldogs are the sixth straight conference opponents to be swept by the Flames. Liberty 7, UNC-Asheville 4 The Liberty Flames baseball team entered its Friday, April 25 contest with the University of North Carolina at Asheville Bulldogs looking to extend its streak of five straight series sweeps against Big South Conference opponents. In the end, the bullpens and some

timely hitting decided the outcome, a 7-4 Flames victory. The Bulldogs opened the scoring in the third inning with offense from the bottom of the lineup after a two-run home run by second baseman Kyle Towles. The Flames answered with three runs in the fourth inning. Leadoff hitter Will Shepherd began the rally with a single. Ryan Seiz walked, and an infield hit by Alex Close loaded the bases with two outs for Danny Grauer. He did not have to do much. Roland hit Grauer with a pitch, scoring a run. Dalton Britt then added two runs with a single to center field, making it a 3-2 Flames lead. In the top of the fifth, a leadoff walk and an error by the shortstop, Britt, led to an RBI single for the Bulldogs, tying the game at three.

The Flames scratched out a run in the bottom of the inning to take a 4-3 lead when Ashton Perritt was hit by a pitch, stole second, took third when the catcher’s throw rolled into center field and scored on a squeeze bunt with Jake Kimble at the plate. The Flames and Bulldogs had both sent out tall, right-handed, senior starting pitchers to begin the series —Trey Lambert for Liberty and Dean Roland for Asheville — but neither dominated. The similarities between the starters did not end there, though. Upon entering the eighth inning, each starter still had a chance to earn the win, despite not having pitched well. But when both left the game in the eighth inning without getting an out, the game was left up to the bullpens.


Liberty University’s men’s golf team won its third Big South Championship in the last four years with solid performances from all five golfers. The Flames finished the tournament with a total score of 867, five ahead of their closest contender Charleston Southern. Three Flames golfers placed within the top 10 in individual scores. Senior Chase Marinelli took fourth at one under par, junior Mathieu Fenasse finished in sixth at one over par and senior Jacob Mast took eighth with four over par. Head Coach Jeff Thomas credited a solid performance by Mast as being one of the keys to the Flames victory. “We got a really good contribution out of our fifth man Jacob Mast,” Thomas said. “He and our fourth man played really well.” “If he had not placed as well as he did, we would have had a hard time winning that golf tournament,” Thomas said. According to Thomas, the team had a tryout for the fifth spot for the tournament, which Mast won. The three-day, 56-hole, tournament was hosted by Liberty at the Patriot Golf Club in North Carolina. Thomas described the course as having fast, undulating greens with tricky pin positions. The Flames entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed, but after the opening round, they were in fourth place, five strokes behind Coastal Carolina. “I felt like we played fine the first day,” Thomas said. “I knew we could have played better. I thought all the other teams played really well the first day.” The second round of the tournament presented some additional challenges for the Flames. “It was really windy on the second day,” Thomas said. “And the greens were really fast.” Despite the adverse conditions, Liberty managed to pull ahead and take the lead at the end of the second round with a five-stroke lead over Coastal Carolina and a six-shot lead over Charleston Southern. On the final round of the tournament, the Flames had their best round with 284 strokes, which was more than sufficient to hold off any contenders. Marinelli was named Big South Golfer of the Year and was placed on the All-Tournament Team. Marinelli, Fenasse and senior Niklas Lindstrom were also named the Big South All-Conference Team. TELLERS is a sports reporter.

No summertime fun for athletes Some student athletes will stay in Lynchburg for training and rehab instead of going home for summer break Ryley Rush

While students across the campus of Liberty University cram for final exams, pack up the old dorm and prepare to head home for a hard-earned summer break, the work has just begun for NCAA athlete peers. Sure, they might not be playing games, but for stuLeah Stauffer | Liberty Champion dent-athletes the offseason inHEAT — Liberty athletes work out in the summer. volves as much or more work


W. Lacrosse @ Davidson April 30 6 p.m.

Softball vs. Big South Championship May 8-11

on their game — technique and conditioning alike — as do their playing months. “When you’re a division I (DI) athlete, there’s really no time off,” sports nutrition advisor Donna Barber said. “If you take time off, you’re going to be behind when you come back and it will be obvious to your coaches. The majority of our athletes are very serious about staying in shape and getting ahead

Baseball @ Virginia May 7 6 p.m.

during the summer.” For many, that means forgoing a long return home to stay put in Lynchburg, where they have full-time access to trainers, workout facilities, advisors and medical staff. “Gosh, basically our guys and girls are here most of the summer now,” Director of Sports Medicine Jason Porter said. Porter estimated that

Baseball vs. Coastal May 9-10 7 p.m.

anywhere from 50-80 percent of any team’s roster, depending on the sport, remain in town throughout the summer months. Fall sports, naturally, tend to have the highest percentage of team members stick around in preparation for their upcoming season and training camps — an expected 75-plus percent of the football team


Baseball vs. Coastal May 11 2 p.m.


B2/Liberty Champion

APRIL 29, 2014

Spring, the season of success Hockey, baseball, lacrosse, golf and track and field programs for the Flames excell during the spring season Derrick Battle

Unlike a year ago, there were not any Cinderella runs from sports that carried over from the fall. Both basketball teams were ousted in the Big South Conference tournament, and while Division I (D1) and Division II hockey put together great seasons, they fell short in the playoffs as well. Last season, Liberty athletics captured four spring conference championships. While baseball, men’s lacrosse and the men’s and women’s track teams face the pressure of repeating, other teams strived to make improvements. After finishing second in the Big South Conference tournament, the Liberty Flames golf team won its third conference title in four years. In the three-day event, the Flames squeaked by the Charleston Southern Buccaneers, ending the tournament three-over par as a team. Senior Chase Marinell ended the tournament one-under par, which placed him in fourth in the top 20. Junior Mathieu

Fenasse, redshirt senior Jacob Mast and senior Niklas Lindstrom joined Marinell in the top 20. Marinell earned the Big South Golfer of the Year and

headlined the all-conference team, which also included Lindstrom and Fenasse. Consistency and dominance is what defines the men’s and women’s track and field teams. In March, the men’s indoor track and field team clinched its 17th consecutive Big South Championship. About a month later, the Flames obtained their eighth straight outdoor conference

championship. After winning the outdoor championship last year, the women failed to earn their 14th conference title. Both indoor and outdoor track and field teams were narrowly defeated by their rival, the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. The baseball team looked to build on its success from its NCAA regional run. After defeating Clemson twice, the Flames could not overcome South Carolina. Although the Flames got off to a 5-5 start, they quickly bounced back and got hot. After a 4-3 loss to Ball State on March 2, Liberty went 28-4 and is currently first in the Big South. Liberty’s pitching staff, led by senior Trey Lambert, put together 60plus scoreless innings against the Flames’ opponents. They are also first in ERA in the Big South and are in the top 20 in the NCAA in that category as well. Their lineup has been anchored by second baseman Ryan Seiz. The Louisville transfer leads

the team in just about every hitting category. Seiz’s .392 batting average places him in the top 30 in the NCAA. With eight games remaining in the regular season, Liberty’s baseball team hopes to clinch the No. 1 seed heading into the Big South Conference Championship at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C., May 20-24. The men’s lacrosse team moved up a division, which should be a challenge for most teams. Normally, it takes a few years for a team to get adjusted to new foes they face. This was not the case for the Flames. At the end of the regular season, Liberty finished 11-3 and is attempting to clinch its first D1 Southeastern Lacrosse Conference Championship in its first year. Golf and the men’s and women’s track teams hope to prolong their seasons as they prepare for the NCAA tournament. With the season coming to a close, it will be intriguing to see how far the men’s lacrosse and baseball teams can go. as well.

BATTLE is a news reporter.

Courtney Russo| Liberty Champion

SPRING INTO ACTION— Pitcher Ashton Perritt (bottom left), along with a variety of Flames throw, run, jump and skate their way to successful seasons.


APRIL 29, 2014

Liberty Champion/B3

Paintball wins first regular-season title Class AA paintball team ends season by shooting its way into participating in NCPA championship tourney Brittany Jones

Twenty-four Liberty students traveled to Lakeland, Fla., for the National Collegiate Paintball Association (NCPA) Championships April 10-14, according to Liberty Head Coach Todd Hoglund. “Last year we had 16 or 17 players go to nationals, so it was huge to have 24 players go down this year without any hiccups,” Hoglund said. “Overall the trip was successful and the team did well despite not winning nationals, which of course was the goal.” According to Hoglund, Liberty’s paintball team consists of five lines of two Class A lines and three Class AA lines. The blue line of the Class AA ranked 6th out of 50 at nationals, securing enough points to earn the team the title of season champions for Class AA. “Class AA met my expectations for nationals with some ranking highly and others earning a couple of points,” Hoglund said. “It was great to see Class AA become season champions, which is the first time in Liberty history.” According to the NCPA website, Liberty’s Class A teams have ranked in the top four of the Southeastern Conference for the past five years. “I really thought our Class A was a topfour team, but I still think they did really well this season,” Hoglund said. According to Jaclyn Bixby, Liberty junior and player on the white line of Class AA, said her line ran into some hardships during nationals. “One of our line’s players could not come to nationals and another was injured early on in the weekend,” Bixby said. “It was a difficult time for the white line, but it was a great opportunity to learn a lot.” Bixby, who is a new player and the only female on the team, said she had never

SWEEP continued from B1 In the top of the eighth, Lambert surrendered two straight singles before being pulled in favor of relief pitcher Matt Marsh. A sacrifice bunt pushed the two runners into scoring position, and the Flames decided to load the bases with an intentional walk. With the bases loaded and one out, the tension grew with each pitch Marsh delivered. That is, until a palmball in the dirt escaped Grauer and rolled to the backstop for a wild pitch, scoring the runner from third. Marsh walked the hitter at the plate to again load the bases, but this time, he was able to settle down and collect two straight swinging strikeouts. His effort ultimately earned him the win. “I was trying to get the guy chasing and put too much on that pitch,” Marsh said. “It was tough to get my mind back straight. I just tried to worry about the next batter and shake it off, and that’s what I did.” With Perritt warming up for a potential save opportunity in the left field bullpen, the Flames went to work in the bottom half of the eighth. Seiz opened the inning by pulling a triple down the right field line, which forced Roland’s exit. But the bullpen could not stop the bleeding. An RBI single from Becker Sankey and a Close double followed. Later, singles from Perritt and Nick Lacik also drove in runs. When Perritt took the mound to close it out, the Flames had a 7-4 lead. According to Flames Head Coach Jim Toman, moving up runners and scoring runs with small ball was a key to the victory when the bats fell silent. “It’s been taking us a while to get going offensively,” Toman said. “I don’t know why. Maybe we have to be more assertive.” Liberty 4, UNC-Asheville 2 A furious eighth-inning rally, led by key hits from Shepherd and Seiz, guided Liberty to a 4-2 victory over the UNC Asheville Bulldogs Saturday, April 26. With two outs and the Flames down 2-1 in the eighth inning, Shepherd stepped up to the plate with pinch runner Kimble on second base. Shepherd hit a line

played paintball before this year and was excited to jump right into the new atmosphere of competitive paintball. “I love taking a player like Jaclyn who has never picked up a paintball gun and seeing her grow in the sport,” Hoglund said. “We have been able to take players from nothing and get them to a competitive level. It is really hard to do but having fields on campus and top players who are willing to help the new players makes it easier.” According to Bixby, the Class A players are the paintball team’s best, but they make sure to take time out of their practices to help and encourage the new players who may step up into their shoes. “We are losing three Class A starters, which is a shame, but is also really cool because they came from nowhere,” Hoglund said. Hoglund said he looks forward to next year’s season and although the team will look different, his goal every year is to win the national title. “We have the team we have who represents what we represent because of the support of Liberty,” Hoglund said. “Liberty has been hugely supportive of the team. From club sports to the Chancellor; they are all big fans of the paintball team.” According to Bixby, Liberty’s team stood out at nationals because of their Christian foundation. “Our lives as Christians looked a lot different in the midst of things like drinking and cursing that happened during nationals,” Bixby said. “I think we carried ourselves well by our lifestyles and how we encouraged and supported each other. It’s important to us because we play for more than just ourselves. We do this to glorify God.” JONES is a news reporter.

drive past the outstretched reach of the Bulldog’s third baseman, driving Kimble home to knot the game at 2-2. “I know that with runners in scoring position, you’re supposed to go up there and get the big hit, and I just don’t want to let my team down,” Shepherd said. “… Especially with two outs, I’m just trying to battle down and put the ball in play.” A day after hitting a key triple in the eighth inning, Seiz hit a screaming line drive over the right centerfield wall for his 11th home run of the season, giving the Flames a 4-2 lead. “I was just so happy that I was able to (hit that home run) for my team,” Seiz said. “I’m a really emotional baseball player, and being able to do that for my team is just awesome. I just love being in that clutch situation.” The Flames were in need of the late rally after falling behind early in the game. “I would prefer to get a lead than (do) what we did the past two days,” Toman said. “ … But the good thing is the guys are fighting, not panicking and realizing that if we hold them to three or four (runs), our guys will come back eventually.” In the top of the first inning, Flames starting pitcher Blake Fulghum surrendered a leadoff double to Tanner Bush, who was eventually driven home on an RBI groundout by Robert McIntosh. Liberty responded in the fourth inning by tying the game at 1-1. After a single to left field by Lacik, Shepherd laid down a sacrifice bunt, advancing Lacik to second base. Two batters later, after a strikeout by Seiz and walk by Sankey, Britt lined a single up the middle to plate Lacik. The Bulldogs did not waste any time retaking the 2-1 lead, with another run in the top of the fifth on a double by first baseman Hunter Bryant, who was driven home from a triple by shortstop Hunter Smith. The Bulldogs held the lead until the eighth when the Flames rallied with three runs to take a lead and hand the ball over to Perritt, who notched his 11th save of the season. “We’re a good ball club, and we’ve shown a couple of ways we can come back, like we did in the eighth inning today,” Seiz said. “We can’t panic. We know that

Leah Stauffer| Liberty Champion

FIRE AWAY — Bobby Majuk takes aim for the Flames.

we have a great lineup.” Relief pitcher Shawn Clowers improved his record to 6-0 on the season, working a scoreless seventh and eighth inning after relieving Fulghum, who pitched six innings while surrendering two runs. The victory marked the Flames 16th straight win in the Big South competition. Liberty 4, UNC-Asheville 3 The Flames and Bulldogs matched up for the third and final time in their weekend series on a sunny Sunday afternoon, April 27. Freshman Parker Bean took the ball for the Flames and overcame two defensive errors made by his teammates to post seven solid innings of work, striking out nine batters. Despite his efforts, run support was few and far between, and it appeared that the Flames streak of sweeps would be snapped at five, with Bean taking the loss. “I thought Bean was excellent, but we have to make some plays,” Toman said. “I know it only says two errors up there (on the scoreboard), but we didn’t make five or six plays. We got doubled off a couple times. We got thrown out (trying to) advance (on a wild pitch). We just didn’t play very well.” Sankey and Close both hit solo home runs in the early innings, but the Flames entered the bottom of the ninth inning down 3-2. Although Asheville’s starting pitcher Corey Randall had been dominant all day, using his changeup to keep hitters off-balance, the middle of the Flames order stood between him and a complete game victory. Shepherd led off the inning with a sharp ground ball to third and reached when McIntosh’s throw pulled the first baseman off the base for the Bulldog’s first error of the game. A single by Seiz kept the line moving. Randall then hit Sankey with a pitch, which loaded the bases for the Flames. All of a sudden, the Flames, who had been outplayed for most of the game, had the tying run on third and the winning run on second. As Britt stepped into the batter’s box, Asheville Head Coach Tom Smith called for an attempt to pick off Seiz on second base, a

decision he later regretted. Randall spun and threw to second base, but Seiz’s dive back into the base prevented Asheville shortstop Derek Smith from catching the ball. All three runners moved up, with Shepherd scoring the tying run. “I’ll take the blame,” Smith said. “If it’s executed, it’s a close play, but maybe we pick up a cheap out.” Before Britt could step back in the box, both managers employed a little strategy. Asheville center fielder Tanner Bush jogged in from his normal position to become a fifth infielder to the right of second base, and pinch runner Tray Roberts took over for Seiz as the potential winning run at third base. Finally able to take his at-bat, Britt soon flied out to left field. Roberts took a few steps toward the plate, but stopped as the throw from Asheville left fielder Tommy Houmard sailed in to the plate.

Now with one out, the fifth infielder moved to the left side of second base for the right-handed hitting Close’s at-bat. Despite the five infielders, Close ripped a single down the third base line for a walk-off win by a score of 4-3. “Ideally, in that situation, you want to get it in the air,” Close said. “… He left it up a tad, and I wasn’t going to go up there and take pitches.” The Flames now plan to take more than a week off to rest and take exams. Their next scheduled game is May 7 in Charlottesville against the No. 1 University of Virginia Cavaliers. LEASURE is the editor-in-chief. FOOTE is an asst. sports editor.

Courtney Russo| Liberty Champion

SWING — Liberty used late-inning offense to beat the Bulldogs.


B4/Liberty Champion

APRIL 29, 2014

Baseball program keeps getting better

The Flames have constantly improved for more than 30 years and are hoping to repeat as conference champs Nate Haywood

In the early 1970s, a young Liberty University unveiled the plans for a baseball program. Only a few years later,the team took the field with former MLB pitcher Al Worthington at the helm. Worthington only registered one losing season during his 13-year tenure as the Flames coach. He finished coaching in 1986, which is when Liberty’s baseball stadium was named after him. He ended his career with a winning percentage of 64.4, according to And in 1983, he became the fifth athletic director in Liberty’s history. A bust of Worthington now sits in front of the new $8 million Liberty Baseball Stadium, the new home of a program that has produced more than 60 professional athletes who have been drafted by MLB teams and defending Big South champions. In 2007, former head coach for the Flames Matt Royer resigned. He coached for five years and took the team to the Big

South Championship in 2006. Athletic Director Jeff Barber began the search for Royer’s replacement in his first year as athletic director. Barber held a position involved with athletics at the University of South Carolina and while he was there, he remembered meeting a man named Jim Toman. “I worked with him at the University of South Carolina,” Barber said. “I knew Jim. I knew his reputation. He’s always been a great recruiter. I really trusted him and I trusted a lot of other coaches that knew him. ... A lot of people recommended him to me and said they thought he would do a great job here. And he’s done that.” Barber also said Toman is known for his phenomenal recruiting, which was another factor he took into consideration when he hired Toman. Toman had many years of coaching experience before he joined the team, as he coached for North Carolina State University and the University of South Carolina for more than 20 years. He said he was not looking for a head coaching job while he

courtney russo

| Liberty Champion

IN WITH THE NEW — The Flames battle on the new Liberty Baseball Stadium.


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was with the Gamecocks, but something about Liberty was very appealing to him. “(Barber) called and said he had an opening,” Toman said. “(My family and I) came up here and prayed about it and thought this would be an awesome place to raise a family.” All that Liberty had to offer, including a Christian environment, inspired Toman to come to Lynchburg. He had three kids who were not in their teens yet and wanted them to be in a school like Liberty Christian Academy, which is where they currently attend. But he was also drawn to the baseball program and the possibilities that came with it, as they were coming off a loss in the Big South championship game. He said the program was in a good state, but it, along with the facilities, needed some improvement. To make the changes, Toman did what Barber said Toman does best. He recruited. “It starts with finding good players in recruiting,” Toman said. “The better players you get, the better chance you have to win.” One minor recruiting setback the baseball program had to deal with was the very thing that brought Toman to Liberty — its Christian rules and environment. Both Toman and Barber explained that certain athletes do not want to go to a school with the rules that Liberty puts in place. “Most kids (do not) want to go to colleges that have these rules,” Barber said. “… It does affect (recruiting). Our recruiting pool is smaller, and it’s not just (smaller) for recruits. For our coaching pool, where we hire coaches is smaller because not everyone wants to come to a Christian University.” Despite potential setbacks, Liberty was able to bring in enough talent, including the 2013 class that described as the “deepest and most balanced” in Toman’s tenure, to win. He credits some of the recruiting success to the new baseball stadium, which opened last year. The investment has been used as a recruiting tool and has worked well, according to Toman. “We feel like we’ve got a lot to offer,”

ruth bibby

| Liberty Champion

LOADED — The Flames have produced more than 60 MLB draft picks. Toman said. “Now, with the new facility, the Christian environment and good academics, we’ve got a good package to offer now.” Each year since Toman’s arrival, the Flames have had a winning record and contended for the title, which is what Barber was looking for when he made the managerial change. The Flames are currently 35-10 and have beaten teams such as Duke University and Clemson University, which is currently the No. 20 team in the nation. They lead in multiple statistical categories in the Big South Conference, and the team is currently the No. 22 team in the nation. They are also currently the No. 1 team in the conference, and the team looks to defend its title in the Big South Championship tournament May 20-24 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. HAYWOOD is an asst. sports editor.

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APRIL 29, 2014


Liberty Champion/B5

Playoff time The NBA Playoffs are firing on all cylinders Alex Tichenor

It is the most wonderful time of the year. Wait, it is not Christmas, is it? No. Thanksgiving? Nope. Summer vacation? Nah. Hanukkah? Come on, now. What is it, then? NBA Playoffs time, duh. There is nothing better than two months of the highest quality of basketball on earth, not chocolate chip cookies, not free iPhones, not puppies, not even all of that stuff combined. We are not even through the first round and there have been seven overtime games (and counting). The Oklahoma City-Memphis series saw three overtime games through its first four games. I will take that over some cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie. College basketball junkies love to whine about the NBA and laud the college game over the pro game, saying, “They do not play defense in the NBA! They do not play hard! All they do is flop! They do not care that much!” Even though none of that is very true in the regular season, there is absolutely no speck of truth in it during the playoffs. Playoff basketball is a different species from regular season basketball. The ball is the same. The players are the same, for the most part, as 16 of the 30 teams make the postseason. The rules are the same. But it’s still not the same, as counterintuitive as that sounds. They do not play defense? Go turn on Memphis and watch the Grizzlies shut down two of the most talented scorers in the world, Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. They do not play hard? Is that why 14 of the first 26 games were decided by five points or less? The NCAA Tournament had 10 games decided by five or less during the first 32 games, by the way. All they do is flop? How about when Josh McRoberts decked LeBron James with a forearm and got to stay in the game — was there any flop there? Nene Hilario grabbed Jimmy Butler around the head, with presumable anger in his heart, and Butler stood there with no fear in his eyes. Where was the flop? They do not care that much? Just ignore that many of the top college players only play college ball as a pit stop to get to the NBA. Most normal people get mad when they lose a game of checkers. Imagine losing a best-of-seven playoff series while the whole world is watching. NBA players make tons of money, but they care about winning more than anything else. None of this is to say college basketball is a pile of hot garbage. I am from North Carolina. College basketball runs through my blood as much as sweet tea and oxygen do. But it is not a better basketball product than the NBA, especially come playoff time. The first round has already been basketball nirvana, what are the later rounds going to be like? We could be in store for an even better NBA Finals than last season, somehow. There is nothing I am prepared to rule out. The alien clan from which LeBron James hails may abduct him mid-game of the Western Conference Finals, and I would not be surprised. In fact, I am almost expecting it. So put down your chocolate chip cookies, iPhones and puppies and watch the NBA Playoffs, and enjoy the best time of the year without distraction. TICHENOR is a sports editor.

google images

CROSS COUNTRY — Big man James Johnson will wear a new uniform next year after playing this past season at San Diego State.

New-look Flames to debut in fall Eight new players are set to join the program for the 2014-2015 basketball season Nate Haywood

The Liberty Flames men’s basketball team is coming off of its third straight season with a losing record. Head Coach Dale Layer said goodbye to five graduating seniors and two transferring students at the end of the 2013-14 season. Three of the five graduates led the team in points, rebounds and assists. The Flames also lost each center and starting guard on the roster. Layer is bringing in eight newcomers that he believes will provide “length, athleticism (and) scoring ability.” Ezra Talbert (Olathe, Kan., 6-feet-8-inches, 190 pounds): Talbert is a former Creighton University commit that Liberty had been watching since his freshman and sophomore seasons of high school, according to Layer. Layer said this forward from Kansas is a “terrifically skilled front-court player.” Talbert averaged 14 points and six rebounds per game during his junior and senior seasons and shot 36 percent from the threepoint line for his career. Evan Maxwell (Clarks Summit, Pa., 6-feet-10-inches, 240 pounds): Maxwell is one of two centers on the Flames new roster. Liberty lost four different

centers and power forwards that needed to be replaced. Layer said Maxwell has a “Big Ten (Conference) body” due to his size. He also believes Maxwell will be able to provide offense inside for his team. James Johnson (San Diego, Calif., 6-feet-10-inches, 235 pounds): Johnson was a highly anticipated acquisition, according to Layer. The junior transferred from the University of Virginia to San Diego State University and spent his sophomore and junior seasons there. According to, he was ranked as the No. 8 center in the 2010 recruiting class. Layer said Johnson is a very experienced, good and skilled player and believes that Johnson’s experience will aid Maxwell in his development. Braxton Bonds (Nashville, Tenn., 6-feet-1-inch, 170 pounds): Layer said Bonds is a true point guard and is one of the more unselfish players he has noticed during this year’s recruiting process. He said that Bonds can score well and also makes everyone on the court better. The guard from Christ Presbyterian Academy, the second-ranked high school team in Tennessee according to, turned down offers from schools such as Louisiana

State University and Radford University to attend Liberty. A.C. Reid (Spring Branch, Texas, 6-feet-5-inches, 190 pounds): Reid averaged 12.4 points per game and four rebounds per game during his four years at Smithson Valley High School. He averaged 33 percent from the three-point line and shot 48 percent during his junior season. Reid is one of three guards Layer is bringing in to replace John Caleb Sanders and Davon Marshall, who were two of Liberty’s top four scorers. Layer said Reid is very athletic and is a prolific scorer. He turned down offers from four different schools in his native state of Texas to play for the Flames. Stavian Allen (Raleigh, N.C., 6-feet-8-inches, 195 pounds): Liberty was the first team to offer Allen a scholarship and the second to commit to this class. During his junior year in high school, he attended Word of God High School in Raleigh, N.C., which produced NBA point guard and all-star, John Wall. describes Allen as a “versatile athlete who excels in the open floor. He is a deadly shooter off the dribble and is an extremely fluid athlete.” Layer said his athleticism will help Liberty’s

backcourt. David Andoh (Montreal, Quebec, 6-feet-7-inches, 200 pounds): Andoh was recruited by San Jose State but transferred to Wagner University and did not play. Due to “unspecified family concerns,” he left Wagner and played the 2013-14 season at Merritt College, a junior college in California where he averaged 13.9 points per game and eight rebounds per game. Peter Moeller (Vaerlose, Denmark, 6-feet-3-inches, 180 pounds): Moller is the second point guard in this upcoming class. The Danish guard has played in more than 50 games overseas in the last two seasons and Layer believes that his maturity and experience will be very valuable to this team. Layer said he is excited about this incoming class and is looking forward to watching how well it will gel with the current players. He said this class is “mature, and they have a good sense of who they are.” Layer also intends to add one more player to this “versatile, athletic, long” group. HAYWOOD is an asst. sports editor.

Tourney awaits Lady Flames Lacrosse drops final two home games of the season, begins tournament at Davidson Robert Seagears

Liberty’s women’s lacrosse team (2-15, 1-6 Big South) dropped its fourth straight game April 25 in a 19-14 loss to Winthop (7-10, 3-4 Big South). Liberty came out with a lot of energy and controlled the ball and pace of the game out of the gate. The Lady Flames got on the board first with a goal from sophomore Kallie Britton and took a 2-1 lead a few minutes later with a Courtney Brown score. “We just wanted to win,” Britton said. “We have been getting better and better each game, and we just wanted to prove to everyone that we could win,” The game was close through the first 15 minutes, but the Lady Flames never reclaimed the lead after the Eagles tied the game at 2. After a solid defensive start, Liberty’s defense broke down in the final 11 minutes of the first half, allowing Winthrop to score seven more times before the halftime horn. The Lady Flames scored twice right before the half but still trailed 10-6 at the break. Sam Struss, the Lady Flames leading goal scorer, came to life

in the second half. She netted a goal less than two minutes into the second half and finished the day with a team-leading four goals. Teammate Morgan Becker tallied four goals as well. Becker’s third goal brought the Lady Flames within two goals of the lead, but that was the closest the score got in the second half. “They have to be proud of themselves,” Nangle said. “We have made a lot of improvements from the last game to this game, and I am happy with how they played. They have played hard. They left it all on the field, and they didn’t give up.” “We have worked on draws so much over the past couple of days, because possession has always been key for us,” Becker said. “If we get the ball off the draw and hold on to it, we can score all day from there.” The Lady Flames will be the No. 7 seed in the Big South Tournament, taking the field against No. 2 seed Davidson April 30 in Davidson, N.C. SEAGEARS is a sports reporter. Leah Stauffer | Liberty Champion

GET A TABLE — Kelly Garrett had one assist against Winthrop.


B6/Liberty Champion

APRIL 29, 2014

Once a Cardinal, now a Flame

Flames second baseman Ryan Seiz has experienced an unlikely journey from the University of Louisville to Liberty Emily Brown

With the 2013 conference championship on the line, there was no place Flames second baseman Ryan Seiz would rather have been at the plate with a bat in hand. But as the underdog and fifth-seeded Liberty baseball team found itself in a tied game with the No.1 Campbell Camels in the bottom of the eighth inning, he could only watch. NCAA rules prevented him from playing for a year after he transferred from the University of Louisville. For a year, Seiz stood just off the field, confined to the dugout or the bullpen as he played the role of bullpen catcher. During his freshman season with the Cardinals, Seiz had a major offensive slump at the end of the year, which resulted in his coaches telling him to bat only right-handed rather than switch hitting as he had been. But instead of improving his hitting, the change had the opposite effect, according to Seiz. He only hit .125 his sophomore year. “It was actually pretty much a nightmare, because I couldn’t identify pitches the same way that I did before,” Seiz said. “I almost felt like a piece of my identity was taken away from me, because I had been switch hitting my whole life.” After a sophomore campaign that only included 30 appearances in the Cardinals’ 61 games, Seiz decided it was time for a change of scenery. “Stuff was just not going well, and I needed to get out of that situation,” he said. According to Seiz, he considered a couple of schools before his younger sister convinced him to follow her to Liberty, a team that heavily recruited him out of high school. According to Flames Head Coach Jim Toman, Seiz’s father paid a visit to Toman during his daughter’s college visit to talk about the possibility of Seiz transferring to play baseball at a different school.

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

BACK HOME — Seiz scores again.

TRAIN continued from B1 per cent of the football team, for example, will remain close by campus this year. “They’ll be taking class or working, so workouts usually go one of two ways,” Porter explained. “They either go (train) early in the morning and then go to class or work and comeback in the after-

Courtney Russo | Liberty Champion

HATS OFF — Ryan Seiz (32) is leading the Flames in virtually every hitting category after sitting out last season. “(Ryan and his dad) stopped by when he got his release from Louisville,” Toman said. “… He just showed up in the office one day and I said, ‘Heck, I remember you in camp.’ … A couple days later, he called and said, ‘I’m coming.’” According to Seiz, all he needed was a shot from Toman. “That’s all we really asked for, and it seems to be paying off,” Seiz said. However, for all the confidence Toman showed in his new athlete, Seiz said he was extremely hesitant to make the change from a secular school to a Christian one, as he had just “found God” the summer before transferring. “Coming here was a huge leap of faith for me,” he said. “All the partying and things that I did at Louisville, I was so used to that, and this was out of my comfort zone.” Despite his hesitancy, though, Seiz said he settled right in at Liberty even though he was unable to play for a year. “(My teammates) were just so supportive of me and really building me up,” he said. “… They knew how hard it was for me not to be out on the field, and they just supported me a lot.” As a player, though, all the encouragement from his teammates did nothing to allay his desire to get on the field, he said. “It was just torture having to watch them go out and play,” Seiz said. Although he wanted nothing more than to step up to the plate for the Flames, Seiz explained that the year off was a good experience. “I was such a selfish person before I came here, and I wasn’t good with the

noon, or they’ll just go to class or work in the morning and then come work out in the afternoon or evening.” Additionally, for Porter and the sports medicine staff, much of the work put in over summer involves those athletes with and rehabilitating from injuries. Lining up postseason surgeries and physical therapy plans are priorities — a job made easier if the athlete is nearby throughout the

summer. “If you have a student athlete that’s suffered an ACL injury, for example and they’re headed home, that’s trickier for us because it’s long-distance care at that point,” Porter said. “If they’re going home, we set up physical therapy and rehab stuff … with a clinic close to them according to the ACL protocol our doctors here suggest.” While fully healthy ath-

Sitting out, I think, was good, even though I hated every moment of it. ... I’ve been able to go out there (now) and relax and play. — RYAN SEIZ

Lord,” he said. “… That year just really humbled me and made me focus on the team instead of myself.” Despite the challenges the 2013 season brought, Seiz said the year was necessary and beneficial. “(S)itting out, I think, was good, even though I hated every moment of it,” he said. “… As much as I wanted to play last year, I don’t think I was ready to play yet. I was so frustrated with what happened at Louisville. … I really needed to grow spiritually, I felt like, and God has really just calmed my heart. I’ve been able to go out there (now) and relax and play.” In his first season on the field with the Flames, that relaxation has translated into offense for Seiz. The junior switch hitter currently leads the Big South with 11 home runs. He is also hitting .392 and has 47 runs and 38 RBIs on 69 hits. In conference play, he leads the league with a .438 average, along with sitting atop the Big South in hits, home runs, runs, doubles, total bases, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. Although the numbers are impressive, Seiz is only concerned about performing consistently for the Flames. “I’m just trying to help out our team in letes opting to go home won’t have coaches making arrangements for their routine workouts and eating habits, they are armed with training plans from their respective strength and conditioning coaches, a nutrition plan suggested by Barber according to their body composition goals and a

any way I can,” he said. “… I just wanna make sure I’m hitting the ball constantly (and) hard. That’s pretty much the one thing I’m trying to do. … All I’m really trying to do is trying to get wins for our ball club. … As long as we win, we’re happy.” Now, nearly a year after the Flames beat the Campbell Camels with a go-ahead, RBI single in the bottom of the eighth for the 2013 Big South Conference Championship, Seiz hopes to contribute for a second straight title, and he believes his team has a pretty good chance at the repeat. “All of us feel like this is a special team, just because of the chemistry and how well we’ve been playing together and how many great ball players we have on the team,” Seiz said. “When you combine our pitching and hitting, when both are on, we just feel like we can’t be beaten at times.” But this time, instead of hoping from the dugout that his team’s chemistry and talent produces a conference championship, he will be on the field trying to help make it happen. BROWN is the editor-in-chief.

healthy amount of selfdiscipline. Summer break simply isn’t much of a break at all. Come fall, when the campus comes back to life and sports start back up again, Flames fans may be tempted to think student athletes’ lives are all bright lights and glory. The staff involved in supporting

their hard offseason work, though, beg to differ. “Come spend a day in their Nikes,” Porter said, smiling. “There’s an awful lot of work that goes into it.” RUSH is a sports reporter.

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APRIL 29, 2014

Liberty Champion/B7

Athletes display academic strength Rigorous studies and high GPAs prove that Liberty athletes are successful on more than just the court and field Emily Brown

Practice, classes, study, condition, repeat. This is the typical schedule for Liberty University’s student athletes. While Liberty University’s athletic teams’ success can clearly be seen on the field and court, with the Flames and Lady Flames bringing home four conference titles in the most recently completed season, the players are also triumphing in their respective academic fields. Although most NCAA athletes are recognized first based on the wins, losses, plays and statistics, Liberty, through Academic Affairs for Athletics, also pays close attention to how the student athletes fare in the classroom. According to Associate Director for Academics Matt Anthony, his department is committed to ensuring the success of Liberty’s 600 NCAA student athletes in the classroom. The department provides academic tutoring, mentoring and advising services, among other things. “Our program assists student athletes in finding and maintaining a balance between the demands of athletics and academics while preparing them as socially responsible individuals for life after athletics,” Senior Associate Athletics Director for Academic Affairs Kristie Beitz said on the department’s website. Liberty’s Academic Affairs for Athletics is one of only approximately 20 departments in the country to be accredited by the National Association of Academic Advisors for Athletics (N4A), Anthony said, and all eight full-time staff members are individually certified by the N4A. According to Anthony,

Hannah Lipscomb | Liberty Champion

BRAINS AND BRAWN — Student athletes receive private tutoring. the fully accredited status was awarded in April of 2011, and Liberty was the 13th school to be awarded certification at the time. Additionally, the Liberty department was the first school in the Football Championship Subdivision to receive the certification. Anthony explained the support role Academic Affairs for Athletics takes and said the entire staff is committed to producing academically strong players. “Outside of the coaching staff and their teammates, our staff is probably who the student athletes see most on campus,” Anthony said. “… We’re very passionate about what we do. We

love meeting with the students. We love seeing them succeed.” According to Anthony, in addition to the hours student athletes put in at practices and in competition, all 600 Liberty student athletes are required by the NCAA to take a course load of at least 12 credit hours and must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA — a standard that Liberty athletes easily exceed. According to Liberty’s athletics website,, in the fall 2013 season, Liberty’s 600 student athletes posted a combined 3.04 GPA. All 11 of the women’s programs had a team GPA of 3.0 or higher dur-

ing the season, including field hockey, which finished with a 3.5 GPA, according to Anthony. Additionally, five of Liberty’s nine male squads hit the 3.0 team GPA mark during the fall. While a number of athletes are named to the Big South Conference Presidential Honor Roll based on their GPAs, several Liberty athletes, such as track and field redshirt sophomore David Scouten and volleyball senior Becca Haraf, have been awarded higher honors for their excellence in the classroom, as well. Scouten, who is double majoring in criminal justice and accounting, recognized the importance of doing well in school while he is an athlete. “This is a means to an end,” Scouten said. “This is a way to get an education and just to help ourselves out down the road.” Scouten was named to the Big South Conference All-Academic Teamin the 2013-2014 indoor season. In addition to his top performances during the season, Scouten has managed to maintain a 3.96 GPA and is in the honors program. “God’s blessed me with a lot of abilities, and so, in order for me to use those right way, I have to put effort into that and just work as hard as I can to develop those skills and those attributes and work hard in the classroom and on the track,” he said. Scouten explained that trying to balance practicing for more than three hours a day on noncompetition days and competing in meets nearly every weekend can be somewhat overwhelming. “(I) just (do) a lot of planning,” Scouten said. “My roommate, he makes fun of me sometimes, (because) I’ll plan out my whole semester and every single week.

… Staying organized helps me stay on top of things. Last semester, when I took 18 credit hours, there wasn’t a moment where I wasn’t doing something.” After completing her final season with the Lady Flames volleyball team, senior Becca Haraf, a biology/pre-med major, was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I Volleyball second team. Haraf became the 19th Liberty athlete to earn the title of Academic AllAmerican and was one of only 19 student athletes across the country to make the Academic AllAmerican team from the sport. In her four years at Liberty, Haraf held a 4.0 GPA and is now headed for medical school at the University of Toledo. The defensive specialist explained that while her schedule was packed and schoolwork was difficult at times, she remained dedicated to doing well in school. “I came home, came back from practice, came back from classes and had to study,” Haraf said. “I get up the next day. Go to weights. Go to class. Go to practice. Come back, and I had to study.” According to Haraf, she believes the support that Liberty staff offers its student athletes is instrumental in helping them to succeed academically. Haraf held a 4.0 GPA and is now headed for medical school at the University of Toledo. The defensive specialist explained that while her schedule was packed and schoolwork was difficult at times, she remained dedicated to doing well in school. BROWN is the editor-in-chief.


How Much of Your Money Should You Invest in the Stock Market? John Hall, MontVue Capital Management This is one of the most common questions that financial advisors get asked. Of course, the answer varies widely depending on who you ask. I like to turn the tables and ask questions of my own:

1. How long will it be before you use the money? 2. How well can you sleep at night if you see your account value go down? The answer to both of these questions is important. First off, if you’re going to use your saved money in the next five years, then it may be best not to have it invested in the stock market. Historically, over time, the market has gone up. For most five year periods in this country that has been the case. It has not been the case for as many one, two, or three year periods. Short-term volatility in the stock market should be taken into consideration when you know you will have uses for your cash in the next few years. If you’re not going to need the money for a number of years, then this shortterm volatility shouldn’t be a concern. Generally speaking, the longer you have your money invested, the more aggressive (higher percentage of stock market exposure) you can afford to be. The second question is a simple way of getting to the heart of what we call your “risk appetite.” If you’re the type of person that sees the market down 100 points in a day and wants to rush to the computer and sell all of your stocks, then I would suggest you shouldn’t have as much money in the stock market as someone not bothered by the day-to-day fluctuations. Or, as our clients do, you should hire a professional money manager to do the worrying for you. Just as your investment return is important, so too is your mental health. If you can’t afford the anxiety, then perhaps you need to go a safer route.

John Hall is a Portfolio Manager at MontVue Capital Management, a private, independent, fee-only wealth management and financial planning firm located in Lynchburg, Virginia.

All investments are subject to risk and every circumstance is different. We always recommend seeking personalized advice about your unique financial situation.


B8/Liberty Champion

Serving through football Award recognizes student’s high achievements in Christian/Community service Olivia Brown

Every year, Liberty University Christian/Community Service (CSER) student volunteers have the opportunity to be honored for their work through the Christian Community Service Volunteer of the Year Award. This year, Liberty senior Samuel Morrison was the recipient of the award. “It took me by surprise,” Morrison said about receiving the award. “The first thing I (felt) was humbled, because I’m sure there are many people that worked more hours than me, you know, (and) did better things and had more of an impact. So I was just humbled that I even won something that only one student wins at the school.” According to Morrison, he found out he had received the award through a phone call Monday, April 14. He was asked to attend Convocation on Friday in order to be presented with the award in front of the whole student body. Morrison admitted that before he received the phone call, he did not know anything about the award. “After I won (the award), I went online and looked at the CSER website (to read about the award),” Morrison said. “I read a little bit about (the award) and past winners (as well).” According to the CSER website, the Volunteer of the Year Award is presented annually to a student, nominated by his or her supervisor, who demonstrates excellence in Christian service and ministry. Morrison volunteers at E.C. Glass as the defensive coordinator for the freshman football team. His duties include filming varsity games, uploading them

leah stauffer

| Liberty Champion

HONOR — Senior Samuel Morrison received the CSER Volunteer of the Year Award. to an online scouting program, meeting with players two to three times a week during the offseason, attending coaches’ clinics around the state and supervising the student athletes at the library for study hall. According to his CSER supervisor Tim Peterson, Morrison volunteered more than 300 hours each fall semester and 125 hours each spring semester since he started in the fall of 2012 for a total of more than 850 CSER hours. “While fulfilling these duties, he was always willing to listen, learn and make himself and those around him better,” Peterson wrote in his nomination of Morrison. “I witnessed firsthand his exponential growth over the last two years. He was a role model for the younger players, as they were always aware of his hard work, dedication and leadership. Sam

never wore his Christianity on his sleeve, which would be hard to do in a public school system these days, but they were always evident in his actions, attitude and personality. Sam was always more than eager to share his religious beliefs when players, students or coaches asked him.” In high school, Morrison played football as a center, but when he graduated, he decided he was finished with football and began focusing more on his schoolwork. However, after his freshman year at Liberty, Morrison said he decided to volunteer as the assistant quarterbacks’ coach in 2012 because he missed playing football so much. This decision eventually helped Morrison discover the career path he wanted to take. “As time (has gone) on, I’ve noticed that I really enjoy being

around the kids every day and (it is) just an (incredible) opportunity to get to hang out with them,” Morrison said. “I realized that, eventually, I want to be a teacher and a football coach.” Peterson said Morrison has left a lasting impact on the high school students he came in contact with during his CSER. “Sam is an intelligent, motivated and Christ-driven young man,” Peterson wrote. “When you couple those traits with the quality education and reinforced Christian morals he has received at LU, the sky is the limit. I don’t know when, where or how he will impact the next generation in the future, but I definitely know he has impacted many inner-city student athletes at E.C. Glass High School.” BROWN is a copy editor.

APRIL 29, 2014 SERVICE continued from B12 minutes and gave God the glory for all that was accomplished. “It is not me,” Wallace Turnbull said to those in attendance. “It is the Lord, through the wonderful Haitian people. You are in my heart.” In addition to their work in Haiti, Wallace Turnbull and his wife are also involved with the Liberty University community. The late Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. visited them when he was 20 years old, and later, their son David attended Liberty. David Turnbull died shortly after graduation, and dorm 19 was named in his honor. Wallace Turnbull and his wife currently reside in Lynchburg, where they stay for a portion of the year to assist Haitian students attending Liberty. Each year, up to two Haitian students are offered scholarships through Liberty and the Turnbull family foundation to cover the cost of classes, room and board. According to Wallace Turnbull, churches in Haiti choose students they believe will become leaders in their country to receive scholarships. The Turnbulls assist with other costs and help the students feel welcome while they attend Liberty. “We keep contact here and seek to help them to feel embraced,” Wallace Turnbull said. After graduating, these students will return to Haiti and use the skills and knowledge they learned to help people in their home country. Wallace Turnbull said he supports Liberty’s emphasis on Christian living and outreach and prays for students daily. “I pray every day that the Lord will bless all of you at Liberty University, keep the school united … and fill the young folks from (numerous) countries with good things to take home,” Wallace Turnbull said. When given the opportunity to share his story with young people, Wallace Turnbull said he emphasizes the importance of surrendering to God and following his plan. “Give your mind and your heart to the Lord Jesus, and when an idea of something to do comes, it’ll be his idea,” Wallace Turnbull said. “We live a short time, and he has a wonderful road planned for us if we give ourselves to him.” DEWITT is a feature reporter.

Senior picnic offers a joyful goodbye Student Activities hosts a final fun-filled weekend for graduates before they receive their diplomas

Lauren Glossner

Student Activities (SA) will be hosting the seventh annual Senior Picnic at Camp Hydaway at 4 p.m. May 3. According to SA’s website, there will be prizes, games, dinner and free shirts at the senior picnic. The event is only for undergraduate, residential seniors. The website also states that students will obtain more details closer to the event.

According to Stephanie Ward, SA associate director who is helping to head up the event, 1,000-1,500 seniors normally attend, and SA expects around that many this year. “The picnic is a great bonding event for seniors,” Ward said. “It’s just an awesome time to hang out with your friends and other soon-to-be graduates for one of their last weekends here in Lynchburg.” The food will be traditional cookout food. Hot

dogs, hamburgers, pulled barbecue chicken, side dishes, dessert and drinks will be available. According to Ward, there will be several activities for students to participate in at the picnic. Carnival games, canoes and kayaks, mountain bikes, the Challenge Course, contests, inflatables and other Hydaway attractions will be options for students. “I am planning on attending,” senior Becca McDonald said. “I’m very

excited to go. I’ve looked forward to the picnic since the beginning of the school year. It’s a little bit surreal that it’s my turn to go as a graduating senior, but it’s very exciting, and I’m sure it’ll be a great day. It’s definitely a really great feeling to be able to go after working so hard to graduate these past four years.” Senior Jessica Jordan is also looking forward to the picnic. “I personally cannot wait until the senior pic-

nic is here, and I think it is great that the Falwells take an opportunity to celebrate seniors this way,” Jordan said. “I have worked hard for my degree, and the senior picnic is an acknowledgement of not only my success, but my classmates’ success (as well). I can’t wait to go and just have a good time winding down with fellow seniors after all our hard work.” According to the SA website, seniors should park at Green Hall and

take a bus to Camp Hydaway, as there will be no parking available there. Buses will run regularly between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. from the Tilley Student Center/Tower Theater side of Green Hall.

GLOSSNER is a feature reporter.


APRIL 29, 2014

Liberty Champion/B9

Wright shares tips and advice Students attend a two-day journalism workshop and receive insight from alumna and industry professional Shelanne Jennings

Digital Media and Creative Arts (DMCA) students gathered April 17 and 18 for the two-day journalism workshop featuring Pittsburgh’s WTAE morning news anchor and Liberty alumna Michelle Wright. The conference, which is the first of its kind for the department, drew 50 students studying print and broadcast journalism, as well as public relations and advertising majors. Wright spoke in multiple workshops each day, sharing stories of successes, failures and life lessons. This event concluded the celebration of the Liberty Champion’s 30th anniversary. Thursday afternoon, Wright met with students in groups of two, giving individualized feedback on projects they had submitted to her for review. “This was the highlight of the event for many of the students,” Deborah Huff, associate professor of DMCA, said. “They had completed a video package for a classroom assignment, and they were submitted for Wright to critique. Not only did she bring her own comments to the session, but she had 10 other professional broadcasters give feedback as well.” Wright turned the assignment into a competition and awarded trophies to the winning team. Sophia Hahn and Mark Tait won this competition. “I thought I had done a good job, but I didn’t expect to win the award,”

Hahn said. “There are a lot of really talented people we were up against, so I was ecstatic when I found out Mark and I won.” In addition, Wright challenged the students in their writing abilities, offering an award to the student who could develop clear, well-written news copy from a list of information she provided. Senior Sam Campbell won the award for this contest. “It was an honor to win the writing assignment award,” Campbell said. “I didn’t expect it at all. Having Mrs. Wright choose my story showed me that maybe I do have the talent to succeed in this crazy media business after all.” Hahn, Tait and Campbell walked away from the competition with $50 gift cards to Panera Bread, as well as validation from a leader in the news industry. Huff said she appreciated the Center for Teaching Excellence for sponsoring the workshop through the Illuminate Grant. “Sharon Wheeler encouraged us to apply for the grant,” Huff said. “It turned into a valuable investment for our students.”

JENNINGS is a graduate assistant.

leah stauffer

| Liberty Champion

ENCOURAGE — Michelle Wright shared wisdom and personal experiences with students.

YouTube sensation leaves channel

Ian Deibert and Nick Sjolinder walk away from Misterepicmann in order to pursue more serious video material Sophia Hahn

“Nick (Sjolinder) is more likely to be recognized than I am because he always looks the same,” Liberty University alumnus Ian Deibert said. “He always has that face and some kind of beard. I pretty much never look the same.” As Liberty senior Sjolinder walked to the Jerry Falwell Library he saw a friend talking with someone he thought was a stranger and decided to stop and say hello. “I saw my (old) roommate and turned to (Deibert) and was like, ‘Hi, nice to met you,’” Sjolinder said. “He was wearing a hat and glasses, and I didn’t know it was him.” Deibert, who has known Sjolinder since freshman year, explained that he went along with it at the beginning because he thought Sjolinder was kidding. “Then he was rolling on the ground (in laughter),” Deibert said. Although Deibert and Sjolinder might not always recognize each other, many YouTube fans knew this duo as Misterepicmann, the makers of the hit video “How Animals Eat Their Food,” which was ranked

Photo provided

FILM — Deibert and Sjolinder say goodbye to the comedic videos that made them famous. as the third-most-viewed video on YouTube of 2013. However, at the end of March, Sjolinder posted a tweet and Facebook status saying they had left the channel. “To Misterepicmann followers: Ian and I left the channel last week,” Sjolinder wrote. “It was a tough decision, but keep on the lookout for new projects!” Since there was no official announcement, fans were wondering why they were no longer on the channel, according to

Deibert, but the videographers knew they were making the right choice. “For me, it felt like a peaceful decision, because I knew my motives of why I wanted to stay in and why I left,” Sjolinder said. Sjolinder also explained that leaving the channel meant he and Ian would no longer be able to use any of the characters or situations they had created for Misterepicmann. “I feel like I am ready to move beyond that level of simplicity,

• • • • •

and I can totally work around not using those characters,” Sjolinder said. “I am kind of excited, too. All of those (videos) are impulsive, and now we can write things out and make it more long-term watchable.” Deibert and Sjolinder are now putting their focus into a new project that will be released sometime during the summer. They described their new project, titled “The Men Who do Nothing,” as a more serious endeavor instead of a compilation

of crazy actions. “It will be a different universe where things are just not right, so it will have a bizarre feeling,” Deibert said. “Things will happen, but it will just be accepted like normal. So there will be serious moments, but they are not serious to normal people, if that makes any sense.” According to Sjolinder, he is in full writing mode right now and tries to draw from whatever pops into his head for “The Men Who do Nothing.” “I really make a point to draw from nothing, almost,” Sjolinder said. “Since it is going to be three main characters, I am trying to create a world where people can become attached to them and know what to expect from them, kind of like any show. Eventually, you are just watching because you like the characters so much.” Deibert and Sjolinder, who have considered trying to host a cat film festival at Liberty, are unsure of what their long-term futures hold but are excited for the prospect of this new project. “It is another creative outlet, and we hope for it to be successful,” Sjolinder said.

HAHN is a news editor.

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B10/Liberty Champion


APRIL 29, 2014

courtney russo

FUN — The spring 2014 semester was filled with exciting concerts, sporting events and a variety of inspiring special guest speakers for students to enjoy.

| Liberty Champion


APRIL 29, 2014

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you ... — PHARRELL WILLIAMS

Liberty Champion/B11



APRIL 29, 2014

Save your sneakers

Enactus club encourages students to donate shoes

Jeremy Beale

courtney russo

| Liberty Champion

SUPPORT — Participants walk the Osborne Stadium track over the weekend to raise money for cancer research.

Community fights cancer Liberty students and Lynchburg locals help save lives at the Relay for Life event Elizabeth Brownd

Osborne Stadium was filled with people April 25 as Liberty students and members of the Lynchburg community gathered to participate in the Relay for Life event. The all-night relay honored cancer survivors and helped to raise more than $15,000 for cancer research. Registration opened at 6 p.m., and a few participants set up tents, while others had lawn chairs and sleeping bags in preparation for the all-night event. While they waited for the opening ceremony to begin, students passed the time by playing games in the grass. Rain fell for most of the day, but the sun finally came out two hours before the event and the grass became dry again. Students tossed footballs, threw Frisbees, played cornhole and even set up a small game of badminton. The relay’s opening ceremony began shortly after 6:30 p.m. The U.S. Air Force ROTC posted the colors and the national anthem was sung as the crowd stood at rapt attention. Afterward, Blair Wade, the American Cancer Society partner, welcomed the participants and thanked them for all their hard work raising money. The relay officially began shortly after as cancer survivors wearing white

sashes took the first lap around the track. The crowd clapped and cheered loudly. Some of the students even ran around the inside of the track beside the survivors and cheered for them. “We’re here to celebrate our survivors,” Matt Shinsky, the survivor and caregiver chair on the Liberty Relay for Life committee, said. “You guys are what is awesome about what we’re doing, because you’re showing that cancer research is doing something. So we’re here to celebrate you.” The second lap was taken by caregivers, who were wearing purple sashes. From then on, the rest of the participants were free to walk the track. The relay consisted of 181 total participants divided into 28 teams. According to the rules on the Relay for Life website, one member from each team needed to be on the track at all times. Participants walked in groups, talking and laughing. One group of young men threw a baseball back and forth as they walked. Those not on the track stayed in the middle field playing games and enjoying the opportunity to be outdoors. A local band played live music for part of the evening, performing inspirational songs such as “My Own Little World” by Matthew West and “God’s Not Dead” by Newsboys. Even Liberty’s own D-Trex Dance Crew had a

group at the relay, and they walked the track until they performed for participants at 8 p.m. Josh Isaacson, a recent Liberty graduate, was one of the survivors present at the event. He was diagnosed with brain cancer at age 6 but successfully won the battle fifteen years ago. “The American Cancer Society is one of the reasons that there are so many survivors who can walk and participate in this event,” Isaacson said. The Luminaria Ceremony occurred shortly after dark. According to the Relay for Life website, Luminaria are paper bags personalized with names, pictures and drawings of friends and loved ones affected by cancer. Candles are lit inside of the bags as a silent tribute. The Luminaria bags at the Liberty relay had been arranged in the stands to spell out the word “hope.” All non-registered persons were asked to leave the track at 11:30 p.m., but the registered teams continued to walk the track until 6 a.m. For more information on upcoming events, visit the “Relay For Life of Liberty University” Facebook page or go to to donate to the American Cancer Society.

BROWND is a copy editor.

As another semester comes to a close, Liberty University’s School of Business club Enactus has partnered with the nonprofit organization Shoe Good to provide students with one last opportunity to impact the world this semester. With summer break quickly approaching, Enactus is hoping that students will be willing to donate their old or unwanted shoes. “Shoe Good is a nonprofit organization that distributes donated shoes to impoverished and often times disaster stricken communities around the world,” School of Business student Jessica Hippe said. Hoping to get students involved with Shoe Good’s mission, Enactus members have covered the walls of the campus with flyers, spreading the mission of Enactus and Shoe Good. Enactus is asking that students join their cause to provide shoes for people who might not be able to afford them. According to Hippe, recycling unused shoes can reduce the carbon footprint and prevent excessive waste to the community. “Enactus would be delighted if anyone would be willing to donate your lightly used tennis shoes to our drive,” George Young, faculty advisor of Enactus and associate professor of the School of Business, said. “For the average American family, this might just be cleaning out the closet, but for the recipient of this desperately needed footwear, your donation is a true blessing.” Enactus and Shoe Good have placed bins all around the Lynchburg Community in hopes that people from all over the city will take to the mission. Their main shoe bins are located in DeMoss Hall next to the Career Center and the School of Business, located at DeMoss Hall 1066. According to Young, Enactus will be visiting all of the dorms on campus to collect shoes and inform students about Shoe Good’s mission. “I think what Enactus is doing is admirable,” Liberty University freshman Andy Shiver said. “I have already donated a couple pairs of my shoes and am hoping some students on campus will as well.” The drive will continue into the summer in order for students to continue providing shoes for the needy. BEALE is a feature reporter.

Taking the gospel to the people of Haiti

The Turnbull couple shows compassion for those in need overseas as well as students around Liberty’s campus Kathleen DeWitt

Whether serving in Haiti or Lynchburg, missionaries Wallace and Eleanor Turnbull have worked to leave a lasting legacy of love for Jesus Christ with those they meet. The Turnbulls have served as missionaries in Haiti since 1946 and founded Baptist Haiti Mission (BHM) in 1948. Wallace Turnbull said that while they worked in Haiti, his wife was involved with mission affairs in the capital, including working with Government Ministries and custom importations. He worked in a variety of fields as he taught

students, traveled to various congregations and built churches and post-disaster housing for those in need. Though their ministry had humble beginnings, Wallace Turnbull said God used them to impact the people in Haiti in a powerful way. “Jesus said to go make disciples,” Wallace Turnbull said. “We did, and he (made) his message explode. It affected much of the country in many ways.” According to the BHM website, this mission has aided in the establishment of more than 350 churches and 354 schools and assisted with various humanitarian projects.


In March, the Turnbulls were honored by Haiti President Michel Martelly for their service to the country during a ceremony in the national palace. According to an article on the BHM website, the president thanked Wallace Turnbull and his wife for their service through various outreaches of BHM and presented him with a cross of Haiti’s high honor. Approximately 60 people, including pastors from the national church association and foreign officials, attended the televised event. Wallace Turnbull had the opportunity to speak for a few


Photo provided | Liberty Champion

See SERVICE, B8 PRAY — Missionaries impact Haiti for Christ.



Liberty Champion April 29 2014  
Liberty Champion April 29 2014  

Liberty Champion April 29 2014