|Fox News reporter Shannon Bream|
Fox News reporter Shannon Bream (’93) might have made history at her alma mater on May 11 when she became the first female and the first Liberty University graduate to speak at Commencement in decades, but that’s not the full extent of her impact on the school she says influenced her life in so many ways.
She and her husband, Sheldon, a former Flames Baseball player, continue to be active alumni. They have spent the past several years getting to know interns of Liberty’s Washington Semester Fellowship, showing them around the nation’s capital and helping them get connected. The couple can be spotted a few times a year watching the Flames Baseball team in action at home, too. Their nephew, Austin Bream, is on the team. Counting spouses, 14 other Bream family members have attended or are currently attending Liberty. There are even more planning to attend.
As a Supreme Court reporter for Fox News, Bream has become well connected in Washington, D.C., a place where networking is a major key to success, she said.
“If I can’t get them (Liberty students) directly to the person or event that they want to go to, I know somebody one or two steps away that can get them there,” Bream said.
She added it is much easier to do that now because there are so many Liberty graduates working on Capitol Hill.
Bream arrived at Liberty as a 17-year-old in 1988 and witnessed some key moments in its development, including the construction of the Vines Center and Williams Stadium. Those years, she said, were important in shaping her into the person she is today.
“There was a lot of personal growth, a lot of spiritual growth, and I feel like I got a world-class education in the process,” she said. “(Liberty) is really like no other place. … No matter what you want to study, there is a program here, but at the same time you are going to have friends, professors, and staff members who care about what is happening with you spiritually.”
She said Liberty allows people to test their faith, to ask the tough questions, to probe and find answers, and ultimately make their faith their own.
After graduating with a degree in business, Bream headed off to law school. It was her first experience in a non-Christian school environment. Though at times, especially when discussing social issues, she felt like an “island,” isolated from everybody else, she said Liberty prepared her to be able to discuss her views boldly.
Her invaluable experience at Liberty has made her a passionate saleswoman when talking to potential students, she said.
Bream said her favorite part about visiting campus is not the breathtaking upgrades, though she says they are indeed impressive and a monument to Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr.’s determination. She said she loves meeting new students and learning what they want to do and where they want to go.
“It inspires me to know that there is another generation coming — and will continue to come through Liberty — so they can have an impact on the world. I am glad that Liberty continues to add programs so there is an opportunity for everybody.”