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Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. made his first Liberty University Convocation appearance of the fall 2013 semester Wednesday, Aug. 28 and announced that Elmer Towns, one of the university’s co-founders, will be taking a sabbatical effective Thursday, Aug. 29, according to a Liberty University News Service story.
Falwell said that Towns, 80, will be traveling, spending time with his family and writing books during his sabbatical. Although Towns will no longer teach classes, he will remain part of the university’s leadership, but Falwell left open the possibility of Towns’ return.
“He says he is going to come back and teach in future years, but I believe he is going to enjoy his new assignment so much that his sabbatical will become permanent,”
Towns has filled the role of dean of the Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary and the School of Religion, according to the News Service article, and he has written more than 170 books.
“I don’t know of anyone who is more deserving of some time to do the things that he loves away from the classroom than Elmer Towns,” Falwell said.
After hearing the announcement Wednesday, sophomore computer science major Jenna Green knew Towns would not be teaching her Theology 101 class.
“I wanted to specifically take (Towns),” Green said. “I specifically took the 7:40 (a.m.) class so that I could take him, because I wanted to learn from the co-founder of Liberty, otherwise I wouldn’t have taken the 7:40 class. I’m definitely not a morning person, so it’s a struggle for me.”
In only her second year on campus, Green has not yet had the time to accumulate the memories of Towns that other students have, but she said that she hopes to meet and talk with him sometime in
“He’s just got a lot of history,” Green said. “He’s one of those people who are rich with knowledge or wisdom.”
While not in the classroom, Towns will not be far from campus. According to an October 11 article in the Liberty Champion, Towns and his wife, Ruth, moved into their current house atop Liberty Mountain after its completion in August of 2011. Towns has even invited students to his house for trick-or-treating on Halloween.
The university’s co-founder has often been seen around campus at events like Homecoming and concerts and has even made appearances in several Coffeehouse videos made by students.
Liberty has also honored Towns in the past by naming the road leading into East Campus near the East Campus Clubhouse Towns Court, and the classroom where Towns teaches many of his classes also bears his name, the Towns Alumni