May 2, 2006

Opinion editor shares his thoughts

by Dave Ernest

Here at The Champion, we have been discussing what we would write in our senior “goodbye” columns this week. A senior goodbye column: now there’s an interesting concept. I have never been the kind to look to the past with the feeling that I am leaving something behind. On the contrary, I believe we take our experiences and past with us wherever we go. With that in mind, I will now set out to write, what I will instead call, my senior reflection column.

Many of you share my fate as five-year college students.  I think there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think I recommend the five-year plan so long as you are an active and ambitious student and not merely putting off entrance into the real world. But in spending five years here, I have had the opportunity to see many things and meet many people. Although the number of these individuals to far too vast to quantify, there are a few I would like to personally recognize:

Rev. Jerry Falwell-  Although we certainly have our share of policy divergences, you chased your dream of creating Liberty University and through that dream I have earned my bachelor’s degree. I recognize that, and I thank you for following your dreams as I now go to follow mine.

Dr. Brett O’Donnell-  for the opportunity to debate for Liberty, even if it was only for a year.  The critical thinking and research skills I acquired through debate work have been nothing short of invaluable, and I thank you for that. 

Dean George Buzzy-  for being the professor who goes above and beyond the call of duty.  It can hardly be said that Dean Buzzy sees his pupils as mere student I.D. numbers.  I can think of few professors who desire to see growth in their students more than he does.

Grant Rost-  our legendary mock trial coach who poured hours into teaching us how to act, think, and argue like attorneys. We may not have won all the hardware, but hey, we were the most ethical and fair team, right?

David and Nancy Ernest, my parents- none of my achievements have been possible apart from what my parents have done on my behalf. I will always remember my dad working Saturday nights so that I could play hockey and my mom who always slipped that extra $20 into my account to get me through the month.  Thank you both for all you’ve given me.

Rodney Baylor and Jeff Foor-  I find it wonderfully ironic that the three random roommates who were haphazardly stuck together in 2001, graduate still the best of friends, not four, but five years later. It’s been a blast, fellas.

The LU College Republicans- we have had a good several years and have made a deep impact in our region. Thanks to Mr. Stephen Witham for his devotion to our group, without which we would not exist. Theresa, you’ve been a huge asset this year when leadership grew thin and I greatly appreciate it.

Mrs. Debbie Huff-  for the opportunity to come onto the Champion staff and for her hard work on our behalf.  Your endless hours devoted to our school’s paper do not go unnoticed.

Chief Wotring-  for putting up with my overzealous, often times obnoxious opinions.  When I started, I was new at this whole journalism thing, but I grew due largely to your help.

This year’s staff - Rob, you know what you mean to me; I don’t have to write it. Little Steph, you’re a heck of copy editor and one smart chick. You’ll go far. Leslie  the world may never get to appreciate all of your artwork, but I do, even if W’s smile isn’t quite the right size.

Hilary- as I give you my job, I wish you countless inflammatory e mails: they are undoubtedly the best part of having the title “opinion editor.” I bequeath to you the arsenal that can be found in my top desk drawer.

My readers-  thank you for taking the time to pick up the paper and read my rants, but now its time for me to get up on my soapbox just one more time…

My final message to all who read this article is actually quite simple. It’s not conservative, not liberal, not angry and not sympathetic. It is one that I hope we all can relate to.  In everything that we do, whether in school or work, remember that we are all part of a much greater scheme that continues to unfold. The remains the single greatest country in the world, and by some design, those of us who live here have the privilege of calling ourselves “Americans.”  On May 13, many of tomorrow’s future leaders, pastors, businessmen, and patriots will be stepping out of this bubble that is Liberty University. Remember that as we take our place in history, we must live with integrity and leave a legacy of virtue. Our children will be the heirs of our precedent, so let us remember that our actions not only define the present, they also chart the course for the future of this great country we call America.

Contact David Ernest at

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