Jan 26, 2010

Students make good impression

by Trey Smith

The sound of a blasting whistle and the rumbling vibrations of a speeding train evoke images of America’s past when locomotives ruled the Western plains and railroad men were national celebrities. Today, many more transportation options are available but the train still remains a reminder of a time not so long ago. For students looking for affordable travel, the train has again become an option because of Lynchburg’s Amtrak station.

On the morning of Thursday, Dec. 17, 2009, many students took advantage of low prices and Vice President for Administrative Information Management/Registrar Larry Shackleton was there to witness it.

Shackleton took his mother-in-law to the train station to catch a train to Washington, D.C., but saw something that was unusual. So unusual that he shared it in an e-mail to Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr.

“Normally there are about 10 to 15 other passengers waiting, but that morning there were hundreds,” Shackleton said. A majority of those waiting were Liberty students. “They were all wearing Liberty sweatshirts,” Shackleton said.

When the train station staff informed those waiting that the tickets were sold out, people anxiously to find seats and room for their luggage.

“(Liberty students) helped not only each other, but every other person that needed help with their luggage,” Shackleton said.
The students helped move luggage around to make room, talked with the locals, and even gave up seats without being asked.
“They greeted everyone, and wished them a merry Christmas,” Shackleton said.

Shackleton noticed that the actions of the students helped people relax and things run smoothly.

“I heard remarks from people standing in line about how great it was to see such good students,” Shackleton said.

When President and CEO of the Lynchburg Regional Chamber of Commerce and director of Lynchburg Amtrak Rex Hammond heard about the students’ actions he was not surprised.

“Hearing that Liberty students are using the service warms my heart,” Hammond said.

For Shackleton, seeing the students’ actions made him proud to say that he works at Liberty. “The students are the highlight of my job,” Shackleton said.

Though Shackleton does not get to see students often, he was proud of what he saw that morning.

“There was no fanfare or trumpets,” Shackleton said, “the students were just being who they are, something they do not often get credit for.”

Contact Trey Smith at
tsmith21@liberty.edu.


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