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Renovated recreation spot is touching tribute to former student

October 11, 2013 : By Drew Menard/Liberty University News Service

David’s Place, a new Liberty University campus hotspot, officially opened on East Campus after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday night. Students and guests packed the facility to explore all the amenities of the recently renovated space. Formerly called the East Campus Clubhouse, the building is now named for David DeMoss, a student who died tragically from a car accident in 1986.

Complimentary food was served, as well as samples from Jamba Juice, a new dining attraction at David’s Place. Video game, pingpong, and corn hole tournaments, as well as a raffle, allowed everyone a chance to earn prizes.

David’s Place is now decked out with several flat screen televisions and comfortable seating areas and features a 24-seat movie theater, game room with video game consoles, study/TV areas, billiards room, pingpong tables, and an outdoor pool area with heaters both on the deck and in the water.

President Jerry Falwell, Jr. explained the rich history behind the namesake and emphasized the importance of the legacy it represents.

“David was one of those people who even after several years you still remember. He had so much personality, he was always out meeting people … he was friendly to everybody, he was down to earth, he was always talking about Christ,” Falwell said.

President Jerry Falwell, Jr. plays pingpong with students in David's Place.
President Jerry Falwell, Jr. plays pingpong with students in the newly renovated David's Place.

DeMoss was the son of the late Arthur S. DeMoss, for whom the university’s main academic building is named and who was a close friend of Liberty founder Dr. Jerry Falwell, Sr. The DeMoss family, including Arthur’s wife, Nancy, and their seven children, have remained close to the Falwells and to Liberty over the years. They have been loyal donors and supporters throughout the university’s history.

David, the sixth of the DeMoss children, was very active in campus life during his time at Liberty. His love for people, zest for life, and knack for adventure made him very popular among his peers.

The family decided to honor David’s memory by creating a facility that encouraged the fellowship and fun he was characterized by. In 1989, the original David’s Place opened on main campus and was a student hangout for several years. It eventually served as headquarters for the Center for Music & Worship. The building was demolished when Liberty built its new baseball stadium, which opened in February. A temporary memorial to David DeMoss was featured on the third floor of DeMoss Hall until Falwell's wife, Becki, suggested moving it to the East Campus Clubhouse, which was in need of renovations.

Deborah DeMoss Fonseca, David’s sister, said the new location is the perfect place to dedicate to his memory. Fonseca and her family attended Friday's ceremony. Fonseca’s oldest son, David, named for her brother, is a Liberty freshman.

A Jamba Juice on Liberty University's campus.
Jamba Juice, one of the attractions at David's Place.

Fonseca talked about the kind of person David DeMoss was — caring, generous, loving, and adventurous — and encouraged students to embrace the values he lived out during his short time on Earth. Fonseca shared her hope that in the midst of fun, David’s Place would entertain spiritual discussions.

“For those of you who don’t know the Lord, I encourage you to use David’s Place … to think about eternity. And for those of you that do (know Christ), have a lot of fun, have a zest for life, love people, and love the Lord, and it will make life worth living,” she said.

The walls feature testimonials to David’s memory, some of which Fonseca shared with the audience. She said that even after all these years, when people heard David’s Place was going to re-open in a new space, letters came pouring in sharing the impact he had had on people’s lives.

“He reminded us with his words and actions what it means to be Jesus’ disciples,” wrote alumna Penny Nance (’88), CEO of Concerned Women for America. “The fact that David’s Place is now an area where people connect, share, and have fun is completely fitting; David was joyful and fun; I am so happy I had him briefly in my life to inspire me to joyfully love the Lord.”