Liberty Journal

Cheering for the Flames comes easy for Liberty “greeter”

Spring 2012 : Olivia Witherite

Terry Falwell is the community liaison at the Visitor's Center and one of the Flames' biggest fans.

If you call Terry Falwell on the phone, the first thing you will probably hear on the other end is, “You going to the game?” Falwell, second cousin of Liberty Chancellor, Jerry Falwell, Jr., is the community liaison for the Visitor’s Center at Liberty University, and has only missed one Liberty home football game since the program’s inception.

Terry Falwell credits his father's first cousin and Liberty founder, Jerry Falwell, Sr. for his love of sports, recalling him often coming over to help him practice baseball.

“I grew up with Jerry Senior. He had a vision for Liberty sports and used to really talk about it so much and what they were planning on doing. I believed in what he was saying, and I never missed but one football game at home. ... The day Jerry Falwell died, he also had never missed but one. So, he was dedicated.”

Keeping Dr. Falwell’s love of sports and support of the Flames going strong, Terry Falwell raised his children to make Flames sports a family event. He and his wife, Barbara, have four children, ranging in age from 13 to 36, and six grandchildren.

“Right now, I’m bringing my 88-year old mother to the basketball games and to the football games. She attends every one … she just loves being here and supporting the school  like I do,” he said.

His son Tyler, Liberty’s Director of Alumni Relations, has inherited his love for sports from his father.

“Growing up, Tyler didn't know any better than to come to Liberty ballgames because that is what we always did,” Terry Falwell said.

Terry and Tyler Falwell are both minority owners of the Lynchburg Hillcats, the Single-A ball team affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. Terry is on the Board of Directors. The Hillcats play at Calvin Falwell Field, named after Terry Falwell’s father, who passed away in August 2011 at age 90.

Terry Falwell is involved within the Lynchburg community beyond Liberty as the president of the Lynchburg Sports Club and the Fort Hill Lions Club.

He has worked at the university since becoming the Assistant Athletic Director in 1995. In his current role as community liaison, he said he was called on by Dr. Falwell to be the “Wal-Mart greeter” of the university. He connects local businesspeople, alumni and potential students to the school, giving tours throughout the week, during Friendly Fridays and College for a Weekend.

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said, "Terry seems to know everybody connected with Liberty University and can usually tell you the latest news on everyone at Liberty.  An old joke that used to circulate about Terry was that the three best ways to get the word out to the public about any given subject were by telephone, television or ‘tell-Terry.’  He really is the town crier at Liberty.  He loves the school and had invested a big part of his life in Liberty University."

Falwell is always eager to show off the campus and sports programs, going so far as to give tours at midnight during Winterfest and even over Thanksgiving break.

“I rather like it when the visitors say they love sports. I say, ‘Well you know we have a ballgame going on after the tour, we can go to the ballgame together.’ And I can justify going to a game because I have my visitors with me,” he joked.

But visitors aren’t the only ones he greets.

“I like to go around and see the former students and the current students, and I just like people and just being with them. Just can’t wait to get to a game. I’ll get to a game when the gates open.”

He said he’s looking forward to moving into the new Hancock Welcome Center this spring.

“I’m looking forward so much to moving into the new center, because with that facility, I think we can do an even better job. … We will then have all the necessary tools, and we’re really blessed to have it.”

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