February 2014 Employee Newsletter


A Word from the President


The grand opening of the Jerry Falwell Library was a great success, and I’m hearing so much wonderful feedback from students about the new study areas, the new robotic retrieval system, and, of course, the new Starbucks. The students really are proud, though, to be a part of Liberty at this exciting time, when state-of-the-art buildings like the library are being constructed to greatly enhance the campus and their experience here.

I want to thank all of those involved in the grand opening, even back to the beginning stages when meetings were first scheduled and plans were drawn out. We had hundreds of faculty and staff members involved in some aspect of this project, with probably more cooperation than any other projects on campus to date. The dedication and hard work you put into this facility and its new features are appreciated. The students may not know all of you and what role you played, but if you haven’t already visited the library, I invite you to take a tour and watch them as they use the space, and you will certainly see your hard work being rewarded.

Another large event that could not have been as successful without so many dedicated staff was Winterfest, which rang in the new year with a record crowd of more than 8,500. I want to commend Senior Vice President Chris Johnson ('94, '08) and his Enrollment Management team, along with Senior Vice President Ron Kennedy ('96, '06), and his Marketing staff, who went the extra mile to make the event such a phenomenal success. Liberty is blessed to have this committed team whose passion for Liberty and its Christian mission has made us the fastest growing nonprofit university in the nation over the last decade. Thank you to all the support staff and coordinators who not only brought in a record crowd, but rejoiced along with 503 people who committed their lives to the Lord. Liberty is grateful for this opportunity to reach people with the Gospel through such an exciting event.

Many of you are in the middle of several other large projects as the rebuilding of our campus continues. Thank you for your strong level of commitment to see these through to completion and for your patience. Liberty is a true testimony of how when God’s people work together, so much can be accomplished.



Jerry Falwell Library Grand Opening Recap
Honor the Past. Embrace the Future.

On Wednesday, Jan. 15, Liberty University celebrated the grand opening of the new Jerry Falwell Library. This building not only bears the name of the university’s founder and embodies his vision it will also serve as the heart of the campus for years to come.

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the 4-story, 170,000-square-foot Jerry Falwell Library is a world-class facility that represents the largest investment by Liberty in any structure on campus. 

As Liberty welcomed this new era of excellence, employees participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony via the live video stream during Convocation. To commemorate this milestone in Liberty’s history, employees were asked to share their experiences on Instagram and Twitter using #JFLibrary and by tagging “Liberty University” on Facebook.



Top Five Workplace Resolutions
Dr. David Duby, School of Business

Did you make any resolutions last month? The start of a new year often begins with personal reflections on how we can improve in different areas such as our health, relationships, or vocations. Though the typical month for resolutions has passed, getting back into the rhythms of work can be the perfect time to consider our professions and commit to improving our service to the glory of God. Following are some reminders for thriving in our calling:

  1. Put your heart into it (Nehemiah. 1-6) – How could the Israelites rebuild Jerusalem’s walls in such a short time? The colossal task was completed by giving the task everything they had, holding nothing back, and trusting Nehemiah. The naysayers said it couldn’t be done. They were wrong.
  2. Receive “heart strength” from God (Psalm. 73:26) – Giving everything we have to serve others will tire more than our hands — our hearts will be exhausted too. But God will freely give the “heart strength” needed to fulfill our call. Draw upon His strength.
  3. Practice good stewardship (Matthew. 25:14-30) – We have been entrusted by God to use our gifts and time to the best of our abilities. Let’s honor his graciousness and validate His trust by being a good steward of these precious resources to his glory. He is worthy.
  4. Stay ethically sharp (Psalm. 139:23-24) – We are newly created children of the Most High working alongside like-minded believers … and yet we still sin. Let’s be ever mindful to prayerfully consider our motives and our decisions in all we say and do. Let’s set the example.
  5. Add value to your team (II Timothy. 4) – As a unique creation, you bring something to the team that no one else can. Allow your gifts to flourish and meaningfully contribute to the team. Your efforts matter.


At Liberty University, we understand that each of us has been called by Christ to love one another and be a light to the world. Dr. Duby’s encouraging remarks are a welcome reminder of the charge to serve God through our various roles at Liberty and of the unique gifts we each bring to that task. We look forward to a new year of opportunities to make Liberty a workplace filled with the refreshing life of the Gospel.

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially those who belong to the family of believers.”

Galatians 6:10



More Than 800 Employees Give Back to Liberty

During this time of year, we look back with gratitude for all of the contributions that ensured Liberty continued its mission of Training Champions for Christ. The Office of Development is especially thankful for the increase in employee giving that helped to make this past year a success.

“It doesn’t just take donors to support the school but all areas, including employees, parents, friends, and corporations,” Vice President for Development Tom Arnold said. “We are thankful for all of the continued generosity and support shown that helps us keep the mission of Liberty alive.”

More than 800 employees contributed financially between 2012 and 2013, with a total of $416,654 donated to date. Out of the 820 employees giving during this time, 444 are alumni and 50 are in the prestigious President’s Circle. Liberty is pleased by this broad-based support and the consistently increasing spirit of giving demonstrated by all.



You Matter and So Does Your Health

Many Liberty employees are making lifestyle changes to improve their health. Here is one employee’s story:

Doug McLean, a trainer with Liberty University Technology Education Center (LUTEC), recently started implementing dietary changes and exercise into his life. He says that time is always the issue when it comes to staying on track, so he worked out a route that would allow him to walk one-half mile from his car in the parking lot to his office.

“It was a killer when I first started because of a disability, but eventually I was walking 2-3 miles each day,” McLean said.

When the email was sent out about the 100 Mile Challenge, McLean shared his walking route with the employees in his office. He determined that by parking beside the LaHaye Ice Center, walking toward Evans Boulevard, then around to the main entrance of Marie F. Green Hall, he could walk a total of 1 mile to and from his car each day.

McLean says he has noticed positive health choices being made by others and has frequently greeted walkers and joggers on the route since Liberty began promoting the 100 Mile Challenge.  

Check out McLean’s route:

Have you been working hard to improve your health? Do you play basketball before work? Have you changed your diet? Have you run a 5K? Did you complete the 100 Mile Challenge? Email youmatter@liberty.edu to share your story or that of a co-worker!



Employees of the Month
February 2014

Congratulations to our February Employees of the Month. You are a tremendous blessing to this university, and we are thankful for you. This recognition is proof that you go above-and-beyond normal expectations to consistently produce excellent work with a Christ-like attitude and spirit. Thank you for all you do to make Liberty the shining light that it is.

Ashlee Rolkowski, Ivie Brabham Lilly, David Calland, Kathy Chambers, Sarah Dohme, Michael Herbert, Matthew Hockensmith, Thelma Hughes, Amanda Poch, Katie Davis



You Stand Out

University senior leadership has been looking for staff members who exemplify exceptional commitment to Liberty's customer service standards. Last month, tickets were handed out as our way of thanking those whose hard work and dedication (often behind the scenes) made a difference.

Congratulations to January’s You Stand Out recipients:

Susana Leon, Matthew Hockensmith, Ryan Robinson, Tom Nylander, Melody Harper, Hal Shearer, Ethan Bell, Marseille Pride, Christos Carroll, Luke Smith, Paul Roh, Brittany Harris, Timothy Wilcoxen, Stacy Dawson, Steve Foster

*Remember, these tickets are redeemable for a Barnes & Noble gift card. Be on the lookout — you never know when someone might notice that You Stand Out!



You Matter Twitter

Many insights have been shared on the Liberty You Matter Twitter account this month. If you haven’t already, be sure to join the conversation.

Here are a few Tweets from the past month:

So proud of my school and my employer @LibertyU. What an awesome job on the @LibertyULibrary. Can't wait to see it @LibertyUMatter.

Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant. -Stephen Covey



Send Us Your Feedback

God has been doing great things around Liberty. We would love to hear your thoughts about how the You Matter campaign is affecting Liberty’s campus. Feel free to send us your feedback and ideas.

Email us at youmatter@liberty.edu.