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Liberty begins 40th anniversary celebrations

March 2, 2011 : David Hylton/Liberty University News Service

Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr addresses students

Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. address students at Wednesday's convocation to kick off Liberty's 40th anniversary celebration. 

Liberty University kicked off its 40th anniversary at Wednesday’s convocation, announcing plans for new facilities and changes to academic programs while remaining committed to its mission.

“We’re in one of those rare moments in history where we actually have the resources to build and create whatever we can dream and achieve what no other university has ever achieved, which is to create a world-class university, but at the same time staying true to our Christian mission,” Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. said.

Falwell said December’s bond sale will help Liberty usher in a new era.

Some of the new facilities and improvements Falwell revealed Wednesday were renovations to the back exterior of Arthur S. DeMoss Learning Center and a large commons area and new, freestanding library behind it. He also announced a new visitors center currently under construction.

  Students were treated to cupcakes Wednesday as part of the 40th anniversary kick-off celebration.

Provost Ron Godwin detailed changes to academics, which includes new programs and courses, an “emporium” that will be open 24 hours a day to assist students with math, and a new Center for Teaching Excellence that gives faculty access to the latest technology to enhance teaching.

Godwin also assured students that their current degree plans will not be impacted.

"As we do these changes we want to make sure that no one falls through the cracks,” he said. “If you find that your schedule is threatened by the changes … you go see the registrar.”

Godwin said Liberty will go as far as finding professors to do one-on-one counseling to guarantee students will stay on schedule to earn their degree.

As part of the 40th anniversary celebration Wednesday, special banners have been placed throughout campus. A 40th anniversary website was also launched.