Gala celebrates Pres. Falwell and father’s legacy as they join Business Hall of Fame
On Saturday night, the Lynchburg Regional Business Alliance formally honored Liberty University President Jerry Falwell for his “significant impact” as a leader in the community. Falwell was inducted along with his late father, the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., Liberty's founder, to the Alliance’s inaugural Business Hall of Fame during a formal gala.
President Falwell said he was “truly honored” to be one of the first members of the Hall of Fame with his father. He explained that Falwell Sr. came from a long line of successful entrepreneurs.
“Even as a minister, the family DNA of entrepreneurship still ran strong in Dad,” Falwell said. “He led Thomas Road Baptist Church to incredible growth with innovative ideas for outreach — including the use of radio and TV. And then he began Liberty University, which has seen nearly five decades of innovation and growth.”
For 20 years, Falwell fought hard alongside his father to make Liberty what it is today.
“I’m grateful to be president of this great university and humbled to be recognized for the positive impact we are having on the Lynchburg area’s economy.”
Liberty’s Director of Government Relations Kenneth Craig said it was encouraging to see President Falwell and the Rev. Falwell included among the first honorees.
“This recognition is a definite statement on how their tireless efforts, through the years, have impacted the region in such a positive way,” he said.
Scott Lamb, Liberty’s vice president of Special Literary Projects, said the evening served to confirm a maxim he often hears Falwell say in one form or another: “A nation with political and economic freedom offers the greatest opportunity for prosperity.”
“When people in your own backyard acknowledge the good that has come by way of your businesses,” Lamb said, “it means even more than national press clippings. The Falwell family has impacted Lynchburg with prosperity in every area of life.”
The first members of the Lynchburg Business Hall of Fame also include:
- A. C. "Buzzy" Coleman Jr., Coleman-Adams Construction Inc.
- Hal C. Craddock, Architectural Partners, chief architect for the Craddock Terry Hotel, and his great grandfather, John W. Craddock, Craddock Terry Shoe Company
- Dr. Charlie W. Pryor Jr., BWX Technologies Inc.
- Marc A. Schewel and his grandfather, Ben Schewel, and his great uncle, Abe Schewel, Schewel Furniture Company Inc.
- Shaun Spencer-Hester and her grandmother, Anne Bethel Spencer, Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum
The Alliance described the first honorees as recognizable leaders “critical to our existing business landscape.”
“These individuals are proof that the success of family legacies and businesses are built upon foundations of endurance, sacrifice, and passion, which foster sustainable growth and contribute to our unique culture and thriving community,” said Alliance Chair Stefanie Prokity.
- Read a recent study on Liberty’s economic impact on the region and the state.