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CPAC draws LU students and alumni to capital

March 4, 2009 : Teresa Dunham

Photo caption: Alumni Kristin Conrad ('05), left, and Natalie Mayer ('05), right, join Melissa Small, LU’s director of marketing and alumni relations, at a special Liberty University reception held at the Conservative Political Action Conference Feb. 26 in Washington, D.C.

The Conservative Political Action Conference last week in Washington, D.C., was a reunion of sorts for Liberty University students, alumni and friends.

Approximately 80 students traveled to the event with LU’s Student Alumni Association, and nearly 20 more students who are performing internships in D.C. joined them.

LU further rolled out the welcome mat at CPAC by hosting its own Liberty University reception for students, alumni and friends during the conference. Even if they didn’t attend CPAC, friends of LU were welcomed to stop by and enjoy light refreshments — and nearly 150 people attended.

“We had a full room of Liberty friends, faculty, staff, prospective students and alumni,” said Melissa Small, LU’s director of marketing and alumni relations. “It was great to meet the alumni in the D.C. area.”

CPAC is the largest annual gathering of conservative students, activists and policymakers in the United States. This year’s conference, held Feb. 26-28, drew well-known Republicans including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rush Limbaugh.

“Now more than ever, it’s important with having a shift in the country’s leadership to be involved in the conservative movement and aware of how changes can be made,” said Small.

This is the second year that LU’s School of Law has hosted a reception at CPAC. The reception included speeches from an Arizona congressman and School of Law Dean Mat Staver, as well as booths representing the Alumni Relations Office, LU Online and the School of Law.

“CPAC is a wonderful venue for School of Law staff to meet highly motivated, conservative students from all over the country. These students want to be world changers, and that’s what we’re in the business of doing. We made many friends for Liberty and the law school at CPAC 2009,” said Abigail Tuomala, Director of Admissions at the School of Law.

For Meghan Maginnis, an LU alumna and leader of the university’s 200-plus member D.C. Alumni Chapter, the event was a way to reconnect with her Liberty roots.

“It’s because of [LU founder] Dr. Falwell’s conservative influence and stand on the moral issues that I’m the strong, outspoken person I am today,” she said.