Liberty University students, faculty, staff and visitors turned out on May 1 to witness the grand opening of the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center. Before local area youth and LU students took to the fields, Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr., along with donor Glen Thomas and others, presented the building to the campus and the community during the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
“It is a dream come true from many years ago,” said Thomas, who is an LU alumnus. “Nothing will make [my family] happier than to come by and see people in here at all times of the day and night.”
“This is just an exciting day for us,” Falwell added. “This is one more facility that Liberty can be proud of and can use to recruit students.”
Connected to Campus North’s LaHaye Student Union, the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center is comprised of two turf fields partially surrounded by transparent walls and netting. The facility also features a spectator section, multiple televisions and wireless capability.
“For two years, we went through this process of looking at [other] facilities, coming up with an idea of what it needs to look like and how it will function on our campus,” said Jeff Alder, LU’s head soccer coach. “This is the end of a long two-year process, but the beginning of so many great moments for kids to come.”
Designed to give students another recreational outlet on campus, the center will also be open to youth and adult leagues when not in use by the university. In addition to hosting intramural soccer contests, the facility is also ideal for playing flag football or lacrosse.
“We deeply appreciate what the Thomas family has done,” Falwell said. “In the last decade [Glen’s father] helped us out when the university badly needed it. Now, it’s wonderful for the next generation to be building upon the sacrifices my father and Glen father’s made to keep this school in existence during those difficult days.”