Over 2,000 Central Virginia alumni returned to Liberty University’s campus on Aug. 1, taking part in the 245 Initiative hosted by the Alumni Relations Office. The free event allowed LU graduates and their families to check out the university’s state-of-the art facilities, including the LaHaye Student Union, the LaHaye Ice Center, the Thomas Indoor Soccer Center and the new Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre.
“I think it’s wonderful that we can reconnect with university,” said Karen Dudley, a 1995 graduate and an adjunct professor. “I left for 10 years and came back and was just shocked at the growth and the number of students that are here. We come up here a lot for events and activities because we really enjoy it as a family.”
In addition to giving alumni the chance to reconnect with the university, the 245 Initiative served as the official launch of Liberty’s Lynchburg Alumni Chapter. The Lynchburg chapter is just one of 13 alumni chapters started this year.
“We want alumni to feel like they are involved in what is happening here at Liberty University,” said Melissa Small, LU’s alumni relations director. “We want to continue to have events and create mentoring opportunities, connecting Liberty alumni here in town with our students on campus.”
Participants had the first opportunity to ski, snowboard and tube on the synthetic slopes of LU’s Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre before its Aug. 29 grand opening. Alumni and their families toured the facility, experiencing first-hand the innovative technology that gives the slopes the slip and grip of real snow.
“The slopes are great,” said Hope West, a 2009 nursing graduate. “This is a great place for people to start skiing who have never been before.”
Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. also took part in the festivities, as he stopped by the Tilley Student Center to thank the alumni and encourage them to stay connected with the university.
“It was a successful event in every way and we are very pleased with the outcome,” Falwell said afterward. “It’s just our way of thanking our alumni for all the support and sticking with us through all the tough years.”
The Alumni Relations Office is launching 50 alumni chapters throughout the country, with upcoming chapter initiatives taking place in San Antonio, Sacramento, Greensboro, N.C. and Morgantown, W. Va. For more information on upcoming alumni events, check out Liberty’s Alumni Relations web page.