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Out of the nearly 17,500 graduates to be honored at Liberty University's 41st Commencement on Saturday, over 5,000 — nearly 30 percent — are active, reserve, or retired military.
During Friday night’s third annual Military Graduate Recognition Ceremony held at the Vines Center, members of Liberty’s administration instilled in those graduates a healthy sense of pride in their accomplishments of completing their degrees, whether on campus or online, stateside or in active duty overseas.
“This is a very special ceremony and I do hope that all of your friends and loved ones feel a justifiable level of pride in acknowledging and recognizing your accomplishments on this day,” said Dr. Ben Gutierrez, Liberty’s administrative dean for undergraduate programs, in his welcome to the approximately 200 military graduates on hand and hundreds more family and friends in attendance. “You will find no more grateful institution for your valor, for your honor, and for your commitment than Liberty University. Thank you, thank you, thank you very much.”
Service members were seated together with their respective branches and stood as each was recognized in the playing of the “Caisson Song.”
After a prayer of dedication by Dean of Students and former 1st Lt. Keith Anderson, U.S. Army, Gutierrez introduced Maj. Gen. Robert Dees, U.S. Army, retired, who serves as Liberty’s associate vice president for military outreach and is the director of our nation’s first faith-based Institute for Military Resilience.
“The whole leadership of Liberty University believes in you and is invested in the military in many ways,” Dees said, citing in particular Liberty’s Office of Military Affairs. “These people perform a labor of love and it’s a labor of love on your behalf.”
Read the full story from the Liberty University News Office.