Liberty University’s national recruiters have been on the road since the second week of June for Summerfest 2008, a series of Christian youth music festivals sponsored by Liberty. This week they were back on campus to present Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki, a photo book of their travels and to update them on the progress.
The festivals are some of the largest Christian youth events in the country, featuring hit artists such as Hawk Nelson and Jeremy Camp.
The recruiters set up an information booth for students to fill out applications and inquiry cards to receive more information about Liberty.
“For a lot of them [the festivals], we were the main sponsor … so really it’s just to market the university, to get our name out there,” said Kristin Conrad, a member of the Summerfest team and assistant director of recruitment for Liberty. “With a lot of them we have stage time so we’re able to get up and tell them what we have to offer as a Christian university. Being able to have two minutes on stage in front of … 75,000 people and say we’re from Liberty University, you can’t market that anywhere.”
Students who visit the booth are entered into a drawing for a Wii, a Liberty scholarship, a camera or a guitar with the festival logo.
Although the team is mainly there to recruit high school students, the venue also gives them a chance to tout Liberty’s Distance Learning Program to youth pastors and parents.
“It’s all Christians, so you’re reaching Christian high school students, you have your youth groups, you have families, churches all over the country, so it’s invaluable,” Conrad said.
Attendance at youth festivals is down across the country due to rising gas prices and a slowing economy, she said, “but against those odds, we were able to hit our goals, so that was encouraging to us.”
With three more festivals to go, the Summerfest team has received 5,327 applications and 4,142 inquiry cards.
“Summer festivals as a whole is where we get the bulk of our applications and inquiries,” Conrad said.
The 10-member team of mostly Liberty graduate students has traveled to: Charlotte, N.C.; Atlanta, Ga.; Mt. Union, Pa.; Richmond, Va.; Cincinnati, Ohio; Minnesota; The Gorge in Washington; and New York City. The three festivals remaining are: Revelation Generation in Frenchtown, N.J. (Aug. 29,30); Awakenings- Leesburg, Va. (Sept. 13); and Christian Music Day in Charlotte, N.C. (Oct. 4).
To view videos of the team’s travels and to find out more about Summerfest, click here.