During Liberty University’s Homecoming weekend, I was able to hear from six Liberty graduates on a range of topics within Public Relations. It was the annual PRSSA Alumni Discussion Panel. Even Norman Mintle, the Director of Communications, made an appearance. The opportunity to network and learn from their experience was priceless. During the panel, these six alumni answered so many of the questions I was thinking about, such as what it’s like to transition from college to the real world and some good habits to instill as a freshman in college.
The event took place in a really nice, theater style room in the Arthur DeMoss Building. It was the perfect environment for a discussion panel and allowed for a lot of audience participation. Of course, everything these Liberty Alumni were saying was pure gold so I was laying down some serious ink in my notebook.
Through unique opportunities such as these, it’s easy to see how much the Liberty administration truly cares about my future. Even outside of the classroom, I am getting so much great advice and life wisdom that directly applies to me.
It’s crazy to think about how many stories I’ve heard of Liberty students going off to make a huge impact within a range of different fields. People that have really made a name for themselves, like Toby Mac, Rashad Jennings, Shannon Bream, and that’s just to name a few, have all been launched into their careers from this campus. I am definitely thankful to be learning under the same professors and getting the same education as so many that have already impacted the world around them for the better.
A local non-profit organization, His Vision Project, has a chapter on Liberty’s campus and recently held an event for World Sight Day. The leadership team did an amazing job of educating students on partnership opportunities with His Vision (and about how they can join the cause of “providing eye care to children in need”). They did this through a multitude of creative and fun activities throughout the evening.
The main event was a scavenger hunt that spread across the entire campus. Each team had to locate the single yellow balloons hidden around campus in order to find the next challenge.
My favorite was the “Gorilla Shades” challenge where a brave contestant would be blind folded and spun around, before having to put a pair of jumbo shades on a gorilla’s face.
I played the part of the photographer that evening and was, therefore, able to see all the teams competing for the win. I definitely had my work cut out for me as I ran from one corner of campus to another…and then back gain. It was so worth it though, to be a small part of all that His Vision is doing here on campus.
The leadership at His Vision had set up a room with balloons, cupcakes, banners, and display tables with plenty of information about opportunities and ways to get involved. This room served as the finish line and final destination for the night. I kept thinking about how well thought out and planned the event was.
(And it was all put on by students!)
They played a three minute video describing the history and the “vision” of the His Vision. After that, we heard from both the faculty sponsor and student president of the His Vision Chapter. And to end off the night, with much anticipation, the winners were announced! They handed out gift cards and other fun prizes to the winners.
And not one of the participants left that room with empty hands.
I’m grateful that Liberty places so much importance on making deep and lasting impacts in the lives of men, women, and children in need, all around the world.
During this event, I was able to see this process taking place in its most practical form; that being outreach and education by word of mouth.
This past weekend I went on a mini road trip to King, NC (with a little bit of Winston-Salem mixed in). It was such a refreshing weekend and I welcomed the change of scenery. Right after my last class on Friday afternoon, I jumped in a car with my friends Maegan and Hailey and took off towards the North Carolina border.
Two and a half hours later, we received a very warm welcome from Maegan’s parents.
(Her two cats joined the welcoming committee as well)!
It was so great getting to know her family and touring the streets of King, their hometown.
We started the weekend off right by attending the festival! They had every kind of fried food that you can imagine, a cornucopia of abstract arts, and old school, country line dancing. It was everything one would hope to find at a festival, and on top of that, there was such a deep sense of culture and personality in the air.
The rest of the weekend was filled with relaxing and spending quality time with some incredible friends I’ve made this year. One of those friends is Adam and he was born and raised in King. I’m grateful for the chance I had to catch up with him and hear all that he has been doing. Another one of those friends is Josh and I was able to attend his church with him, along with Maegan and her family, on Sunday morning. He has really been a great example to me and actually calls Winston-Salem his home.
After the church service on Sunday, we decided to end the weekend off by exploring Old Salem (Winston-Salem’s downtown). The entire area was rich with so much history and I was even able to learn a good bit about the founding of the Moravian Church!
(Definitely an incredible way to wrap up an even more incredible weekend).
(genuine history from corner to corner!)
I came out of this trip so refreshed and thankful for the opportunity to switch up the normal routine for a few days. That being said, it’s definitely a blessing to be back on Liberty’s campus with a new handful of great memories.
Lynchburg is definitely a reasonable distance from a lot of different places, so I anticipate many more weekend road trips like this one!
You never really know what unique experiences are waiting around the corner when the weekend rolls around, especially here at Liberty. (And I’ve found that to be even more true if you’re willing to take a few steps outside your comfort zone).
Last weekend, one of those awesome experiences popped up out of nowhere, that being my first ever concert-on-a-stair-case! It really was a blast but in order to get there I really did have to “go with the flow” so to speak. I was sitting in the White Hart Coffee Shop, drinking coffee and reading a good book (my usual Saturday afternoon activity). When I first walked in the door, I ran into a friend of mine from Liberty. It was then that she told me, with great excitement I might add, that Dogwood & Holly was putting on a concert that evening, only a block away. Suddenly I was excited too because Dogwood & Holly was a local band (all Liberty students) that had made a lasting impression performing one of their songs in Convocation a few weeks earlier. Right then I decided that this was something I simply couldn’t miss.
One hour later I started walking up Main Street and could already hear the blue grass rhythms in the air. I was so excited to hear more than just one song from this band, although, I had heard enough to know they had real talent. I walked around the corner and this is the first thing I saw:
So many students showed up, packing the stair case with anticipation. And let me tell you, Dogwood & Holly exceeded everyone’s expectations that night. They were SO good! And just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, they played the same song that everyone loved so much in Convocation! The name of that song is “El-Shaddai” and it goes a little something like this:
Long before I even arrived on campus, momentum had been building up to a one night event that took place on October 24th. It was the live premiere of “Unstoppable”, a movie that Kirk Cameron partnered with Liberty to produce. This movie was to have only one showing and was seen in over 600 movie theaters across the nation (although it was extended to have one additional showing due to popular demand). And because the campus of Liberty was at the front of the entire production, I was even able to be in the live audience!
For the first time ever, I got to be an extra in a movie!
(I’ll need to start adding things to my bucket list if I keep crossing things off at this rate)
Seeing Mandisa and Warren Barfield made for a powerful introduction to this movie premier. They are both such gifted musicians and it was really neat to see them playing a part in this event.
I arrived at the Vines Center an hour early, anticipating a packed house. Lo and behold, I was right!
I was glad to be seeing the movie with a couple of my friends and we were able to get great seats!
When the movie officially started everyone in the building was cheering and the energy was enormous. During Mandisa’s song, “Overcomer”, I saw myself, and others I recognized, in the scenes sweeping over the crowd.
Kirk Cameron gave incredible insights throughout the entire movie in regards to the harder questions of life, and how we go about approaching them. The cinematography did such a great job of capturing, and putting on display, the true power of everything he said. I know without a doubt that there were thousands of people across the country, including myself, who were impacted in deep ways that night.
I’m grateful for Liberty’s constant investment in opportunities, like the Unstoppable production, that affect so many people in positive ways.
What an exciting and powerful night on Liberty’s campus. (Never a dull moment here!)