Senior class gives back

Bus stop shelters to benefit students

Dave Lee Shelter — 10 new bus stop shelters will be added around campus. Photo Credit: Dave Lee.

Students huddling around bus stops in rain, snow or sleet will soon have a better option, thanks to the Senior Class of 2011.

“We wanted to give something that would actually help students for years to come,” Class President Joel Krautter said.

The Senior Class Project is an annual tradition. The graduating class wanted to give a gift that would carry on their legacy. However, they still wanted something practical to give back to their university.

The result will be 10 new bus stop shelters around campus. The plan was unveiled Monday, March 28 at the Senior Appreciation Meeting. The idea was first brought up last fall.

“The Alumni Office presented the idea to the senior class who made the actual decision to adopt this as their class gift,” said senior Morgan Kane.

Kane works with the Alumni Relations Office as a marketing assistant. The office brought the idea to Krautter, who passed it along to the other seniors.

At first there were different projections for how the shelters should look. Krautter thought there should be a different look from the basic bus shelter.

“Something that goes along with our school’s architecture and is kind of more characteristic,” Krautter said. “Plus I wanted it to be able to hold more students because we’re going to continue to grow.”

The result is a design featuring the pillars and brick that characterizes much of Liberty University’s buildings.

Another helpful feature of the shelters will include advances in technology. Students will be able to get weather updates and announcements on displays inside the shelters.

Perhaps the most helpful feature, the displays will also show the estimated arrival time of the next bus.

The focus is now on fundraising for the shelters. The bus stops will cost around $6,000 to $7,000 each, according to Kane.

“This means if every residential student gives just $20 it would pay for eight of the ten,” Kane said.

The shelters paid for by the class will have a plaque. Students will see a Greater Lynchburg Transit Company bus parked behind a table at various places around campus.

Donations can be given on the spot or students can go online at  So far fundraising has been successful. The website for the project was launched two weeks ago, according to Krautter.

“Without even announcing it to anyone, we already raised $1,000 just by online and people finding it and donating. So we’re feeling really good about this,” Krautter said. Fundraising will be continuing until graduation.

The upcoming Junior/Senior Gala on April 16 will also be part of the fundraising. An amount of $5 will be taken from every ticket and go towards the shelters.

Students who donate $20 or more will receive a green regalia cord to wear at graduation, according to Krautter.

Freshman Courtney Richards is appreciative.

“Wow, I think (the shelters are) a really good idea. It’s practical. Everyone’s going to use it,” she said.