Liberty Plans To Build Onto the Hancock Welcome Center to Honor the Life of Jerry Falwell Sr.

Liberty University plans to build a center to honor Jerry Falwell Sr. and memorialize the story of his life with an anticipated opening in 2023.

According to the Liberty’s Office of Communications & Public Engagement, “the center will be located directly behind and attached to the Hancock Welcome Center.” 

Vice President of Major Construction Daniel Deter says they plan to start the project in the spring of 2022 and have it completed in the fall of 2023.

“This is a very aggressive schedule, especially with the national material supply chain problems we are seeing all over the country, but this is the goal currently,” Deter said.

According to Deter, the mission for the building is to create a center where a variety of visitors can experience not only the founder’s vision of Liberty University, but also to highlight what Liberty is today.

“We want people to be able to come in and experience the past, while also seeing the current and the future,” said Deter. “We want to show the world that we are not only a university by name, we are a Christian university, and we are not ashamed of it.” 

Senior student Jacquie Arnold is both excited for the new structure but has reservations about it. 

“I have mixed feelings about it,” Arnold said. “On one hand, I think it’s great that we are going to focus on Dr. Falwell’s vision for Liberty. But on the other hand, I don’t think we need an entire building for it.”

Deter believes that the Jerry Falwell Center will have a lot to offer students.

“Our campus has grown to the size where it is difficult to see it all in one visit,” he said. “The idea is for us to be able to condense a long physical tour into a highlighted tour that allows visitors to see amazing things on campus that we are very proud of. One of the focus points of the new facility is technology. We want to convey our message through the eyes of current 18 to 20-year-olds. This will be done with digital graphics, signage and special effects. We want our message to be vibrant versus more of a traditional museum-type approach.”

Hazard is a news reporter.

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