Liberty Information Services tech Glenn Babbitt uses his meteorology skills to bring fun and safety to LU events
A man with a kind smile, a blue button down and a weather-radar map tie sits down and paints the story of how the Lord worked throughout his life and guided him to Liberty. His name is Glenn Babbitt, and little do students know, but he protects them during Liberty’s outdoor events.
Babbitt works for the Office of Security and Public Safety Information Services at Liberty University and has worked for the school for the past six years, but recently, he stepped into a new role as the OSPS Information Services Technician.
“We are going to use you as our meteorologist,” he was told during a meeting for a football game.
Babbitt studied meteorology at Lyndon State College after having the heart for it ever since he was young. When he was a kid, he would stand outside during a snowstorm with his weather radio trying to pick up the National Weather Service.
“I was always interested in that, from the Earth to the Moon,” Babbitt said.
Babbitt has been using his knowledge of meteorology to provide support for special events such as home football games and other outdoor happenings. One of the key details Babbitt noted was how the NCAA has specific guidelines for weather preparation regarding outdoor events. Liberty’s Security and Public Safety department decided that if those regulations are important for sporting events, then those are important for any outdoor university gatherings.
In addition to helping the university follow the regulations, Babbitt has also utilized connections to the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, Virginia. Babbitt is sent a briefing, laid out as a hour-by-hour report for the day of the event and what they think is going to happen. Aviation weather reports are also monitored during the game.
Babbitt also uses multiple radar programs to track potential weather threats.
“One of the things is if there is a lightning strike (within an) eight-mile radius, you have to get people sheltered — not necessarily close the event down for the night. Like, hold it up. Then you have to wait 30 minutes after the last lightning strike within that eight-mile radius, (to start the event again).”
Prior to working at Liberty, Babbitt had visited the campus with his children for College for a Weekend (CFAW) when he first heard the Lord tell him, “This is going to be your home.” He did not expect that to mean that he would get the chance to use his meteorology expertise at Liberty.
“This is the greatest thing ever because I’ve always loved doing weather. It’s just like God has moved me in different directions, so it’s cool being able to come back to that after being away from it for so long,” Babbitt said.
Babbitt has worked other jobs such as truck driving and being a children’s pastor before coming to Liberty. When asked how this all came to be, he glorified God.
“The quick answer is God,” Babbitt said.
Hernandez is a feature reporter for the Liberty Champion