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    October 1, 2021 Lynchburg, Va. RSS |

    Fans attending Liberty University’s Club Sports events this year will see signs and logos celebrating the 50th anniversary of the school’s founding in a few of the Flames’ facilities, on their uniforms and helmets, as well as along the boards, videoboards, and Zambonis in the LaHaye Ice Center (LIC).

    The videoboard at the LaHaye Ice Center displays what has become Liberty’s motto over the past 50 years.

    Blue and gold 50th anniversary stickers are emblazoned on the helmets worn by Liberty’s five hockey teams (Division I, II, and III men, and DI and II women) as well as the men’s lacrosse helmets and cycling helmets used by its men’s and women’s triathletes. A banner reading “50 Years of Training Champions For Christ” was unveiled last week across the top of the Liberty Lacrosse Fields’ press box.

    The university launched its anniversary website in August with a timeline, memories from alumni, and news and events. Many Liberty departments are collaborating to host special anniversary events throughout the 2021-22 academic year. Alumni, current students, faculty, staff, and friends of the university can join in the celebration across campus and remotely from their homes around the world.

    “What Liberty’s has been able to do is nothing but a miracle of the Lord to see the progress that’s been made in 50 years,” said Club Sports Athletic Director Kirk Handy, who is entering his 22nd season as Head Coach of the ACHA Division I men’s hockey team after playing for the Flames from 1995-99. “I’ve been here half of those years as a student and on staff. A major reason why Liberty was started was to impact the lives of young people and a true testament (of that) is the student-athletes that come through here and are sent out and are making an impact in the world as Champions For Christ through their careers and lives.”

    Liberty Division I men’s hockey graduate forward Chaydan Lauber and all of his teammates sport ‘LU50’ stickers on their helmets this season. (Photo by Chase Gyles)

    Handy has been honored to play a hand in taking the Club Sports program to the level it is today, one of the largest and finest in the nation offering 40 sports for close to 600 men and women.

    “(The 50th anniversary celebration) gives us a time of reflection to really focus on the mission of Liberty,” he said. “In a bigger sense, it has given our staff and student-athletes more of a mission-minded purpose going into the 50th year, how we want to celebrate the past and look to the future.”

    Liberty now has more than 250,000 alumni influencing the world in their respective fields. The university is one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in the nation and the largest university in Virginia, offering more than 700 unique programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral level. Over 450 programs are offered online.

    Director of Alumni Relations Giuseppe Cucci is encouraging former Club Sports players to return for the Oct. 8-9 Homecoming Weekend, when the Flames’ DI men’s hockey team will host Delaware on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the LIC. Former players dating back to the program’s inaugural season in 1984 will gather for a pre-game reception in the LIC’s front conference room on Saturday at 7 p.m. First, on Friday at 8 p.m., the men’s lacrosse team is expecting 30 or more former players to return for its annual alumni contest, pitting them against the current 33-man roster finalized last month.

    The press box at the Liberty Lacrosse Fields features a 50th anniversary banner across the top.