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LFSN Recaps the President's Kickoff Event

August 15, 2014
|  Lynchburg, Va.
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Liberty University News Office coverage of the event

Liberty University hosted its seventh annual President's Kickoff, Friday evening, inside Williams Stadium, one of the first official events on Liberty Mountain for the 2014-15 academic year.

Liberty's Class of 2018 has spent most of the last two days moving into their dorms and adjusting to campus life. Gates opened at Williams Stadium at 5 p.m. and the largest freshmen class in school history was served dinner and had a chance to watch one of the final football workouts for Liberty's 2014 preseason training camp.

Liberty welcomes its largest incoming class to date this academic year, with nearly 4,200 new and transfer students from 37 different countries. Overall resident enrollment is now more than 13,200, the highest in Liberty's history.

President Jerry Falwell officially welcomed Liberty's newest freshmen class, treating them to dinner on the grounds at the stadium. During the annual kickoff event, President Falwell welcomed the fresh faces to Liberty's campus and talked with them about how important athletics is to the overall collegiate experience.

President Falwell and his wife, Becki, as accepted the #ALSIceBucketChallenge that is sweeping the social media world in an attempt to raise awareness for the disease also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

"Becki and I were challenged by (women's soccer assistant coach) Laura Armstrong in the last 24 hours, so we want to do our part," President Falwell said.

Two members of Liberty's cheerleading squad stood on the shoulders of teammates with large buckets of cold water and proceeded to pour them onto the Falwells' heads, to the cheers of the incoming freshmen and transfer students in attendance.

President Falwell then made a surprise challenge to the Class of 2018, inviting students to take part in the fundraising effort and spraying many in the crowd with water from a fire hose.

"We just didn't want you to ever forget your first day, your first big event at Liberty," he said. "I think that's one you'll remember. I know I will."

The event was hosted by the athletics department, allowing Director of Athletics Jeff Barber to address the newest Liberty Flames fans. During his time before the freshmen class, he conveyed the importance of being a true Liberty Flames fan.

During the remainder of the 45-minute event, the freshmen class was taught many of Liberty's football game day traditions. Toward the end the program, third-year head football coach Turner Gill addressed the crowd and thanked them for their support for the upcoming season.

The Liberty Flames Sports Network was on site throughout the evening and provided a video recap of today's event, including an interview with President Falwell.

The football program will hold its final full workout of preseason training camp on Saturday evening as part of Flames Fan Fest. Gates at the stadium will open at 6 p.m., with a full scrimmage slated to start at 7 p.m. Following the scrimmage, Liberty's players and coaches will be available for a meet-and-greet session in the Williams Stadium Concourse. The event is free of charge and open to the public.

Season and single-game tickets remain on sale for the 2014 season through the Flames Ticket Office. For more information about tickets, contact the Flames Ticket Office at (434) 582-SEAT (7328) or by email at tickets@liberty.edu.