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A Big, Hearty LU Welcome

September 20, 2022

New year brings new faces, same mission

Campus came alive once again in August as new and returning students combined to give Liberty University its largest total residential enrollment in history at 15,800 students. There are 4,600 new incoming students in the freshman class, just slightly lower than last year’s record. That means a lot of new faces to welcome to the Liberty family, so in keeping with tradition, the school greeted them in grand style from the moment they arrived. 

On the two new student move-in days, the student leadership teams lined the sidewalks in front of the residence halls, cheering loud as the families drove up. Then the unpacking began. Families looked on in amazement to see their student’s belongings whisked away to their rooms almost as fast as they could get out of their vehicles.

“I saw ‘Servant’ on the back of their T-shirts, and I about lost it,” said Fielding Neel, who traveled from Kentucky to help move in his granddaughter. “It was a moment that really meant something to me. The heart of the students, the welcome, the cheering, the excitement … it just really started it off right for me.”

Parents join their children for prayer on the Academic Lawn. (Photo by Kendall Tidwell)

The Office of Spiritual Development hosted Prayer on the Lawn, allowing new students and their families time to pause, pray, and worship together as they began a new stage in all of their lives. Families were also invited to a Parent & Family Session where representatives from various campus departments presented information on safety, housing, student affairs, and ways to help new students navigate through the college experience.

New Student Convocation (Photo by: Chase Gyles)

At New Student Convocation, another Liberty tradition, students were introduced to upcoming events and opportunities for spiritual growth. This year, the Vines Center was sectioned off by states and countries so students could meet others from areas closer to their own homes. Interim President Jerry Prevo walked around the arena, personally welcoming all the students and families before delivering a message about the importance of opening one’s life to the Lord and becoming an integral part of Liberty’s mission to Train Champions for Christ.

Interim President Jerry Prevo greets families during move-in. (Photo by Matt Reynolds)

Before classes even began, students had chances to meet faculty and staff in their academic departments during welcome sessions and at a Doughnuts with the Deans event on the steps of the Montview Student Union.

Helms School of Government Dean Robert Hurt greets new students at Doughnuts with the Deans at the Montview Student Union. (Photo by Eva Soderstrom)

Flames Kickoff at the Liberty Arena (Photo by Chase Reed)

Of course, becoming a Liberty student also means becoming a Flames fan. All new students were invited to the Flames Kickoff, a large pep rally in the Liberty Arena where they learned game day traditions from coaches and student-athletes.

Block Party (Photo by Chase Reed)

Welcome Week is designed to help students explore their campus and build community. The Student Activities Department hosted an outdoor movie night, Big Band Night, open mic event, and bingo. An outdoor concert, carnival rides, games, and concessions helped all the students ring in the new school year at Block Party — one of the largest campus events of the year — as they celebrated the end of the first week of classes.

“Welcome Week helps expose new students to everything that LU has to offer and set them up for success as they begin their journey at LU,” said Chris Misiano, vice president of Campus Recreation and Logistics. “Alumni always look back fondly on that time, and many remark how they made friendships that week that continue to endure. While the types of events might change or the number of awesome facilities expand, we want to provide excellent opportunities for the student body to find their niche at LU.”

Students filled the Academic Lawn on Aug. 22, the night of the first day of classes, for an evening of praise and worship led by the Worship Collective. (Photo by Chase Reed)

After the first day of classes on Aug. 22, new and returning students filled the Academic Lawn for a powerful night of worship. It was a time for them to refocus on their most important relationship, the one with their Heavenly Father, and to set the tone for a year of learning and growing in the Lord together.  

The Liberty Journal welcomes all of our new students! We are blessed to have you join our family and make Liberty your new home away from home.

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