News & Events

Honoring our Heroes

February 17, 2016

As part of Liberty University’s annual Military Emphasis Week, Liberty honored one of its own heroes. Maj. Michael Donahue, a former Liberty ROTC instructor who was killed in Afghanistan in 2014, was posthumously awarded Liberty’s George Rogers Champion of Freedom Award, given annually to a veteran who has displayed extraordinary heroism while serving. Donahue was an avid runner and often ran near Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre. A trail of the Liberty Mountain Trail System was recently named in Donahue’s honor. On Nov. 14, a memorial 5-Miler was held on the Mike Donahue Trail.

Maj. Mike Donahue

Maj. Mike Donahue

One highlight of Military Emphasis Week was the patriotic halftime show at Williams Stadium on Nov. 7. After a tribute to fallen hero Maj. Michael Donahue, Marines re-enacted the flag-raising at Iwo Jima, and onlookers watched Liberty’s Spirit of the Mountain marching band perform. An American flag was stretched from sideline to sideline, covering over 30 yards, and the show culminated with a powerful rendition of “God Bless the USA” and fireworks.

On Veterans Day, Liberty honored George Rogers himself during Convocation. The former World War II POW and local and national hero was a longtime administrator at Liberty, serving from 1974-99. He started as Liberty’s chief financial officer and was serving as vice president of finance and administration when he retired. He was met with a thundering ovation at Convocation as President Jerry Falwell introduced him and shared Rogers’ story of surviving the Bataan Death March in the Philippines during the second Great War. A bust of Rogers sits inside the gates at Williams Stadium.

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