Special Guests

January 11, 2013
  • Donald Trump, celebrity real estate mogul (Sept. 24, 2012)
    Donald Trump, celebrity real estate mogul (Sept. 24, 2012)
  • Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Oct. 27, 2010)
    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Oct. 27, 2010)
  • Francis Chan, pastor, best-selling author (Nov. 14, 2011)
    Francis Chan, pastor, best-selling author (Nov. 14, 2011)
  • Former U.S. Rep Bob McEwen (Oct. 31, 2012)
    Former U.S. Rep Bob McEwen (Oct. 31, 2012)
  • Gov. Rick Perry (Sept. 14, 2011)
    Gov. Rick Perry (Sept. 14, 2011)
  • Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar,
    Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, "19 Kids and Counting" stars (Oct. 5, 2011)
  • Karen Kingsbury, best-selling author (Oct. 10, 2011)
    Karen Kingsbury, best-selling author (Oct. 10, 2011)
  • John MacArthur, pastor, best-selling author (Feb. 11, 2011)
    John MacArthur, pastor, best-selling author (Feb. 11, 2011)
  • U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (Sept. 28, 2011)
    U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann (Sept. 28, 2011)
  • Joni Eareckson Tada, author and founder of Joni and Friends (April 7, 2010)
    Joni Eareckson Tada, author and founder of Joni and Friends (April 7, 2010)
  • Bill Simon, CEO, Walmart U.S. (Jan. 30, 2012)
    Bill Simon, CEO, Walmart U.S. (Jan. 30, 2012)
  • Horst Schulze, founder and CEO of Capella Hotel Group (Jan. 31, 2011)
    Horst Schulze, founder and CEO of Capella Hotel Group (Jan. 31, 2011)
  • Jim Daly, Focus on the Family (Feb. 8, 2012)
    Jim Daly, Focus on the Family (Feb. 8, 2012)
  • Frank Peretti, best-selling author (Oct. 15, 2012)
    Frank Peretti, best-selling author (Oct. 15, 2012)
  • Dr. Ben Caron, world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon (March 29, 2012)
    Dr. Ben Caron, world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon (March 29, 2012)
  • Ben Stein, scholar, attorney, writer, TV & film star (Nov. 5, 2012)
    Ben Stein, scholar, attorney, writer, TV & film star (Nov. 5, 2012)
  • Phil Vischer,
    Phil Vischer, "Veggie Tales" creator (Oct. 3, 2012)
  • Cal Thomas, columnist (Feb. 6, 2012)
    Cal Thomas, columnist (Feb. 6, 2012)
  • Kirk Cameron, actor/producer (Oct. 5, 2012)
    Kirk Cameron, actor/producer (Oct. 5, 2012)
  • Gov. Mike Huckabee (March 30, 2009)
    Gov. Mike Huckabee (March 30, 2009)

“All over the world they are talking about it — Liberty University, what they’ve done and in such a short time…” –Donald Trump

Liberty University continues to bring speakers of global significance in from every sphere of society to address its student body in a thrice-weekly Convocation — the largest weekly gathering of Christian young people in the world.

In September, Liberty welcomed celebrity real estate mogul and television personality Donald Trump for the most highly anticipated Convocation to date. This March, NFL standout Tim Tebow will take the stage during his first visit to Liberty. Popular Christian hip-hop artist LeCrae and former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee are also on the slate for Convocation this spring.

Trump’s speech was presented to more than 10,000 in a packed Vines Center, shown at two satellite locations, broadcast live on the Liberty Channel, and available to more than 80,000 Liberty University Online students via the recently deployed Online Communities website, making it the largest Convocation audience ever.

“All over the world they are talking about it — Liberty University, what they’ve done and in such a short time,” Trump told the masses. He went on to comment on the success of Liberty under Chancellor Falwell’s direction, “I see the way Liberty University has been run. I’ve seen where you came from, and how it was a struggle, and how it is right now. Our country has the same potential, if we ever wanted to do something about it.”

Trump follows a long line of influential speakers to take the podium at Convocation, including former Sen. Ted Kennedy in the 1980s. In the last few years alone, Liberty has welcomed prominent figures ranging from the creator of “Veggie Tales” to the CEO of Walmart U.S., Hollywood legends, former NFL players, presidential candidates, and influential pastors.

Liberty’s commitment to traditional American values draws a number of political figures every year. For that very reason, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has visited Liberty several times since his 2007 Commencement speech and 2010 Convocation message.

Many speakers enjoy touring campus during their visit, exploring its many amenities, like the new Hancock Welcome Center and Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, Liberty’s year-round ski and snowboarding facility. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. often shares then-and-now photographs, taking them through the university’s rich history and sharing his vision for its future. With so many construction projects under way, first-time speakers are impressed by the rapid pace at which Liberty is growing. And for those who have been here before, the campus is never exactly the same as they remember it.

“There is always some new building, new program, something new going on. Liberty is rapidly becoming a major force and growing around the world,” Gingrich said.

“(Liberty) is going to become one of the great intellectual institutions in the world and an institution which stands for key values and is not at all afraid or ashamed to stand up for what it believes in.” Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich

Convocation Quotables

Convocation speakers challenge, motivate, and inspire Liberty University students as they share their stories and impart wisdom from experience in their respective fields. Here is just a sample of inspiring words that have echoed from the Vines Center stage and into the hearts of Liberty’s students in the last three years.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (Oct. 27, 2010) – “You loan power to the state; the state does not loan power to you. This is why the Constitution begins, ‘We the People.’ It does not begin, ‘We the politicians,’ ‘We the judges,’ or ‘We the bureaucrats.’”

“Liberty reassures me that there is a place where people are actually happy that you are in favor of classic American values. There are so many campuses now occupied by tenured faculty who despise America and who are opposed to American values.”

Francis Chan, pastor, best-selling author (Nov. 14, 2011) – “Work really hard at living biblically because you will always be challenged … here in America you will be challenged constantly to not live biblically and to create some sort of culture that justifies what they want anyways. Get alone with this book (the Bible) and do what it says … you know how God is communicating to you and you need to be obedient, even if you don’t see anyone else doing it that way.”

Former U.S. Rep. Bob McEwen, (Oct. 31, 2012) – “Scripture says that righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to all people. When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice, for blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord. If any man lacks wisdom, let him ask of God. That’s what the founding fathers did when they met in Philadelphia at the beginning of every day.”

Gov. Rick Perry (Sept. 14, 2011) – “Do not fret if you don’t know your place in the world yet or what you want to be someday. … Trust that God wouldn’t have put you here unless He had a unique plan for your life. … He knows you by name; you’re never alone, even when you feel like it, and He doesn’t require perfect people to execute His perfect plan.

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, Television stars, “19 Kids and Counting” (Oct. 5, 2011) – Jim Bob: “Follow the Lord with your whole heart and life. Following the Lord is an exciting adventure. Give every area of your life to God — don’t hold anything back.”

Karen Kingsbury, author, Liberty parent (Oct. 10, 2011) – “The story that will matter the most is the one that you are writing with the days of your lives. What you want at the end of your time is for people to say of you that you wrote a best-seller with the finite number of days God has given you.”

John MacArthur, pastor, best-selling author (Feb. 11, 2011) – “It’s amazing to see what the Lord has done (at Liberty, in the 20 years since his last visit). You have to grasp this opportunity because this can’t be explained humanly; this is the work of God — how wonderful to be a part of it.”

U.S. Rep. Michelle Bachmann, Liberty parent (Sept. 28, 2011) – “Don’t settle for anything less than what this great and almighty God has planned for you. … Jerry Falwell (Sr.) didn’t settle, the early donors didn’t settle, the early students didn’t settle – don’t think this is it. This is just the beginning of so much more, on this campus and in your own life.”

Joni Eareckson Tada, author and founder of Joni and Friends (April 7, 2010) – “Bask in the rays of the light of the world; let the sun burn away every bit of half-hearted, ho-hum, average, mediocre approach to God. Feed on Him, taste the bread of Heaven and see that He is good.”

Bill Simon, CEO, Walmart U.S. (Jan. 30, 2012) – “Average doesn’t give fulfillment in life. To be average doesn’t show respect for the gifts you’ve been given. Choose to be exceptional.”

Horst Schulze, founder and CEO of Capella Hotel Group (Jan. 31, 2011) – “If the integrity God wants from you is part of what you see, then you’re a leader. If you cannot see it, you will be a follower.”

Jim Daly, CEO, Focus on the Family (Feb. 8, 2012) – “I think children show us God’s love in His heart for us, like a father for his child. He cares for you, He loves you, and He wants you to succeed.”

Frank Peretti, best-selling author (Oct. 15, 2012)  “We Christians tend to look at our whole faith as what happens within the church building. Knock down the walls of the church building, take a look outside — all the rest of all creation belongs to the word of God, all of it is His.”

Dr. Ben Carson, world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon (March 29, 2012) – “It is so important in the world in which we live, where secularism has such a loud microphone, that you stand up for what you believe in. It’s going to require courage and people to stand up and be counted.”

Ben Stein, scholar, attorney, writer, TV & film star (Nov. 5, 2012) – “It all comes down to doing a certain kind of work — work to make a better world and work to be better friends, neighbors, family members, and children. And to follow God’s Word and honor God and love one another.”

Phil Vischer, “Veggie Tales” creator (Oct. 3, 2012) – “It’s very easy for a dream to become an idol if you think it’s something you can’t live without.”

Cal Thomas, columnist (Feb. 6, 2012) – “There are smart people and there are wise people. I’d rather be wise. Being wise is about having the mind of Christ.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (March 30, 2009) – “Be willing to do the little things, and God will lift you up to do the bigger things. But if you are unwilling to do the little things, you’ll never know the bigger things.”

Actor/producer Kirk Cameron (Oct. 5, 2012) – “You’re in a place where there has been a spiritual legacy and a heritage that is being passed down to you, through so many who have invested their lives to teach the next generation. You, you’re their hope. You’re their hope to walk into this world, and change this world.”

  •  Convocations are aired live on www.Liberty.edu/Streaming, on the Liberty Channel, and on the Liberty Today mobile app. Past Convocations can also be viewed at those locations, as well as on Liberty’s YouTube channel.

 

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