As Liberty University graduates celebrated the end of an academic journey at the 41st Commencement on May 10, the legacy of the Class of 2014 was commemorated in two significant ways.
First, President Jerry Falwell described a 1-kilogram bar of Lutetium, a silvery white metal obtained by Director of Purchasing Jamie Hill and engraved with Liberty’s wordmark that will be permanently displayed in the Jerry Falwell Library in honor of the Class of 2014.
“If you look at the periodic table of elements, we’ve always thought it was curious that the atomic symbol of this element is LU and its atomic number is 71,” Falwell said during his Commencement address. He was referring to Liberty’s initials and the fact that it was founded in 1971. “It’s only been isolated in recent years, and it’s one of the most difficult elements to prepare. Like Liberty, it’s rare.”
Then, Senior Class President Danielle Ferrario announced the Senior Class Gift — more than $15,000 for the creation of a yearly scholarship for a residential or online student who has battled or is currently battling cancer while working toward a degree from Liberty.
“Not only is fighting cancer a physical, emotional, and spiritual battle, but it is a financial battle as well,” Ferrario said, referring to ongoing medical bills. “Our desire as a class was to raise money to create this scholarship and be able to support those who need help paying for college because of the financial burden of fighting cancer … and also to encourage that person that their brothers and sisters in Christ are supporting them.”
The scholarship will be awarded for the first time either Fall 2014 or Fall 2015, after the endowment has accumulated sufficient funding for it to be sustained. “I encourage you, even as you move on from here, to remember this gift and keep giving to it,” Ferrario said. “This scholarship is our legacy and its purpose is to not affect only one person’s life, but many lives.”