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The stage is set: LU prepares for largest graduating class

Liberty University has announced it will honor its largest graduating class — 8,600 — at Saturday’s Commencement. The number breaks last year’s record of 6,350 graduates.

“This is a tremendous increase and a reflection of the true blessings Liberty has enjoyed with our growth,” said university registrar Larry Shackleton.

More than 28,000 are expected to attend this year’s ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. at Arthur L. Williams Stadium. About 4,400 students have planned to walk in the ceremony, a significant jump from last year when 2,300 graduates were present.

With a major expansion of Williams Stadium under way, the school has had to make special arrangements to accommodate the large crowd. By the end of the week, temporary bleachers will have been set up at the south end of the field and above seating that is already in place on the east side and along the sidelines. Workers will set up 9,500 chairs on the field.

Of this year’s graduates, 24 percent are residential students, and 76 percent will receive their degrees from Liberty University Online. They will receive degrees and certifications from the following areas: aeronautics (22), arts and sciences (2,192), business (1,273), communication (279), engineering and computational science (81), education (1,050), government (287), law (57), religion (886), seminary (1,479), Willmington School of the Bible (20), Liberty Home Bible Institute (58), Institute of Biblical Studies (20) and Liberty University Online Academy (53).

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