July 31, 2014 : By Ted Allen
Membership in the new Liberty University Varsity Club reached 420 alumni this week, surpassing the original goal of 390 by the end of 2014.
The club launched in March with the purpose of keeping Liberty athletes connected to one another and the university.
“It’s growing very fast,” said Jake Hannon, club director, former Flames player, and current assistant ACHA Division I hockey coach. “This summer, we’re blasting emails to thousands of former athletes, and we expect a large influx. We should hit 500 members in the next month.”
“We want to be as inclusive as possible and make sure that we’re honoring all those who have poured their heart and sweat into making Liberty what it is today in the athletic sphere,” Hannon said, noting that the Varsity Club is open to any NCAA or Club Sports athlete with at least a year of competition in their respective sport.
“The membership is free for life. We just want to get everyone excited about not only what’s going on in Liberty Athletics and Club Sports today, but also to remember all of the history and all of the success that Liberty athletes have had in the past.”
All Varsity Club members will have the option of activating a free one-year Flames Club membership at the member level. They will also receive discounts on season tickets to a variety of Liberty sporting events, as well as a free T-shirt and window stickers.
Contact information for Varsity Club members is currently being compiled to help former athletes reconnect with each other.
“We’re very active on Facebook and Twitter, and our other social media outlets where we share old Liberty Champion articles, pictures, news stories, game reports, memorabilia, and updates on current events within Liberty Athletics,” Hannon said. “We’ll also send out away-game schedules so if people who follow Liberty live in that area, they can go watch the games.”
On Oct. 3, as part of Homecoming Weekend, the Varsity Club is planning to host a dinner for all former Liberty athletes in the new “Training Table” section of the recently renovated Reber-Thomas Dining Hall. Flames Football Head Coach Turner Gill will be the featured speaker.
|Jacob Mast ('14), left, who played for the NCAA Division I golf team, and Jonathan Mast ('12), who played on the Club Sports Ultimate Frisbee team, are two of the newest members of the Varsity Club.|
“It’s going to be a great time of fellowship. We’re going to be customizing the room with decorations and memorabilia and celebrating the achievements of Liberty athletes in the past,” Hannon said.
Throughout the season, there will be tailgate festivities open only to Varsity Club members. These events will be held before every home football game (outside Williams Stadium) and a few select men’s hockey games (outside LaHaye Ice Center), including the Dec. 6 contest against Virginia Tech, the day after the induction of the inaugural Club Sports Hall of Fame class.