August 24, 2017 : By ajmenard
As Liberty University shifts into a new academic year with classes starting on Monday, campus is revving up with activity. More than 4,500 new faces are studying on campus this year, bumping the residential population to approximately 15,200 students, a university record.
Thanks to the recent opening of Residential Commons III — and its 800 beds — Liberty will house over 8,000 students on campus this semester.
Though the three new high-rise Commons residence halls are 6-8 stories high, moving in was a well-oiled machine run by scores of student leaders who helped the newcomers load belongings into bins and unload them in their rooms on Wednesday and Thursday. As cars pulled up, they were greeted with cheers, music, and dancing. More students threw footballs and Frisbees or tossed bean bags on the spacious Commons Lawn and Campus Walk.
The Class of 2021 represents all 50 states and more than 80 countries. States with the largest number of incoming students are Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Florida. The nations with the highest incoming student populations are Korea, Canada, China, Nigeria, and Brazil.
As student research opportunities continue to grow, the university’s academic quality indicators remain on the rise among incoming classes. The Class of 2021 boasts the highest incoming GPA (3.49) and average SAT (1,138) and ACT (24) scores to date. The number of Honors Program students continues to outnumber NCAA athletes on campus, and Liberty continues to attract National Merit students and finalists.
Along with the returning students, who are scheduled to move in starting on Friday, the fresh crop has an opportunity to acclimate to campus life with a number of Welcome Week events (follow the link for all event times and locations). Some, like the Help Desk Blitz and Question Tables, connect students to vital resources while others, including the Center for Multicultural Enrichment’s Celebrating Diversity and Building Community event, help foster new relationships. Prizes are offered throughout the week, including at the New Student VIP Event, a party in the Liberty University Barnes & Noble Bookstore Thursday night. Many events, from a Bingo Night to the Scavenger Hunt and Outdoor Movie Night, provide entertainment while creating opportunities for friendships to kindle. During Friday’s Flames Kickoff in the Vines Center, students will learn traditions of the exciting Flames Athletics culture in a pep rally setting. Friday’s SA @ Nite in the LaHaye Event Space serves as the first taste of the many lively late night happenings hosted by Student Activities.
As the semester gets underway, the entire student body will get to celebrate the next exciting chapter in Liberty’s story with Block Party on Sept. 2 at 5 p.m. in the LaHaye Parking Lot, featuring carnival action and live music from Capital Kings and more. Other musical guests this semester include Young Oceans (Sept. 29, Event Space), Keith & Kristyn Getty (Oct. 2, School of Music Concert Hall), Johnnyswim (Oct. 30, School of Music Concert Hall), and Switchfoot’s Jon Foreman (Nov. 11, School of Music Concert Hall).