October 3, 2022 : By Jacob Couch - Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University has ranked No. 4 for private colleges, No. 1 in the Appalachia region, and No. 2 for schools primarily categorized as providing online education on Military Times’ recent Best for Vets: Colleges list. The list recognizes universities around the country that go above and beyond to accommodate veterans and their families. Overall, Liberty came in at No. 14 out of 311 schools.
The ranking highlights Liberty’s academic support and career advising services for military students as well as the broad range of services offered through the campus veterans center and special events that the university holds for military students and their families.
Liberty has consistently ranked high on the Best for Vets ranking, including No. 1 in 2019 in the online/non-traditional category. According to Liberty’s Office of Military Affairs, the recognition highlights what has been an ongoing passion for the Liberty family for decades.
“Liberty University established a military support office in the 1990s, and we have long been devoted to the success of our military and veteran students and their families,” said Director Emily Foutz. “We are grateful our military-affiliated students have chosen Liberty to accomplish their personal and educational goals.”
Liberty has also ranked in the top 10 on the 2022-23 Military Friendly Schools, in the “Private Offering Doctorate” category.
Of the school’s current undergraduate online population, 35 percent are military affiliated; over 38 percent of students enrolled in graduate online education are military students.
During Commencement in May, Liberty celebrated 5,701 military graduates (including 1,900 active duty) and 2,539 military spouses.
Foutz and her team have worked diligently to ensure that both residential and online service members and their families are afforded the best Liberty experience possible.
“Military Affairs works closely with partners throughout the university to make sure that we are meeting them in the seams and are making sure they are aware of the military needs,” she said. “We want to make sure our students have a place to call home while they are getting their education, which is why having a Military Affairs Office and Veterans Center is so important. Having that close connection after leaving the military is vital to their academic success.”
The Veterans Center is located in the Montview Student Union and provides resources and support for service members, veterans, and military dependents.
Liberty is recognizing November as Military Appreciation Month by offering a wide range of opportunities for the Liberty family and the greater Lynchburg community to show their support.
“We are thrilled to offer an entire month to show our appreciation for our service members, veterans, and military families,” Foutz said. “Both on-campus events and social media will be used to celebrate our military community within the residential and online campuses.”
In addition to a Military Appreciation Convocation on Nov. 11 and the Valley View Mike Donahue 5-Miler on Nov. 12, Liberty will host its Military Appreciation Football Game on Nov. 26 in a matchup with New Mexico State. The annual George Rogers Champion of Freedom Award will be presented at halftime. Since 2010, the award has been given to a man or woman who served in the United States Armed Forces and went above the call of duty, displaying extraordinary heroism while in the service and continuing to be an outstanding ambassador in their community. Rogers was a Purple Heart and Prisoner of War Medal recipient who was taken as a prisoner of war by the Japanese during World War II. He survived and went on to become CEO of the “Old Time Gospel Hour” in 1974 before finishing his career at Liberty as Vice President of Finance and Administration.
The month will also include a Student Veterans Association Veterans Gala on Nov. 5 and a Veterans Appreciation Reception on Nov. 8. In addition to the Flames Football game, Liberty Athletics will also recognize Military Appreciation games with women’s basketball and volleyball. The Club Sports Department will participate through the Nov. 12 Men’s Division I Hockey Military Appreciation Game against Delaware.