March 22, 2023 : By Office of Communications & Public Engagement
Liberty University will host the 46th Governor of Florida Ron DeSantis as keynote speaker during Convocation on Friday, April 14, where he will address the student body for the first time. The event will begin at 10:30 a.m. in the Vines Center. This visit continues Liberty’s longstanding tradition of welcoming policy leaders and influential voices in America’s conservative movement.
“We are pleased to announce that Liberty University will be hosting Gov. Ron DeSantis as a Convocation speaker next month,” said Liberty Interim President Jerry Prevo. “As a university that is committed to Training Champions for Christ with academic excellence, it is important for our students to hear from some of the nation’s top influential leaders who are committed to the Christian faith while serving in the public square. Gov. DeSantis comes in a long line of notable guests to Convocation. We look forward to hearing him encourage, educate, and inspire our students.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ visit follows a host of visits from distinguished leaders serving in public office throughout the years, including former presidents and vice presidents, governors, ranking members of U.S. Congress, and Supreme Court justices who have each taken the stage to share their life stories, unique perspectives, and leadership principles with Liberty students while encouraging them to live out their faith in their future careers.
Liberty’s past guests have included Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin, Virginia Lt. Gov. Winsome Sears, former Vice President Mike Pence, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Presidents Donald Trump and Jimmy Carter, former South Carolina Gov. and U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, U.S. Sen. John McCain, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. The 43rd Governor of Florida Jeb Bush (1999-07) spoke at Liberty’s Commencement in 2015.
Liberty’s Convocation is held on Wednesday and Friday mornings and is the world’s largest gathering of Christian students. Each year, the Office of Spiritual Development hosts more than 80 internationally acclaimed speakers and thought leaders from a variety of fields.
Ron DeSantis has served as governor of Florida since 2019. A native Floridian, DeSantis attended Yale University, where he graduated with honors and was the captain of the varsity baseball team. He also graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. While at Harvard, he was commissioned in the U.S. Navy as a JAG officer. During his active-duty service, he supported operations at the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and deployed to Iraq as an adviser to a U.S. Navy SEAL commander in support of the SEAL mission in Fallujah, Ramadi, and the rest of Al Anbar province. His military decorations include the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service and the Iraq Campaign Medal.
After active-duty service, DeSantis served as a federal prosecutor. He was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 from Florida’s Sixth Congressional District before running for governor in 2018. Gov. DeSantis is married to Florida first lady Casey DeSantis, a former Emmy Award-winning television host. They have three children.
ABOUT LIBERTY UNIVERSITY
Liberty University, founded in 1971, is the world’s premier Christian university, one of the largest private, nonprofit universities in the nation, and the largest university in Virginia. Located near the Blue Ridge Mountains on over 7,000 acres in Lynchburg, Va., Liberty offers more than 700 unique programs of study from the certificate to the doctoral level. Over 600 programs are offered online. Utilizing its world-class infrastructure and Christian faculty, Liberty’s mission is to Train Champions for Christ with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world. As a religious nonprofit and institution of higher learning, Liberty University does not endorse any political party or candidate for public office.