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Liberty hosts special event to thank supporters for their contributions toward Training Champions for Christ

Liberty University hosted a President’s Circle Dinner on Saturday in the Montview Alumni Ballroom to recognize its generous donors for their commitment to ensuring that the school’s original mission of Training Champions for Christ will continue to be carried out for future generations.

Liberty President Dondi Costin at the President’s Circle Dinner (Photos by Kendall Tidwell)

After a time of fellowship, guests were personally thanked by Liberty executive leadership, including President Dondi Costin, Chancellor Jonathan Falwell, and Executive Vice President for Development Brian Mentzer. A video was shown in which multiple Liberty students also thanked them for their generosity.

Falwell opened his message by sharing about his excitement in witnessing how the plans originally conceived by his father, Liberty’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, have reached fruition. He noted that his father’s vision will continue to see dividends as long as the university remains true to its calling.

“I’m excited to see (people) from all different places coming together tonight, people who have the same kind of love, respect, and excitement about what God is doing on this campus,” he said. “Dr. Costin and I are here to report to you tonight that what God is doing is nothing short of miraculous.”

Sophomore Grant Thomas, a resident assistant, spoke at the dinner, sharing his journey to Liberty. He said he was only able to attend after receiving a generous scholarship made possible by a Liberty donor. When he visited campus as a high school student, he was impressed by the emphasis placed on the spiritual welfare of students through gatherings like Convocation. He spent his first semester juggling his academic responsibilities and a restaurant job to make enough money to remain enrolled. When he eventually became overwhelmed with balancing work and school, he reached out to the university in search of additional scholarships.

Liberty Chancellor Jonathan Falwell

“We (students) get to be a pivotal piece of the story of Liberty University because you guys saw a need, stepped up, and said, ‘This is our time,’” he told the crowd. “On behalf of every single student here, I want to give out the biggest thank you because you have not only helped us continue our education, but you ultimately changed the direction of our lives.”

Costin then thanked the donors for their generosity and compared Liberty’s journey to that of the Israelites in Deuteronomy 6:10-12.

“Forty years from now, when other generations come to this campus, when they hear the story of the miracles that God has done and they see the things that have happened because you have been the answer to other people’s prayers, they will say, ‘Look what God has done,’” he said.

“Thank you for reminding us what living generously looks like,” Costin added. “Thank you for showing us what it looks like to actually lay up for yourself treasures not here on earth, but in heaven, knowing that ultimately the answer to your prayers and the prayers of others and the treasures you are laying up, are people.”

Mentzer closed the evening by highlighting God’s generosity in sacrificing His Son Jesus on the cross for the world. He said Christians who are generous with their finances reflect God’s image.  He noted that his office works to ensure that Liberty builds strong relationships with its partners that hinge around the mission of Training Champions for Christ.

“What’s first and foremost is relationships,” he said. “We want to build a relationship with you. I often tell my team that it’s not about the money, but it’s about helping you align your philanthropic passions with the purposes, priorities, projects, students, and all the other good stuff that’s happening at Liberty University.”

Junior Nathanael Breed, one of the students who participated in the donor appreciation video, attended the dinner to personally thank those responsible for making Liberty his home for his college years.

“To see the people God is using as the conduits is a blessing,” he said. “I’m here because of their graciousness and because of their gifting, so to come sit with them and say, ‘You changed my life,’ is a huge blessing.”

For information on joining the President’s Circle and ways to give, visit Liberty.edu/Giving or call (800) 543-5309.

Liberty Executive Vice President for Development Brian Mentzer
Liberty sophomore Grant Thomas

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