Through the smiles and tears of joy shared across a crowd of more than 40,000 on hand for Liberty University’s 46th Commencement Ceremony on May 11 was a sturdy resolve, a sense that while it was the end of a journey, the university’s largest graduating class in history had much to look forward to.
Pence brought with him the personal congratulations of the President of the United States of America, Donald J. Trump (who gave the first Commencement address of his presidency at Liberty in 2017) and encouraged the Class of 2019 to seize “a new era of opportunity and optimism” fueled by a growing American economy.
The Class of 2019 has an advantage entering the job market, Pence said, noting “the Liberty name carries great weight with employers all across the country” (there are four LU alumni on his own staff), but he also warned the graduates to be prepared to make a stand.
“If what you’ve seen and heard and learned in this place has also taken hold in your hearts, go from here, live it, and share it — because America ne men and women of integrity and faith now more than ever.”
“You need to prepare your minds for action, men and women. You need to show that we can love God and love our neighbor at the same time through words and de,” Pence said. “And you need to be prepared to meet opposition. As the founder of this university (the late Dr. Jerry Falwell) often said, ‘No one ever achieved greatness without experiencing opposition.’”
“Decide here and now that you are going to stand firm, that you will put into practice all the things you learned here on Liberty Mountain, that you will never give up, that you will persevere, and that you will always be prepared to give a reason for the hope that you have.”
“What we really want to do is to teach students how to think like entrepreneurs,” Falwell said, “not just to go out and get a job and wait for the end of the week for their paycheck, but to really look for ways to add value, to pursue ideas and problem-solve, and also not to be afraid to fail and try again. Because that’s how this school started from scratch in 1971 and became the world-class university you see today.”
“God built that entrepreneurial DNA into my father, who learned it from his father and his grandfather, and then dad mentored many of us with that same spirit,” Falwell said. “Graduates, I hope that your time at Liberty has also placed that spirit, including a real love for people, in all of you. Liberty was built by entrepreneurs who took huge risks, and if you do that in your life and are not afraid of failing, you’ll be shocked at what you can accomplish.”
Class of 2019
Earned their degrees online
Earned their degrees residentially
Longtime U.S. Congressman, Serving Virginia’s 6th District for 26 Years
DOCTOR OF LAWS