The University of Lynchburg has received a gift valued at $1 million from Liberty University in memory of Jerry Falwell Sr., the founder of LU who began his college studies at Lynchburg College.
The gift includes $250,000 in cash to aid in the construction of the University of Lynchburg’s new residence hall, as well as a gift of land adjacent to the University of Lynchburg campus. The land, valued at about $750,000, includes a parking lot off of Thomas Road. An ultimate purpose for the land has not been identified, but it could be used for parking or future construction.
“The University of Lynchburg and Liberty University have been good neighbors for many decades, and we share a common commitment to our city,” University of Lynchburg President Dr. Kenneth R. Garren said. “We thank the leadership of LU and the Falwell family for this generous gift, which will help us in our current expansion and the enhancements of the University of Lynchburg educational experience.”
Jerry Falwell Sr. studied journalism at Lynchburg College for two years in the 1950s before transferring to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. After returning to his hometown of Lynchburg, he founded Thomas Road Baptist Church and started the “Old Time Gospel Hour,” a nationally syndicated radio and television ministry. He founded Liberty University in 1971 to provide higher education for evangelical believers.
“My father treasured his time at Lynchburg College,” Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. said. “The college provided him with a solid educational foundation that served him well throughout his life. He was an excellent mathematician and a stickler for good grammar. Dad even personally proofread many publications of his ministry and of Liberty University throughout his life. His studies at Lynchburg College were instrumental in preparing him for his life’s work. We are proud to be formally recognizing the key role Lynchburg College played in his life and ministry with this gift.”
Falwell noted admiration for Dr. Garren’s leadership. “Ken Garren has done more to move University of Lynchburg forward than any other president there in my lifetime,” Falwell added. “He and I have always had a very close relationship. I have been blessed to have him as a mentor since becoming president of LU and I consider him one of my closest friends in academia.”