Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. announced today that Gov. Mitt Romney will address Liberty University graduates at the 2012 Commencement ceremony to be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, at Arthur L. Williams Stadium.
“We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to celebrate Commencement with Liberty’s 2012 graduates,” said Liberty Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. “This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visits of Governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty’s campus in 1980 and of President George H.W. Bush who spoke at Liberty’s 1990 Commencement ceremony.”
This will be Governor Romney’s first appearance at Liberty University. Chancellor Jerry Falwell, Jr. will also be making remarks during the ceremony.
To put this in perspective, here are a few factoids about Liberty.
*The school is ranked #535 overall among America’s “Top Colleges.” That pretty much makes it among the worst colleges in America.
*The school teaches “young Earth creationism as an explanation for the appearance of life on earth.” Seriously, that’s not a joke, they really do. In response, esteemed biologist Richard Dawkins said, “If it’s really true that the museum at Liberty University has dinosaur fossils which are labeled as being 3,000 years old, then that is an educational disgrace. It is debauching the whole idea of a university, and I would strongly encourage any members of Liberty University who may be here, to leave and go to a proper university.”
*In May 2009, “Vice president of student affairs Mark Hine sent an e-mail to the president of LU’s College Democrats, Brian Diaz, revoking the university’s recognition of the club,” saying, “The Democratic Party platform is contrary to the mission of Liberty University and to Christian doctrine.” This decision “led some to question the University’s tax-exempt status, and Americans United for Separation of Church and State filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, asking for a review of the university’s tax status.”
*According to Right Wing Watch, “Liberty University Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. gave Perry a rousing welcome, defending the governor for his controversial effort to require that girls in Texas recieve HPV vaccinations and calling Perry’s secession talk ‘gutsy.’”
*Liberty U. actually blocked access to the The Lynchburg News & Advance, after that paper “broke the news that Liberty University took in nearly a half-billion dollars last year in money from the government in the form of federal financial aid and noted that this could be seen as running counter to the university’s smaller government/conservative values agenda.”
There’s a lot more, but that’s a decent sampling, just to put in context the school where “severely conservative” Willard “Mitt” Romney will be delivering the commencement address next month.