|Sports:||baseball, basketball, cheerleading cross country running, football, golf, ice skating, soccer, softball, tennis, track and field, volleyball, wrestling|
|Mascot:||Flames (Sparky the Flaming Eagle)|
Liberty University is a Christ-centered Southern Baptist University located in Lynchburg, Virginia. Liberty was founded in 1971 by then-Chancellor Dr. Jerry Falwell. Reverend Falwell created the school to provide an opportunity for students to gain the benefits of a rich and diverse academic environment while simultaneously offering the opportunity to become closer to God. It is one of the few colleges that admits many students generously but then weeds them out based on academic performance over the four years, which is how most colleges operated a century ago.
Liberty has many opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. The school also shines in extra-curricular pursuits. The school's debate team has been recently ranked #1 in the country, and the Quiz Bowl team recently finished fifth in a national competition. Athletically, a Liberty track member ran a mile in 3:57, and the women's basketball team made it to the NCAA tournament in 2005.
Liberty has faced criticism from conservatives for allowing, and even funding, the advocacy of abortion by its debate team. But it is otherwise known to be a strongly conservative college, and the Liberty Way strictly prohibits students from having abortions, prescribing harder punishments for having an abortion than for committing misdemeanor crimes. Liberals and the Republican Never Trump movement have criticized the institution because of university president Jerry Falwell Jr's endorsement of Donald Trump, although the much larger pro-Trump movement sees this as a good thing. Liberty University was honored to host President Trump as a speaker at its 2017 commencement ceremony.