LU Students Eager to Hear Mitt Romney - - ABC13

LU Students Eager to Hear Mitt Romney


Reporter: Mark Kelly | Videographer: Parker Slaybaugh

Lynchburg ,VA – Mitt Romney will speak at Liberty University's graduation, and the people on campus are excited to have the GOP presidential candidate at this year's commencement ceremony.

In a written statement, Jerry Falwell Jr. said the university is "delighted" to have Romney speak.

Next month, Williams Stadium will be packed with 14,000 graduates and 34,000 guests listening to what Romney has to say.

At least one LU alumna is eager to hear the speech. Ashley Gryder graduated from Liberty's health program. She appreciates her serving job, but admits the tough economy has kept her from working in the field she studied. She wants Romney in office and his policies at work.

"I know Liberty has some big political ties, so I'm excited. I think that's awesome," she said.

LU freshman Kayla Hutcherson sees Romney's visit putting Lynchburg on the map.

"For Liberty University to be in Lynchburg, I think it helps Lynchburg a lot to have all these big name people come here," said Hutcherson.

LU attracting political titans isn't new. Retired Lynchburg College Religious Studies Professor Dr. James Price wrote a book on the late Jerry Falwell. He says it's not so much about Romney as it is about political clout.

"It's a political decision. And if Santorum had prevailed, I think he would have been invited," said Price.

But before the Romney announcement, students say one other celebrity name got floated.

"Up until today, we all thought Tim Tebow was coming for graduation," said Gryder.

"Thought he was going to come and found out it was all a big rumor, so very disappointed," said Hutcherson. "I just think we were so excited for Tim Tebow. But, Romney's great!"

Price says it's of course impossible to know 100 % if the late Jerry Falwell would have invited Romney. But he had such a finely tuned political antenna, he would have agreed with choosing Romney.

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