Students hope Falwell’s resignation will improve Liberty’s reputation

Local News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Elizabeth Brooks did not expect Liberty University to not be led by a Falwell.

“I was shocked. Completely shocked. I really didn’t believe it. It was one of those, really?”

Brooks is a Liberty senior who organized a protest last year calling for an investigation into Jerry Falwell, Jr. She says the negative attention Falwell draws reflects poorly on the degree she’s earning.

“Today someone asked me, you go to Liberty? Oh, I hear about Jerry. And that name is so well connected with the school, and I think it always will be. But hopefully going forward, once I graduate, I graduate in a year, going forward I won’t have to explain anymore.”

She’s not alone there. Senior Janaye Klazinga feels the same way

“There are so many things he’s done to put my degree and my education on the line,” she said.

Falwell’s resignation comes after a report from Reuters that Becki Falwell had a years-long sexual relationship with the Falwell’s business partner Giancarlo Granda, and that Jerry would watch their sexual encounters. Jerry Falwell said in a separate interview that they were being extorted over the affair.

Klazinga is glad Falwell is gone but disappointed this was the reason.

“The thing about shooting Muslims a few years ago, that was detrimental to the views of the school from other people.”

The University sent a press release Monday night announcing the resignation, saying in part, “It would not be in the best interest of the university for him to return from leave and serve as President.

“For the moment, yeah, I definitely think that’s the appropriate choice,” said Tré Goins-Phillips, a 2015 graduate, “and like I said, ultimately I hope there’s redemption in the Falwells’ personal life, not necessarily that he come back as president.”

Goins-Phillips says he admires the Falwells and loves his alma mater.

“It’s upsetting to see any sort of moral failure, because it’s something we’re all so susceptible to.”

“I really hope that whatever president steps in can add value back to our degrees,” said Klazinga.

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