Some Local Coverage on the Liberty University Grads Returning Diplomas


We reported on this over the weekend. Some Liberty University alumni are returning their diplomas to protest Liberty president Jerry Falwell Jr.’s failure to openly condemn Donald Trump’s comments in the wake of Charlottesville.

Here is some local coverage from Lynchburg’s The News & Advance:

Rebekah Tilley, a 2002 LU graduate who now works in higher education in Iowa, is one of a number of alumni who intend to return their diplomas in protest of Falwell’s ties to the White House.

“We are doing so to protest Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr.’s continued efforts to act as a spokesperson for President Trump even after his profound lack of moral leadership following the events in Charlottesville. Falwell’s vocal support of President Trump has made it such that you can’t think of Liberty University without associating the institution and its alumni with President Trump.

“When David Duke and the current president of your undergrad program are both applauding the President’s comments in his press conference after Charlottesville, returning our diplomas was the only thing that seemed appropriate,” Tilley wrote to The News & Advance via email.

In a phone interview Monday with The News & Advance, Falwell described the plan by alumni to return their diplomas as “disingenuous” and “political grandstanding” that was “not to be taken seriously.”

Falwell noted if alums do return the physical copy of their diplomas, they’ll still have LU degrees.

“They earned a degree from Liberty University, they’ll still have a degree from Liberty, they’ll still be able to use it on their resume when they seek employment, so it’s really dishonest for them to say that they’re returning their degree. It’s not possible to do that,” Falwell said.

Falwell described the alumni speaking out as having a “political axe to grind” with him.

“They’re trying to drag their school into it because they don’t like the fact that one school employee, namely me, supports the president. It’s very childish of all of them, I believe,” he said.

Read the entire article here.