Lynchburg, VA - Close to 18,000 students from all over the world graduated from Liberty University Saturday.
It was really a family event with some 43 siblings, eight sets of twins, 132 husband-and-wive teams, and more than 5,000 serving in our armed forces celebrating the completion of their degrees.
Close to 10,000 graduates sat in Williams Stadium in Lynchburg Saturday morning, and thousands more were there to hear a message of faith and freedom.
"All glory to God, man, I'm just so blessed and happy to be a part of this event," said one student.
"All of our classes, all of our finals, all of our tests, all of our papers, it all comes to this moment, it's amazing," said one Senior. "I've been looking forward to this moment forever. Four years and you know all this hard work finally paid off, so I'm really glad to be here."
President Jerry Falwell Jr. recognized the Benham Brothers in light of the recent turmoil over the cancellation of their HGTV show after they made controversial remarks about homosexuality.
"If our faith costs us a television show then so be it. Your values are American values and if everyone in the world turns against you, you can rest assured that your alma mater will always have your back," said Falwell.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivered the commencement speech.
"Don't see yourself as a victim; America already has enough people that see themselves as victims. Go out into this world boldly be salt and light in a world that needs you now more than ever before," said Jindal.
He echoed Falwell's remarks about the Benham Brothers.
"Our culture has taken a secular turn, we've established that persecution of Christians is on the rise throughout the world. We've established that religious liberty here in America is under siege, we've established that the left no longer wants to debate, they simply want to silence us," said Jindal.
He encouraged students to take a stand for what they believe in after they leave Liberty.
"Christians are the last group that it is ok to discriminate against in America, but so what? If God is with us, who could be against us?" said Jindal.
Saturday's graduation was made extra-special for one graduate with this sweet surprise. A message was played from a soldier: "Know that I miss you something terrible and I love you so much and I'll see you when I get home."
One husband couldn't make it to his wife's graduation since he is serving with the Army in Afghanistan, who contacted LU and asked the school if he could surprise his wife with a video message from her husband. They recognized her, her husband's service, and played his message for all to hear. Liberty also took time to recognize all spouses and parents of graduates that helped support them to reach this day.