Those expecting a politically-charged commencement speaker at Liberty University May 14, will need to reconsider. Hollywood filmmaker Randall Wallace, who wrote screenplays for Braveheart and Pearl Harbor and who directed Secretariat, will deliver the address.
That’s quite a coup for Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. and a school whose commencement addresses have most often featured right-wing ideologues in the past. Wallace, a conservative, is widely known for quality work that has included We Were Soldiers and The Man in the Iron Mask.
He won an Oscar nomination for the Braveheart screenplay. In 1999, he formed his own company, Wheelhouse Entertainment, with the main purpose of creating entertainment for worldwide audiences based on the values of love, courage and honor. Wallace is also the New York Times bestselling author of seven novels and wrote the song that was sung at Ronald Reagan’s funeral.
He spent much of his childhood in Lynchburg and is a a graduate of E.C. Glass High School. Falwell says, “Ever since I first watched Braveheart in 1995 and learned that its writer was from Lynchburg, I have wanted to meet Randall Wallace. That movie’s lessons about the evils of big government and tyranny and the virtues of freedom are more relevant today than ever.
"I watched a video clip of his speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in February [Wallace was the keynote speaker]. That convinced me he would be a perfect fit at Liberty and would bring the right message.”
Falwell continued: “Wallace said in an e-mail last week that he has great hopes he can get to know our team and find ways to get involved in what we’re doing here at Liberty,” Falwell said.