As a Belmont student, I’m not normally one to stick up for Lipscomb.
Lipscomb is our enemy, our adversary, our foe.
But, when I discovered that Liberty University, located in Lynchburg, Va., wanted exclusive rights to the “LU” logo and brought legal counsel to do so, I realized the enemy of our enemy is not always our friend.
Here’s a little background. Lipscomb was founded in 1891 by David Lipscomb and James Harding. They believed that an individual’s education involved spiritual growth in conjunction with academics.
Today, they have close to 4,500 students, 78 majors and 145 areas of undergraduate study.
Liberty, founded in 1971 by Jerry Falwell (yes, the same Jerry Falwell who helped found the Moral Majority in the early 1980s), has embraced the mission “to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world,” according to their website.
Now, Liberty has 100,000 residential and online students and offers over 300 programs from the certificate to the doctoral level.
Basically, there’s a small, long-established Church of Christ school in Tennessee and a mega, young Southern Baptist school in Virginia. Both obviously have a faith-centered mission, so it would seem despite denominational and size differences, the basic idea to include faith as part of secondary education is the same.
Now that you know the basics of these first two LU’s, what is it about Lipscomb that made them Liberty’s target instead of La Salle University in Philadelphia, Pa., Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., or Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.?
While I am not entirely sure of Liberty’s motive to obtain rights at this point in time, for all we know Lipscomb is just the first to go down in Liberty’s parade of copyright dominance.
Any merchandise or promotional material that the university has with an “LU” on it is now considered a copyright infringement. If I were at Lipscomb, I’d probably be really angry about all the money wasted on “LU” products, especially since Lipscomb was established first.
Even scarier, with Liberty getting exclusive rights, who’s to say that Baylor, Boston or Bucknell University won’t come after Belmont to get their exclusive rights?
I also find it sad that a Christian university wants rights over another Christian university when organizations without a religious affiliation like University of Georgia, Grambling State and the Green Bay Packers can all agree to use the stylized oval “G.”
Even schools with similar team colors like the University of Texas and the University of Tennessee have been able to share the “UT” moniker, albeit their fans will tell you there is a big difference between Texas orange and Tennessee orange.
I don’t see how getting rights to a logo helps Liberty have superior morality or how it helps to develop Christ-centered men and women with the values, knowledge and skills essential for impacting tomorrow’s world.
I know the one without sin is supposed to cast the first stone, but wouldn’t it just be easier to all agree to get along?
Vision Sports Editor Katie Greene is a senior mass communication major.