In other words, outside of Virginia (ok, I looked it up) and the Falwell followers, Liberty University just isn't a big deal at all.
So when I read that a Brown (Rhode Island, right? Ivy League) student "infiltrated" Liberty, spent a semester there and is now writing a book on it, you can imagine where I thought the story was headed.
I was pleasantly surprised.
"As a responsible American citizen, I couldn't just ignore the fact that there are a lot of Christian college students out there," said Roose, 21, now a Brown senior. "If I wanted my education to be well-rounded, I had to branch out and include these people that I just really had no exposure to."
I call that experiencing diversity, and I applaud young Mr. Roose for entertaining such thoughts. But wait, there's more.
He lined up a publisher - Grand Central Publishing - and arrived at the Lynchburg campus prepared for "hostile ideologues who spent all their time plotting abortion clinic protests and sewing Hillary Clinton voodoo dolls."
Instead, he found that "not only are they not that, but they're rigorously normal."
So he admits to having a negative preconceived notion about what he'd encounter, and was mature enough to challenge that notion when the facts contradicted his expectations.
Students quoted in the story didn't mind his deception, but the school administration isn't entirely pleased.
He never blew his cover, even ending a blossoming romantic relationship rather than come clean. He revealed the truth on a return trip to campus. He grappled with guilt during the entire project, but said he ultimately found forgiveness from students for his deception.
"If he told me he was writing an expose or maybe if the book turned out to be what I considered unfair, then I might have been more troubled," said Brian Colas, a former Liberty student body president who befriended Roose.
The university administration has been less receptive. Chancellor Jerry Falwell Jr. said in a statement that Roose had a "distorted view" of Liberty before he arrived and gave an incomplete portrait of the school.
"We appreciate Kevin's generally positive tone toward LU but he admittedly comes from a culture that has very little tolerance for conservative Christianity and even less understanding of it," Falwell said.
It was deception, after all.
I won't ruin the ending for you. Go read the article yourself to find out how this semester "transformed" Mr. Roose.