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Liberty University alumnus Jeffrey Mazanec (’85) was recently named special agent in charge of the FBI’s Richmond Division. As the chief executive officer of an FBI field office, he oversees a staff of 200 who protect America from the threat of fraud, terrorism, espionage, and other national crimes.
Mazanec has an extensive career with the FBI, working as a field officer and in several leadership positions, including a detail with the CIA for the Counterterrorism Center after the 9/11 attacks.
During his time at Liberty, he pursued a broad degree in liberal arts and history, which he said provided a foundation on which to build a career in law and government.
“I was exposed to great courses in constitutional law, history, political science and political philosophy and continued to develop a love of learning throughout my years at Liberty. The professors and the curriculum helped me to grow a sense of wonder and fascination for the world,” Mazenec said.
Like many college students, he had specific interests and studied them in his undergraduate years but did not have a particular career in mind.
“I had no idea where my interests would eventually lead, although I always admired the FBI and its work. Entering college, I began to pursue a career in law,” Mazanec said.
He was involved in many extracurricular activities at Liberty, including leadership in the Student Government Association, the debate team and the pre-law society. After his sophomore year, Mazanec participated in an internship in Washington, D.C., which he said inspired him to public service.
After he graduated from Liberty, he earned his Juris Doctor from the College of William & Mary.
Mazanec said having a Christian education “helped forge a worldview that prioritized what (I) really value and hold sacred,” and developed in him a “sincere appreciation for civilized society and the rule of law.”
“My education taught me that as I faced the pressures, decisions and difficulties of the daily working world, I could find strength in the Source of all strength and encouragement in God’s Word,” Mazanec said.
Since he graduated in 1985, Liberty has grown and built a more expansive government program for students. Established in the fall of 2004, the Helms School of Government offers 10 residential degree programs with specializations in politics and policy, international relations, pre-law, criminal justice, strategic and intelligence dtudies, as well as several minors. Degrees are also available with the convenience of an online education through Liberty University Online.
Mazanec encourages Liberty students to “pursue learning with passion and enthusiasm, learn to discover the interests, talents, and gifts” they have, and to “learn hard work with integrity.”
“Today’s society is overwhelmed with ethical confusion, laziness, without moral compasses, so we must be light and an inspiration. As Jesus said, ‘Be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves.’”
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