Mitt Romney will give the commencement address next month at Liberty University, which touts itself as the "largest Christian University in the world."
Liberty was founded in 1971 by the Rev. Jerry Falwell Sr., a nationally known televangelist whose outspoken style of fundamentalism often raised hackles on the left. Falwell died in 2007 and his son, Jerry Falwell Jr., is now president of the university.
Romney's choice to address the school on May 12 is a sign that he is not taking the conservative Republican base for granted, but will continue to court these voters despite the fact that he is now the GOP's presumptive nominee for president.
Democrats welcomed the news, hoping it can help them frame the former Massachusetts governor as extreme. Lis Smith, director for rapid response for President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, retweeted the news without comment. Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Melanie Rousell tweeted it with the comment "Severely conservative embrace."
Liberty has done things recently to try to update its image. In 2010, the school put out a rap music video by graduate Jason Lewis, who goes by the name Humble Tip.
The song lyrics include these lines: "Where the Spirit of The Lord is, that's my school/ No drugs, sex or drinking, we define what's cool/ A lot of people do not like us, but that's just fuel/ That helps the flame burn brighter, we refuse to lose."
Here's the video:
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more