The May 12 appearance could present an opportunity for Romney to discuss his faith and values, often the focus of politicians' speeches at the school. The former governor of Massachusetts has remained mostly quiet about his Mormon faith, and some Republican strategists have suggested he talk more openly about how it informs his morality.

"We are delighted that Governor Romney will join us to celebrate Commencement with Liberty’s 2012 graduates," said the younger Falwell in a statement. "This will be a historic event for Liberty University reminiscent of the visits of governor, and then presidential candidate, Ronald Reagan to Liberty's campus in 1980 and of President George H.W. Bush who spoke at Liberty’s 1990 Commencement ceremony."

The former governor is the latest in a string of Republican presidential candidates to speak there, tracing back to then-candidate Ronald Reagan in 1980. More recently, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) and Rep. Michele BachmannMichele Marie BachmannJuan Williams: The GOP has divided America Bachmann praises Trump as man of faith Tom Petty dies at 66 MORE (R-Minn.) spoke there, both of them focusing on their faith.