Imagery of Regent people and campus

Ph.D. Grads Become University Presidents

By Brett Wilson | March 5, 2013

School of Business and Leadership alumni, Dr. Edward Smith ('03), now serves as Williamson College's president in Franklin, Tennessee.

After shaking the hand of Regent University's president during their ceremonial strolls across the commencement stage, three School of Business and Leadership (SBL) alumni are playing the same esteemed role in the realm of higher education. As presidents of various universities, they are using their Christian leadership skills to change the world, one university at a time.

Before he began his advanced program, Dr. Richard Boorom ('09) knew he wanted to one day lead a university as president. The pursuit of his Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership was of pure educational strategy.

"Having a doctorate degree made me more marketable in the competitive higher education environment," said Boorom. "But, having my degree from Regent is what really set me apart."

This became apparent to Boorom when a headhunter from Argosy University recognized his credentials. In 2011, Boorom was asked to serve as president of one of Argosy's 19 campuses, making his 25-year-old career goal a reality.

What Boorom didn't know was how much travel the job would initially require. Boorom would leave behind his wife and two children each week to travel to Argosy's San Francisco campus from his home in Denver, Colorado. Eight months later, he transferred to the university's Denver campus. His commute to the office, thankfully, no longer requires airfare.

"I never want to see another airport again," said Boorom.

Though it was Boorom's intent all along to one day play the role of president, the opportunity came as a complete surprise to Dr. Edward Smith ('03).

"I've always loved higher education," said Smith. "But I never had any idea that God would open up a door for me to do this."

Smith serves as the president of Williamson College, a Christian institution in Franklin, Tennessee. He does all he can to ensure the excellence he experienced at Regent transcends into his own school, including introducing himself to alumni while waiting in a Chick-fil-A drive-thru.

"I saw one of those Regent Law frames on the license plate in front of me and I thought, 'I can't believe this,'" said Smith, who promptly threw his car in park and knocked on the vehicle's window. The driver was Regent Law graduate Grayson Brown ('06). Brown will soon begin teaching his first international justice class at Williamson.

"In a way, this little college—Williamson College—is kind of becoming a microcosm of Regent," said Smith.

Dr. Steven Crowther ('12) was already serving as president of Grace College of Divinity when he began his Organizational Leadership doctorate program. In 2003, Crowther began his time as president, helping the divinity college gain its full-time programming and accreditation. "I thought if I wanted to do this with excellence, I needed to get some training," said Crowther. "My education at Regent helped me tremendously to do that."

His three children are currently enrolled in Regent. His sons, Jason Crowther and Justin Crowther are pursuing their Master of Business Administration degrees, while his daughter, Stefanie Ertel is working to obtain her own Masters of Organizational Leadership. Crowther said this is a result of his own educational experience.

"Regent's ministry and way of thinking was something that was a functional reality in my classes," said Crowther. "I have been to many schools, but I was very impressed with Regent."

Learn more about the School of Business and Leadership.

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Mindy Hughes, Public Relations

Phone: 757.352.4095 Fax: 757.352.4888

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