Chancellor Robertson Welcomes Students
By Brett Wilson | August 22, 2014
Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson.
Photo courtesy of Jared Beasley.
On Wednesday, Aug. 20, students, faculty and staff filtered into the University Chapel for the first service of the new school year. While Regent University classes are in full swing, with students and professors focused on the semester ahead, Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, founder, chancellor and CEO, reflected on the history of the university's "small beginnings."
"When you walk around these grounds, know that this is a very hallowed place," said Robertson. "You will sense the Holy Spirit here, not just in this chapel, but on the entire campus."
Robertson explained the school began as the result of the popularity the Christian Broadcasting Network experienced in the 1970s. The network extended to larger offices across the country, growing by "leaps and bounds" at every turn.
"It was a good thing, but we were practically sitting on top of each other," said Robertson.
Finally, CBN's spaces became too full, and Robertson began looking for land to consolidate his organization's offices. He found six acres, part of the larger 140-plus acreage named the "multiplex" at the intersection of Indian River Road and I-64 in Virginia Beach, Va.
But since it was such a viable piece of property for shopping centers and restaurants, he couldn't purchase the land in part.
It was while Robertson was sitting in front of a humble meal of cottage cheese and cantaloupe on a trip to California that the prayerful inspiration for CBN University—a stand-alone graduate school—occurred.
"I guess the waitress thought I was ravenously hungry because I kept praying," said Robertson. "I heard God's voice say 'build a headquarters and build a school for My glory,' and I said 'yes sir."
On New Year's Eve, 1974, Robertson purchased more than 140 acres of the "multiplex" land to make his calling a reality. Soon after, CBN University opened with a "hearty bunch" of seven professors and 77 students. But Robertson is careful to give credit to whom it is due.
"This isn't my school, or the trustees' school," said Robertson. "It's Jesus' school."
Now, with more than 17,000 alumni and 6,000 current online and on-campus students, and boasting a diverse student population, Regent's continued growth is a testament of God's faithfulness to his vision for Regent, Robertson said.
"This is a place of holiness and dedication, and I thank God for each and every one of you and the landmarks of His goodness along the way," said Robertson. "You are a part of a miracle."
Robertson explained that in the midst of the many crises the world is facing, the mission of the school to raise Christian leaders in the fields of government, law, education, communication, psychology and business is even more crucial.
"That's why this university is so important—we will give you the tools you need to change the world," said Robertson. "You're here as leaders, and we expect that, and we want to make sure you're successful."
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