School of Psychology & Counseling

Foundation Endows Professorship in Regent's School of Psychology & Counseling

May 15, 2008

Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson, Dean Rosemarie Hughes, Roberta and Ken Eldred

Over the past decade, Roberta Eldred has been visiting the Regent University School of Psychology & Counseling (SPC) while on campus for board of trustees meetings and other activities. So impressed with the quality of faculty and the school's leadership, Roberta and her husband, Ken, fully endowed the SPC's first professorship through Living Stones Foundation Charitable Trust, which provided a $2.5 million gift.

Named in honor of the SPC dean, the new Rosemarie Scotti Hughes Endowed Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practices has been filled by SPC psychology professor Dr. Mark Yarhouse.

"We wanted to name the chair in honor of Dean Hughes because of her tireless effort to build a strong national school of Christian psychology and counseling. From its humble beginnings to now, she has led a strong faculty and staff to consistently develop outstanding leaders in the field," said Ken Eldred. "There's tremendous depth and richness in the program, and we know she will continue to lead the school's search for excellence and growth."

"It is a joy for us to see Rosemarie receive this well deserved honor," added Roberta Eldred.

During a ceremony to announce the gift, Hughes recognized and thanked the Eldreds, the Living Stones Foundation Chartable Trust, and the SPC faculty and staff, as well as noting the support she's received from Regent's vice presidents and deans. Her history with Regent dates to 1981 when she arrived on campus to begin work on her Master's in Education. Under Hughes' leadership, SPC accomplishments include the multiple accreditations of its programs, including the first accredited online doctoral program; the development of the Human Services Counseling program, which is an alternative training model for aspiring counselors; and the improvement of Regent SPC's counseling services offered to the campus and community.

"Never, never in my dreams or aspirations would I have seen this is my future," Hughes said. She attributed her success to her parents' loving influence and their passing on a strong work ethic.

In announcing Yarhouse to fill the endowed professorship, Hughes pointed to his outstanding research and his national reputation for scholarship, affirming that he fulfills all the conditions for the professorship. Yarhouse, who teaches doctoral courses in clinical psychology, has been with Regent for a decade. In addition to teaching, he developed the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity in 2004. He recently co-authored Ex-Gays? A Longitudinal Study of Religiously-Mediated Change in Sexual Orientation.

Living Stones Foundation Charitable Trust provides financial and strategic resources to projects that lead to self-sustaining Kingdom-building ministries. Its areas of special interest include Kingdom business (business as missions), family values, and regional, national and global transformation initiatives. In 2005, the trust awarded a grant to Regent to help develop the Regent Center for Entrepreneurship.

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