RSG Newsletter

May 2013
Regent University Robertson School of Government Dean's Corner

Watch the dean's welcome message.
2013 School of Government Prospectus

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

Commencement is upon us, and it is a bittersweet time of year. It is sweet because the labors of students culminate in the awarding of their degrees and then off they go to meaningful careers in public service. But it is precisely that, the departure of the next generation of leaders, which is sad as they have become colleagues and friends. It is a cycle that has repeated itself in the lives of nearly 1,000 RSG graduates over the past 30 years.

In this edition of the RSG newsletter we'll feature some of those graduating students. You will be introduced to our Outstanding School of Government Graduate, Nathan Gill, as well as four other award winners from RSG. You will also be introduced to our latest faculty book, Distinguished Professor Charles Dunn's American Exceptionalism: The Origins, History, and Future of the Nation's Greatest Strength.

This month we celebrate RSG's 30th anniversary by hosting a military band concert on Armed Forces Day (May 18). We will salute those serving in the U.S. military—including many RSG alumni—with a free public concert by the U.S. Army TRADOC Band, based at nearby Ft. Eustis. If you live locally, you are welcome to attend what promises to be a fun and inspiring night of patriotic and American music.

Warm regards,

Eric Patterson, Ph.D.
Dean, Robertson School of Government

For more details as well as our calendar of events, please see our website.

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Faculty Profile: Dr. James Davids - Advancing The Rule of Law

Dr. James Davids A native of Chicago, Associate Professor James Davids is passionate about teaching law and politics to students at Regent. A former U.S. Department of Justice executive, Davids practiced law for 25 years before venturing into government service to help establish the Department of Justice Faith-Based and Community Initiative, which is now active in all 50 states.

Before joining the Department of Justice, Davids was a founding member of Hoogendoorn, Talbot, Davids, Godfrey & Milligan in Chicago. His private practice experience included trying cases ranging from medical malpractice and federal regulatory actions to First Amendment and civil rights disputes. Licensed to practice law in Illinois, Florida, and Virginia, he is a member of the federal trial bar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and he has been admitted to the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

As the Deputy Director and Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice's Task Force for the Faith-Based & Community Initiatives, he provided guidance on constitutional issues to the White House and the other departmental Offices of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives. In addition, he audited the Department of Justice to determine the barriers faith-based and community organizations faced in participating in DOJ-funded programs, and he monitored cases which impacted the Faith-Based & Community Initiatives.

A graduate of Duke University School of Law, Davids also earned a Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. His dissertation and subsequent research focused on the three principal legal threats to the mission and character of Christian colleges and universities.

Davids is an avid teacher. He says, "My relationship with RSG students depends in large part on the student's age and experience. Three of my best students have been online students in their 40s and 50s, who have had decades of journalistic, medical, and pastoral experience. These students have been more peers than students, and I am collaborating with one on a book."

"Other students (particularly those on campus) are younger and are the approximate age of my children. For these students, I want to fill them up with wisdom and love. I work them hard! I enjoy it tremendously when they go beyond the minimum necessary for the course because of their passion to gain even further insight. My favorite students are not necessarily the most gifted, but rather those who use every ounce of giftedness God has given them to excel in class to the greatest extent possible."

Reflecting on the RSG difference, Davids cites worldview: "The School of Government provides a great deal of substantive knowledge about various aspects of government. Students have often told me, however, that the most life-changing course they have taken at RSG is Christian Foundations of Government, which presents a Christian worldview in a succinct, logical, yet comprehensive way, and then applies the principles to various aspects of life."

Watch video here

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Student Profile: Class of 2013 Student Award Winners

Nathan Gill

RSG 2013 Outstanding Graduate - Nathan E. Gill

Nominated by the RSG faculty, Graduate Nathan Gill receives the RSG 2013 Outstanding Graduate of the year award from Dean Eric Patterson at the RSG Commissioning Service.
The Outstanding Graduate award considers students whom the faculty considers to be the embodiment of the mission and vision of the Robertson School of Government.
Key elements considered in the selection process are leadership, service, scholarship, and research.

Other RSG 2013 Student Awards
Outstanding Leadership: Ms. Theresa Judge
Outstanding Service: Mr. Gedeon Mbaiornonde
Outstanding Research: Ms. Julianne Spatacean
Outstanding Service: Ms. Christine File

RSG Student Award Winners

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Alumni Profile: Robertson School of Government Class of 2013

Javkhlantugs Ganbaatar

The Robertson School of Government's Class of 2013 were awarded a Master of Arts in Government or a Master of Public Administration degree. On Friday, May 3 many graduates gathered to participate in the School of Government's annual Commissioning Ceremony accompanied by family and friends.

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Regent Celebrates New Class of Graduates

2013 Commencement

Ryan T. Anderson, William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.,was the ceremony's keynote speaker.

Grey skies and a little rain couldn't dampen spirits at Regent University's 2013 Commencement ceremony, where 1,345 graduates celebrated years of hard work and anticipated the future together on Saturday, May 4. More than 5,500 friends and family members attended the event as graduates from all eight of the university's schools crossed the Library Plaza on Regent's campus in Virginia Beach, Va.

Read the full story.

2013 RSG Graduation



Leadership Reflects on Bush Library Opening

Christians and Public ServiceMay 10, 2013
The George W. Bush Presidential Center
Dean Eric Patterson and Dr. Paul Bonicelli Attend Dedication Ceremony

"His legacy over the long haul is a very powerful one, and I think that 25-30 years from now, people will talk about George W. Bush the way they talk about Harry Truman today, as a leader who came in during a very difficult time," said Dr. Eric Patterson, dean of Regent University's Robertson School of Government. "Perhaps not a lot was expected of him, and then he turned out to be literally Atlas carrying the world, from fighting terrorism to fighting AIDS and malaria."

Military BandPatterson echoes the sentiment that Democrat and Republican alike seemed to share on April 25, when the George W. Bush Presidential Center opened on the campus of Southern Methodist University in University Park, Texas. The George W. Bush Presidential Center is a complex that includes a presidential library and museum, the George W. Bush Policy Institute, and the offices of the George W. Bush Foundation.

Read the full story.

Video Performance


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Recent Events

Virginia Governor Addresses Executive Leadership Series

Virginia Governor Addresses Executive Leadership Series

Regent University's Executive Leadership Series (ELS) welcomed Virginia Governor Robert "Bob" McDonnell '89 (Law and Government) at its monthly luncheon on Wednesday, May 1.

McDonnell, a former lieutenant colonel in the United States Army and former Attorney General of Virginia, spoke candidly about the qualifications of a successful leader before a crowd of 500 at the Chesapeake Conference Center.

Read the full story.

Virginia Governor Robert "Bob" McDonnell speaks at Regent University's Executive Leadership Series luncheon Wednesday, May 1.
Photo by Alex Perry


RSG Faculty New Book Release:
Dr. Charles Dunn, Distinguished Professor Publishes American Exceptionalism:
The Origins, History and Future of The Nation's Greatest Strength

American Exceptionalism: The Origins, History and Future of The Nation's Greatest StrengthAmerican Exceptionalism provokes intense debates culturally, economically, politically, and socially. This collection, edited by Charles W. Dunn of Regent University's Robertson School of Government, brings together analysis of the idea's origins, history, and future. While many now argue against the policies and ideology of American Exceptionalism as antiquated and expired, the authors collected here make the bold claim that a closer reading of our own history reveals that there is still an exceptional aspect of American thought, identity, and government worth advancing and protecting. It will be the challenge of the coming American generations to both refine and examine what we mean when we call America "exceptional," and this book provides readers a first step toward a necessary understanding of the exceptional purpose, progress and promise of the United States of America.


Upcoming Events

Executive Leadership Series: Cheryl Bachelder
The Founders Inn Ballroom
Thursday, May 23, 2013
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
View event details.

Regent University Military Band Concert - Armed Forces Day

Saturday, May 18, 2013
Regent University, Communications Building, Main Theatre
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
View event details.

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