RSG Newsletter


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

Open the RSG prospectus viewbook.

Dean Eric Patterson, Ph.D.Dear Friends,

We have just finished our formal alumni celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Robertson School of Government. Those activities included our Clash of the Titans debate featuring Newt Gingrich, Dana Perino, David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Jay Sekulow. We also honored Professor Emeritus Philip C. Bom for 30 years of service to the university.

This is a busy month for RSG, as we hosted Ambassador Ido Aharoni (Israel) and welcomed to campus, in honor of Veterans Day, author, executive, and former U.S. Marine Donovan Campbell. It is this type of access to real-world leaders and policy makers that provides Regent University students with exceptional insight into the opportunities available for the next generation of American leaders.

In this newsletter you will also see a student team engaged with the Virginia Governor's Task Force on Unfunded Mandates, former Chief of Naval Operations Vernon Clark teaching on ethical leadership in RSG's cornerstone course, and details on our upcoming Ronald Reagan Symposium and Essay Contest (February 7, 2014).

Warm regards,

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


Watch the "Get to Know RSG" video.

Read more about RSG alumni.

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


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Faculty Profile: Professor Emeritus Philip C. Bom (ret. 2013)
Founding RSG Professor Reflects on 30 Years

As Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) celebrates 30 years, events across campus have helped reflect on a heritage of leadership and inspired progress in the future. But perhaps none have been quite so poignant as the retirement lecture of beloved professor emeritus, Dr. Philip C. Bom, on Friday, Oct. 25.

Speaking on "The History and Promise of RSG," Bom honored the past and inspired the students, staff, faculty and alumni before him into the future.

As Regent University's Robertson School of Government (RSG) celebrates 30 years, events across campus have helped reflect on a heritage of leadership and inspired progress in the future. But perhaps none have been quite so poignant as the retirement lecture of beloved professor emeritus, Dr. Philip C. Bom, on Friday, Oct. 25.

Speaking on "The History and Promise of RSG," Bom honored the past and inspired the students, staff, faculty and alumni before him into the future.

Among those in attendance were former RSG dean, Dr. John Munday; former interim dean, Dr. Gary Roberts; and professor emeritus, Dr. Joseph Kickasola, in addition to RSG's current dean, Dr. Eric Patterson, and Regent's executive vice president and RSG alumnus, Dr. Paul Bonicelli '87.

"There have been so many times over my 29-year career that Dr. Bom's teaching, his wisdom, have helped me and meant so much to me," Bonicelli said. "Academic excellence and calling—you can't choose one or the other here and that's made all the difference for me."

Alumna Ann Flandermeyer Kirwin '03 also reflected on her time at RSG and the impact that Bom had on her life and career. "I had an amazing experience here," she said. "Having professors who were so knowledgeable and invested in their students made all the difference. That personal investment is what I remember most about Dr. Bom."

Kirwin now owns and operates Principle Advantage, Ltd., a Virginia-based consulting and government affairs firm.

As someone who worked alongside Bom for 28 of his 30 years at RSG, Kickasola gave an introduction only a long-time comrade could give. "I cherish not only my professional time with Dr. Bom, but also my friendship," Kickasola said. He and Bom were the only two professors for the School of Public Policy when the university was still named after the Christian Broadcasting Network.

When Kickasola faced the choice between teaching for the School of Divinity and the School of Government, it was Bom who encouraged him to focus his vast expertise on Middle East and Islamic policy. "I owe this self-discovery and expanded area of service to Philip Bom's vision," he said.

Bom helped impart that vision as he took the podium to share about RSG's heritage. "What's unique about RSG is that its founding coincided with the Catholic/Protestant renewal and the Reagan revolution in the United States, and the influence of those movements helped place RSG on the cutting edge of faith and politics," Bom explained.

Bom described the first decade of RSG's development as "small beginnings, but good years."

"We were progressive and international before it was common for Christian universities," he acknowledged. "The faculty was so diverse. Man, did we ever have arguments and debates, but despite our difference, we were dedicated to each other. We were a band of academic brothers."

Even in those days, Bom said, students came from many theological and cultural backgrounds, representing many continents and several generations.

"We demanded a lot of them, but they also demanded a lot of us," he recalled. "They wanted to learn. We discovered together how foundational the Bible is to civilization."

Most other schools of public policy mainly emphasized process but not principles, Bom explained. "We dealt not only in efficiency and effectiveness, but in matters of authority and responsibility."

He also noted that many schools training future government leaders skipped over crucial aspects of life: "God, love and death." But RSG was built on the cornerstone of those aspects and kept them at the core of the curriculum. "We never lost sight of the soul of the students," he said. "We were raising questions and providing answers."

He quoted Derek Bok, former president of Harvard, recognizing that they excelled in methodology and empiricism, but failed to offer students direction and purpose.

"We were a small university, but we were offering an education Harvard could not provide," Bom said.

He concluded the lecture with some thoughts on preserving RSG's rich heritage while moving into the promise of the future.

"We must never lose sight of the cross of Christ," Bom encouraged. "If we stay true to our vision and mission, we will continue to succeed and prosper. Let God find us faithful."

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2014 Reagan Symposium Essay Contest

Liberty and Personal Responsibility vs. Centralization and Elitest Authority

These are the themes boldly analyzed in Ronald Reagan's 1964 speech "A Time for Choosing," in response to an increasing divide in American politics. Reagan called for embracing America's historic values of freedom, responsibility and faith at home and a strong defense against Communism abroad. On its 50th anniversary, watch this moving speech, and hear from world-class experts on whether Reagan's ideas foreshadowed current threats to our nation's liberties.

Enter Essay Contest Deadline: December 15, 2013



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Recent Events

Political Heavyweights Debate Presidential Power

0In a political season marked by gridlock and diatribe, Regent University's 11th Annual Clash of the Titans® struck a more collegial chord as political heavyweights from both sides of the aisle squared off over the topic of Presidential Power: Has the Executive Branch Gone Too Far? At the event on Friday, Oct. 25, the speakers staked out strong and often opposing positions, yet also managed to find common ground on what unites Americans.

Nearly 800 people turned out to hear the esteemed panel of political heavyweights: David Axelrod, former Obama senior strategist; David Plouffe, former Obama senior adviser; Newt Gingrich, former House Speaker; and Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ). Dana Perino, former White House Press Secretary and FOX News co-anchor, moderated the debate.

Read the full story.


Adm. Vern Clark Teaches Government Class On Campus

0Among Regent University's distinguished professors is the well-beloved Adm. Vern Clark, USN (Ret.), who visits each semester to speak to students about leadership in and out of the military and government. This fall, he is co-teaching a class with Dr. Eric Patterson, dean of the Robertson School of Government (RSG), called Christian Foundations of Government.

"Having Admiral Clark in the classroom regularly teaching on leadership is the kind of thing that Regent graduate students experience, and it sets us apart from other universities," said Patterson. "There are two kinds of leaders—those who give energy to those they lead and those who drain them. It's clear with Admiral Clark that he infuses people with energy and momentum."

Read the full story.


Ambassador Aharoni Visits Regent

0Among ongoing chaos in the Middle East, Ambassador Ido Aharoni sees both challenges and opportunities for Israel today. Aharoni, Consul General of Israel in New York, visited Regent University on Monday, Nov. 4, to meet with students, faculty and staff, members of the local Jewish community and representatives from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN).

During a large group presentation to about 300 students and guests, Aharoni began his remarks with some observations about the "Arab Spring."

Read the full story.



RSG Faculty and Students Travel to Richmond for Task Force Project

Chris Meconnahey, Dr. Robert Dyer, Dyteya Lewis, Pat Herrity, and Eric Lupardus.

This month RSG Professor Robert Dyer's State & Local Government Administration class traveled to Richmond to participate in Governor McDonnell's Local Unfunded Mandate Review Task Force meeting.

Four RSG students represented the class, which is working on a project evaluating the impact of unfunded mandates passed on by the General Assembly to the City of Virginia Beach.

Select students will present their findings to the task force upon completion of the project. "This class exercise is giving our students real experience working on a project that impacts public administration in the Commonwealth of Virginia," says Dr. Dyer.

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Upcoming Events

Regent University Preview
Saturday, November 16, 2013
Regent University Campus
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
View event details

Holiday Concert with the Army TRADOC Military Band
Saturday, December 14, 2013
Regent University Campus - Main Theatre
7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
View event details

2014 Reagan Symposium
Friday, February 7, 2014
Regent University Campus - Main Theatre
View more information and register

Ethics in Media and Culture Conference 2014
Friday, March 7 - Saturday, March 8, 2014
Regent University Campus - Communication Building
View event details

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