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Former Virginia Governor Joins Regent University as Distinguished Professor

Regent University News – Former Virginia Governor Joins Regent University as Distinguished Professor

Former Virginia Governor and Regent University alumnus Robert “Bob” F. McDonnell will join Regent as a Distinguished Professor in January 2017, the university announced today.

McDonnell, who served as the 71st governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia from 2010-2014, will teach in the Robertson School of Government and will help establish a Governor’s Center for Federalism and Civility, an initiative that will assist the states in understanding their role in a federal society.

“We are delighted to welcome Governor McDonnell back to Regent University,” said Regent Chancellor and Founder, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. “As we train students to serve in government, law and other disciplines, McDonnell will bring his extensive public service experience as an Army officer, prosecutor, state legislator, attorney general and governor.”

Moving into academia is a natural next step for the former governor, a champion of high quality education.

“Teaching is something that I’ve often considered throughout my years of public service. During my painful journey through the justice system after I left the Governor’s office, I came to the realization that politics and polls are much less important than people and policies,” McDonnell explained. “I‘m eager to engage with Regent students and faculty in and out of the classroom, and I hope that my experiences can inspire others to consider careers in public service.”

McDonnell’s experience will translate well into the classroom, said Dr. Gerson Moreno-Riaño, Regent’s Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “The Governor’s bias toward service will extend to our students, as he serves them with excellence through teaching and sharing. We anticipate robust discussions around issues of leadership, governance and policy,” Moreno-Riaño said.

After his term as governor ended, McDonnell has worked as a business consultant for such local companies as Bay Mechanical and The ESG Companies in Virginia Beach. Last year, he and his sister formed The McDonnell Group, which provides business and consulting services such as business development, investor recruitment, fundraising and strategic planning. He also has volunteered with the humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing, and serves on the local boards of the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce and Samaritan House.

McDonnell was the first – and to date, only – Regent graduate to be elected governor of a state, defeating his opponent by a 17-point margin in November 2009. He was inaugurated in January 2010. McDonnell earned a law degree and a master’s degree in public policy from Regent in 1989, and served on the Regent Board of Trustees from 1997-2005.

McDonnell was raised in northern Virginia. He attended the University of Notre Dame on an Army ROTC scholarship and served on active duty and in the Reserves, retiring in 1997 as a Lieutenant Colonel. He also has an MSBA from Boston University.

Besides two decades as an Army officer, McDonnell’s professional experience also includes four years as a manager with American Hospital Supply Corp., two years prosecuting crime in the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, and 14 years as an attorney with the Virginia Beach law firm of Huff, Poole and Mahoney.

McDonnell began his political career in 1991 in the Virginia House of Delegates, where he served for 14 years, representing the 84th District in Virginia Beach. He was elected attorney general in 2005, serving in that role until his election as governor in 2009. He has been elected chairman to both the Republican Attorneys General Association and the Republican Governors Association.

Regent Executive Leadership Series Features LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin

LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin was featured at the Executive Leadership Series of Regent University, Virginia Beach. Photo courtesy of Elisa Sosa.
LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin.
Photo courtesy of Elisa Sosa.

Regent University News – Regent Executive Leadership Series Features LTG (Ret.) William G. Boykin

Founding member of Delta Force LTG (Ret). William “Jerry” Boykin was born with a love for his country in his veins.

On Wednesday, November 9, Boykin spoke at Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series (ELS). He told a story of a 17-year-old veteran named Cecil, who left his family’s tobacco farm to enlist in the United States Navy in 1943, serving his country on the infamous beaches of Normandy.

Following WWII, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the Korean War. And true to form, he joined the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War.

“Cecil loved God, America and his family, in that order,” said Boykin. “He took an oath three times to ‘support and defend the United States.'”

And for Cecil – Boykin’s father – there was no expiration date to that oath. To Boykin, he was a man who had no high school education, but who had wisdom and character.

“I had no choice but to love America,” said Boykin, who followed in the footsteps of his father’s longevity and dedication of service, committing 36 years of his life in the U.S. Army.

It’s with his history of service and his genuine pursuits to protect the “founding values of this nation,” that he believes restoration is in America’s future. A timely message in the days between the closing of a whirlwind election season and the celebration of Veterans Day.

“This is where we stand today,” said Boykin. “We will never surrender, and we owe it to our veterans to stand up for what we believe in.”

He realizes this type of leadership comes from a place of both difficulty and courage. In 1993, following the Battle of Mogadishu, known commonly as “Black Hawk Down,” Boykin watched a truck arrive with its aftermath: his dead and wounded fellow soldiers.

“Blood poured out [of the truck] like water,” he said. “I wanted to sit down and weep, but I was the leader. I had to continue leading no matter my personal feelings.”

Boykin later found himself on the battlefield, suffering a bullet injury next to a man who was shot and killed instantly. In that moment, he questioned why God had spared him that day.

It wasn’t until years later while he was fulfilling his duties as the executive vice president of the Family Research Council in Washington, D.C. that he received his answer.

The familiar sound of active gunfire alerted Boykin and sent him running into the lobby, where he found a man pinned to the floor – an activist in protest of his organization – and several bullet holes in the office’s walls, doors and his coworker’s arm.

“I heard God say then, ‘I spared you to fight another day, this is the battle I spared you for: The soul of this nation,’” said Boykin. “I serve a sovereign God and I was spared for what I’m doing today. My 36 years were preparation.”

He encouraged his listeners to find a similar “transcendent call,” and for a restoration of courage.

“If we’re going to be leaders in our homes, our communities, and in our social circles, we have to have courage,” said Boykin. “And it’s in short supply.”

Learn more about Regent University’s Executive Leadership Series.

Law Students Take Second Place at Stetson National Pre-Trial Competition

Robertson Hall, Regent University, Virginia Beach.Regent University School of Law (LAW) Trial Advocacy Board earned early success at the 2016 Ninth Annual National Pre-Trial Competition at the Stetson University College of Law in Gulfport, Florida, in late October.

LAW students Daniel Waters ’17, Julianna Battenfield ’17, Alison Haefner ’17, Elizabeth Berry ’18, and Justin Burch ’17 earned second-place in the competition, coming out ahead of teams from law schools such as University of Miami School of Law, Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School and Texas Tech University School of Law.

Additionally, the team earned the Second Best Brief in the competition for Prosecution and Second Best Brief for Combined Memoranda. They were coached by LAW adjunct professor Jim Metcalfe.

“Regent Law strives to develop three general legal skills: writing, advocacy and strenuous academics,” said Waters. “This competition required excellence in all three of those areas.” Waters said his favorite part of competing is proving his team’s great writing and advocating skills.

“Consistently at all competitions, judges say [we] are currently better than many lawyers they see in their courts,” said Waters. “That means the Regent Law Advocacy program is training lawyers who are academically and experientially on-par with many top 100 advocacy programs.”

According to Waters, the team will assign 2L students to their Spring Semester 2017, and will continue to prepare for competitions at the regional and national levels.

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Law.

Regent University Ranked 2017 “Best for Vets” by Military Times

Regent University was named among the top institutions in Military Times' “Online & Nontraditional Schools” category.On Tuesday, November 1, Military Times released its eighth annual “Best for Vets: Colleges 2017” rankings. Regent University was named among the top institutions in the publications “Online & Nontraditional Schools” category.

This was Regent’s second year in a row receiving this distinction.

Learn more about Regent’s benefits for military veterans.

Senior director of traditional and military admissions and United States Army veteran Bob Habib said this is not only a great honor, but a testament to Regent’s continued commitment to students.

“We hope to continue to make all of our programs accessible to all members of our community, especially those who are military affiliated, as our vision and mission are in direct alignment with those of all the military services,” said Habib.

Each year, Military Times releases its “Best for Vets” rankings by “[evaluating] the many factors that help make colleges and universities a good fit for service members, military veterans and their families,” according to a press release from the organizations.

More than 500 universities nation-wide participate in Military Times’ detailed survey evaluating the benefits of each institution. The recognition for Regent comes shortly after the launch of its on-campus Military Resource Center (MRC). The MRC offers support for military affiliated students and their families, who make up more than 28 percent of its current student body.

It also follows the university’s recent implementation of Green Zone training, to bring awareness from the perspective of military members to employees on campus.

Additionally, in early November, Regent earned several other distinctions for its excellence in programming and support for its military affiliated students and their families.

Regent received marks as a “top school” in Military Advanced Education & Transition’s 2017 Guide to Colleges & Universities research study, a database for prospective military students.

Regent was also among a Military Friendly® Schools designation from Military Friendly®, a division of Victory Media, chosen among higher-education institutions as “exhibiting leading practices in recruiting and supporting post-military students.”

Learn more about Regent University’s Office of Military & Veterans Affairs.

Regent University’s Trauma Team Deploys to Trinidad

2015 Trauma Team
Dr. Benjamin Keyes with 2015 trauma partners.
Photo courtesy of Dr. Benjamin Keyes.

In the history of a warm and vibrant Trinidad is the rubble left behind from broken families and a slew of natural disasters. Therein lays a nation of people waiting to emerge with clear minds and healed pasts.

Enter Regent University’s Trauma Team, a division of the School of Psychology & Counseling’s (SPC) Center for Trauma Studies.

The team of 25 faculty, alumni and students deployed to the nation this summer for a dual mission: to offer trauma training to various agencies, and to set up a Green Cross training center, an international, humanitarian assistance organization within the country.

“The wide-open position of the government was amazing,” said Dr. Benjamin Keyes, SPC professor and director for Regent’s Center for Trauma Studies.

Through his prior relationship with those working within emergency management of Trinidad, Keyes and his team saw nearly 100 people come through their initial training process. As a result of their work, the government is requiring its emergency management personnel to engage in trauma training.

“We’ve found time and time again, every place we’ve gone, that when God goes before us, the doors get opened,” said Keyes. “People seem prepared for what we have and are receptive to not only hearing the material, but interacting with us in a way that empowers them and our students.”

Keyes explained this process is crucial to his current students’ hands-on experience, and helps them build on the skills they learned in the classroom throughout the year. He hopes the work they’ve done in Trinidad not only makes a difference, but keeps people connected to therapists, spiritual groups and ongoing support that will continue to help them long after the team returns.

“That’s what we’re about. We’re not a hit and run organization,” said Keyes. “And I am both pleased and proud to be a part of that development and a part of that growth.”

As for the future of Green Cross and the Trauma Team’s efforts, Keyes hopes to return.

“Any time they invite me,” Keyes said with a laugh.

His love for the nation comes from the openness of the people and their willingness to be part of the answer to helping their own countrymen and women. He also desires to offer them hope for a life free from the past that plagues them. For Keyes, that’s the definition of ministry.

“There’s a light I see come into people’s eyes when they realize they’re not stuck – that things can be different,” said Keyes. “For me, that’s demonstrating a Christian witness without having to talk a Christian witness.”

Learn more about Regent University’s School of Psychology & Counseling.