After working at Regent for nearly 30 years, Dr. Alan Arroyo, dean at the School of Education (SOE) has announced his retirement. He has served as dean of the school since 1996, and those who know and worked with him are congratulating him and remembering his many contributions to its growth and development. Arroyo served while the school pioneered online learning, introduced a first-ever doctoral program in leadership, obtained national accreditation, and established a strong relationship with the Virginia Department of Education.
SOE faculty and staff mark Arroyo as a visionary who thought outside of the box. They say he encouraged innovation and encouraged them spiritually. Arroyo says he and his family moved to Virginia Beach in 1986 because of God’s prompting. Six weeks after moving, Regent brought him on board as registrar. He bases his decision to retire on a passage of Scripture. He says it is time to transfer the duty of dean, and Regent’s board has named Dr. Donald Finn as the new SOE dean.
“A lot of Christians say retiring isn’t in the Bible, and that’s not true,” said Arroyo. “I’m not saying they’re false, but there is a section in Numbers Chapter 8 where the Lord is laying out to Moses what the functions are, for example the priest. In those days they started at 25 but were to retire at the age of 50.”
For Arroyo, his faith and his role as dean were inseparable. He says Regent helped grow his faith, and those who work at Regent say Arroyo’s faith encouraged them.
“Dr. Arroyo has been my colleague and friend for the entire time he has been at Regent,” said Dr. George Selig, SOE distinguished professor. “We have written numerous books together and made many presentations. During Dr. Arroyo’s time at Regent as a professor and dean, he has been outstanding in everything he put his hand to. While academically he is exceptional, his greatest gift is the genuine love and commitment he has for Jesus Christ and for others. This commitment has allowed him to become one of the most outstanding deans Regent has ever had and to leave a legacy that will serve as a bar of excellence for others to aspire to as Regent fulfills its mission.”
The SOE has produced thousands of graduates, and Arroyo’s influence extended far beyond the walls of the school. Many graduates who are now influential leaders in education remember the difference the dean made in their lives.
“Dean Arroyo is a well-respected educator who’s professional yet personable nature will be greatly missed by all Regent University stakeholders,” said Dr. Sharon Byrdsong, chief of staff in the office of superintendent at Norfolk Public Schools. “Dean Arroyo’s skilled emphasis on human connections and collaboration have afforded Regent students with meaningful, unduplicable educational experiences. More important, Dean Arroyo has partnered with communities beyond the Regent campus, resulting in far-reaching contributions to the behavioral, emotional, social, and educational health of individuals in the Hampton Roads community and beyond.”
Not only those Arroyo mentored are remembering his contributions to Regent. Those who oversaw his deanship and mentored him are wishing him the best in retirement and sharing their thoughts on his hard work.
“Dr. Arroyo played a foundational role in helping craft a Christ-centered and Scripture-anchored approach to educational foundations,” said Dr. David Gyertson, former Regent president and distinguished professor. “His collaborative style encouraged both faculty and students to participate in Regent’s “grand experiment” to be an international leader in education that transformed both minds and hearts. Alan led by example in scholarship, teaching effectiveness and, most importantly, as a disciple of the Great Teacher Jesus Christ.”
Regent University founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson agrees. “Dr. Arroyo is one of the outstanding educators in the United States. His work at Regent has been without equal, and he will be sorely missed by us as he enters retirement. We all wish him the very best.”
Reflecting on the Chancellor’s influence, Arroyo had this to say: “Working for and with Dr. Robertson has been something I will continue to tell my grandchildren, and hopefully that will be passed down for generations because we believe that he is a unique man in time, God’s man, who has done great things. By all accounts, he’s listed as a top 100 most influential people in the 20th century and still remains very influential. It’s been a real honor and a blessing to work with him and all of the people I’ve come in contact with over the many years at Regent.”
Arroyo leaves Regent University Friday, June 5. He plans to act as a consultant for other universities looking to increase enrollment and expand programs. His next assignment will take him and his wife to Clarion University in Pennsylvania.