Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson Welcomes the Freshman Class at the College of Arts & Sciences’ Chancellor’s Forum
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Aug. 23, 2022) – Regent University Founder, Chancellor & CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson held the latest Chancellor’s Forum on August 16 before a crowd of more than 400 incoming freshmen from the College of Arts & Sciences.
Each forum allows students to hear Dr. Robertson speak to the amount of renewed faith, works, and Kingdom vision that it takes to walk successfully into God’s promise. Following his opening remarks the event shifted into a student Q & A with Dr. Robertson that generated discovery, understanding, and even wit as the students began to see beyond his vast accomplishments to meet the real man.
“I think it is a rare opportunity in today’s world to hear from a leader who has gone the distance—without losing faith and without steering us wrong,” said Dr. Josh McMullen, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “For students to get to soak up his godly and practical wisdom—I can’t imagine this being offered on this level at other schools.”
The contemporary Christian music that accompanied the sanctuary chatter in Regent University’s Shaw Chapel faded to silence as the students fixed their eyes on the door where they expected him to enter. Moments later, Robertson appeared, and the students jumped to their feet and gifted him with a thunderous standing ovation.
The students quickly took their seats as Robertson thanked them for their kindness and humbly moved their attention to the valley of dry bones in Ezekiel 37 and God’s call for believers to speak life.
“‘Then he said to me (Ezekiel), “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! 5 This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath[a] enter you, and you will come to life. 6 I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.’”
Robertson urged the students not to wait for God to do something, but to speak it into being, and don’t allow negative talk in your company.
He then recalled a time when a lawyer told him that he didn’t have the minimum $500,000.00 that the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) required to get a license for a television station.
“But I went to the office in Washington, D.C. and told them what I needed,” said Dr. Robertson. “I pressed on, filled out the forms and without any money—I got a license. Keep on asking, keep on knocking. A man’s mouth will provide more for him, than the work of his body.”
Nods in agreement and wonder could be spotted in the pews as the audience of freshmen scholars absorbed his wise counsel. Robertson then invited the students to begin the Q & A.
One by one, the students stood with a mic and asked questions that ranged from simple topics like interests and hobbies to heavy questions like, “Is China, Russia or Ukraine the most looming threat to the United States?”
North Carolina native, Sarah Beth Gossett, was inspired when Dr. Robertson went on to insist that our nation should continue to position itself on the side of right. “I am in the Regent University Honors College, and I hope to one day hold an advocacy position in an organization that fights human trafficking. Regent is on fire for Jesus, speaks the truth boldly, and prepares individuals to share the love of God. I know I will be well-equipped.”
With meekness, Robertson attributed his fruitful journey with Christ to having a childhood with a praying mother, a wonderful aunt, and eventually—a devoted wife who brought beauty to all that she touched.
In honor of his late wife, the name of a campus building dedicated to student life is being changed to the Dede Robertson Student Center and is set for an expansion.
Still, the Chancellor maintains that there is no substitute for being before the Lord yourself. “Know what the Bible says about everything. Read it. Know it. Live it.”
Justin Sukhdeo, a film student from Trinidad & Tobago, saw Dr. Robertson’s ability to trust God in the midst of modest beginnings and rise to lead industry as a confirmation that he was in the right place. “I chose Regent due to the fact that it’s a place where I will not only get the best teaching in my field, but also a solid foundation in my walk with Christ.”
The Chancellor shared personal details of his earlier self, like his love for horseback riding that grew too expensive, the energy he gained from working out that has waned in his 92 years, but he insisted that his good nutrition and thirst for reading are still a part of his routine.
Miah Wallace, a mass communications student from Dinwiddie, VA, was inspired by the fact that all those years ago, Dr. Robertson came to Virginia from New York to start a television station when he didn’t even own a television set. “As a future public speaker, hearing Dr. Robertson say that I should never give up on my dreams or my gift, no matter how challenging things may appear. His words will impact me for the rest of my life. Being at Regent is one of the best choices I have made.”
The last question was asked by Dean McMullen. “What is something new about David, your favorite Bible character, that you learned while researching for your most recent book, David: The Shepherd King?”
Robertson chuckled while reflecting on David’s imperfections. “He was ruthless, loved sex and women, but he was wise. Even as flawed as David was, he was a man after God’s own heart, which means despite being flawed, as believers, we are called to lead.”
Dean McMullen asked the Regent photographer to capture a final image of the entire crowd to preserve the moment. Then, Dr. Robertson rose from his seat and wished the students well as he was ushered out to the same generous thunder that welcomed him in—a well-deserved standing ovation.
“When I see Chancellor Robertson’s passion for our students, it reawakens my love for our young people,” said Dr. McMullen. “He inspires me to bring my best self to campus every day because right here is where we grow students into strong leaders who are destined to change the world.”
About Regent University
Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university, with more than 11,000 students studying on its 70-acre campus in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and online around the world. The university offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 150 areas of study, including business, communication and the arts, counseling, cybersecurity, divinity, education, government, law, leadership, nursing, healthcare, and psychology. Regent University ranked the #1 Best Accredited Online College in the United States (Study.com, 2020), the #1 Safest College Campus in Virginia (YourLocalSecurity, 2021), and the #1 Best Online Bachelor’s Program in Virginia for ten years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2022).