Regent University Honors Chancellor Gordon Robertson at Investiture Ceremony
VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Oct. 24, 2023) – On Friday, October 20, the investiture ceremony of Chancellor Gordon Robertson began in Shaw Chapel with a procession of academics, donned in regalia, and the robust tones of a brass quintet that summoned the pomp and circumstance of a formal occasion.
Gordon Robertson initially assumed his role as Chancellor on July 10, succeeding his late father, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson. However, Gordon Robertson was symbolically recognized as Chancellor during this investiture ceremony, signaling a new chapter of excellence for the university.
Once all in attendance were in place, the room quieted as Corné Bekker, dean of the School of Divinity, opened the ceremony with a welcome and a word of prayer.
“We are honored to gather with you for this historic event, as we celebrate our new Chancellor. Please join me in a prayer of invocation.”
The congregation listened intently to Bekker’s tender conversation with the Lord and soaked up the anointing that fell upon the room.
Those assembled uttered a unified “Amen” as members of the Regent University Board of Trustees, elected officials, community partners, faculty, staff, and a myriad of dignitaries, all took their seats.
Phil Walker, Chairman of the Board, greeted all who traveled from near and far to celebrate Chancellor Gordon Robertson and Regent’s exciting future of promise and possibility.
“Gordon, we see the hand of God in you as you step into this important role and boldly champion the mission of Christian Leadership to Change the World. I commend you on your distinguished appointment as Chancellor of Regent University.”
Walker’s words garnered pleasant smiles from the crowd as the proceedings continued to unfold in the presence of former Virginia Governors George Allen and Bob McDonnell, former Congressman Randy Forbes, Delegate Karen Greenhalgh of the 85th District, Attorney General of Virginia Jason Miyares, Virginia Beach City Council member and Regent faculty Sabrina Wooten, and President of Virginia Wesleyan University Scott Miller.
Representatives from the faculty, student body, and alumni also provided declarations of faith and championed the university’s call to excellence, innovation, and integrity.
Bobby Dyer, Mayor of the City of Virginia Beach and Regent University faculty and alum, issued an official proclamation that read, in part:
“NOW THEREFORE, I, Robert M. “Bobby” Dyer, Mayor of the City of Virginia Beach, hereby proclaim that Gordon Robertson is to be commended upon his appointment as Chancellor of Regent University; and I call upon all the citizens of Virginia Beach to join me in celebrating Gordon Robertson for his leadership and for carrying out the vision and mission of Regent University that will continue to serve the citizens of the City of Virginia Beach and the surrounding areas.”
After a powerful scripture reading by Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Bill Hathaway, from 1 Chronicles 29:10-13, the Regent University Singers blessed the room with an a cappella hymn filled with rich harmony.
Chairman Walker elevated the grandeur of the ceremony by calling for Gordon Robertson to take centerstage.
He then presented Robertson the medallion of the chancellor’s office which was inscribed with the seal of the university. This ceremonial gesture exemplified a transfer of authority.
Next, Walker presented Robertson with a handcrafted mace which stands as a symbol of leadership.
Executive Vice President of Student Life Joseph Umidi offered these sacred words, in part, during Robertson’s commissioning prayer:
“Gordon, we bless you with wisdom, favor, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit to be upon you, both now and forevermore. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Vice President and Chief of Police, Chris Mitchell cemented the moment by reciting The Prophecy, a statement that was originally delivered by Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson in 1976, a few short months before the University would come to fruition.
“Walk boldly into the future, for I hold the future, and I AM the future. Fear not what will happen, for I will provide, and I will provide beyond your wildest dreams. I have called you to a ministry beyond anything that you can conceive, and even as you begin to conceive, your thoughts cannot comprehend what I have called you to, so do not try to think ahead of me, but only walk with my plans and my purposes, and I will reveal my plans step by step. But you need not be afraid. You can walk confidently, for I, the Lord your God, have enfolded you with love, and even as you have spoken, I have sent my angels about this place, about this building, which will be called by my name. And, yea, it shall be known from one end of heaven to the other, and the nations of the earth shall come to it. I will be bold, and I will be here, and I will hear and answer prayer from this place, my people.”
Once the reading of The Prophecy concluded, Chancellor Gordon Robertson stood before the people humbled by the weight of this appointment and God’s plan for the future.
During his address, Robertson assured the congregation that he will carry out his role as Chancellor of Regent University leaning on the wisdom, might, and comfort of the following scriptures:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
And David said to his son Solomon, “Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God–my God–will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.” – 1 Chronicles 28:20
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” – Matthew 24:14
The Chancellor’s inaugural remarks were met with applause, affirming his vision for Regent University and its post as a global beacon of light in the days ahead.
George Thomas, CBN News‘ Senior International Correspondent, Co-Anchor, and Regent alum, issued a closing prayer that included these tender words of expectation.
“Father, as Gordon Robertson takes the helm of Regent University and builds on his father’s legacy, we pray that you entrust him with all wisdom, grace compassion understanding, creativity, and knowledge he requires to take Regent from where it stands today to even greater heights for your glory!“
The sounds of the sacred hymn Blessed Be the Tie that Binds wafted through Shaw Chapel and ushered the attendees out of the formality and into cozy celebratory chatter.
“As we look to the future, our hope is to build on the excellence that Regent has already established,” said William L. Hathaway, Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Gordon has advanced every organization that he has led. In this new role as Chancellor of Regent University, we believe God will continue to bless him with success as he brings glory to God.”
In addition to his new role as Chancellor, Gordon Robertson will continue to serve as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. and as President of Operation Blessing.
About Regent University
Founded in 1977, Regent University is America’s premier Christian university, with more than 13,000 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 has been 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 11 years in a row (U.S. News & World Report, 2023).