Skip navigation

It Doesn’t Matter How Long the Journey Takes – Just That You Get There

Stacey Thoroughgood, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Regent University.

Behind every great organization exists exemplary leaders. At just 24 years old, Stacey Thoroughgood, Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Regent University, is just that: a great leader. How did she become the leader that she is at such a young age?

Elizabeth Loftus, Admissions Counselor, Regent University, has worked with Thoroughgood since 2018. “I have always been impressed with her maturity and recognition on how to act in such a level of character for such a young woman. Very rarely did I see her feathers get ruffled.” Loftus further expounds, “She always takes the time to know her people. She took the time to know me. She has gone above and beyond to be a champion in my professional personal corner; she had reached out and spoken life into me when I didn’t know I needed it, but she saw that I did.”

Thoroughgood shares that her love and desire for being an effective communicator impacts her ability to lead. “If you’re an effective communicator, that will seep well into what you do at work and into all aspects of life.” She also asserts that her leadership mindset is to meet people where they are and help them grow to where they need to be, no matter how long that journey takes.”

Perhaps this leadership mindset was grown from seeds planted in her first two years at Regent while living in the dorms and attending life group. Thoroughgood recalls her spiritual mentor, Mary Beth, and the significant impact she had on her.  “Mary Beth was a leader that took you as you were, and she helped you grow from whatever point you were at. Which really inspired me as a leader.”

Thoroughgood recalls fond memories of growing up in the local area in Chesapeake, Virginia. “I have stayed local most of my life, but my work side has been done here in Virginia Beach. I have always been a local girl; I love the Chesapeake area, and this is where we have planted our roots.”

Following High School, Thoroughgood felt led to attend Regent University to complete her bachelor’s in government. “I graduated from Hickory High School, and from there, I began my bachelor’s and then master’s degree at Regent University.”

After completing the first three years of her degree and an extensive exploration in the field, she began to question her career path. “I didn’t see myself in government. I took the time to sit down and think about what I am good at, what is my passion, and what can I see myself doing for the rest of my life. At the root of it were leadership and communication.”

She changed her major to communications and specializing in journalism, realizing that effective communication and leadership were her strengths and crucial to her and would provide her a skill set valuable for all aspects of her life. The journalism concentration satisfied her love and talent for writing. “I love to write blogs and papers, and it comes naturally for me. With the communications core, I love learning about business and personal communication, and I wanted to grow even more as an effective communicator.”

Thoroughgood first committed her life to Christ when she was ten years old. “I had always been a Christian, but my family was not the ‘every Sunday’ church-going family. We knew the Lord, we were involved in prayer, reading the bible, and things like that. But I [later] attended a church with a friend from my middle school whose dad was a pastor. I kept going every weekend, and I really loved the atmosphere and committed my life to Christ there.”

As a traditional undergraduate student at Regent, Thoroughgood discovered so much of what God had already planned for her life. She met her spiritual mentor, Mary Beth, her life group leader, for two years, with whom she remains in contact to this day. “What stood out about Mary Beth is that she took you as you were, and she helped you grow from wherever you were at, no matter how long it takes, which really inspired me. She sparked that in me to grow in my Christian walk and carried over into my work as well.” Her actions spoke to Stacey and provided an example of what she aspired to be in her role as a leader. “Regent helped me to see all walks of life grow after they graduate.”

Thoroughgood’s relationship with the Lord grew even more vital as she attended baptism classes in 2016. “When I accepted the invitation for baptism in Shaw Chapel, I told my friend Julia, I really want to do it [baptism], and she said go ahead! I felt led, I did it and was baptized. Being at Regent was that encompassing moment ‘you were made for something bigger; you’re supposed to be here, you’ve committed your life to Christ, give it your all. The baptism was extremely special to me because it not only helped to grow my life through Christ, but it was done at Regent, where I have been rooted for the last six years.”

Thoroughgood shared that her best friend is her husband, Parker. “I can be my most genuine self around him. Parker has a goofy, silly, funny personality. Whereas I can be a goal-oriented mindset realist. So, he helps to bring my realist side down and says It’s going to be okay. Whatever the reality of it is, it’s okay, have faith and let yourself live a little bit. He challenges me in that way and to grow spiritually. Growing in the Lord, and as professionals, and as a married couple growing together, he is my best friend for sure.”

In the most delicate, transparent moments, she shared that her greatest fear would be finding out that she could not become a mom. “We battled infertility for a year and went through surgery, medications, shots, and we finally realized we had to have that sit-down conversation of ‘this is really hard for us, and are we sure that this is God’s plan for us right now? Are we trying to force these plans?’” God lovingly showed them to trust him, and that is exactly what they decided to do. As a couple, they decided to give their fear to God and let Him direct their path with trust instead of forcing the process to get pregnant.

“My greatest accomplishment would be between completing my bachelor’s degree in three-and-a-half years, with summers off, and that I was the first one in my family to complete college. I wanted to do that for my parents. Another big accomplishment is the position I’m working in now. I think I am the youngest assistant director. It’s been great to work with other assistant directors, who have been in the position for a while, as they all have different paths to wisdom that they can share with me, and I can grow. It’s been such an opportunity at such a young age to learn and grow. My goal is to grow in this position to make an impactful change here at Regent.”

“As a traditional undergraduate student at Regent, Thoroughgood discovered so much of what God had already planned for her life.”

When your work teams have struggled, how did you handle that as the coach and develop a game plan? “We were dealing with personnel issues, and the question I asked was, “How can we be present as a team together? We also had personnel issues with one person being let go and one staff member quitting. But as a person who values trust and communication, I was hoping my team trusted me enough to believe me when I told them to invest in themselves and their work, and to try to meet monthly expectations. I encouraged the team as much as possible, to lean on one another to get through that time.”

Thoroughgood continues, “I am very big on employee morale even if it’s the simplest things, bringing in candy.” Your team recognized your efforts and knew that you were taking care of them and encouraging them. “I came up with ways to encourage with Bible verses, and I get my best ideas in the peace and quiet. I was thinking of ways to encourage others, and that’s when it came to me, through telling them they’re doing a great job and recognizing their accomplishments through a monthly award.”

When asked what is the most amazing thing that God has done in her life aside from salvation. Thoroughgood replied, “Just saving me in the day-to-day things. Remembering that He says that he has a plan, it’s going to be okay, and He saves us in the day to day. It’s a daily amazement of His grace that he gives us. We can have imperfections and flaws, but we are created in His image, and we are made according to His plan. That amazes me every day.”

When asked what advice she would give a 12-year-old girl, Thoroughgood replied “I would tell that 12-year-old girl that her dreams are only as small or as big as you allow them to be. I worked with youth advocacy groups at state and national levels.” This was a lesson she learned after competing in the final national debate tournament. “I had to write a piece of legislation on the banning of animal acts in circus animals. I felt I had a solid case and was excited about it. However, there were people who said to me ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about; where did you get that from; that will never happen’. Two years later it came to fruition. I didn’t write the actual legislation, but the premise was the same. I learned in that moment that if you let someone’s negativity and doubt get to you, you will have a tough time in this world. I have powerful ideas and dreams and it does not matter what age I accomplish them; I can still do it.”

Thoroughgood pondered her favorite scripture verse and shared, “It’s the scripture in Matthew that says do not judge lest you will be judged. When I came to Regent, I was worried that I may not fit in because I didn’t come from a family that was devout in going to church every Sunday, like other families that had a great spiritual connection. I just had it in my mind that I didn’t want to be judged and I’m not going to judge others and say that someone is the end all be all, great Christian. At the end of the day, you can see what’s on the outside, but you don’t know what’s on the inside of someone. I try to be a positive influence and have positive interactions with anyone I come across.”

“I think one guiding principle my parents have ingrained in me is to be my most true self. To not back down when its uncomfortable or when you have a challenge because when we are not willing to learn or have the difficult conversation, wisdom will die.”

Is there a special moment that you can share that you would say that moment helps you to face challenges? “I think of a member of my team when she first started as an admissions counselor. Seeing her grow, mastering the systems, conversations and becoming the admissions counselor she became, was an example of perseverance. That perseverance showed that it doesn’t matter how long the journey takes, just that you get there.”

Nominate a Noteworthy Alumnus

Know someone whose story should be featured in Regent Stories?

Tell us more

Become a Regent World Changer Sponsor!

Invest in our Christian leaders of tomorrow.

Donate today