Regent University honors benefactors who have given $1 million or more over their lifetime through an elite association known as the Society of the Crown and Shield. Members are recognized for playing an active and pivotal role in shaping both the history and future of Regent. This year’s inductees, Joe and Cindy Gregory, were recognized for investing their time, talents and finances as co-laborers committed to equipping Christian leaders to change the world.
The Gregorys were honored at a special commissioning ceremony at The Founders Inn on May 4. It’s a tradition that Regent incorporated into the 2016 commencement celebrations and one that will continue as a special way to thank major donors for their cherished friendship and incredible generosity to the university. Later that day, as special guests at the School of Divinity’s commissioning service, the couple addressed dozens of soon-to-be graduates and encouraged them with a prayer of blessing.
“Scripture tells us in Luke 12:34, ‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (NIV),” says Ann LeBlanc, Regent Vice President of Alumni Relations & Special Events. “As partners in the university’s mission, Society of the Crown and Shield members, like Joe and Cindy, are creating the next generation of Christian leaders who can transform cultures and nations for Jesus Christ.”
Dr. Joseph Gregory is the co-founder of King Pharmaceuticals in Bristol, Tennessee. Between 1993-2003, he grew the company from a 100-employee startup to more than 2,200 employees and $1.6 billion in annual sales. Now the head of Gregory Management Company, he directs a diversified investment portfolio in traditional and renewable energy resources, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, real estate, recreational equipment, financial services, and new media and software.
Gregory first learned about Regent University after the international ministry he founded, Kingsway Charities, began working closely with Operation Blessing, the international-relief arm of the Christian Broadcasting Network. After years of working together through Operation Blessing, Regent’s founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, invited him to become a member of the board of trustees.
While Gregory served on the university’s board of trustees from 2007-2010, the family became a chief supporter and major contributor to the Regent Chapel and School of Divinity building project. They gave generously and enthusiastically to the construction effort after being moved by the Holy Spirit to make a significant gift toward the project’s completion.
With the Gregorys’ help and support, the Regent Chapel and School of Divinity building were completed in 2013. At the time, Gregory told Regent’s Christian Leader magazine that he wanted the family’s donation to “expand the ministry and mission of the university for the sake of the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”
At this year’s Society of the Crown and Shield commissioning,
Dr. Jay Sekulow, a member of Regent’s board of trustees and chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, introduced the Gregorys for induction. “What an honor it is for me to be here with my friends Joe and Cindy,” Sekulow explained. “The university, as I do personally, cherishes the Gregory family for their many years of generosity and service as prayer partners, financial supporters and co-laborers in the school’s mission to equip Christian leaders to change the world.”
The Society of the Crown and Shield draws its name from two integral elements of Regent’s heraldic crest. The crown represents the King whom we serve, Jesus Christ. The shield, in both educational circles and in the fellowship of believers, signifies the shield of faith and protection. Cast in precious silver with the Regent crest boldly displayed at its center, the majestic medallions were presented to both honorees as an enduring symbol of their generosity and faithfulness.
“Joe and Cindy Gregory have demonstrated an extraordinary passion for and tremendous commitment to the vision of this university,” says Robertson. “Like their fellow members of the Society of the Crown and Shield, they have gone above and beyond to enable Regent to fulfill its mission, and it was our pleasure to honor them for their generosity.”
For additional information about how you can support Regent University with your donation of cash, securities, annuities, trusts, bequests and other gifts of equity or property, please visit regent.edu/give or call 800.335.4409.