For nearly 40 years, Regent University’s motto,Christian Leadership to Change the World, has pointed to a desire to impact lives around the globe. Since 1978, more than 20,000 alumni have earned degrees in communication, education, business, divinity, government, law, psychology and other key disciplines. But an overwhelming majority of those former students needed help to graduate. They received it in the form of financial aid.
Last year, Regent provided more than $18 million in scholarships, grants and other assistance. With a record enrollment this spring of 7,515 students, the most in university history, even more men and women will need financial help to answer God’s call to attend Regent.
But have you ever wondered who is helped by the tax-deductible donations of cash, securities, property and other assets to the university? Impact wants to introduce you to four students and future “World Changers” who calling has been advanced by the kindness and generosity of Regent donors.
Hope Hukkeri is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. As the daughter of Regent alums, she became very familiar with the university at a young age. In the summer of 2011, while still a Connecticut high school student, Hukkeri participated in Regent’s summer theatre program.
“I was cast as Maria in West Side Story and was overjoyed to work with such talented and kind Master of Fine Arts students,” she says. “After that experience, I knew that I wanted to be a Regent student and study theatre. I double majored in communication because broadcast media is also a passion of mine.”
Hukkeri will be putting that passion to work as a marketing intern at NBC in New York this spring. She insists it’s an opportunity that would not have been possible without financial support: “My Regent scholarships have been a tremendous blessing. I have the opportunity to put one of them towards my housing in Manhattan this semester, and I am beyond grateful for that because we all know how expensive New York City is.”
In this day and age, education is a privilege, not a right. I am blessed to be able to attend college, and I am even more blessed to have scholarships to help me pay for it.
“Any investment made in a Regent student is a good decision,” Hukkeri says. “In this day and age, education is a privilege, not a right. I am blessed to be able to attend college, and I am even more blessed to have scholarships to help me pay for it.”
After being wait-listed by what he calls his “top-tier schools,” Joshua Griffin of Virginia Beach, Virginia, wasn’t sure which university he would attend. “I had nothing planned. It was the first time I ever felt stuck,” he remembers. He liked Regent but didn’t see it as a a viable option because of his financial needs. “One day, I received a call that I would never forget,” he shares. “I received a full-tuition scholarship, and I could not turn that down.”
Griffin, whose parents emigrated to the United States from the Central American country of Belize, decided to pursue a business degree through Regent’s College of Arts & Sciences. “Each and every donor who invests into students like myself is not just helping us pay for school; they are helping us have a chance to change the world. With my degree and the university’s faith-based teaching, I am determined to change the business field. Christ has blessed me with an education like Regent, so it is only fit to give back to Him through my work.”
Melissa Benvenuto is also a Hampton Roads native, who was raised in a “Navy family.” Benvenuto chose Regent because she wanted to attend a local university that would expand her knowledge and her faith: “My parents and I visited Discover Regent, and in the Welcome Worship, I was overcome with emotion and peace. … This was confirmation for me. Regent was the only school that I applied to, and the Lord guided me and also provided me with an amazing support system.”
A sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, Benvenuto is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in government (pre-law) with a minor in criminal justice. “My family has been affected by crime,” she shares. “It has motivated me to pursue a degree in law, so that I may be a voice for those who have had theirs taken away. To simply be there and represent the innocent so that they may receive justice.”
Like her fellow classmates, Benvenuto understands that higher education is a privilege that’s made possible by the generosity of strangers. “My scholarship and financial aid have been a blessing,” she says. “Your investment in me is an investment in the future of my growth as a Christian leader. I will use my degree to be a Christian leader in the legal field to make a difference and to help others by showing them Christ. I sincerely thank you for your investment, as it does not go unnoticed nor unappreciated.”
This is a place where God works, and it is a blessing to see all of the things that He is able to do with the resources we have here.
Jonathan Lantz, from Reading, Pennsylvania, will graduate this spring with a master’s degree in public administration ― at the age of 19! “I am the oldest of four children, and we were all homeschooled,” he explains. “My scholarship has made it easier for my parents to think about putting four kids through college. … God will continue to provide, but this scholarship will directly impact my siblings and their future college experiences.”
After earning his bachelor’s degree online from another university when he was 17, Lantz left home to attend Regent: “There was a peace over this campus when I visited, and the faculty genuinely cared about me as a person, not just a student. … I have been able to study all aspects of leadership and become equipped to lead wherever God takes me.”
Lantz points out that he wasn’t awarded a scholarship right away: “It wasn’t until this past semester that I received it, and it came in God’s perfect timing. While my parents had saved for my schooling, they also were beginning to think about sending my sister off next year.” Receiving assistance helped ease his parents’ burden.
“This place is special,” Lantz continues. “This is a place where God works, and it is a blessing to see all of the things that He is able to do with the resources we have here. … As a part of this community, donors are uniquely able to change the lives of students and to be blessed as well.”
Find out how you can sponsor a Regent World Changer by calling 800.335.4409, or visit regent.edu/worldchanger.