Back in 1975, over a lunch of cantaloupe and cottage cheese, Regent’s Founder, Chancellor and CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson received a very specific word from the Lord: “Build a school for My glory.” Three years later, 77 students started classes in rented classrooms, and then-CBN University began equipping Christian leaders to change the world.
Fast forward to 2016 and the largest graduating class in Regent’s history. At the post-commencement Chancellor’s Luncheon inside Founders Inn, seven of the university’s newest alumni shared their Regent stories.
Even before graduating from Regent Law, Sandra Alcaide already had an impressive record of accomplishment. In March, she won “Best Oralist” for the entire Western Hemisphere at the Price Media International Law Competition in New York City.
Alcaide told the luncheon attendees, “One of the biggest assets of Regent for me was the fact that I got to meet role models — people who I could be like. (The law professors) have been amazing models of character and integrity.”
As the daughter of Regent graduates, Hope Hukkeri is a second-generation alumna, who’s currently a marketing intern at NBC in New York. The new College of Arts & Sciences graduate thanked Robertson for answering the Lord’s divine call to found the university. Speaking through tears, Hukkeri shared, “Regent University is where I met God, and that’s where He met me, too. He showed me what it meant to be strong and confident, knowing that I’m a ‘regent’ who secures God’s kingdom before He comes back.”
Heather Stillwell completed her doctoral degree in communication online, while also facing the everyday challenges of being a wife, a mother of three (one a special-needs child) and an assistant professor of journalism at a university in California. “The online aspect of the Ph.D. program in communication at Regent is amazing. It fit exactly what I needed,” she explained. “I came here thinking I was just going to study social norms of women in broadcast journalism, and I, instead, found a real need for helping children make sense of their medical issues and to understand the value that God gives their lives and using media as a tool to do that.”
Brandon Vera has struggled with a physical limitation since birth, but the College of Arts & Sciences graduate’s mind and spirit are truly invincible. “I found such a loving community of people and beautiful friends. … Regent has been a dream come true,” he said. “I thank Regent for equipping me with the tools to go out into the world and to use my disability for God’s glory.”
“One of the biggest assets of Regent for me was the fact that I got to meet role models — people who I could be like.”
— Sandra Alcaide, School of Law
Originally from Soviet Russia, Anna Shirokova grew up in an environment where she was “subjected to pretty aggressive, anti-God, atheistic, materialistic, Communist propaganda.” After moving to the United States and coming to faith in Jesus Christ, she began looking for schools to complete her doctorate. The School of Psychology & Counseling graduate knew the first day she set foot on campus that Regent was the place for her. “This is it. This is where I want to be,” she told her husband. “God was with us every step of the way.”
Katie Goldman is now a two-time Regent graduate, having earned her master’s degree from the School of Business & Leadership in 2008. She’s also a full-time university employee, who described studying for and earning her doctorate in education as “the most grueling experience you’ve ever been through in your whole entire life.” Although Goldman felt like giving up many times, she said all the hard work and years of effort were “totally” worth it: “This is a calling, and it’s the most wonderful feeling in the world. … All glory to God. I am so grateful.”
Mary Myhre graduated from law school for a second time on May 7. A former Muslim, she endured severe persecution after becoming a Christian in northern Sudan. “After I converted, I basically lost everything because the government denied all my rights,” she explained. “So I’ve been outcast, and I don’t have anything to prove that I did study law and took the bar exam.”
Myre’s situation grew even more desperate when her husband was murdered. She needed the help of missionaries from Texas to miraculously escape Sudan with her two children. After arriving in the States, she met a School of Law professor who, upon hearing Myhre’s story, encouraged her to consider Regent. So, she applied, was accepted and graduated from Regent Law. “My ultimate dream,” Myhre said, “is to take the bar, pass the bar, and work where I can help those who also are being persecuted for their faith.”
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