Alumni Weekend 2022 Honored Regent’s Past
While Looking to the University’s Future
Regent University celebrated nearly 45 years of equipping Christian leaders to change the world with its first-ever Alumni Weekend, October 7-8. This special two-day event rolled out the red carpet for alumni from as far back as 1984 and as far away as Arizona. Alumni and their families enjoyed a nostalgic time of fellowship and fun on our beautiful Virginia Beach campus and got to see what’s happening at Regent today.
Those attending the weekend experienced a full schedule of engaging and entertaining events. Friday’s “Royal Welcome” opening session included a time of praise and worship in the Library Auditorium along with a stirring exhortation from alumnus Dr. Leroy Gilbert (SBL ’04), an assistant professor at the School of Divinity.
A welcome reception followed on the Library Balcony, where attendees had the chance to connect with fellow alumni from their school. After the reception, they headed outside to participate in Regent’s annual Harvest Fest and a Dinner on the Lawn, where alumni were treated to a delicious chili dinner with all the “fixins.” Joining the alumni on the University Mall were nearly 400 current students, prospective students and guests, participating in a Regent Preview Weekend.
As the sun began to set, the campus bustled with energy and activity—including some intense cornhole competitions by the Regent Fountain. A live concert at Shaw Chapel, featuring music by We Are Messengers with special guests Jordan St. Cyr and Ryan Ellis, closed out day one of Alumni Weekend.
Juanita Weiss (COM ’92) attended Friday’s events with her husband, David. “I thoroughly enjoyed Alumni Weekend,” she told Impact. “Getting to meet alumni I had never met before and reconnecting with some I knew was priceless. The concert in the evening with We Are Messengers was fabulous! It was such a good way to end the first night of Alumni Weekend.”
Day 2 on Saturday started with breakfast at the Regent Ordinary and quickly transitioned to a special time of community prayer for our nation and the Regent family. Alumni gathered on the Library steps as “World Changers United for Prayer” and then commemorated the inaugural event with a group photo.
Alumni closed out their morning activities by attending “Classes Without Quizzes” sessions. Attendees heard from Regent professors who spoke about “Scripture, Art & Archeology,” “Christian Applications of the Business Roundtable” and “A Christian Understanding of Mindfulness Stress Management.”
Dr. Andrew Root (SBL ’94) was one of the professors leading the business roundtable discussion. “It was great to spend time with fellow alums from online and on-campus programs,” Root told Impact. “Being connected to alums can be motivational and part of a discipleship experience, as they go about changing the world in their own communities.”
After lunch in the Library Atrium, alumni attended a Meet the Deans forum in the Library Auditorium. The hourlong Q&A session provided an opportunity to hear from the deans and learn about the latest developments at Regent.
“Our alumni were very engaged and asked the deans great questions,” said Dr. Doris Gomez, dean of Regent’s School of Business & Leadership. “These events give us an opportunity to reconnect and renew. When God calls students to Regent University, this call does not end upon graduation. It remains the essence of our alumni’s work and future.”
Dr. Tony Hughes (SBL ’07) “loved” the inaugural Alumni Weekend and hopes it becomes a yearly event. He told Impact, “The program was very good. I liked the effort everyone put in to make it work. It was nice to hear from the school leadership on what they have been doing with the school and where they hope to go in the future.”
Regent University Athletic Director Michael Allen led Saturday’s final classroom session inside Robertson Hall. “A Day in the Life of a Student-Athlete” gave alumni the opportunity to hear from several Regent Royals about the hard work and commitment needed to pursue both scholarship and athletic excellence.
Alumni Weekend 2022 ended on the highest of notes—with the Royals Celebration Dinner at the Founders Inn Ballroom on Saturday night. Lee Gwaltney (SBL ’94) attended the closing banquet and the entire two-day event with his wife, Heather (SBL ’94).
“We enjoyed being back on campus,” he said. “It definitely brought back memories, and all the staff and Regent team members were very welcoming. Of course, one of our favorite parts about Regent is that everyone we meet and have met has a story of how God worked in their lives and brought them to Regent.”
Chris Lambert, Regent University’s vice president for Advancement, says a key goal for the two-day event was to empower graduates to forge new relationships while strengthening old ones. He also wanted the weekend’s activities to build a sense of community that would allow and encourage alumni to reconnect with the university fully.
“The Regent University family continues to grow,” Lambert explained. “There was a point in time when the Holy Spirit whispered into the ear of each alumnus, telling them: ‘Seek out a Christian education.’ Tens of thousands of Regent University students have answered ‘Yes’ to that call, and we want them to stay connected to each other.”
In 1978, Dr. David Gyertson was the first dean and campus chaplain for Regent University. He became the school’s fourth president nine years later. Gyertson and his wife, Nancy, were honored guests at Alumni Weekend 2022, attending several events. At the Royals Celebration Dinner on Saturday night, the Gyertsons presented Regent with artwork depicting the Cape Henry Landing in 1607. They decided to return the historical painting given to them by the university in 1983.
“For the past 40 years, it’s been a gift that Nancy and I have treasured as a remembrance that God always keeps His word,” Gyertson shared. “It’s such a blessing for Nancy and me to come back and realize that the founding vision for Regent University and the Christian Broadcasting Network remains strong, vital and vibrant.”
Just a few miles from the Cape Henry Landing site, Regent University remains holy ground. A land dedicated more than 400 years ago to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ has served as a launch pad for World Changers over the past 44 years. The university has equipped more than 33,000 alumni as Christian leaders to impact nations for God’s glory.
But Regent won’t stop there. Lambert insists many, many more graduates are on the way: “Our alumni should be very proud of the students studying on campus today. They’re Spirit-led people who are going to make their mark for the Lord—just like the men and women before them. The entire Regent community is looking forward to watching it happen.”