Regent University Alumni Chapters Empower Graduates and Students
Whether someone pursues a degree on campus or online, the time spent earning that diploma is one of life’s greatest experiences. In addition to learning about and growing in a chosen field of study, most students receive invaluable mentoring, forge lifelong friendships, and acquire skills and knowledge that catapult them into careers and callings.
But what happens after the tassel turns? Each new chapter in life comes with questions and challenges. Victories may be few, while defeats can be devastating. The support systems that exist in higher education can be very difficult to find in the “real world.” That’s why Regent University’s Alumni Relations team I committed to empowering graduates and students through regional alumni chapters.
“We want to engage both current and future alumni on a local and national level,” says Assistant Director of Alumni Relations Alora Tejada. “Engagement is not only vital to the university’s mission of equipping Christian leaders to change the world, but we owe it to every member of the Regent family to provide the best possible pre- and post-graduate experience.”
Currently, Regent has five established alumni chapters: Dallas-Fort Worth, Central Florida, Atlanta, Nashville, and Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Alumni Relations team wants to increase that number by three in the next year.
“Our goal is eight established chapters by the end of 2023,” Regent University Director of Alumni Relations and Annual Giving Andrea Tatum says. “Each chapter is charged with the important task of encouraging connection among other Christian leaders in their area.” “Many of our chapters, whether previously or recently established, are in a new season,” Tatum explains. “We’re looking for alumni
who are interested in pursuing volunteer opportunities or a leadership position on chapter boards across the country.”
Established chapters are provided, what Alumni Relations refers to as the “Three-Pillar Approach.” This strategy challenges each chapter leader to pursue events and engagement activities that “establish opportunities to network, learn something new, and foster relationships within their community.”
“We wholeheartedly believe that this approach reflects the mind, body, spirit approach that so many of us were taught during our time at Regent,” Tejada insists. “By hosting networking events with the chapter constituents, our alumni and students can form relationships that progress into potential mentoring opportunities.”
Pamela Walters (SCA ’85) is the Dallas-Ft. Worth chapter president. During thepandemic, she hosted coffee gatherings and other events to keep the chapter afloat. By doing that, Walters provided encouragement and built a sense of community at a critical time.
Through his efforts as Central Florida chapter president, Keith Brickell (SBL ’02) seeks to encourage alumni spiritually and personally to pursue God’s calling on their lives. “Regent trains Christian leaders to change the world,” he shares. “But once you get into the world, it can be discouraging. We want to continually remind our graduates that God has specifically anointed them to be a World Changer wherever He has placed them. “We encourage our chapter leaders to think outside the box with their events,” explains Chris Lambert, Regent’s vice president for Advancement. “We also ask each of our chapter leaders to partner with a nonprofit in their area to give back to the community. As Christians, we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ, so what better way to exemplify this call than to help those in need tangibly.” Jerrell Stokley Jr. (CAS ’06, SBL ’12 & SOD ’12) is president of Regent’s newly established Nashville chapter. He recently shared with alums about the university’s impact on his faith and his desire to serve members, so they can engage with and support each other.
“Regent is one of the larger bedrocks of my Christian and leadership transformation,” Stokley wrote. “Anything that I can do to serve Regent University is a pleasure and honor. I am eager for us to come together as fellow alumni and believers to build strong relationships with Christian professionals and business owners and to further Kingdom connections for the glory of God.”
Melissa Stewart (SBL ’21 & ’25), president of Metro-Atlanta’s newly reestablished chapter, has big plans for “a great 2023 together!” She wants to reenergize the chapter by building relationships and providing engaging new ways to connect.
“I was inspired to take this role to meet people and give back to the university that has meant so much to me,” Stewart says. “My vision for the Metro-Atlanta Chapter is to invigorate our community of alumni and students through engagement, collaboration and encouragement. I pray that we build a connected community and grow deeper in our relationship with Jesus.”
Alumni Relations is looking forward to expanding the university’s network of alumni chapters by the end of the year. They want to reengage familiar faces and meet new ones.
“This is a time for us as an alumni team to engage with our chapters and begin facilitating a network of alumni and students across the country and around the world,” Tejada explains. “We can’t wait to see how these relationships and fostered connections will continue to blossom in the days, weeks and months ahead.”