Created to Glorify Him

July 5, 2022 0 comments
Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears at Regent University Virginia Beach.

Regent University names Virginia’s Lt. Gov.
Winsome Earle-Sears the 2022 Alumnus of the Year

Winsome Earle-Sears, a 2003 graduate from the School of Business & Leadership (SBL), is a woman of many firsts. In fact, the Regent University 2022 Alumnus of the Year Award-winner has been breaking down barriers her entire adult life.

On November 3, 2021, Earle-Sears became the first female in Virginia’s 400-year legislative history to be elected lieutenant governor. Born in Jamaica, her family immigrated to New York City when she was 6 years old. That makes her the first naturalized citizen to serve as the Old Dominion State’s lieutenant governor.

Her other impressive accomplishments include: Serving as a U.S. Marine; becoming an electrician and small-business owner; leading a men’s prison ministry; working as director of a women’s shelter; and, in 2001, becoming the first black, veteran, Republican woman elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates.

Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears and Gov. Glenn Youngkin at Regent University Virginia Beach.
Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears and Gov. Glenn Youngkin

Earle-Sears began studying for her Master of Arts degree at the Robertson School of Government (RSG) in 2000. “I knew I wanted to be in government somehow,” she said. “So, I was getting a master’s in public policy. About a year after being there, it just didn’t seem right.”

So, she shared her concerns with a professor. “We prayed together and realized I should be in the school for leadership,” she recalled. “So, I graduated from SBL with an M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Government. And here
I am, the lieutenant governor.” 

Regent welcomed Earle-Sears, her husband, Terence, and her family as distinguished guests to the 42nd Commencement on May 7. After receiving her Alumnus of the Year Award, she delivered an inspiring speech to graduates, urging them to embrace their true calling in life.

Earle-Sears cited Isaiah 43:7, explaining how God created the graduates for His glory—to glorify Him. “That’s it. So, it’s not to get a job. It’s not to get fame and fortune. No. Why are you here? For what purpose are you here? You are here to glorify Him.”

She also challenged Regent’s newest alumni to remember Jesus’ prayer in John 17, so they can make a positive and lasting impact on the world around them: “As God talking to God, He didn’t pray that you would be taken out of the world. Jesus says no, no, no. Y’all are staying, and you have to know how to deal with it. And so, I say to you: Don’t lose yourself. Don’t lose your family because all of these trappings are going to be gone one day.”

Immediately after commencement, the lieutenant governor spoke with Impact. She shared her thoughts about Regent University’s legacy and calling to serve others as a Christian leader to change the world.

“It’s awesome how one man—one man—started all this: Dr. Pat Robertson,” she said. “When you say to yourself, ‘You can’t.’ Just remember, it only takes one. A committee of one will do marvelous things.”

She continued, “I never planned any of this. I never wanted to be lieutenant governor. It was something that never crossed my mind. … But God called me. And I answered, because—here’s the thing—no matter what you do in life, you don’t want to do it if God isn’t in it.”

Earle-Sears was also actively involved in other key commencement events at Regent. She delivered the keynote address at the SBL Commissioning—becoming the school’s 15th Alumni Hall of Distinction inductee. She also gave the invocation at the RSG Commissioning.

Following that service, RSG Dean Michele Bachmann presented Earle-Sears with the school’s Distinguished Statesman Award. Earle-Sears is only the third person—and the first woman—to receive the prestigious honor, which Bachmann said recognizes “a current or recent statesman who has served in government in the pattern of America’s earliest, brilliant statesmen and stateswomen of character.”

“Faith is what has gotten me through. I couldn’t have come this far without God,” Earle-Sears replied. “It’s all the Lord. Whatever I do, I really try to do it for Him because if He doesn’t see it, then I’ve wasted my time. … All of this is going to burn up, and it’s not going to matter. What’s going to matter is: Do you know Him, and did you obey Him? So, that’s what I’m trying to do.”

Please join the entire university community in congratulating and praying for Virginia’s Lt. Gov. Winsome Earle-Sears (SBL ’03), Regent’s 2022 Alumnus of the Year.

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