DANIEL VAUGHAN: Carrying on the legacy of Pat Robertson (1930 - 2023)

 June 9, 2023

I'd just arrived in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and moved into my apartment on campus at Regent University School of Law. My family had helped me move and was visiting the area too. We decided one day to take a self-guided tour of the campus and walk around the law school. The campus is beautiful as you walk around buildings designed after the historic Williamsburg style.

When you walk through the law school's main building, you're greeted by a beautiful open lobby area with a skylight pouring down light through the four levels of the school. The mats at the front door had a simple message when I was there. There was the Regent logo with the motto: Christian Leadership to Change the World. My mother followed behind me, read that, and shoved me ahead into the building as if to fulfill the motto right there on the spot.

It was all funny at the time, but one of those moments you remember. Regent University is one of the many organizations founded by Pat Robertson, who passed away this week at the age of 93. I was taken back to that moment with my mom when I read the news of Pat Robertson's passing. As one of 35,000 Regent University alumni, we wouldn't have gotten the education and experience we received without the faithfulness of Dr. M. G. 'Pat' Robertson.

You can, of course, find many people happily cheering the death of Pat Robertson. He was an open Christian who helped pave the way for televangelism, brought his faith to politics, and started numerous organizations that have an international reach. It's easy to find those keyboard warriors. However, it's easier still to find those impacted positively by Pat Robertson's life and ministry.

My law professors understood this the best. One of my favorite stories about attending the school that Pat Robertson built involved the American Bar Association and their accreditation methods. ABA-accredited schools have to go through ABA accreditation every five years and one of my professors liked poking fun at this process.

The semester we had ABA Accreditation staff on-site, this professor waited for that crew to file into his class to observe classroom teaching. Once they were seated, he pulled one of Pat Robertson's books from the lecture, gave the class a stern look, and then said, "Alright class, everyone turn to page 100 of the reading today where we'll cover Pat Robertson's views on the Supreme Court."

He looked around before giving a wry smile, pointing to the accreditation staff, and said, "Just checking to see if you guys are paying attention up there." We all got a kick out of it. The ABA auditors didn't have the same humor.

But such is life when you're in a school built by a trailblazer, not defined by denomination or creed. Pat Robertson was his own entity and paved the way for many others like him. Outside Regent, Robertson founded The 700 Club, Operation Blessing, International Family Entertainment, The Flying Hospital, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), The Christian Coalition, and many others.

Those organizations will continue his vision for a long time, blessing people worldwide. And as one of the 35,000 alums of Regent University, I carry that mission on myself. Regent is unique, especially on the law school side. ABA requirements mandate class times of a certain length to ensure everyone receives what they deem an adequate education.

Regent University School of Law's classes are slightly longer than required, which allows the professors to offer devotional time at the beginning of each class. It's a special time when you often learn or grow spiritually along with mentally as you get shaped into a future lawyer.

Playing flag football with friends was a unique experience, too, because the main field we used had Pat Robertson's house as a backdrop. On the far side of the campus, you could visit one of the tapings of The 700 Club and tour the history of CBN and Pat Robertson's legacy.

It's quite an experience to go to school on a campus with that much living history around. You see everything that Robertson built with CBN. Then you venture off-campus and see all the history of Virginia and America. It's a special place, and it wouldn't exist without Robertson's faithfulness.

As a Regent alumnus, I'll always be thankful for and indebted to Pat Robertson. He was a faithful servant, and he ran the good race. Now as Regent alumni, we carry on that mission. Like Pat Robertson, I pray we're all Christian leadership that changes the world. May it never be the same.

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