Robertson School of Government reflects on humble beginnings, successes and unshakable cornerstone truths
“We were a small university, but we were offering an education Harvard could not provide.” This statement, made by professor emeritus Dr. Philip C. Bom, described the humble beginnings of what is now known as the Robertson School of Government (RSG). For the past 30 years, the school has continued to offer students an education they cannot find anywhere else, emphasizing Christian values and academic rigor.
During the annual Clash of the Titans® debate last fall, Regent University’s founder, chancellor and CEO, Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson, spoke of one of the school’s legacies: “The Robertson School of Government was named in memory of my father, U.S. Senator A. Willis Robertson, who represented Virginia in Congress for more than 30 years. My father never forgot that he was a servant of the people and that his private and public life must be above reproach.”
In honor of its anniversary and the nearly 1,000 RSG alumni serving in various levels of government and public policy, RSG invited alumni, family and friends to celebrate the school’s success at events across campus that helped reflect on its heritage of leadership. The celebration culminated alongside the distinguished Clash of the Titans debate, with many other commemorative events throughout last fall. Those events included a luncheon with students and Robertson, an Armed Forces Day concert that featured the U.S. Army Band from nearby Ft. Eustis, and the inaugural Senator A. Willis Robertson Lecture on Virginia Politics, featuring Virginia’s Secretary of Natural Resources.
The celebration also included a luncheon honoring a retiring professor, the school’s recognition at the Clash of the Titans post-debate dinner, and a family-friendly, mid-day picnic. All of these events highlighted founding principles of the school, but perhaps none were quite as poignant as the retirement lecture of beloved “Dr. Bom,” one of the first professors of RSG. Speaking on “The History and Promise of RSG,” Bom honored the past and inspired guests to look toward a bright future.
He noted that many schools that train government personnel skip over life’s most critical aspects such as God and the meaning of life. In contrast, RSG was founded to affirm Biblical principles as they apply to law, government and society.
Bom concluded by saying, “We must never lose sight of the cross of Christ. If we stay true to our vision and mission, we will continue to succeed and prosper. Let God find us faithful.”
RSG Dean Eric Patterson adds, “RSG is unique in being the only Christian university where students get top practitioners in the classroom on a regular basis, like former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Vern Clark, and others.” As a result, graduates include a governor, vice presidents, legislators and public administrators who are making an impact around the world. With a strong foundation of faith and knowledge, RSG is positioned to provide new opportunities through its evolving M.A. in Government and Master of Public Administration programs.