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History of Regent University

Founder and Chancellor of Regent University


Dr. M.G. "Pat" Robertson is best known as a television broadcaster, philanthropist, and educator. He is also a prolific author of books covering a wide spectrum of topics, including Christian life, history, politics, law, economics, and leadership - all rooted in Dr. Robertson’s deep and lifelong study of the Holy Scriptures.


Remembering Dr. Robertson's Legacy


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‘He served God and his generation’: Regent University Mourns the Loss of Founder, Chancellor & CEO Dr. M.G. “Pat” Robertson


VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 8, 2023) – Today, Regent University mourns the loss of its founder, chancellor, & CEO, Dr. M. G. “Pat” Robertson. He was 93 years old.


“We are deeply saddened by the loss of our beloved founder,” said Regent University Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. William L. Hathaway. “Dr. Robertson was a globally-renowned leader, broadcaster, philanthropist, educator, author, accomplished businessman, and – most importantly – a faithful servant of God who dedicated his life to glorifying the Lord and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”


Robertson was born on March 22, 1930, to the late Gladys Churchill Robertson and the late Senator A. Willis Robertson, who spent a half-century serving his country, first as an Army Officer in World War I, and later spending four decades representing Virginians as an elected Congressman and Senator.

Robertson graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Washington and Lee University then received a Juris Doctor from Yale University Law School and a Master of Divinity from New York Theological Seminary.


In 1960, he founded the first Christian television network established in the United States, The Christian Broadcasting Network, whose flagship program, The 700 Club, he hosted daily until 2021. In 1977, he founded CBN University – later named Regent University – to equip Christian leaders to change the world. He also founded Operation Blessing, International Family Entertainment, The Flying Hospital, the American Center for Law and Justice, The Christian Coalition, and several other organizations.

“One man’s tenacious obedience to a call from God has the opportunity to change the lives of millions around the world,” said Dr. Jay Sekulow, 
Chief Counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. “Dr. Robertson was a prime example of Christian Leadership to Change the World.”


Robertson ran for President of the United States in 1988. He is past president of the prestigious Council on National Policy. He served on President Ronald Reagan's Task Force on Victims of Crime. He previously served on the Board of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership and on the Governor's Council of Economic Advisors in the State of Virginia.

“Dr. Robertson was a titan of the Christian faith and he will be dearly missed by millions around the world,” said General John Ashcroft, 79th U.S. Attorney General and Distinguished Professor at Regent University. “His legacy is a life well-lived in loving and faithful obedience to Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel.”


Numerous governors, legislators, and organizations recognized Robertson's vast achievements and humanitarian efforts. Just a few of his honors include:

  • Humanitarian of the Year, 1982, by Food for the Hungry
  • Man of the Year, 1988, by Students for America
  • Christian Broadcaster of the Year, 1989, by National Religious Broadcasters
  • One of America's 100 Cultural Elite, 1992, Newsweek Magazine
  • Defender of Israel Award, 1994, by the Christians' Israel Public Action Campaign
  • Cross of Nails Award, 2000, for his vision, inspiration and humanitarian work with The Flying Hospital
  • The State of Israel Friendship Award, 2002, by the Chicago chapter of the Zionist Organization of America
  • New York Theological Seminary Distinction in Ministry Award, 2009
  • Induction to the Hampton Roads Business Hall of Fame, 2009
  • Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award, 2013, by Faith & Freedom Coalition
  • Lifetime Achievement Award - 25th Silver Anniversary Movieguide Awards, 2017
  • Legend Award at 49th Annual ICVM Crown Awards Ceremony, 2022


Robertson leaves a profound and enduring legacy: he served God and his generation.

Robertson is survived by his four children, 14 grandchildren and 24 great-grandchildren. His legacy will continue to live on through more than 35,000 Regent alumni serving in key leadership roles around the world – forever faithful to Dr. Robertson’s visionary calling of Christian Leadership to Change the World.