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Courage and Commitment: Honouring Regent’s Founders

June 25, 2018
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May the Founders’ faith, trust, vision, boldness, courage, and sheer audacity inspire us—the next generations—to live faithful lives wherever we have been called.

“Courage” was the watchword.

As President Jeff Greenman expressed, the founders of Regent College “were people of a bold, deep, and risky faith. Regent was an act of great courage.”

On June 2, the Board of Governors hosted a small, intimate luncheon for the College’s original founders and their families to honour their exceptional courage and commitment and to thank God for his generosity and goodness over the College’s fifty years.

Board members paid particular honour to two of the original founders, Don Bennett and Dick Richards, and three of original faculty, James Houston, Carl Armerding, and Ward Gasque. All five played essential roles in creating a college that would enable “young people to face life as the people of God in the home, the schoolroom, the laboratory, or the pulpit.”

Wives, children, and grandchildren of founders Eugene Cameron Sr., John Bennett, Ken Smith, Jack Oliver, Wemyss Reid, Hubert Munday, Brian Sutherland, and William Martin were also present—and brought remarkable memories. As Ruth Oliver Cummings (widow of founder Jack Oliver) reflected, “I just think this whole thing of Regent was of God, and that it was His vision, His idea, and He knew from the beginning that he was going to set it up in Vancouver.”

Gustavo Santos, a current Regent Student from Brazil, Claire Perini, Acting Dean of Students, and Bruce Hindmarsh, James Houston Professor of Spiritual Theology, each spoke of their pleasure and privilege of being part of the College community and mission.  

Regent College was officially founded by an Act of the BC Legislature in 1968, with $14.58 in the bank. The first summer school was held in 1969 with 57 students attending seven different classes. The first full-time students—all four of them—came in the fall of 1970, paying $125 per semester. 

Commemorating this bold initiative, Jeff Greenman concluded, “May the Founders’ faith, trust, vision, boldness, courage, and sheer audacity inspire us—the next generations—to live faithful lives wherever we have been called, not choosing whatever human path that might be safe or comfortable, but choosing to follow wherever God leads us.”

As Regent College begins to celebrate and give thanks for its first fifty years, we would love for you to join us!

In 2019, our 50th Summer School will host a remarkable line-up of past and current favourite faculty, along with some exciting new faces. Tom Wright, Malcolm Guite, Susan Phillips, Sarah Williams, Andy Crouch, Mabiala Kenzo, Christine Pohl, Rosalee Velloso Ewell, and John Swinton are just some of the instructors who will be teaching at Regent in Summer 2019. Watch for our Summer 2019 Preview, released at the end of June 2018, for a full line-up!

In 2020, Regent College will host a Homecoming Celebration complete with seminars, fellowship, worship, and shared meals. Alumni and friends of the College are encouraged to watch their inboxes for an upcoming announcement! If you haven’t signed up for our email list, check our website for more details in Fall 2018.  

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