Regent University held its commencement ceremony Saturday for the graduating class of 2011, the largest in the university's history.
Families and friends joined more than 1,100 students on Regent's library plaza to celebrate the momentous occasion.
"This is the day that the word has made. We shall rejoice and be glad in it," President Dr. Carlos Campo, declared to the assembled audience.
As this year's commencement speaker, Chick-fil-A President and CEO Dan Cathy urged students to continue a life-long discipline of learning.
"As leaders, as the next generation of leaders, if you're on a trajectory of learning for the last 36 months, 48 months of learning, I challenge you to stay on that learning curve," Cathy admonished the graduates.
"We desperately need your energy," he continued. "We desperately need your creativity. We desperately need your passion and your insights to put fresh combinations together that the world has yet to see."
University founder and chancellor Dr. Pat Robertson also spoke at the ceremony. He encouraged the 2011 class to hold fast to their dreams.
"Don't hesitate on your dream," he said. "Don't cut your dream short. The only way to short circuit your dream is up here in your mind."
"There's nothing impossible with God," he added. "Nothing is impossible with God."
Several students reflected on their time at Regent with fondness.
"I've always felt like this was family here," one student said. "I've always felt comfortable. And I think I'll take that with me. I'll always think of Regent as a place that I can come home to."
Regent University has seven graduate schools and a school of undergraduate studies with courses on campus and online. Since its founding in 1978, Regent's alumni have grown to more than 14,000.