Vanguard University’s 200-member concert choir and orchestra rang in the season with Christmas Fantasia, its annual holiday concert. Led by the Department of Music Chair Dr. James Melton, the program featured performances by the Vanguard University Concert Choir and Orchestra, University Women’s Chorus, Jazz Ensemble, Guitar Ensemble, Barbershop and Beautyshop Quartets, and the Vanguard Singers and Band. These world-class performance groups have performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City. Proceeds directly support students with scholarships and other educational resources through the Vanguard University Fund.
For more information about Fantasia, please visit vanguard.edu/fantasia.
For more information about Vanguard’s Music Program please visit vanguard.edu/music
Women veterans in Orange County to benefit from community safety net designed to improve transition to civilian life
COSTA MESA, CA, December 12, 2012 – Vanguard University (VU), a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies, announced today that its Global Center for Women & Justice (GCWJ), in tandem with its Veterans Resource Center (VRC), is a recipient of the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California’s 2012 Crystal Vision Awards. The grant was presented at a luncheon ceremony hosted by the Board of the Employees Community Fund of Boeing California (ECF) at the Long Beach Marriott on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012.
According to the ECF, the purpose of the 2012 grant fund was to engender creativity and innovation in bolstering a nonprofit organization’s ability to provide services to veterans as they transition from military service to civilian life and employment. Being able to effectively remove the barriers to this transition is a key focus of the grant requirement.
Female veterans at risk twice as much as male counterparts
As more women join the military than any other time in history, they are sharing a greater portion of combat deployments. In Orange County alone, there are more than 9,600 women veterans. This number continues to increase as more Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) and Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) Veterans transition out of the military. In transitioning out of military life, women return to a support system that is primarily focused on males and has been slow to adapt to the unique challenges that face women veterans.
“Accepting the Employees Community Fund award for the launch of the OC Women Veterans Network was especially moving,” says Sandra Morgan, director of GCWJ. “The Boeing employees who attended, many of whom are veterans, are already making a difference through community. That’s the kind of community that will be at the foundation of our vision to grow a sustainable network that connects resources from private and public sectors to improve opportunity, access, and achievement for our women veterans living in Orange County.”
Education as a path to seamless transition
Many OIF/OEF Veterans are using higher education as a transition platform due to the excellent benefits provided under the Post 9/11 GI Bill. As a full Yellow Ribbon university, Vanguard student veterans benefit financially from additional programs designed to prepare them for transitioning successfully into the civilian workforce without the added burden and stress of mounting debt.
“This is a golden opportunity for GCWJ to expand our existing services to women, particularly because of Vanguard’s deep commitment to providing financial, emotional, and spiritual assistance to veterans,” says Brent Theobald, director of government affairs at Vanguard University. “As the first full Yellow Ribbon university in Orange County that also houses a Veterans Resource Center, we are perfectly poised to understand and provide the services that female veterans require given their unique experiences in the military. Equipping them with the tools to overcome academic and social challenges during transition and build pathways to wholeness and independence is our goal.”
“This is a time of great stress for our military, as many service members face repeated combat deployments,” says Carrie Bollwinkle, executive director of the Employees Community Fund. “Because of their commitment to women and veterans, Vanguard was one of ten organizations that applied for the 2012 Crystal Vision Grant. We are confident that Vanguard will be successful in addressing these critical needs by leveraging all of their resources and expertise.”
For more information about the Global Center for Women at Vanguard University, visit vanguard.edu/gcwj; for information about Vanguard’s Veterans Resource Center at Vanguard University, visit vanguard.edu/veterans
MEDIA CONTACT: Shana Martin, Director of Communications at Vanguard University
The segment will broadcast on 99.5 KKLA at 7:30 a.m. PST.
“Not so long ago, there was a boy who lived with three cousins and four siblings in a three-story house. The attic was converted into a large bedroom where they slept and played and wondered about things larger than themselves. In that house the boy learned about God, about love, divorce, violence and, much later, reconciliation. There he began his quest for truth that would lead him around the world and finally to a life-altering experience at a place not so far from where he began.”
So goes the story of Jerry Camery-Hoggatt ’75, professor of New Testament and narrative theology for nearly 30 years, and 3-year chair of Vanguard University’s religion division, 1-year Director of Vanguard University’s Grad Programs in Religion. Camery-Hoggatt has sterling academic credentials, but he is also a riveting storyteller, a published author of scholarly monographs, commentaries, memoirs and fiction, a performer of story concerts and a pioneering professor who teaches the gospel as odyssey rather than as outline.
“[Universities] package most of what they do in outline form, but most people come to their religious beliefs in story form,” Camery-Hoggatt says. “I try to write prose that people who’d never pick up a theology book can read comfortably, that engages them in theological reflection. I use story as a vehicle for achieving that.”
Camery-Hoggatt’s life is as dramatic as the stories he tells. As a boy, his childhood was overshadowed by his parents’ divorce, which left the Pentecostal, church-going family with a shameful stigma. Former church friends crossed the street to avoid them. Camery-Hoggatt was so shaken by this that he began to question God’s existence. He posed a theological question to his pastor one Sunday, and the pastor replied, “We’re Christians. We don’t ask those kinds of questions.” Perplexed, Camery-Hoggatt graduated high school and left home, joining Up With People and touring the world. Deep in his heart he was searching for answers.
One Easter Sunday he found himself in an old Russian monastery in Stamford, Conn., attending a midnight mass. There, seated among the immigrants who whispered to one another in their native tongue, Camery-Hoggatt witnessed a scene of reconciliation that stirred his soul. At that moment he decided he would ask again the question of God. If God did not exist, then nothing mattered; if God did exist, then nothing else mattered in quite the same way, he thought.
He returned from touring and took his spiritual journey to Vanguard, where he says he was welcomed despite his spiritual doubts. Wary and questioning, he attended a prayer meeting one Wednesday night in the old Coat of Arms room above the gymnasium, and when the Communion elements came by, he refused them. He didn’t want to be a hypocrite. Then something strange happened: The fellow sitting next to him put an arm around his shoulder, pulled him close and began to cry. “I feel how lost you are,” the fellow said, “and I’ll pray that God will find you and take you home to him.” At that moment, Camery-Hoggatt had an epiphany: if that person could care that much for him, God could, too. He stood up, walked to the front of the room, took a paper cup and the almost-empty pitcher of grape juice, walked back to his seat and said, “Pour this for me.”
“At that moment I knew I had become a Christian and would be a Christian for the rest of my life,” he says, weeping at the recollection.
He also found his professional home at Vanguard. That very semester he discovered biblical studies under Dr. Russ Spittler and Dr. William Williams, and the subject was “a hole into which I fell and I never climbed out,” he says. He abandoned pre-med and threw himself into study of the New Testament.
To read more of Jerry Camery-Hoggat’s biography Click Here
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Non-profit organization Krochet Kids intl. (KKi) was selected as one of twenty-five charities to participate in the American Giving Awards hosted by Chase Bank, culminating in a TV special awards show December 8th on NBC. KKi rallied support for their cause and invited votes on the Facebook-based platform November 27 – December 4. The non-profit accessories brand that has successfully provided opportunities for communities in Uganda and Peru was looking to bring their life-changing model for empowerment home to the USA.
KKi has built a brand over the last five years focused on creating life-changing employment and educational opportunities to some of the most difficult areas in our world through the creation of their headwear and accessories line. Over 180 women in Uganda and Peru are beneficiaries of this work and the organization is not stopping there. Now that KKi has won the American Giving Awards they will be able to test their theory of change and empowerment for communities here in the USA.
“It has always been our goal to create a model for change that could exist in different contexts… we are excited to announce the plan to start a Krochet Kids intl. program here in the USA. Through job creation and supportive education we look to pilot our work in communities here at home and create some amazing new product,” says KKi CEO Kohl Crecelius.
Vanguard is proud to announce their winnings and to support the efforts of this talented team; Stewart Ramsey ’08, Travis Hartan ’06 and Kohl Crecelius.
To learn more and help the effort, visit www.krochetkids.org