With their eyes focused on God for what He has in store for them this school year, hundreds of Vanguard University students joined with faculty, staff, the Board of Trustees, Foundation Board, and other important members of the Vanguard community to officially launch the 2013-2014 school year. Under Professor Mildred Yi’s direction, the Vanguard orchestra kicked off the official launch of the new school year to William Walton’s Crown Imperial (Coronation March). After a brief welcome from President Mike Beals, who officially addressed the students for the first time since he started as Vanguard’s tenth president on August 1, Professor April Westbrook gave the invocation. Led by Professors Melton and Prado, the Vanguard choir and orchestra then performed O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing.
Dr. Mike Wilson, acting provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, introduced the faculty, who proudly stood in full regalia as their respective departments were introduced. Student Government Association President Ashlee Kildiszew then read from Psalms 90 and 96, followed by the Vanguard choir and orchestra’s rendition of A Jubilant and some encouraging words by Rev. Rich Guerra, Superintendent of the SoCal Network Assemblies of God and Trustee.
President Beals enthusiastically welcomed the students, harkening back to his own days as a Vanguard University undergraduate student, when he, too, was presented with the many new and exciting opportunities to learn and grow with his peers each new year. Just as a timely, warm breeze passed through Heath Lawn, where the ceremony was being held, he encouraged the students to keep an eye on the Lord as the newness of the semester diminishes and the many distractions tempt them as the wind tempted Peter to take his eyes off of Jesus (Matthew 14:22-32).
Shortly after Professor Greg Austring gave the benediction, the crowd, who had braved the strong rays of the increasingly hot California morning sun, traveled to their next destination filled with the Holy Spirit. In the background, the sonorous tones of Sing, Sing, Sing performed by the Vanguard jazz ensemble and under the direction of Professor Ken Foerch could be heard across Heath Lawn.
Let the 2013-2013 school year at Vanguard University begin!