Landmark Building on Campus to Open at Vanguard University, New Space for Students and the Costa Mesa Community


WHAT: Vanguard University has announced the grand opening of the Scott Academic Center, with a complete expansion and exterior facelift creating a “front door” to the University. The new Scott Academic Center, designed by architect Tony Massaro, is a complete remodel of the existing 23,076 square foot Scott Academic Center which includes a 16,135 square foot addition consisting of a three-story education wing. The new building will feature 10 new classrooms, and provide expanded space for the Global Center for Women and Justice, Veterans Resource Center, Nursing Program with a state-of-the-art nursing simulation lab, and the Diversity and Inclusion Department. All student services will be housed at the Scott Academic Center. The Samson’s Café, another new addition, will be open to the public and serve coffee and light fare. Finally, a tall bell tower will mark this new “front door” to Vanguard University.

Vanguard University is grateful for the generosity of the community donating just over $7 million dollars, which exceeded its campaign goal, allowing the building to be completed debt-free.

WHEN: Grand Opening – Saturday, October 3 at 10 a.m.

WHERE: Vanguard University, 55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

WHY: The Scott Academic Center expansion will serve the University’s near capacity student population, which is projected to expand over the next decade. This building expansion is vital to the future of Vanguard.

Founded in 1920, Vanguard University is one of three Christian institutions in Orange County, California, with approximately 2,000 students enrolled. After 30 years in Los Angeles, Vanguard University relocated its campus to Costa Mesa in 1950. The original Scott Academic Center opened in 1976, and was named after Vanguard president, professor, dean and librarian, Dr. John B. Scott.

October 3 will celebrate the grand opening of the Scott Academic Center, with city councilmembers, board members, community supporters, alumni, faculty, and students in attendance.

For more information on the Scott Academic Center grand opening, and the building’s campaign Through These Doors, visit


For more information, contact:
Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications

Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The 2016 U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard #13 in the Regional Colleges (West) category, #10 for Best Colleges for Veterans, and #19 for economic diversity. The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2016 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission, Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit


LA Times feature “Community and Clubs: Newport-Mesa throws support behind Special Olympics”


It’s hard to imagine an undertaking that has inspired as much support from the Newport-Mesa community as the hosting of the athletes participating in the Special Olympics World Games last week in Los Angeles.

Newport-Mesa proudly welcomed and celebrated more than 200 Special Olympics athletes from Mexico, Fiji, Aruba, the Bahamas and Malawi, for three days before the Games.

The host town committees arranged housing, meals, training facilities and transportation for the athletes and their delegations. Committee members and other volunteers accompanied the delegations on two outings to share local culture. [...]

“Costa Mesa couldn’t have pulled it off without the assistance of committee member David Vazquez, the administrative staff of Vanguard University and the support of Vanguard President Dr. Michael Beals and Vanguard’s donation of housing and training facilities,” said Daniel Baker, who co-chaired Costa Mesa’s effort.

Read the full article from the Los Angeles Times, online here.

Class of 2014 Reached Finish Line on May 9

VU Commencement 2014-6Finally at the finish line, Vanguard University’s Class of 2014 crossed the stage and became official VU alumni on May 9 at Commencement.

Accomplishing the race toward graduation, students from Vanguard’s undergraduate, graduate and professional studies programs walked across the Mariners church stage and received their diplomas. Along with the more than 500 graduates, the church auditorium filled with friends, family, faculty and staff to celebrate the students.

For the 2014 Commencement ceremony, Vanguard University chose well-known author, leader and speaker Christine Caine to give the Commencement speech. She is a member of the leadership team at Hillsong Church in Sydney, Australia, the director of Equip and Empower Ministries and the co-founder of the A21 Campaign. Caine is a profoundly effective communicator who shares messages of hope and inspiration. One graduate, Kristen Atkins, said Caine had her “captivated the whole time” with a very relatable and encouraging message.

Now an official Vanguard University alumna, Atkins left the Commencement stage with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education.  Along with many other graduates, Atkins carries her degree into an unknown, yet exciting future. When describing how it feels for her and many of the other graduates to have finally graduated, Atkins said: “We mentally know that we’ve got this big accomplishment done, but emotionally it hasn’t sunk in yet.” It’s all very surreal still, Atkins said.VU Commencement 2014-1

Looking back on the momentous event, Atkins said: “Vanguard, overall, did a really good job with the whole ceremony.” Atkins said she enjoyed the entire lineup. From worship with the choir to Caine’s empowering speech, Atkins said the ceremony went by surprisingly fast while being engaging and enjoyable.

Before Commencement, Vanguard hosted the Baccalaureate Service at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church on May 8. With music, scripture readings and a message from a student-selected speaker, the Baccalaureate Service celebrated and honored the graduating seniors. A longstanding tradition from medieval universities, the service first and foremost celebrates God’s faithfulness to graduating students.  This year’s student-selected speaker was Barbi Rouse ’74, the director of Learning Skills and an assistant professor of Humanities.

Vanguard also hosted other graduation ceremonies to celebrate students in specific departments. On May 1, Vanguard’s Veterans Center hosted the Challenge Coin Ceremony to honor each of the graduating student veterans. On May 8, Vanguard’s Nursing Program hosted the Nursing Pinning Ceremony to honor nursing students and to present them with pins symbolizing devotion, care and sacrificial love. And on May 3, Vanguard’s Diversity Programming hosted the Hispanic Graduation Celebration.

To find out more about the 2014 commencement ceremonies, visit VU’s commencement site by clicking here. To purchase a 2014 Commencement DVD, click here.

Students Find Relief from Finals at Midday Retreat

FinalsRetreatTherapyDogsAmongst the madness of finals week, Vanguard University hosted a “Finals Retreat” on May 5 at the campus mall and in the Cove for students to pause, take a breath and jump back into their studies refreshed.

Starting at 11 a.m., the retreat featured 10-minute massages, therapy dogs, relaxation exercise sessions and snacks. The event also provided students with take-home stress balls and flyers with tips for combatting stress. VU’s Counseling Center, Diversity Programming and Alumni Relations worked together to create this time of relief for students.

Multiple students raved about the therapy dogs and their ability to relieve stress. Junior Lacey Proulx said just seeing the dogs brought a smile to her face. Sophomore Oscar Islas posted an Instagram photo thanking the dog Zip for bringing him some much-needed relief after two “very stressful finals” that morning. “So much stress got lifted off my shoulders because of him,” Islas said. Bark Reading Dogs, a California-based volunteer program, brought their certified therapy dogs for the event.

Commenting on the purpose of the retreat, Director of Alumni and University Relations Joel Gackle said it was to provide a “break from the stress” and to “calm the nerves.” This is the third year Vanguard has hosted a finals retreat. The goal of the retreat is to help students get “rejuvenated” so they can jump back into their studies and finish well, Gackle said.

To read more about the event, click here.

Legally Blonde Musical Packed with People and Laughs

legally_blonde_artA whirlwind of pink blew across the Lyceum Theater stage on April 11-26 for Vanguard University’s Department of Theatre Arts production of Legally Blonde the Musical.

With a packed house almost every night and the chance to make new friends, the musical was a huge success, actor and dancer Kara Kenney said. The musical lined up well with the movie and was a “blast” to make, she added.

Having no prior experience performing in a show, Kenney said she was very hesitant about auditioning, but after continual encouragement from a friend, she gave in and went to tryouts. With her high school dance experience and natural talent, Kenney received not only a dancing role and the position of assistant choreographer, but also the role of Chutney Windham, the lead witness in the court case.

Looking back on her experience, Kenney said: “Performing is such a major passion of mine. I’m glad I did it.” Kenney said she was proud of herself for taking the chance and putting in the many hours of hard work for the show. With rehearsals Monday through Friday from 6:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m., the musical required a lot of time and effort, but Kenney said the performances made it all worth it. Her favorite part was “being together and working together toward putting together a great show,” she said.

Based on the novel by Amanda Brown and the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture, Heather Hatch’s Legally Blonde the Musical is peppy, playful and stays true to the movie. Set for success, the musical featured music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, and Vanguard’s Vanda Eggington directed it. The musical playfully portrayed the story of the blonde, decked in pink and ready to rock the world of Harvard Law main character, Elle Woods. Audiences watched Elle’s journey from trying to win back her boyfriend at law school to winning a court case instead.

Passionate about the redeeming qualities of the story that are often missed, Eggington said: “It is a triumphant story about anyone who has ever let others dictate his or her own worth.” The musical shows Elle’s journey to find that “her true worth is much more than skin deep and greater than she could have ever imagined,” Eggington said.

To learn more about the play, click here.