Night of Storytelling Fills Seats and Warms Hearts

sigmatd_identitySeats filled on April 1 in the Great Commission Hall for Sigma Tau Delta’s Night of Storytelling with professors Adam Ayers, Ph.D., and Jerry Camery-Hoggatt, Ph.D.

Meaningful stories, laughter and snacks setup this storytelling eve for success. Sigma Tau Delta Co-president Elaina Ahmed said the event’s turnout, with every seat taken, was a great surprise. As co-presidents of Vanguard’s English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, sophomore Ahmed and junior Annie Sparks led the creation of the event with the help of the society’s former president, alumni Michelle Schonken ’13.

For the event, both professors shared original short stories. Dr. Ayers told comedic tales and used accents to bring his stories to life. Dr. Camery-Hoggatt told a “tender” story about his background growing up in the South, Sigma Tau Delta Co-president Elaina Ahmed said.  Along with entertainment, their stories shared important messages, like the importance of really looking at a person, and not just their physical image, Ahmed said.

Looking back on the event, Ahmed described it as “one of those moments” where the Vanguard community came together, enjoyed one another’s company and turned their attention toward God. “We definitely look forward to repeating this and making it bigger and better each time,” she said.

To find out more about Sigma Tau Delta, click here.

Seniors Play Games and Win Prizes at Senior “Final 40” Carnival

SeniorCarnival1Balloon-popping dartboards, popcorn and prizes set the stage for the Senior “Final 40” Carnival on March 31 at 9:30 p.m.

About 70 seniors gathered outside by the sand volleyball court Monday night to kick off a final 40 days countdown to graduation. The Senior “Final 40” Carnival featured multiple games, snacks and prizes. Also, at the end of the night, a sneak preview of the senior graduation slideshow played on a projector.

Like an actual carnival, the event had numerous games for attendees to choose to play. Games included Just Dance on the projector, life-size Jenga, water pong, a balloon-popping dartboard and a big Twister board. Game winners received raffle tickets to go toward the many prize drawings. Prizes were gift cards, a senior sweatshirt and a cap and gown.

For the event, senior transitions directors Madison Spikes and Justine Walters partnered with Student Government Association (SGA) senior program director Tommi Ploneis. Looking back at the event, senior Spikes said: “it became almost a reunion.” So many seniors came together that had not been together in such a long time, she said.

To learn more about the Office of Transitions, click here.

“Move 2:30” Campaign to Instill Healthy Habits

move-230-2-logoCollege is a time of exciting growth; however, there is one kind of growth that many college students experience that is not as exciting: sideways growth. Combatting the “freshmen 15” and other unhealthy college habits, Vanguard’s recreation department created the Move 2:30 campaign.

For the campaign, students are invited to spend the month of April getting out and getting active. VU Rec is providing multiple exercise opportunities and learning opportunities for students to holistically improve their health. The campaign’s events include: boot camps, running groups, Olympic lifting, a nutrition lecture, rock climbing, yoga and dodge ball.

Along with multiple free community events, the campaign also offers a chance to win a new pair of Nike Free running shoes. April 2-23, students can log their physical activity online for a chance to win. To start logging your activity, click here!

Forming healthy habits now is crucial, the coordinator for intramural and recreational programs, Jon Krapivkin ’12, said. He described the struggle many of his fellow graduates are combatting now because of the bad habits they started in college. College is a crucial time for growing intellectually and spiritually while also acquiring healthy habits, he said.

To learn more about the Move 2:30 campaign and to view the calendar of events, click here.

Vanguard Community Celebrates Men’s Basketball NAIA National Champions at Rally

2014NAIAMenBballChamps1“Ooh, Aah! You wish you were a Lion!” The Pit roared on April 2 at Vanguard University’s 2014 NAIA Basketball National Championship Rally.

In celebration of the men’s basketball’s national victory, Vanguard hosted a championship rally for all of the Vanguard community to attend. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters packed The Pit. Attendees filled the gym floor seating, the bleachers and the balcony.

At the entrance, the men’s basketball champion team and also the women’s basketball team, who were ranked No. 1 in the NAIA throughout the season until a hard loss at the national tournament, greeted attendees with free t-shirts. Also, members of Vanguard’s staff handed out blue and gold “Go Lions” posters.

Serving as the MC for the rally, KOCE’s Ed Arnold kicked off the event with Vanguard’s new cheer: “Ooh! Aah! You wish you were a Lion.” The cheer that resounded in The Pit throughout the season as losing teams hung their heads, defeated by the Lions.

During the rally, various coaches, athletic staff and Vanguard president Michael Beals gave short speeches thanking the individuals who supported the team along the way. In his introduction, Arnold talked about the team being more than just excellent basketball players. “Character-wise and otherwise these are outstanding people,” he said.

Before a final word from president Beals, a photo and video montage of the NAIA national tournament played. Then, while the lights were still low, We are the Champions began to play and everyone’s attention shifted to a black curtain at the back of the stage. As the curtain began to peel away, glimpses of a bright red banner brought the crowd to their feet with cheering and applause. Attendees whipped out their phones to snap photos and record videos as the curtain dropped to reveal the “2014 NAIA Division I Men’s Basketball National Champion” banner.

In his closing remarks, President Beals congratulated the men’s team and assured them that throughout the rest of Vanguard’s existence their banner would remain on the wall of whatever gym facility Vanguard has. President Beals also gave an encouraging word for students to cultivate their God-given talents, whatever they may be, like the members of the men’s team had cultivated their athletic talents.

To learn more about Vanguard’s men’s basketball team and their journey, click here.

Assemblies of God Researcher Teaches on Ethnic and Linguistic Diversity in the Pentecostal Movement

Darrin-RogerOn March 28, the Lewis Wilson Institute (LWI) hosted the director of the Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center (FPHC), Darrin Rodgers, M.A., J.D., for a seminar on the history of ethnic and linguistic diversity in the Assemblies of God (AG).

Students, faculty, staff and notable community members attended the seminar. Dr. Lewis Wilson and many of his family members were in attendance. Before retiring at the end of the 1994-95 academic year, Dr. Wilson had been a professor of history at Vanguard University and a Pentecostal educator for more than 40 years.

In the seminar, Rodgers focused on the topic of racial and ethnic diversity growing in the U.S. and, even more so, in the AG. “In ten years, there will likely be no majority group in the assemblies,” Rodgers said. “I find this to be a great opportunity, and yes, a challenge,” he added.

Throughout the lecture, Rodgers shared examples from his own experience to illustrate and support his ideas regarding the importance and opportunity in the continued diversification of the AG. At home, Rodgers attends a Russian/Slavic community church. He described the differences between the ethnic backgrounds of these individuals, having been under the hardship of Communism and other oppression, in comparison to the average American Christian.

The different life experiences from both ethnic backgrounds could have important truths to share with one another, he said. After describing the blessed life experience most American Christians have in comparison to the oppressive experience that many Russian immigrant church members have had, Rodgers said: “maybe we need to be blessed by people who haven’t been blessed.”

In a time of question and answer, Rodgers described his heart for racial reconciliation. He desires to see the AG take advantage of the opportunity that it has to encourage Christians with different racial, cultural and ethnic backgrounds to learn from one another. When describing his role in this process, Rodgers said: “I love working to build bridges.”

Reflecting on the seminar, LWI Director Derrick Rosenior, Ph.D., said, in regards to the Vanguard University community, “we want to reflect the diversity that we are seeing in the movement overall.” Being an AG school, it is important that Vanguard find ways to be encompassing of all people like the assemblies is doing as a whole, he said. He went on to say that in order to play its part, the Vanguard community must ask the question: “How can we reach people who are not like us?”

Overall, the seminar was very informative. Rodgers presented many statistics and historical accounts to provide a foundation for attendees to understand what has shaped the AG’s racial and ethnic makeup up to this point and how the assemblies can move forward in the opportunities presented by the ever-diversifying Pentecostal movement.

As the director for the FPHC, Rodgers works to collect and preserve the history of Pentecostalism. The FPHC is the largest Pentecostal archive in the world. In his role, Rodgers searches for historical treasures to continue to unwrap more of the history of the Pentecostal movement that led to the formation of the AG today.  Find out more about the FPHC by clicking here.

To learn more about the Lewis Wilson Institute, click here. Also, to find out about upcoming seminars, click here.