Vanguard Singers and Band to Travel Across Europe

From May 9-28, 27 members of the Vanguard Singers and Band, plus two faculty and staff members, will travel across Europe to perform concerts, assist in leading services at a music/worship conference, and participate in street evangelism.

The church in Western Europe is in dire need of the Gospel, especially in today’s world of uncertainty and unrest. Because music is a unique gift that is universal in both language and appeal, there will be limitless opportunities for these students to make an impact.

The group of students will be traveling across all of Western Europe, including Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, and Portugal. During portions of their trip, they will be hosted by members of the Madchenkantorei Chros of Bad Saulgau, Germany, which participated in the Carnegie Hall tour with Vanguard in 2006, and who Vanguard hosted here in Southern California during May of 2009.

Several concerts have been planned in some of the oldest Baroque churches and cathedrals in southern Germany, as well as in the Bavarian Cultural Arts Center. The students will also be staying in church member homes of the Cova Piedade (Assembly of God) Church of Lisbon, Portugal, providing a wonderful cross-cultural experience for those involved.

The Vanguard Singers and Band is the longest established music ministry group at Vanguard and has been in existence for over 40 years. There have been many past overseas tours that have greatly impacted our students and those they have reached, including Europe, South Korea, China, Japan, Mexico and Canada.

For further information on Vanguard Singers and Band, please visit here.

Professor Gary Tyra Writes New Book

Vanguard University Associate Professor of Biblical and Practical Theology, Dr. Gary Tyra, has announced that his third book, Christ’s Empowering Presence, will be released in early June.

Christ’s Empowering Presence is a beautiful book that touches on the notion that we all have deep longings that can be healed by Christ’s empowering presence, but that there is a constant struggle to make that a reality within our lives. In this book, Tyra claims that the cultivation of an ongoing awareness of Christ’s presence in readers’ lives will transform the life of the reader instantly and open new doorways for dynamic change inside.

Christ’s Empowering Presence is the result of a life-changing assignment from Dallas Willard that required Tyra to read over 4,000 pages from classic and contemporary works devoted to the theme of Christian spirituality. The book will challenge and cultivate readers to adhere to the disciplines of Jesus and many others, including prayer, study, fasting, solitude, silence, work, worship, celebration, fellowship, submission, confession, and service.

“I really had an experience being exposed to the dynamic of Christ’s empowering presence and it deeply affected my walk with Christ, so I wanted to share that with others,” said Tyra. “This book can be an ongoing spiritual life-source for people, filled with quotes from spiritual masters to motivate and allow readers to experience a moment-by-moment mentoring theme with Jesus.”

Christ’s Empowering Presence will be on sale June 10. For further information on the book, or to pre-order it, please visit here. To learn more about Dr. Gary Tyra and the Department of Religion at Vanguard University, visit here.

Vanguard University President Dr. Carol Taylor Nominated for Orange County Business Journal’s Women in Business Award

Vanguard University is proud to announce that Dr. Carol Taylor has been nominated for the 2011 Orange County Business Journal Women in Business Awards. The winner will be announced on May 25 at the OCBJ Luncheon and Awards Program at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.

The Women in Business Awards Program is designed to recognize Orange County women who have made impactful contributions to their professions as well as within their communities. Their tenacity and drive have established, nurtured, guided and transformed countless successful businesses. Women are influential members of the OC business community, whether in the corporate, entrepreneurial or not-for-profit sector. With 93,406 women-owned businesses in 2007, Orange County ranked 6th among counties nationwide according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

“I already have the great joy of serving one of Orange County’s finest colleges – Vanguard University, so it is an added honor to be nominated as one of OCJB’s 2011 Women in Business and to be included with so many outstanding professional women in Orange County” says Dr. Taylor.

About Vanguard University

Vanguard University ( is a private, Christian, comprehensive university of liberal arts and professional studies, accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). U.S. News & World Report has ranked Vanguard # 9 among the best baccalaureate colleges in the west in their 2010 rankings of colleges and universities. The Princeton Review named VU a 2010 “Best Western College.”

Vanguard Alum Nicole Suydam Named One of OC Metro’s 40 Under 40

Vanguard University Alumni Nicole Suydam ‘95 has been named one of OC Metro’s 40 Under 40 for her work as Vice President of Development at Goodwill of Orange County.

Suydam, 37, has helped Goodwill of Orange County increase charitable contributions for the past two years despite a recession that has resulted in much decline in the area of philanthropy. Because of Suydam’s hard work and innovative ideas, she led the way in changing the fundraising strategy to focus on contributions from individuals and focusing on raising more community awareness through The Real Goodwill, the nonprofit’s one-hour introductory tour.

For the duration of her eight years as vice president, Suydam has tripled major gift revenue, expanded Goodwill’s estate and legacy giving program, and led the $7 million fundraising campaign to create the Goodwill Fitness Center in order to allow people with disabilities to actively stay healthy.

Suydam was also recognized by OC Metro Magazine as one of “The Hottest 25 People in Orange County” and she has been featured by the Nonprofit Times as one of the nation’s “Top 10 Nonprofit Fundraisers Under the Age of 40.” Vanguard University awarded her the Outstanding Young Professional Award in 2006.

Suydam is also currently a member of the Orange County Business Council, where she works with members looking to hire employees with disabilities and utilizes Goodwill’s business services.

“I enjoy leading teams and empowering others to discover their best talents and abilities,” Suydam said in a recent interview with OC Metro.

For further information on Suydam, or to read the OC Metro article on the 40 under 40, please visit here.

Vanguard Alum Tricia Lamb Takes Pay Cut to Fund Science Lab in Costa Mesa

Vanguard University alumni Tricia Lamb is taking a nearly $35,000 pay cut in order to keep the highly lauded science program at Kaiser Elementary School in Costa Mesa.

Lamb, who graduated with her Masters Degree in Elementary Education and attained her teaching credential from Vanguard, is one of two specialized teachers in Kaiser’s science program that has been around for 14 years, thanks to a gift from an anonymous donor that has allotted $150,000 per year. The trouble is that that donation ends after this year, and since that money covered Lamb’s position and field trips, she was presented with a tough decision to either return to conventional classroom teaching at her current salary or take a huge pay cut to keep Kaiser’s much celebrated science program alive.

Because Lamb has grown to love both her position and the lab she has operated in, she knew she had to make a tough decision that defied logic. She has agreed to work at 60% of her normal salary of $84,701, resulting in a salary of $50,821, for the next school year in order to keep the science program alive—and for good reason too. Kaiser’s science program has allowed its students to consistently outperform their counterparts throughout the sate by more than ten percentage points despite the fact that 39 percent of Kaiser students come from families who are classified as socio-economically disadvantaged, 18 percent are considered English language learners, and 12 percent have learning disabilities.

“I realized that the way I can give back to my community is by reducing my contract for a year,” Lamb said in a recent interview with the Orange County Register. “During times like this, when everyone is struggling and cuts are being made, schools can be successful if the community works together.”

Lamb’s sacrifice will be sure to not only benefit her school, but her entire community, and she could not be happier with her decision.

“I’m a great believer in finding out what your passion is. To me, life is about what makes you happy. And in my science lab is where I’m happiest.”

For further information on Tricia Lamb and to see the article written about her by the Orange County Register, please visit here.